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LangFocus (YouTube channel)
#1
Langfocus is an educational YouTube channel about languages, which has been running since the beginning of 2015. The videos are presented by a language enthusiast and avid traveller named Paul, who originally comes from Canada but now lives in Japan. Most of his videos consist either of a brief (roughly 10 minutes long) introduction to a language, or a comparison between two different languages from similar geographical areas. More recently, he's experimented with other kinds of video, such as his "Mystery language" series, where he plays audio clips and invites viewers to guess what language they just heard. 

I already posted about this channel on the old forum, but, since I really like his videos, I thought I should give him a topic over here too. The video I posted there (on the Swahili language) was his newest at the time; however, that was two years ago now, so I guess I should instead post a more recent video about the Korean language: 

[flash=480,300]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJPQEVnr0fg[/flash]

What do you think of this guy?
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#2
He's put out a new video about Moroccan Darija. This is normally considered a dialect of Arabic; however, years of influence from French (and, to a lesser extent, Spanish), plus influences from the indigenous Berber languages, have turned it into one of the most difficult dialects for other Arabic speakers to understand: 

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#3
I subbed him, for very obvious reasons.

Thoughts on the Moroccan Darija:

- while it is Arabic in a broader sense, Arabic is a dialect continuum to begin with (meaning that the farther apart two dialects are geographically, the less intelligible they are with one another), and it sounds like Darija is particularly divergent dialect, perhaps a different language from a purely linguistic sense, like Maltese.

- Saw in the comment section that some Moroccan Arabs don't like being told their language is influenced by Amazigh. :wtf: :lol:
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Apparently CJ thinks my linguistics reading collection is massive enough to be one of the 25 most massive objects in the Solar System :lol:
(07-30-2018, 07:07 PM)Kyng Wrote: Come to think of it, I'm surprised Jarkko's collection of linguistics reading material wasn't there :thinking: .
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#4
Well, if the comments section on that video was bad, imagine what it'll be like on his latest video (about the Catalan language): 



As always, he deliberately avoids the controversial political stuff as far as he reasonably can, but I'm sure there will still be some people getting upset :(

Interesting to see more about the language itself, though. It's very similar to Spanish (as one would expect from simple geography :P ), and even where it's different from Spanish, it's often similar to other Romance languages (such as French and Portuguese).
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Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

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#5
Here's a bit of a different one. He's explaining why some people think Portuguese (particularly the variety spoken in Portugal itself) sounds Russian or Polish. Obviously, these languages aren't closely related, and they certainly aren't mutually intelligible; however, when people hear Portuguese from too far away to hear what's being said, or they aren't really paying attention to what's being said, they might find that something about the language "sounds Russian": 



I've never thought of Portuguese as sounding 'Russian' (or, indeed, like anything in particular) - but, still, this is an interesting point!
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Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

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#6
Here's a video that's pretty much made for me :P . It's about the Viking influence on the English language: 



This is an era which isn't particularly well-documented, so some parts of the video are a bit speculative. However, at 17 minutes long, it does go into a fair bit of depth about the aspects which are known (and the competing theories on those which we're still not sure of). 

There aren't that many words which entered English from Old Norse (about 1,000 or so; more in some Northern English dialects). However, some of them are pretty basic words (for example, "their"), so the Vikings' influence on English is still very much felt in everybody's everyday speech!
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Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

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#7
Now, another video along the same lines as the "Viking influence on English" one. This time, it's about the footprint that the Arabs left on the Spanish and Portuguese languages, during their >700-year presence on the Iberian Peninsula: 



Granted, this influence is largely restricted to vocabulary (there's little or no evidence of Arabic influence on Spanish or Portuguese grammar), and even then, many of the Arabic-derived words have fallen out of use. However, there are still quite a few important ones that are used on a daily basis!
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Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

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#8
And, back to English again. This time, it's about why our spelling system appears so illogical:



Seems there are three main points:

  • English words come from four main sources (a Germanic core, French, Latin, and Greek), each with their own rules and conventions;
  • Pronunciations have shifted over the centuries, but the spellings remained the same (so many spellings reflect how the words were pronounced hundreds of years ago);
  • Other languages have undergone spelling reform to fix all their weird inconsistencies, but this never happened in English.

There's quite a lot on specific words, though!
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