German defence woes (latest from The Times)

Grey Fox

*Russian Troll*
English is a hybrid of the Germanic and Latin language groups. It has a simplified Germanic grammar and basic vocabulary of common words, but the majority of the vocabulary comes from Latin languages.

58% is Romanic, but big part of it is not a 'common tongue', but scientific/military/political vicabularies. For example, numerical system of British sheep-breeders is still Cumbrian (Celtic one).

And yes, grammar have the strong Celtic influence - 'Do' in question and negatives, system of 'continuouse tenses' and so on.

The problem with his argument is that English has diverged much further from its language relatives than someone from another European language group might suspect based on his experiences with his own native language and its relatives.
Sure, but only if we are talking about European languages. Modern Russian is much more close to Modern Bulgarian or Modern Serbian, than Modern English to Modern German, but Modern Mandarin is more different Modern Bai, and so is Modern Japan from Modern Korean.


I happened to be talking to a student of linguistics during Easter, and she agreed that of the major European languages English is probably the most irregular and inconsistent.
It is just mirror of the English mindset. And yes, in the any moment of time English was not a language of a whole nation. Old English was a Germanic language of elites, living between Celtic Aborigenes, Middle English became pidjin of low classes living under the heel of French invaders. May be Future English will be even more simplificated Arabic-English pidjin for conversation between Arabic-speacking Elites and the Posteuropean low classes.


Knowing English does not help you with learning German in the same way that knowing Italian would help you with Spanish.
But knowing of Old English will help to learn Old German or Old Norsk.
 
There was one thing in there I didn't know, but thanks for taking the time to write it.

I used Webster's as, in my experience, it is the default reference on English and its usage, for those learning the language outside the UK. Especially in eastern Europe, people don't want to learn English, they want to learn American.

Didn't know it was incomplete, unless that is a joke of course.
Woot woot! Merica wins again!
 
There was one thing in there I didn't know, but thanks for taking the time to write it.

I used Webster's as, in my experience, it is the default reference on English and its usage, for those learning the language outside the UK. Especially in eastern Europe, people don't want to learn English, they want to learn American.

Didn't know it was incomplete, unless that is a joke of course.
Webster's project was incomplete in that some of the word forms which he promoted entered into common usage in the US, while others didn't. I don't know if this was because he either never published a complete version or whether the spelling forms which didn't catch on were dropped from the dictionary by later editors. Later editions adopted the more conventional dictionary practice of simply documenting the language as it was used.

The result however is that while in every English speaking country outside of the US people may learn fencing as a form of self-defence, Americans may learn fencing as a form of self-defense. The root of "fencing" and "defence" (or "defense" to Americans) is exactly the same, but to do things the American way you have to memorise a whole new set of exceptions to spelling on top of the the ones that already exist in "standard" English.

And when you get to words like "colour" versus "color", at least with "colour" anyone who knows some English will realise that the double vowel will indicate that the vowel sound is probably modified, whereas the American "color" has two different sounds for the same vowel in the same word with no hint in the form of modifiers that the second one is to be pronounced differently. English is difficult enough without the extra complexities that the American forms of spelling add to it.

Webster's goal in creating his dictionary was ultimately political rather than purely academic or commercial. The express intention was to cause English as it was known in the post-revolutionary US to diverge from English in the rest of the British Empire in order to emphasise how the US was now independent. You see the same sort of phenomenon elsewhere in the world today when separatist movements promote a regional language or dialect to emphasise how they differ from the rest of the country. This did not happen in the case of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the English-speaking Commonwealth because they parted on good terms and had no desire to create artificial divides in communication.
 
Die Nato ist ein Sicherheitsrisiko für die Welt! | Die Freiheitsliebe
‘Critical Journalists’ :rolleyes:
Die Nato ist nicht nur veraltet, sondern auch ein erhebliches Sicherheitsrisiko für die Welt, das sie ihre militärische Kraft einzig und allein zur Wahrung ihrer eigenen imperialen Interessen einsetzt. Dabei wird systematisch geltendes Recht gebrochen, die UNO diskreditiert und Konflikte werden bis zur militärischen Eskalation geschürt.


