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Thread: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

  1. #21
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    More greetings, and two further observations, though fdb and berndf have far better knowledge of Comparative Philology than I, so I tread on eggshells here,

    But I think a strong case could be made for the claim that Italian (or rather: the dialects of Central Italy) is the most conservative of the Romance languages.
    First, against the general proposition I suggested in#8, we must not forget Rhaeto-Romanish, spoken - as far as I am aware - only in the Engadin in Switzerland.

    Secondly, berndf is wholly right about the "skid row" phenomenon. This is most emphatically not a different syntax, it is simply compressed or dialectical. American usage will of course differ in places from BrE, but in writing very little.

    berndf could equally well have cited here the patois of Brixton in Saarff Lahndan.

  2. #22
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Hi Ben.
    I agree with you. But the Chinese communities have traditionally strong internal bonds.
    I can assure you that the example I gave in the post #1 and in #17 are used by the majority of Chinese in Italy. Some words are also used by the Chinese in other European countries.
    And... I am a second generation, Chinese is still my native language, and I basically speak the same Chinese as my parents' generation, the same Chinese dialects, with the same "particular" words I listed. The fact that there are many Chinatowns and newspapers written in Chinese helps for "stabilizing the language" (although newspapers use more "standard" Chinese).
    And you're right, I also know a lot of 2nd generations that don't speak Chinese. In the future I predit that more and more descendants of Chinese will speak Italian, and standard Mandarin, but some words such as those listed in #1 are so "settled" in our community that I think the next genrations will continue to use... and probably the Italian loanwords will increase.

    Your Yiddish and Ladino are good example.
    In #1 I've already mentioned the Brazilian Venetian, the Brazilian Low German and the Fiji Hindi.

    In our era of globalization language varieties tend to become more uniform merging into the standard or the more widespread form.
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  3. #23
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngfun View Post
    "have got" / "haven't (got)" / "have you (got)" are not in use in America English anymore, which instead prefers "have" / "don't have" / "do you have". Can this be considered an innovation?
    Though in spoken language it's very usual "I got".
    You mean "I have to go" instead of "I've got to go"? Both sentences are standard in both varieties.

  4. #24
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    No, I mean "I got a book" used in the possessive meaning, instead of "I have (got) a book".
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  5. #25
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    This is (skid row) slang vs. standard language within American English and has little to do with American vs. British English.
    This is about morphological innovation. It is not a question of register. I am saying that this sort of innovation takes place in the spoken language in North America and may or may not spread to the written language. But that is how languages change.

  6. #26
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    This is about morphological innovation. It is not a question of register. I am saying that this sort of innovation takes place in the spoken language in North America and may or may not spread to the written language. But that is how languages change.
    As Scholiast pointed out, you find the same thing in Britain. Comparing standard BE with American slang is distorting the comparison.

  7. #27
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    I think the OP is very similar to what I can observe in the Russian community in the US. I will re-post my earlier post in another thread:
    I'm not well "plugged" into the Russian community where I live, but I know several Russian and mixed Russian-American families. While most educated Russians try not to code switch, it happens, mostly on the word level rather than sentence level.

    For example, if you explain directions, it is impossible to do without plugging English words, such is "turnpike" that is different from "highway" that is different from “road”.

    Other examples are:
    - Food - I have no idea how to say “brown sugar” in Russian, even checked in Wiki (not there), and the direct word-by-word translation sounds weird and extremely unapetizing.
    - Local plants/animals – if I look up cтранствующий дрозд in a dictionary and use it in a conversation, noone will understand what bird I’m talking about, while everybody is very familiar with robins.
    - Local and federal administration, school system, tax, some everyday legal terms etc...

    I was told that people who do not try to preserve the language, take English roots and apply them to Russian grammar, which creates very ugly combinations. Thankfully, I do not encounter that.
    EDIT: similarly to Greeks, Russians sometimes use "Russian-ized" versions of English words, for example, турка /turka/ for turkey, instead of the proper Russian word индейка /indeyka/. I think the reason for that is in Russia turkey is not a very common food, while in the US it is a staple.
    Last edited by rusita preciosa; 18th December 2012 at 5:39 PM.

