Let's play a game!

The place to use Languages other than English (LOTE) to discuss whatever you like.

Let's play a game!

Postby imbecilica » Fri 28 May 2010 8:41 am

I was surfing the web today and came across the link to this year’s North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO). One of the questions happened to be about the old Vietnamese writing system Chữ Nôm (well ok I guess you can say I’m obsessed with it). Anyway, in this ‘game’, the person who has the best answer will in turn produce their own question(s) and so on and so forth. So without further yapping here is my question to start of this ‘game’.

Rules
- Answer the question(s) to the best of your abilities.
- Make sure the question is answerable.
- Try to limit the number of questions to about 3 or 4.

- The question doesn't necessarily have to be regarding a LOTE (language other than English).
- If the language is not English, give a brief introduction about the language.
- Word the questions clearly.
- Make sure to provide sufficient information in order to 'solve' the question(s).
- Have fun!
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Re: Let's play a game!

Postby imbecilica » Fri 28 May 2010 9:44 am

Question One

Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt or Việt ngữ) is an analytical tonal language spoken by roughly 90 million people around the world with the vast majority (~85 million) of speakers residing in Vietnam. It is the native language of the ethnic Viet or Kinh people and also spoken as a second language by other ethnic groups. Vietnamese is believed to have started out as a non tonal language but eventually developed its 6 tones by the 10th century CE. The closest language to Vietnamese is the Muong language with which it shares 75% of the vocabulary.

Modern Vietnamese writing is done so using a Romanised script called Chữ Quốc Ngữ (national language script). This script was formulated by European missionaries starting from the 16th century. By the turn of the 20th century, Vietnam had 3 official languages, namely; French, Vietnamese and Classical Chinese (but with a Vietnamised reading). Some time after Vietnam regained its independence from its northern neighbour in 938 CE, a script was formulated to write the native language.

Chữ Nôm (Southern script) used a mixture of existing Chinese characters (mostly used to write Sino-Vietnamese loanwords) and those characters which were invented to record the native Vietnamese words. The language for today is Vietnamese, and the topic is Chữ Nôm. The majority of Nôm characters combine a semantic (meaningful) and phonetic (sound) element to produce a new character - but there are also characters which combine two semantic elements. As mentioned before, the script also combines existing Chinese characters but these are sometimes used phonetically!
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Image

I will reveal some characters:
- E1 is 'water' with E2 being its radical form.
- E3 is 'knife' with E4 being an alternative radical form.
- E5 is 'tree'
- F1 is 'child'
- F2 is 'female'

With the information provided, please match each of the 20 characters (from A-D, 1-5) with the Quốc Ngữ and English meaning. In no particular order:

Quốc Ngữ: trong, cột, me, cốt, mẹ, mi, mỹ, lòng, cây, con, biến, long, trông, lông, một, nước, sống, mưa, sông, mẻ

English meaning: rain, beam/pole, eyelashes, to yearn for something, to live, dragon, mother, inside, river, heart/organ, to chip/be chip ped, tree, sea, water/country, hair (not from the head)

Extra info: One of these 20 characters is borrowed for phonetic purposes! Good luck!

[5 marks]
1. Match each character with its Quốc Ngữ and English meaning. (Follow this template:

Quốc Ngữ:
A: x, x, x, x, x
B: x, x, x, x, x
C: x, x, x, x, x
D: x, x, x, x, x

English meaning:
A: x, x, x, x, x
B: x, x, x, x, x
C: x, x, x, x, x
D: x, x, x, x, x)

[4 marks]
2. Give an explanation for your choices.

[1 marks]
3. Which of the characters is used phonetically?
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Re: Let's play a game!

Postby imbecilica » Fri 28 May 2010 11:26 am

Oops, I missed out on 5 of the meanings:

...skeleton/bone, tamarind, beautiful, one, child
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Re: Let's play a game!

Postby imbecilica » Wed 02 Jun 2010 9:04 am

You don't need to post your answers here if you want, you could PM me :mrgreen:

So far we have 1 attempt:
Huixian - 56.25% - Great!
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Re: Let's play a game!

Postby Huixuan » Mon 05 Jul 2010 1:22 am

So what's going on?
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