Not only is NATO outdated, but it also poses a significant security risk to the world, using its military force solely to safeguard its own imperial interests. It systematically breaks existing law, discredits the UN and fights conflicts until the military escalation.
Jeremy will get a lob on.
 
58% is Romanic, but big part of it is not a 'common tongue', but scientific/military/political vicabularies. For example, numerical system of British sheep-breeders is still Cumbrian (Celtic one).

And yes, grammar have the strong Celtic influence - 'Do' in question and negatives, system of 'continuouse tenses' and so on.



Sure, but only if we are talking about European languages. Modern Russian is much more close to Modern Bulgarian or Modern Serbian, than Modern English to Modern German, but Modern Mandarin is more different Modern Bai, and so is Modern Japan from Modern Korean.




It is just mirror of the English mindset. And yes, in the any moment of time English was not a language of a whole nation. Old English was a Germanic language of elites, living between Celtic Aborigenes, Middle English became pidjin of low classes living under the heel of French invaders. May be Future English will be even more simplificated Arabic-English pidjin for conversation between Arabic-speacking Elites and the Posteuropean low classes.




But knowing of Old English will help to learn Old German or Old Norsk.
Your point was that we should have known how to read German just because English has some Germanic roots. Now you are saying that if we learned Old English, a language that bears almost no resemblance to modern English and is read by only a small number of scholars, that this would help us to learn German so that we could then read the article you had linked.

The straws you are grasping at in this case are even fewer and smaller than are typical in most of your posts.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Webster's project was incomplete in that some of the word forms which he promoted entered into common usage in the US, while others didn't. I don't know if this was because he either never published a complete version or whether the spelling forms which didn't catch on were dropped from the dictionary by later editors. Later editions adopted the more conventional dictionary practice of simply documenting the language as it was used.

The result however is that while in every English speaking country outside of the US people may learn fencing as a form of self-defence, Americans may learn fencing as a form of self-defense. The root of "fencing" and "defence" (or "defense" to Americans) is exactly the same, but to do things the American way you have to memorise a whole new set of exceptions to spelling on top of the the ones that already exist in "standard" English.

And when you get to words like "colour" versus "color", at least with "colour" anyone who knows some English will realise that the double vowel will indicate that the vowel sound is probably modified, whereas the American "color" has two different sounds for the same vowel in the same word with no hint in the form of modifiers that the second one is to be pronounced differently. English is difficult enough without the extra complexities that the American forms of spelling add to it.

Webster's goal in creating his dictionary was ultimately political rather than purely academic or commercial. The express intention was to cause English as it was known in the post-revolutionary US to diverge from English in the rest of the British Empire in order to emphasise how the US was now independent. You see the same sort of phenomenon elsewhere in the world today when separatist movements promote a regional language or dialect to emphasise how they differ from the rest of the country. This did not happen in the case of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the English-speaking Commonwealth because they parted on good terms and had no desire to create artificial divides in communication.
'color' etc was proper English in Victorian times.
 
English is difficult enough without the extra complexities that the American forms of spelling add to it.
I actually do agree with for a lot of things you typed out. But have to disagree with this part - how many spellings in English are "Kosher?" - pardon the pun. What your'e saying is that English should be "pure?" It absorbs and evolves and thats's why we have so many different terms, expressions and nuances.
 

Grey Fox

*Russian Troll*
Your point was that we should have known how to read German just because English has some Germanic roots.
I mean, that English-speakers already know at least one German language. Sure, their German is too simplificated and polluted to understand article written at proper German. But, you know - Il y a assez de lumière pour ceux qui veulent voir et assez d'obscurité pour ceux qui ne veulent pas.
 