  8. #28
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by LilianaB View Post
    There are many different words immigrants add to their original language after the have lived in other countries for a while, even more so second, or third generation Americans in their ancestors language. There are even some jokes about their language -- the Chicago Polish especially (mostly second, third generation -- lower class). I don't know that many words they use, but some words sound really funny to more standard language users. The language of quite recent immigrants is also influenced by the English vocabulary, when speaking about people in the United States. It also depends on the individual, of course, whether they adopt new words into their original language or not. The new words are mostly related to their trade -- especially such trades as construction -- most tools and activities are called by English words with Polish endings, in the case of Polish.
    It can be interesting to compare tool terminology within immigrant communities. For example, in parts of the US, there are many immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries who work in construction. My sense (from having lived in California) is that Spanish-speaking construction workers generally keep the Spanish terms for the tools and other equipment they use (at least the basic ones such as drills, saws, bolts, clamps, and so on). On the other hand, Spanish-speaking immigrants who don't do much construction work (along with people who grew up in bilingual households in the US) generally seemed to use the English equivalents of these words.

    I'd have to do more research (which others have perhaps already done?) to find out whether this is the general pattern for tool-words within Spanish- and other non-English-speaking immigrant communities.
    Last edited by Gavril; 19th December 2012 at 1:19 PM.

  9. #29
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    I once heard a London-Iraqi say:
    آني باچر "أوف" - يعني ما عندي شغل
    aani baachir "off" - ya3ni, ma 3indi shughul
    I am tomorrow "off" - that is, I don't have work.
    I found it quite amusing.

    In general, there is quite a bit of mixing of English and Arabic in the London-Iraqi community, both with Arabic and English as the "base" language, depending on generation.
    I can't think of any standard phrases, though.
    ضاع التعب وياك آنا يابن الحمولة :: حچي الحچيته وياك آنا بالك تقوله

  10. #30
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by rusita preciosa
    I have no idea how to say “brown sugar” in Russian, even checked in Wiki (not there), and the direct word-by-word translation sounds weird and extremely unapetizing.
    Hi rusita. Thanks for contributing.
    So there is no brown sugar in Russia? Are you aware if brown sugar has been introduced recently in Russia as an imported good? If yes, it would be interesting to know how people in Russia call it.

    About the other posts, I have the impression that most of you are talking about "code-switching" - which is something that happens too and very often among the second generations.
    But what I was talking about, is not only using words of the local language to call many things; but also words in the immigrant's language that are different from the ones used in the home country.

    Using exclusively a foreign word for somethings is different to code switching.
    The examples I gave in the #1 such as vigile (traffic policeman), camion (truck), etc. are words that we never say in Chinese.
    Same things about cozze (mussels), vongole (clams), etc. if somebody says them in Chinese, most people would not understand them.
    Rusita's example are closer to his.

    Code switching is different: for example when speaking Chinese sometimes I use the Chinese word 电影院, sometimes I say cinema (Italian word the same as British English).
    Sometimes I refer to the lawyer as 律师 (Chinese), sometimes as avvocato (Italian).

    Ihsiin's example are more similar to "code switching" especially when he says:
    there is quite a bit of mixing of English and Arabic in the London-Iraqi community, both with Arabic and English as the "base" language, depending on generation.
    When I'm speaking to my brother or my cousins, I could say:
    - Ah* 小王,现在 natale 快要到了,我们去买 regalo 吧,现在有 saldi。过几天我们就要 ferie 了,想不想去雪山 sciare?(Chinese "base" with many Italian words)
    Translation: Hey Xiaowang, now it's almost Christmas, let's go buy some presents, now there are the seasonal discounts. After some day we'll have holidays, do you want to go to snow mountain to ski?

    *Ah: Roman dialect "vocative" word. In Rome people like to add "ah" before names when calling people. We also add it before Chinese names.

