Working on Indic languages - Greetings from Steve

#1 Sep 14th, 2010, 12:23
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  • Stevey7788 is offline
#1
Hello everyone,

I am a language enthusiast who is compiling Swadesh vocabulary word lists (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Swadesh_list) on Wiktionary. I am doing this for the sake of future generations and to help make languages more accessible. I believe that language resources, especially basic vocabulary word lists, MUST be highly accessible online, especially on highly-frequented websites. This will also make work easier for comparative linguists.

I am wondering if anyone is willing to help contribute to this project. I've already added Khmer, Mongolian, Korean, and various Native American languages. I am looking forward to adding more languages, such as Malayalam, Kannada, Tulu, Gondi, Brahui, various Munda/Santali/Bodi languages, and more! ANY language would be welcome!

Websites that have word lists in various world languages include the World Loanword Database, Intercontinental Dictionary Series, and the Rosetta Project. However, the down side is that the public cannot contribute to those projects.

YOU can add words right now if you go to http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Append...dian_languages

Also, the Hindi list on http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Append...%28extended%29 needs to be fixed up, and more languages such as Marathi, Gujarati, Nepali, Bihari, and others would be greatly helpful to language learners and linguists out there!

Thanks a bunch!

Kind regards,
Steve
#2 Sep 15th, 2010, 11:38
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#2
I just happen to have a few language sites bookmarked:

URDU: http://smriti.com/urdu/urdu.dictionary.html

HINDUSTANI/URDU/HINDI words in Kipling's work: http://www.kipling.org.uk/facts_gloss.htm

LANGUAGES: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/p...bookmarks.html

I've enjoyed all of these over several years.

And, I've just been wondering who I can tell about this book that I've nearly finished: called DREAMING IN HINDI by Kathrine Russell Rich. She spent a year in Udaipur, learning Hindi, and at various times spoke with a lot of linguists about the mechanics and effects of learning a second language. A most interesting book!

Oh, by the way, welcome to IndiaMike!
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#3 Sep 15th, 2010, 12:23
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The problem is that sometimes words are not equivalent in different languages..
#4 Sep 15th, 2010, 18:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post The problem is that sometimes words are not equivalent in different languages..
in bengali there is a saying " hajaar kotha'r ek kotha " [brilliantly put], edward da!

how would you translate 'abhimaan' into english ?
its not always about literal meaning - there's a zeitgeist behind the word.
how on earth could one bring out that 'feeling' with just one word, in english ?

i would kill to read neruda and faiz ahmed faiz [amongst others] in their language.
so so much must be lost in translation.

english at most times whilst translating - is so limited in its vocabulary.



bhojpuri is sopken in bihar, stevey.
bihari is the people of bihar, not the language.

:brishti
#5 Sep 15th, 2010, 18:59
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Originally Posted by Stevey7788 View Post Hello everyone,
Hi Steve! I'm a linguist by training too though my speciality is/was Germanic languages. My first languages are Magahi (one of the mother tongues subsumed under Bihari) and Hindi. I'd be glad if I can be of help.

@wonderwomanusa
I'm halfway through Dreaming in Hindi myself. I'll pick it up again when I'm finsihed with my more urgent reading. We can exchange notes then.

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Originally Posted by brishti View Post
bhojpuri is sopken in bihar, stevey.
bihari is the people of bihar, not the language.
Bhojpuri is spoken in Western Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Magahi and Maithili are also spoken in Bihar. They are both closely related to but quite distinct from Bhojpuri. The term Bihari is used by linguists and covers these three "mother tongues" (that's the term used in the decennial Census of India). Early censuses (1931 and before) showed large returns for "Bihari". Grierson used it in his Linguistic Survey of India. In fact, in the 19th century an attempt was made to create a modern Bihari language based on classical Maithili but abandoned (no self-respecting Bhojpuri speaker would have accepted it). Only then was Hindi (in the Devanagari script) adopted as a language of administration and law-courts in the part of Bengal that later became Bihar. This was several decades before the United Provinces adopted it in addition to Urdu.
#6 Sep 15th, 2010, 20:41
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#6
Brishti, "obhiman" is practically untranslateable into English, but "filotimo" in Greek comes close!
#7 Sep 16th, 2010, 06:56
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Originally Posted by Golghar View Post @wonderwomanusa
I'm halfway through Dreaming in Hindi myself. I'll pick it up again when I'm finsihed with my more urgent reading. We can exchange notes then.
I will look forward to that!