'color' etc was proper English in Victorian times.
At one time people spelled words however they felt like. The same applied to names, and people would even spell their name differently at different points in their life. With increasing education however, spelling became more standardised and systematic and in "standard" English the most common forms viewed as being correct were the ones adopted as being the "official" ones.

There is a school of thought that there is no such thing as "correct" or "incorrect" spelling, but that any form of spelling which achieves its goal of communicating an idea is "correct". I don't subscribe to this theory and believe that their are right and wrong ways to spell words and that following a common recognised standard aids in clear and rapid communication.

In prior centuries opportunities for education were fewer, and many people had much less formal education. The result of that was that misspellings were quite common, and the nature of the Latin alphabet that we use means that some misspellings were more common than others. See the paragraph near the end of this post for more on this point.

World Englishes: A Critical Analysis

Here's Webster saying that the "honor" (sic) of the newly independent US required them to have a language system of their own.
As an independent nation, our honor requires us to have a system of our own, in language as well as government.
Here he is stating that the separation of "the American tongue" from English was "necessary and unavoidable".
... several circumstances render a future separation of the American tongue from the English, necessary and unavoidable. ... These causes will produce, in a course of time, a language in North America, as different from the future language of England, as the modern Dutch, Danish and Swedish are from the German, or form one another: Like remote branches of a tree springing form the same stock; or rays of light, shot from the same center, and diverging from each other, in proportion to their distance from the point of separation.
Here he is stating that English as spoken in the UK should not be the standard for the US, as English writers were "corrupted" and the English language in the UK was "on the decline".
Great Britain, whose children we are, and whose language we speak, should no longer be our standard; for the taste of her writers is already corrupted, and her language on the decline. But if it were not so, she is at too great a distance to be our model, and to instruct us in the principles of our own tongue (Webster, 1789).
Webster was not alone in seeking to create a linguistic divide between the US and Britain. A number of leading US revolutionary era politicians promoted this idea as well. Here is John Adams (a prominent American politician) saying that language has an influence on government and the mood of the people, and that the US government should therefore seek to influence the language. Other prominent American politicians of that era also made similar statements.
It is not to be disputed that the form of government has an influence upon language, and language in its turn influences not only the form of government, but the temper, the sentiments, and manners of the people. The admirable models which have been transmitted through the world, and continued down to these days, so as to form an education of mankind from generation to generation, by those two ancient towns, Athens and Rome, would be sufficient, without any other argument, to show the United States the importance to their liberty, prosperity, and glory, of an early attention to the subject of eloquence and language.
To go back to Webster, here he is stating that creating a difference between systems of spelling would create a "national language" and that this would become a symbol of national unity.
The question now occurs, ought the Americans to retain these faults which produced innumerable inconveniences in the acquisition and use of the language, or ought they at once to reform these abuses and introduce an order, and regularity into the orthography of the American tongue? [...] A capital advantage of this reform [...] would be, that it would make a difference between the English orthography and the American [...] a national language is a band of national union. [...] Let us seize the present moment, and establish a national language as well as a national government.
Here is an academic paper on the subject. TRANS Nr. 16: Jessica Walker (University of Western Australia): Thomas Jefferson and the new American language Here the author states that by incorporating common spelling errors into a new official standard to replace the ones viewed as being correct in England, this would give American English a unique appearance in print and so add to the feeling of national identity.
To consolidate the use of Americanisms Noah Webster proposed that the spelling system of English be reformed to give American English a unique appearance in print. He was no more worried about the degeneracy of the language in Great Britain or the distance between America and the former colonist but rather about giving America a linguistic identity that matched its newly attained national identity. He saw it a marvellous opportunity to incorporate the common spelling errors into a standard that would be purely American.
So "Americanisms" in spelling arose as a conscious program by prominent political figures in the US to create and promote a distinctively "American" form of the language in an effort to promote national feeling and to distance the post-revolutionary US from "England" (the British Empire). That this effort happened among other things to include incorporating common misspellings as the new "official" way of doing things is inherent in the nature of the Latin alphabet and that the spoken form of the language was not as readily alterable.