    Or we could also say:
    - Ieri che era 过年 siamo andati al 中国餐馆 a mangiare 山粉饺, poi siamo andati a casa di 小李, ci stava anche un amico suo 番人. Poi ci siamo messi a 搓麻将 e abbiamo visto il 春节联欢会 su 中央四台. (Italian "base" with many Chinese words)
    Translation: Yesterday it was the Chinese New Year, we went to the Chinese restaurant to eat some sweet potato dumplings, then we went to Xiaoli's place, there was also an Italian friend of his. Then we played mah-jong and we watched the Chinese New Year Gala TV show on CCTV-4 channel (on the satellite).
    Last edited by Youngfun; 19th December 2012 at 11:47 AM.
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  11. #31
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Hi, Gavril. I know some construction Polish-English vocabulary from various court herrings related to construction accidents. They use: skiefro -- for scaffold, skrua for screw, lewel for level (w is pronounced almost like v in Polish), belt for belt, harness for harness, engel for angle, sitrak for sheetrock, bima for beam, superwaizer for supervisor, and many other words -- almost all tools and construction products -- mostly nouns though, I think. The verbs mostly stay in Polish.

  12. #32
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by LilianaB View Post
    Hi, Gavril. I know some construction Polish-English vocabulary from various court herrings related to construction accidents. They use: skiefro -- for scaffold, skrua for screw, lewel for level (w is pronounced almost like v in Polish), belt for belt, harness for harness, engel for angle, sitrak for sheetrock, bima for beam, superwaizer for supervisor, and many other words -- almost all tools and construction products -- mostly nouns though, I think. The verbs mostly stay in Polish.
    What about verbs specifically associated with the tools (e.g., "to drill", "to nail", "to clamp")? Did you hear the Polish versions of these verbs used?

  13. #33
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Maybe also: drylował, wbijał neila, Some are being replaced too, but not all of them. Some other phrases: wyciągnł skruza ganem or skruganem. Zagrałtował - he applied the grout to the tiles.
    Last edited by LilianaB; 19th December 2012 at 2:26 PM.

  14. #34
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Liliana, were you talking about court hearings?
    So in the US they register the court hearing made in foreign languages? Or did you hear them talk with the translator?
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  15. #35
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    In the US all litigants use the language they are most comfortable with, during any type of court proceedings. There is always a court interpreter, if required. The court orders them in advance. This is required by law. You can answer in even the most rare languages -- the whole hearing is recorded by court reporters in English only -- the interpreter's speech, the attorneys and the judge speaking in English.

  16. #36
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngfun View Post
    Hi rusita. Thanks for contributing.
    So there is no brown sugar in Russia? Are you aware if brown sugar has been introduced recently in Russia as an imported good? If yes, it would be interesting to know how people in Russia call it.
    I just looked it up and it is now on Wikipedia. It is a direct translation from English, коричневый сахар /koritchnevyi sakhar/. Soulds weird to me, but probably people who use that word will get used to it. My suspicion that people in Russia will use the Russian term and people in the US will use the English one.

    Same goes for "pound" (unit of mass): people in Russia use the Russian term фунт /funt/ (on the rare occasions it is used, because in Russia metric system is used) and the Russians who live in the US would say паунд /paund/ as pronounced in English.

    Another example I hear all the time (although I myself try to avoid it) is using траффик /traffik/ for traffic jam, whereas there is a perfectly good Russian word пробка /probka/ meaning the same. Again, people In Russia would use the latter, people in the US would use the former.
    Last edited by rusita preciosa; 19th December 2012 at 7:51 PM. Reason: added an example

  17. #37
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by rusita preciosa View Post
    Same goes for "pound" (unit of mass): people in Russia use the Russian term фунт /funt/ (on the rare occasions it is used, because in Russia metric system is used) and the Russians who live in the US would say паунд /paund/ as pronounced in English.
    Are people aware that this is essentially the same word, just borrowed through different channels (German vs. English pronunciation)?

  18. #38
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    Are people aware that this is essentially the same word, just borrowed through different channels (German vs. English pronunciation)?
    Honestly, I don't think an average speaker even asks himself this question.

  19. #39
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by rusita preciosa View Post
    Honestly, I don't think an average speaker even asks himself this question.
    So, it is not "strikingly obvious", right?

  20. #40
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    Re: Language varieties spoken by emigrants/expats

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    So, it is not "strikingly obvious", right?
    If you ask me, I'd say it is obvious that these words are realted, even without knowing the specific fact that "funt" came into Russian from German, but I have interest in languages. I think most people simply would never give it a thought.

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