Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Say you can immediately speak ten languages. Which ones do you choose?

My answer:

OK, so I’m not counting in the languages I already speak/am learning, which are Polish, English, Swedish and Welsh. The 10 languages I’d like to be able to speak immediately would be: Finnish, Sami (North, or LuleΓ₯), Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Scots, Irish, Scottish (Gaelic), Manx and Cornish. Oh how cool, I’ve actually managed to squeeze in all my languages! That being said, I’d love if that would also mean my English, Swedish and, particularly, Welsh, would become more fluent.

What are your choices? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What’s your favourite language?

My answer:

For me, it’s a damn hard question! I just have too many favourite languages and I really, seriously can’t tell you which is my most favourite! It’d be like asking a parent which child they love the most. I love each of my languages in different ways, although they’re much more like my life partners than children haha. Each of them has something different that I love in it. It’s also a little bit like that when I’m hearing or speaking or having to do in any way with one of them it feels like I love it the most. πŸ˜€

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

So how about we talk about languages for a while now?

Do you have a favourite language family (Germanic, Romantic, Semitic etc.)?

My answer:

Yeah sure! My favourite language family is Celtic! Celtic languages are so magical and full of something indescribeable for me that I am addicted to. I am also quite fond of Germanic languages, many of them, especially the Scandinavian ones, as well as Finnic, and Slavic are cool as well. But Celtic are my favourites, they make my brain feel ecstatic.

What’s yours? πŸ™‚

Song of the day (29th September) – Mari Boine – “Alla HearrΓ‘ guhkkin Osllos” (Hey, Mr. Almighty Down There In Oslo).

Here’s another Mari Boine’s song. I originally wanted to share it with you on one of the future Sami National Days (February 6), but I might as well do it now ’cause why not. This is a very interesting song for someone like me who is passionate about endangered languages and rights of the speakers of such languages, media in endangered languages and all that. I have no English translation for you, and I can only clearly understand one word in the Sami lyrics – “giella” which means language. – But, hey, not all is lost! There is a part in Norwegian in the lyrics, and actually, that Norwegian bits and pieces are of very deep historical and personal value for me, because that was the very first thing I was able to understand in Norwegian. I don’t speak Norwegian, mind you, but of course Swedish and Norwegian are close enough to be very much mutually intelligible. I used to be frustrated because I could never understand more than a word, or a small string of words in Norwegian, and that if I was lucky, I didn’t even understand svorsk too well (svenska – Swedish – +norsk – Norwegian – =svorsk). I still often don’t understand Norwegian too well but am often able to at least figure out the context. And that Mari Boine’s song was the first ever spoken – or sung, but I don’t think that matters – word, much more than a word actually, that I understood. Not all of it but I definitely got the gist of it plus some more than a gist, I’m not sure about one line. Bibiel is so smart, yayyy for Bibiel!!! πŸ˜€ And thus, Bibiel can tell you what the song is about.

“Hey, Mr. Almighty, down there in Oslo. Do you have time to listen to us? We watch Tv evening after evening, but don’t hear anything in our own language. Hey, MR. Almighty, down there in Oslo. Do you have time to listen to us? We listen to us? We listen to the radio day efter day, but hear hardly a word in our own language. Could you give us a little bit more? Language has such a great power [or your language has such a great power, I’m not sure] (…)”. And then I only understand that they are afraid of something, I am half-guessing that that their language will disappear. If there are some Norwegian peeps out there (or even better Sami!) I’d appreciate any corrections. I’m assuming that the Sami lyrics are mostly the same.

The song was released on Mari Boine’s 1986 album, originally, and, while I don’t know what was the situations with the Sami media back then, and I have no idea if they have their own TV right now, I do know that nowadays, there is a public radiostation called NRK Samiradio in Norway. I’m not well acquainted with it and I don’t know if it is sufficient for the Norwegian Sami community’s needs, but I’d think the situation has improved since the 80’s. There is also SR SΓ‘pmi to which I listen a lot, and some Finnish Sami radiostation as well. I also have no idea who the Mr. Almighty exactly is, as I don’t have a broader background context about the song.