P.S. Note in one of the above quotes from Webster that her refers to "North America" rather than the US. It would appear that the conquest of Canada by the US was something that was a common idea at that time.
 

Grey Fox

*Russian Troll*
I was starting to learn something about the lack of German spending and it gets rail roaded by a clever clogs Ruskie.
Can someone please tell him to go away or good bye.
Agressive anti-intellectualism... Yes, it is a distinctive feature of the "English mindset".
In a matter of fact, you have to understand German mindset, or, at least, their point of view, to realise why they dont want to waste money just to demonstrate loyality to Septics.
 
I actually do agree with for a lot of things you typed out. But have to disagree with this part - how many spellings in English are "Kosher?" - pardon the pun. What your'e saying is that English should be "pure?" It absorbs and evolves and thats's why we have so many different terms, expressions and nuances.
The point I raised was not that the US had adopted a complete and internally consistent system of spelling that happened to be different from that used by other English speaking countries. It was that they had only partially adopted such a system while also maintaining the "standard" one as well, and this had therefore resulted in greater inconsistency and made spelling more difficult, not less.

As for "purity" of language, Grey Fox posted a video here on "pure" Anglo-Saxon English. https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...oes-latest-from-the-times.276757/post-9228201
It so happens that this idea was popular among some of those who wanted to adopt a purely American form of the language. Here are some quotes from the same links I cited in my previous post.

In this quote the author states that the prominent American politician Thomas Jefferson promoted the idea of teaching in the schools a form of English based on a pre-Norman version of it. Or in other words, one derived purely from Ango-Saxon language without any of the Latin-derived vocabulary.
Yet Jefferson was also determined to find a means to reconcile the purists to his position. He found the answer in a pre-Norman origin of the language. Jefferson became a dedicated promoter of the introduction into schools of an archaic form of the English language, Anglo-Saxon. So fond was he of this language that he himself wrote a treatise on its grammar and the virtues of its study for an understanding of modern English. Jefferson used Old English to address the problems of heritage inherent in the English language, seeking in Anglo-Saxon a tongue that pre-dated oppression in England and finding a history that Americans could own and be proud of independent of their recent masters. Jefferson believed that in time the English language would evolve into a uniquely American tongue.
And here Jefferson is quoted directly promoting the idea of a "pure" Anglo-Saxon language becoming the new national language of the US.
We may safely repeat the affirmation, therefore, that the pure Anglo-Saxon constitutes at this day the basis of our language. That it was sufficiently copious for the purposes of society in the existing condition of arts and manners, reason alone would satisfy us from the necessity of the case. Its copiousness, too, was much favored by the latitude it allowed of combining primitive words so as to produce any modification of idea desired. In this characteristic it was equal to the Greek, but it is more especially proved by the actual fact of the books they have left us in the various branches of history, geography, religion, law, and poetry.
My own opinion is that I happen to like the large dollop of Latin derived vocabulary in English and find those words very expressive and elegant. The words from modern French, Arabic, and the languages of India also in my opinion have a place in the English language.

As for the people who did want to drive out all non-Anglo-Saxon influence from the language, see above for who they were, and see my previous post on what their motivations were.


Now that we have conclusively demonstrated that certain Russian theories on archaic Germanic languages won't help much in understanding Germany's present day defence problems, we can probably resume discussion of how the Germans will not be able to talk their way out of their current situation.
 

Grey Fox

*Russian Troll*
Now that we have conclusively demonstrated that certain Russian theories on archaic Germanic languages won't help much in understanding Germany's present day defence problems, we can probably resume discussion of how the Germans will not be able to talk their way out of their current situation.
Germany, in present day, don't have any 'defence problem'. They have rather good relationships with all their neighbours, including such traditional enemies as France and England. If they will really want to solve any potentional problems with their own military forces - they should start with developing their own nuclear weapon.
 

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