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The Very-Many-Questions-Not-Worth-Their-Own-Thread Thread ΛΕ

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Takhisis, Sep 7, 2018.

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  1. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Because they don't need to ^^?
    It is a bit mind-boggling, but family names do not exist everywhere.
    e.g. in Indonesia, the people have multiple names, but no such thing as a family name (= a name which multiple family members share) exist.
    I also recently learned that apparently Mongolians only have a single name. My colleague told me about a Mongolian guy he knows from a conference. Normally that guy just signs up for conference and other things with his name for first and last name. Looks stupid, but there's not really another way. We talked about this topic recently, because my colleague was looking at a research paper published by this research group, with like 4 people on there only identified by a single name.
    Yes, it's weird, but this exists and is alive.

    EDIT: Seems I'm wrong about the Mongolian names, but the situation is a bit complicated, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_name#Mongolia .
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  2. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Even in Europe, fixed surnames (as opposed to variable ones which reflect familial relationships) are a relatively new phenomenon, mostly the result of the state wishing to have a way to more completely and accurately tax its citizenry. Jews, Celtic-speaking communities, and Scandinavian regions writ large generally didn't maintain a fixed surname system, but rather would use the first name of the father to distinguish the individual from someone of the same name. You actually see this play out in Black Panther: "I am T'Challa, son of T'Chaka", etc. It's hard to say what (if any) formal legal surname system Black Panther has. Fixed familial naming systems are not a given, even in complex modern-style states (both Iceland and many Spanish-speaking countries to this day maintain cultural naming systems in which the surnames in a family change from generation to generation), and even so, we're never placed in settings in Wakanda where we'd get to see the system in action: we almost exclusively deal in an extreme political elite class, a small population where, presumably, everybody knows everybody else by first name.

    As to asking about Xhosa: yes Xhosa is a strange choice for the language of a country presumably supposed to be residing somewhere in the vicinity of Burundi, Kenya, or Tanzania. If you want to go for something that's a) consistent with the approximate geographic location and b) likely to be spoken or easily learned by actors responding to your casting calls, then Swahili would probably be the best bet. But, keeping in mind that Wakanda actively shunned the outside world for much of modern history (or even much earlier?), then it's possible, if not even likely that they would be speaking a Bantu language entirely their own, or possibly even a split-off of something far older, depending on when they shut themselves off from the outside world.

    Speaking nondiegetically, however, my understanding of why they went with Xhosa is because: 1) John Kani, who plays T'Chaka, is a native speaker of Xhosa, and 2) most of the research visits Coogler made were to South Africa. I mean, the costumes are a mélange of influences from as far afield as South Africa, the Swahili Coast, and Benin/Togo, and, more to the point, it's a representation of a Bantu language that is not played up for laughs or made to sound absurd or alien. Besides, ejectives are cool, yo.
     
  3. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    Wakanda was a hodgepodge of African tribal cultures anyways. Hand-wringing over the choice of language seems pointless.

    Also, it didn't really seem like Wakanda was big enough to require surnames. It had a low population that was then split up further amongst internal tribes. A first name and then a familial tie is good enough.
     
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  4. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I knew you spoke Spanish from this forum, and I'm glad to learn that you also are facile with written English. It's a good language to know. :p

    You can probably get a job teaching either English or Spanish in China. No Chinese required.
     
  5. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    I dunno dude, that metropolis looked pretty ****in massive.
     
  6. Takhisis

    Takhisis ΑΛΗΘΩС ΑΝΕСΤΗ

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    up yours!
    Actually Argentina might be in for a recovery in the mid-to-long term. Some things are definitely changing. For example, in 2016, after the Peronist monopoly in power was broken, it was the first time ever that a Jew was appointed to the Supreme Court (and today he was announced to be the next president of the court); there is active prosecution of politicians, businessmen and drug lords who all conspired for (read this in Palpatine's voice) UNLIMITED POWER, and the covert rampant xeno-/Anglo-phobia is at a stop, at least for now. But always this kind of transition means that there will be a temporary low point (assuming the country pulls through).

