View Full Version : Some questions about learning languages

03-05-2003, 01:31 PM
I am wondering if you know any good software that can help you learn languages (not related to programming). I was thinking of a program where you might load it with glossary, which you try to learn, and then have the program interrogating you later on, for example.

Also, do you know any good site for learning about grammatical terms? Verb tempus, subjects, objects, predicates.........

Finally, if anyone who is reading this, who knows Urdu/Hindi and/or Punjabi would think it would be fun to teach me any of them, then please contact me.

03-05-2003, 01:36 PM
... Urdu/Hindi and/or Punjabi ...

how did you get the names of those languages ? :confused:

03-05-2003, 02:26 PM
Perhaps from an Indian?

03-05-2003, 03:29 PM
oh well, and why the sudden interest to learn a language spoken in only a small part of the globe ? :confused:

03-05-2003, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by lingo
oh well, and why the sudden interest to learn a language spoken in only a small part of the globe ? :confused:
First of all, I think that that would be cool.

Anyway, I believe that that deifinitely is not the case with all of those three languages, well, Urdu and Hindi almost being the same, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi are spoken by lots of people in the Indian sub-continent. These days though, there are immigrants and children of immigrants from this area, who have brought these languages with them. So, I don't think it would be unlikely to hear people speaking any of these languages in the UK or Canada either.

This thing with software is really important to me. Are you sure you don't know any?

03-05-2003, 05:33 PM
urdu and hindi have a lot of differences, though it can be argued that they share a lot of words between them. The reason for this being that former India (including Afghanistan and Pakistan) was ruled by a number of muslim rulers from the west. The two languages have a very different origin, I believe. Hindi developed from Aryans who according to history were the original settlers in India while Urdu came from the middle-east.

03-05-2003, 05:35 PM
hmmm ... do you have a urdu/hindi speaking girlfriend/boyfriend ? ;)

03-06-2003, 02:24 AM
>>> spoken in only a small part of the globe ?

I'm suprised nobody else picked this up, but after China, India has the second largest population on the planet.

03-07-2003, 09:13 PM
In number of native speakers, Hindi comes second after Mandarin Chinese. I can see the benefits of learning any of these languages if you work with Indians and Pakistanis frequently.

Hindi and Urdu, Punjabi probably too, are very closely related languages. I guess a fair comparison would be the relation between Spanish and Italian or between Swedish and Danish.

If you're really interested in learning the language, you're going to have to read, write, listen, and speak in that language often. I don't know the situation in Örebro, but if it's anything like here resources for learning Indian languages will be harder to find than the standard European languages Spanish, French, Italian, and German. But if you can find some good software or resouces, more power to you.

03-08-2003, 02:55 AM
>>> spoken in only a small part of the globe ?
>I'm suprised nobody else picked this up, but after China, India
>has the second largest population on the planet.

I think he referred to the size of the area where the language is spoken, not to the number of people speaking it.

03-08-2003, 03:06 AM
>>> not to the number of people speaking it.

Possibly, but I can't see that that is very meaningful. Holland and Denmark have roughly the same area, but there are four times as many Dutch as Danes. Given the choice, which would you learn, (ignoring the fact that Danish is recognised as one of the most difficult European languages!).

03-08-2003, 03:37 AM
If the reason of learning a language would be to be able to speak with as much people as possible I would personally, if I weren't Dutch or Danish, not learn both.

Perhaps a better example is comparing India and Russia. Russia has a much larger area than India, so on a much wider area of this world people speak Russian than Indian. That could be a reason to learn Russian instead of Indian.

So, besides interest, there are two other reasons:
1. Speaking a language spoken by most people in this world.
2. Speaking a language spoken in a large area of this world.

In my opinion it would be more usefull to speak a language which is spoken in a large area of this world than speaking a language which is spoken by most people, but in just a relative small part of the world.

When it comes to that, I might prefer Dutch. It is currently spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium, some countries in South-America and Middle-America (like Suriname, Curacao, Aruba), it looks a lot like Afrikaans and it was used in Indonesia. Except the Netherlands itself and Belgium, those other countries were Dutch colonies.

But I may be incorrect, since Danmark and Greenland, which is also quit big, have also such a relationship.

03-08-2003, 05:45 AM
They also speak Danish on the Færøe Islands, and there are still Danish speakers in the former Danish West Indies, which, in a moment of sheer lunacy, were sold to the US to become the US Virgin Islands.

There are also a suprising number of Danish speakers in the extreme South of Argentina and Chile, and a famous group, (well, famous in Denmark), in New Zealand.

I'm not sure about your logic when it comes to area. Why is it good to be able to speak the "native" language of a particular area, if there are no people there to speak too? Vast tracts of Russia are empty.

03-08-2003, 06:46 AM
Yes, large parts of Russia are unoccupied. But if I travel around the world, then it is, in my opinion, more usefull to speak the language spoken in a big part of the world than speaking the language spoken in a small part of the world. Even if most people live in that small part.

Another example. In the Netherlands there live about 16 million people, in Norway there live about 4 miljoen people. But Norway is much larger than the Netherlands. If the Netherlands and Norway were the world and I was travelling through that world, then, when just looking at the areas, the chance of meeting someone speaking Norwegian is much bigger than the chance of meeting someone speaking Dutch. So then for me it would be more usefull to know Norwegian than Dutch. If I only spoke Dutch, then I could only use that language in that very small part of that world.