Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Epp » Tue 28 Apr 2009 9:59 am

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/manchu.htm

You could theoretically tip everything 45 degrees to the right. Then it would be right to left.
Mirror it - and voila! It's left to right, just like the Latin script.
Would probably be a bit weird for the Manchus, though.
But, but; it's not only-only, you know!
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby SamD » Tue 28 Apr 2009 7:08 pm

For most if not all of us on this forum, languages are fun. We'd be more likely than other people to get involved in reviving a language.

Most other people couldn't care less. They can get the things they want and need with contemporary languages, so why go to the trouble to learn another?

Hebrew seems like a really exceptional case. If you have a strong sense of being a people with a history and a culture, you are more likely to want to revive a language.

I think it would be fun to learn some sort of revived Modern Latin with a vocabulary that meets the needs of contemporary speakers, but it would feel artificial. Many of those people would speak English or some other language I speak, and it would be all too easy to lapse into English.

The idea reminds me of this experience. When I was a college student, I lived in a dormitory where students were required to speak French. We were pretty diligent about it for a few weeks and when French instructors were around, but the rest of the time we spoke English. It just felt like an affectation to speak French. The dorm rooms were generally decent, and a few people would be coached by French-speaking friends to pass the interview and be allowed to live there. As a result, you couldn't even really count on being able to speak French with everyone in the dorm.

Perhaps Esperanto offers a similar experience. There are gatherings where people from different countries gather and speak Esperanto, and I think that this is what people might do with Latin if it were revived. The advantage Latin has is that there is already a considerable body of literature written in that language. There is some Esperanto literature, but probably few students learn Esperanto specifically for the literature. In fact, I'd say that the majority of students of any language these days study the language for its literature.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Neqitan » Tue 28 Apr 2009 8:04 pm

Masses will only learn a language if they think they'll need it. Not for fun. End of the thread. :D
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby linguoboy » Tue 28 Apr 2009 9:01 pm

SamD wrote:In fact, I'd say that the majority of students of any language these days study the language for its literature.

I'm not so sure. Most of the people I know who have studied a language did it because they were forced to, full stop. Even if you're restricting the sample to those who are studying it willingly and not simply to fulfill certain academic requirements, the motives are varied. Most if not all of the people I know who are learning Japanese and Hindi, for instance, are motivated primarily by movies and music, not because they wish to read Murakami or Nagarjun in the original. The main impetus for learning Spanish, IME, are romantic reasons (e.g. my brother marrying a Spaniard, my friend Jim dating an Ecuadorean, etc.) or business reasons, and foreign travel (even just fantasies of it) seems to lurk behind a lot of people desire to learn other European languages, like French, Portuguese, and even German.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Sobekhotep » Tue 28 Apr 2009 10:46 pm

linguoboy wrote:
Sobekhotep wrote:The script is difficult to typeset, due to it's nature (vertical, left to right).

Why would that make it difficult to typeset? Vertical, right-to-left was once the most common way of printing Chinese. I still come across books laid out that way, in fact. What would be so challenging about reversing the direction of the columns?

I'm talking about for web browsers and stuff like that. Internet websites. I've never seen a Chinese or Japanese website with vertical text.

Neqitan wrote:By the way, the current version of Internet Explorer already supports vertical displaying. It's in fact one of the few things that Internet Explorer can do better than Firefox. I already can assure you it does when I saw a blog about Phags-Pa months ago with the examples properly coded vertically for the font.

I didn't know there was unicode support for 'Phags-pa. Do you remeber the name or URL for that blog?

Epp wrote:You could theoretically tip everything 45 degrees to the right. Then it would be right to left.
Mirror it - and voila! It's left to right, just like the Latin script.
Would probably be a bit weird for the Manchus, though.

It would like kinda like Arabic.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Neqitan » Tue 28 Apr 2009 11:57 pm

ElfoEscuro wrote:I didn't know there was unicode support for 'Phags-pa. Do you remeber the name or URL for that blog?

Yes.
http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Phags-pa/index.html
Relax and enjoy it.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Talib » Wed 29 Apr 2009 3:16 am

Epp wrote:You could theoretically tip everything 45 degrees to the right. Then it would be right to left.
Mirror it - and voila! It's left to right, just like the Latin script.
Would probably be a bit weird for the Manchus, though.
You mean 90 degree. 45 would put it on an angle, and that would be even harder to typeset!
Sobekhotep wrote:It would like kinda like Arabic.

I was thinking that too (with the letter joining) but wouldn't the letters now be sideways if we did that?
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Neqitan » Wed 29 Apr 2009 3:25 am

Talib wrote:
Epp wrote:You could theoretically tip everything 45 degrees to the right. Then it would be right to left.
Mirror it - and voila! It's left to right, just like the Latin script.
Would probably be a bit weird for the Manchus, though.
You mean 90 degree. 45 would put it on an angle, and that would be even harder to typeset!

I actually thought he was serious about the 45° thing. :lol: It would look cool for a conscript however.
Sobekhotep wrote:It would like kinda like Arabic.

I was thinking that too (with the letter joining) but wouldn't the letters now be sideways if we did that?

Manchu's writing system is based in Arabic (or was it Sogdian...?) anyways. I remember seeing a conscript somewhere that was a mix of Naskh and Mongolian, it looked really familiar.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Epp » Wed 29 Apr 2009 9:46 am

Talib wrote:
Epp wrote:You could theoretically tip everything 45 degrees to the right. Then it would be right to left.
Mirror it - and voila! It's left to right, just like the Latin script.
Would probably be a bit weird for the Manchus, though.
You mean 90 degree. 45 would put it on an angle, and that would be even harder to typeset!
I realized that myself after a while, but I can't edit the post :oops: Never been good at math :lol:
But, but; it's not only-only, you know!
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby SamD » Wed 29 Apr 2009 9:47 pm

linguoboy wrote:
SamD wrote:In fact, I'd say that the majority of students of any language these days study the language for its literature.

I'm not so sure. Most of the people I know who have studied a language did it because they were forced to, full stop. Even if you're restricting the sample to those who are studying it willingly and not simply to fulfill certain academic requirements, the motives are varied. Most if not all of the people I know who are learning Japanese and Hindi, for instance, are motivated primarily by movies and music, not because they wish to read Murakami or Nagarjun in the original. The main impetus for learning Spanish, IME, are romantic reasons (e.g. my brother marrying a Spaniard, my friend Jim dating an Ecuadorean, etc.) or business reasons, and foreign travel (even just fantasies of it) seems to lurk behind a lot of people desire to learn other European languages, like French, Portuguese, and even German.


Excuse me, what I meant to say was that the majority of students of any langauge these days don't study the language for its literature.
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