Τρίτη, 14 Αυγούστου 2012

Greek is obviously not cut out for the miraculous world of polyglots

(EN) (the title is playful & humorous, rather than ironic or bitter. i've just realised something regarding the Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι of multilingual people across the globe, and i thought i'd put it here. this has absolutely nothing to do with personal issues or nationalities or native tongues: this is just a fact, the way i observe it.)

it's been a year or so since i've been taking a look, every so often, at what other people do with their languages: how the so-called polyglots (greek: πολύγλωττος), a community i'm also a part of, technically speaking, operate.

apparently, a whole new trend has arisen, which makes it attractive for those people to show up in self-made videos and talk in several languages about several languages etc. ---there are also 'several' things about that phenomenon --which is from neutral to interesting to even positive in a lot of cases, in my opinion-- i do not agree with; mainly, the fact that some of those people don't just show up: they basically show off.

but this is a whole new discussion, which i might present my own thoughts on at some future point; getting back to the initial topic, the observation i've recently made, i find it a little 'strange' that those languages that the videomakers tend to use, and there are exceptions of course, are more or less the same ---

keeping in mind that i obviously can't do everyone justice, i think that what tends to become a rule, or already has, is 'a few/several romance languages, plus a slavic one for some of them, plus a germanic one --other than EN-- and sometimes perhaps an oriental language', which is usually mandarin chinese or japanese (korean comes up less often, it seems); the level of knowledge and the degree of fluency being two --not the only-- important variables, the result can be impressive sometimes...

now, i'm trying to generalize here, and, like i said, there are obviously different cases ( = different individuals), but the point i'm trying to make seems about right; that being said, my initial observation seems also justified: none of the polyglots that (wish to) get themselves some YouTube exposure (with good reason or not) has approached Greek; as i'm typing this, i'm aware of the fact that the sentence does not have 100% accuracy, since i have, in fact, come across at least two such people myself, who do speak it and speak it well, BUT: one of them has a really small production, as far as videos go, and the other one has none, as far as i know.

this leaves us where? -- again, i'm personally very interested in watching how people from many different parts of the world learn and use their languages; once again we have technology to thank, as i wrote here ; some of those who take the extra step and present themselves on video, i admire (it's just specific elements of that phenomenon, that ...YouTube-mania(?) i disapprove of); i'm just saying that i find it a bit 'strange' (or 'worth observing' at least) that in that particular YouTube sample of language learners the presence of the greek language is close to zero; it is not a big deal, it is not horrible, i'm just curious as to the reasons; (i guess we'd have to take each videomaker's opinion... and find out what criteria they have... but when we consider the amount of people on there, is that a 'tendency'? some sort of 'rule'?) ----also, mine is not some kind of research: it is just an observation, just one way to look at the whole situation; i'm sure one could make other observations or ask other questions, more interesting perhaps, such as 'why is there hardly any interest in Vietnamese or Latvian or rare African languages or endangered Latin American languages or Latin per se or some more constructed languages or... or...; fair enough; and last but not least, another interesting question would be 'are there any polyglots out there, on video or not, capable of speaking --fairly well-- the Big Six?'*
from what i've seen, on YouTube at least, the answer would be no; it's useful to remember though: real life might have different results to offer, since "our internet is part of our world, not the other way 'round".


(EO) mi klopodas demandi/sindemandi malferme pri la kialoj, pro kiuj --sxajnas ke-- la greka ne estas lingvo lernata de tiom da lingvemuloj; almenaux en iliaj videoprezentadoj cxe YouTube sxajnas ke ili preferas lingvojn cxefe de Euxropo, fojfoje kune kun la cxina aux la rusa, kaj preskaux neniam interesigxas pri la greka; tio estas scivolemo, nenio pli; kaj, certe, oni povas ankaux fari pli da demandoj pri la temo, kaj observi gxin tute alimaniere.)


* (those would be English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Hindustani and Russian)...

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