    Elsewhere… Europe's veering towards the far right, the US is a shambles, Canada is a possibility, Australia is also a political wreck, so… New Zealand?
    Just for the record, the Turks did raid northern Europe several times for slaves, going as far north as Iceland. Read up on the US wars against the Barbary pirates, it's as outlandish to a present-day reader as reading about warlike Tibet attacking China, the US fighting Austria-Hungary for oil or a Jewish nomadic state on the border between Europe and Asia.
    Actually, English is not so easy a language to master. Sure, compared to Finno-Ugric languages with a couple dozen grammatical cases or Slavic languages with three or four dozen letters in the alphabet, plus a highly complex verb conjugation system, etc. it might sound simple, but
    a) English actually has such ideas as plural and singular, verb tense, aspect, mood, and so on, which hundreds, no, thousands of millions of people don't have in their native language (as you say, Chinese and half of South-East Asia) and find it incredibly hard;
    b) the spelling is so inconsistent with the pronounciation that it's basically a system of mnemonics;
    c) there are so many possible pronounciations for any given word, according to accent and register: rhotic and non-rhotic, mergers for w and wh, for a and e, for e and i, etc.;
    d) there are so many metaphors and figures of speech, also so many near-synonyms with only tiny differences, nuances. Think that, for ESOL, one classic topic of examination is ‘ways of shining’ which people such as me learn at an instinctive level, or ‘ways of moving/walking’;
    among others.
    So very often teachers of English are underestimated.
     
  7. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I have friends in both France and China who teach English and regularly ask me to explain stuff. I know that English is very difficult at many levels. For non native speakers to master it tells me that they have worked very hard.
     
  8. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The solution is to abolish all other languages so that everyone speaks English from childhood. :scan:
     
  9. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    It did, but everything also had ginormous halls and empty space. At least based on how it's represented in the movies, I'd be shocked if there were over two million Wakandans total. Based on its wiki, though, it has six million. So I guess at least some of those fancy pants buildings are more apartment style.

    Hey, I want to end up in New Zealand too.

    Although I'd be immediately denied due to health. Alas! Despite my similarity to the hobbits, I cannot be one of them.
     
  10. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Illegal immigration has its charms. And you only need to pick up the accent to pass as a native. :smoke:
     
  11. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    What I read here in Dutch articles on surnames:
    In the Low Lands surnames and later fixed surnames developed for regular people (not nobility) gradually since the begin of Medieval time and became mandatory in 1811 with the Napoleontic occupation.
    Before Napoleon the main driver for surnames seems to have been the increasing population density, the scale of the communities and the growing tradition to give a son the same first name as the father (since 900).
    More people living close together and a poorer pond of names to use made only a first name increasingly impractical.
    Fixed surnames start arising in 1200-1300 in the Southern Low Lands where urbanisation had become high and moved over time towards the Northern Low Lands, following the urbanisation and in general topdown from wealthy and a more distinct profession to less wealthy.
    Until 1811 the Parish Registers are the source, especially the baptism event where the names of both parents are mentioned.
    Most surnames come from the father, the profession, the geographic location or general description:
    Top 10 in the Netherlands: De Jong, Jansen, De Vries, van de Berg, Bakker, van Dijk, Janssen, Visser, Smit en De Boer.
    Translated: The young one, son of John with one s, from Frisia, from the mountain, baker, from the dike, son of John two ss, fisherman, smith, farmer
    Some fixed surnames of my family that are several centuries old are Speksnijder (whale fat cutter), Kalkbrander (from Schelpkalkbrander is someone burning shells from the sea to get chalk).
    Here BTW a link to a site with old professions in Dutch showing how diverse specialism was of skilled craftsmen before mass production changed everything. http://www.beroepenvantoen.nl/
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  12. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Warlord

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    I think they picked isiXhosa because it features distinctive click consonants. Despite being common only in southern African languages (they originate from the indigenous Khoisan languages, but were adopted by the Bantu peoples when they migrated into southern Africa), they seem to have taken hold in the Western imagination as being a distinctly "African" sound.
     
  13. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    These two are surely pretty universal, at least for any widely-spoken language?

    (They might not be. I am pretty ignorant of this stuff! Consider this a question-not-worth-its-own-thread, if you like.)
     
  14. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    A possibility for what?
     
  15. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    A possible frozen wasteland from which to assume his position as the Dark Lord and raise his undead legions from the trackless wastes.

    I mean, why else would someone go to Canada?
     
  16. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    When he defects from Argentina, a possible destination to seek asylum.
     
  17. Takhisis

    Takhisis ΑΛΗΘΩС ΑΝΕСΤΗ

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    up yours!
    If current demographics hold then the US will be speaking MexiSpañish in a couple generations… :mischief:
    Smoking weed?
    Some languages have a smaller lexicon to draw from. For example, how many languages have a distinction between flesh and meat? How many distinguish with pairs of different nouns such as cow-beef, deer-venison, sheep-mutton, and so on?
    That or what Cutlass said.
     
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  18. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    Short, hairy feet, eat all day.
     
  19. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Fondness for rings?
     
  20. Takhisis

    Takhisis ΑΛΗΘΩС ΑΝΕСΤΗ

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    up yours!
    Smoke rings?
     
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