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Invented Languages

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1091942.  Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:55 pm Reply with quote

germananglophile wrote:

The latter had one production in which Stephen Fry performed- from the Wikipedia article: [i]"This performance was reprised on February 27, 2011 featuring Stephen Fry as the Klingon Osric and was filmed by the BBC as part of a 5-part documentary on language entitled Fry's Planet Word."

Thanks, I will now have to watch all five hours of that. (Not because of Klingon, because of Fry and language.)

On the topic of invented languages, I caught half a minute of The Big Bang Theory yesterday where Amy was making up a language where the word "plankĘ°" meant spoon with food on it. The only problem is you can't put umulats over ěs! I hate it when people who don't speak any language with ě or umulated letters (mostly Americans) throw them around like they're just fancy Os. They are not.
I've also encountered people who didn't know Schr÷dinger is not pronounced Schrodinger...

berty ashley
1097869.  Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:46 am Reply with quote

The official Korean language of 'Hangul' was created by Sejong the Great. A ruler of the Joseon Dynasty around 1440. Till then the learned people wrote in Chinese and pretty much everyone else was illiterate.

wiki says - Hangul was designed so that even a commoner could learn to read and write; the Haerye says "A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days."

1097953.  Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:10 pm Reply with quote

We're in danger of mixing up a language with a writing system here.

It is entirely true that the hangeul alphabet was devised at the behest of Sejong the Great in about 1443. Before that, few in Korea were literate at all. Most who were literate were priests and members of the aristocracy, and as suggested they wrote mainly in Classical Chinese. (In some cases they could read and write in Chinese, but not speak it. They spoke Korean, a language which has existed for at least one thousand years.)

The first move on from there had been the notion of using Chinese characters to write Korean, a system known as hanja. This is first attested around 1100, but was never widespread and was largely confined to priests. A small corpus of poetry written in hanja is known, but the nobility continued to write to each other in Chinese.

Even today schoolchildren in South Korea are taught some hanja to represent common words. They're not used a great deal though; newspapers and TV captions use them for the names China, Japan, and Korea if short of space, advertising logos sometimes use them, and university students use them as a sort of shorthand / to show how clever they are. But letters and mass market books use hanja hardly at all.

Hangeul took a while to catch on - many in the upper orders considered it inferior to hanja and wouldn't use it. Literacy took a fair while to catch on too, and not until after WWII was it the case that most Koreans could read and write using hangeul.


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