Oh, and I forgot to mention one more interesting thing about Mari in my previous Mari Boine post. She is a paternal relative of Kevin Boine, whose song “Komm Till Finnmark” I featured on National Sami Day this year. Apart from the joiking, and even despite Mari’s huge musical versatility, the difference between their styles is vast and almost startling hahaha!

 

So You Know.

I guess I haven’t participated so far in S.Y.K – So You Know – a weekly series hosted by Candace of

Revenge Of Eve,

so here are her questions for this week, and my answers.

 

  • How long have you blogged? What is the anniversary? – I have blogged on and off since my early teens, at first I had a blog in a Polish online network for the blind, I had a few blogs on there, as I was restarting my blogging a couple times. Then I moved to Polish WordPress a few years ago, first because I wanted to reach a wider audience, and second because simply that network wasn’t working anymore. This was also when it slowly started bothering me that most people from that network, although I liked them and was friends with many, knew me in real life, and while I’d be happy to be open, even very open on my blog, and share things with like-minded people, I didn’t feel comfortable with all of them knowing me personally or knowing someone that knows me, or knowing people I was mentioning, so I couldn’t really be a very honest blogger. I also wanted to find my own niche, like people that would have similar interests or at least a similar way of looking at some things… But the Polish blog didn’t really work out, because after being on that network for the blind I was completely clueless about setting up my own blog, and messed it up, my stats were even lower than before and I was getting hardly any traffic, so I soon got discouraged. Another thing is that Polish WordPress, at least from what I can see, isn’t quite as active and dynamic as English, and people are much less interactive. Then I tried with yet another blog at another network for the blind that has been created, but I’ve been making myself some English-speaking friends and thinking more and more often about having a blog in English. It was more like my dream than something I would think seriously about for a long time, but suddenly it started to feel like something I would really really like to do, because I could find more like-minded people then, and I’ve started to discover some things about myself, including learning about or maybe accepting and defining my mental illness(es), moving on from some things, and I’ve also noticed that it’s easier for me to write about my feelings and just express myself in English, and my English started to develop speedily, miraculously and uncontrollably. So much so that now I am hardly ever in touch with any Polish people, and if I get an email in Polish I’m very surprised (or jumping up with fright because it’s either something formal or scary and means some problems πŸ˜€ ). So, that’s how My Inner Mishmash came to life! My Inner Mishmash is two years old now, soon will be two and a half. But I can’t tell you exactly for how long I’ve been blogging like altogether.
  • What was your original purpose for beginning a blog? – This one, like I said, a need to connect with people, to find perhaps something like my tribe, to improve my language skills – maybe someday I’ll make it a multilingual blog, we’ll see, – and expressing myself, because I’ve always had trouble expressing myself and writing is the easiest way I can do it, which doesn’t always mean it’s easy. πŸ˜€ As for my first blog, I guess it was just curiosity, I didn’t even fully know what blogging could be about, but it was within my reach and I’ve always loved writing, so just thought “Why not?”.
  • Did you research about blogging before establishing your own? – Before establishing both my WordPress blogs – yes, a bit. – As I said I was clueless about all the setting up and just creating your own blog in general, personalising it, customising, all that. I was especially careful with this one, because I didn’t want it to repeat the story of my Polish WordPress blog, and I also had to ask a few people for a bit of help at the very beginning. I also researched a bit about increasing traffic, but I’m far less neurotic about my stats than I thought I’d be.
  • Has your purpose evolved or changed directions? If so, what was the determining factor for the change? – With my Inner Mishmash, I guess my purpose hasn’t changed, although one thing that I’ve also decided that I want it to be an essential part of my blogging is being engaging with my readers. When it comes to my blogging journey as a whole, it has definitely evolved and blogging is so much more for me now than it used to be at the beginning. I guess what caused it was simply that I was changing, and changing my views, my situation was changing and I was growing up, learning things about people and myself, just quite a natural process I think.
    • What determines your measure of success as far as blogging is concerned? – Most of the time, I try to be laid back about my blogging. I just want it to be pleasurable for me, I’m also always happy to see that my readership is growing or that they enjoy my scribbles.

Question of the day (19th May).

Is there any random language you find interesting and would like to learn, that would have no relevant benefit to you personally, in terms of your career, heritage, where you live, etc.

My answer:

Well… do I really need to answer this question? I have a feeling that in my case, it’s pretty irrelevant. πŸ˜€ But, OK, in case you don’t remember, or don’t know, about all the languages that I find just flamin’ hot interesting and would like to learn, that, according to most people’s view, don’t have any relevant benefit to me, other than just satisfying my crazy brain, here’s the complete listonce again, excluding those I already know/am learning, of course, no specific order:

Cornish, Scottish Gaelic (and Doric too perhaps), Scots, (Ulster Scots as well and it would be cool to know all the Shetlandic/Orkney etc. dialects), Dutch, Frisian, Manx, Irish, Finnish, Sami (North Sami seems the easiest to do as it’s the most widely spoken and accessible, although I’m dreaming about LuleΓ₯ Sami) and Faroese.

Some time ago, when our Zofijka was in some sort of a counting-everything developmental phase, she asked me how many languages I like – like overall, with those I can already speak. – I never know/remember how many, because in contrast to her, I never care about such things, assuming that quality is more important than quantity, and my brain just doesn’t deal with numbers. So I told her all of them and she counted them, and then she was like “Wow you’re really nutty!”. πŸ˜€ So that’s the only kind of tangible benefit you’re gonna get from learning weird languages, people will start to think you’re a nutter, so I’d advise you to think it through before you pick your random language… Kidding of course. Nuts are good for your brain, just as language learning, so in the end it’ll be you who will win. πŸ˜‰

So what would be your choice? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

I have a sort of linguistic question for you today.

If you have trouble understanding a person with a very thick accent, do you feel bad about it, and you apologise if you have to ask them to repeat things?

My answer:

First of all, in Polish we definitely don’t have such a variety of accents as you guys have in English. There are accents, dialects and stuff but the language is fairly universal and most peopleactually don’t even know the features of most of them unless they’re just into observing how different people speak. So, if someone speaks in Polish with an accent that I have some trouble understanding, and this person is Polish, I don’t really feel bad, I feel surprised and like “How come they talk like this their whole life?” or something. I listen to English every day, write in English and read English, but I’ve never been to an English-speaking country and I haven’t really had many conversations with English natives, so I don’t have much experience here. But yeah, I think I would feel bad. I’m normally not really a perfectionist, but I definitely am when it comes to languages, or some aspects of language learning, and I’d just feel bad about myself in a way I guess if I couldn’t figure out what someone’s saying to me. I also love accents, I love how rich English is with all the accents and dialects and everything, so I’d be frustrated if that were a significant barrier in communication for me and the person I’m talking with, even though I do know that there are still a fair bit of English accents that I don’t always understand even though I’m normally pretty good at figuring out accents or even mimicking them as for someone in whose language they almost don’t occur, Ithink. I’d also feel a bit bad for that person, I wouldn’t like them to feel that I am discriminating them in any way or something. And my social anxiety and generally anxiety in regard to communication would come up stronger probably. But I also love a language challenge so I would also appreciate a chance to learn something new and have a new experience as a result of such a communication barrier. When I was in Stockholm, I already knew earlier that people are pretty laid back in Sweden about accents and everyone talks with their own accent, it’s like there’s no actual standard version of Swedish unless you perhaps consider the Stockholm variant as such. But I was surprised how many different varieties of the same language I could hear. I also had a long conversation with a gem stones shop owner who was from Scania, I always have a bit of a trouble understanding people with a strong Scanian accent. It was difficult, and because of my anxiety a bit exhausting, but also very rewarding. The whole Stockholm trip was like that for me. And it was so interesting to hear all those different dialects, even though I think in English they are even richer and more diverse. SO how about you? πŸ™‚