I am no linguist, but am lucky to absorb languages pretty easily.
#8 Sep 16th, 2010, 18:13
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Originally Posted by Golghar View Post The term Bihari is used by linguists and covers these three "mother tongues" (that's the term used in the decennial Census of India).
and then
[the indian tongue-biting when proven ignorant!]

thank you for that golghar. thank you
i doubt most biharis are aware that they speak bihari, no ?
the few that i have met - say they speak bhojpuri.

just read somewhere - the Khasi in the Meghalaya hills and the Mundari in South Bihar happen to be languages of the Khmer group!
that is amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post Brishti, "obhiman" is practically untranslateable into English, but "filotimo" in Greek comes close!
i can see greek having a version of abhimaan
as i think so would spanish + italian and perhaps french [?]
its got all to do with a sentiment, a certain type of sensibility, i guess

another untranslatable word "khayal" [not the one about the genre of classical music]
bollo bollo yyam



:brishti
#9 Sep 16th, 2010, 22:22
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Originally Posted by brishti View Post thank you for that golghar. thank you
i doubt most biharis are aware that they speak bihari, no ?
the few that i have met - say they speak bhojpuri.
Yes, most Biharis aren't aware they speak Bihari but as the census returns of 1911, 1921 and 1931 show (I'll see if I can find a link to the actual figures) at one time they were. The situation parallels that of Rajasthani (another of Grierson's "constructs") but in this case a lot of speakers of Marwari, Jaipuri, Mewati, Malvi, Nimadi, Gujari etc. do seem to be aware of the fact that they speak "Rajasthani", as the census returns show.
The reason why most Biharis you come across outside Bihar are Bhojpuri speakers is that Bhojpur (the region west of the Son and the Gandak) has a tradition of "exporting" labour, not just to to the big cities. mining areas and tea plantations of the rest of India but also to Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana etc.

Quote:
just read somewhere - the Khasi in the Meghalaya hills and the Mundari in South Bihar happen to be languages of the Khmer group!
that is amazing.

For "South Bihar" read Jharkhand!
In fact these languages belong to the larger family of Austro-Asiatic languages.*

Actually Mundari is just one of the so-called Munda languages. The most important language in this group is Santhali which has several million speakers in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Bangladesh.

*That Vietnamese belongs to this family is not accepted by all linguists.
#10 Sep 18th, 2010, 00:18
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Originally Posted by brishti View Post another untranslatable word "khayal"
What's so untranslatable about "khayal" or "kheyal"? As far as I can tell, each of its several meanings does seem to have an English equivalent. Whim is just one of those. What's the meaning you had in mind? Could you explain it in a few words?
#11 Sep 20th, 2010, 15:24
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Originally Posted by suricate View Post What's so untranslatable about "khayal" or "kheyal"? As far as I can tell, each of its several meanings does seem to have an English equivalent. Whim is just one of those.
try not to be so conphused, suricate...
the word for whim = khamkheyali

kheyal has numerous 'nuances'... one of them being -
kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aata hai
literal translation is - sometimes i think in my heart.
it aint just 'think' - its a tad more...
its a potpourri of 'think' + 'kinda nostaligia' + 'kinda thought-out-of-past' + sentiment/sensitivity or whateverthehell one calls it - [if i knew, i wouldnt be aksing]



anyway - boredom hits wish the OP would pop back in.
golghar - appreciate all them 'language' posts
:brishti
#12 Sep 20th, 2010, 19:39
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I was talking about the word "kheyal" in Bengali, not the Hindi word. I was thinking about Bengali since you were just talking about Abhimaan (the Bengali word, I presumed). My mistake.

And whim does indeed represent one meaning of "kheyal" (the Bengali word).
#13 Sep 20th, 2010, 19:53
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Now I am confused

Is our Bengali Brishti talking about a Hindi word?
#14 Sep 20th, 2010, 21:03
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Khayaal is Arabic and basically means thought. Both Bengali and Hindi got it via Persian with all the expected extensions and shifts of meaning that go with "borrowings" of this kind.
#15 Sep 22nd, 2010, 15:11
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#15
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Is our Bengali Brishti talking about a Hindi word?

speaking in bengali nick san... always
the only hindi i speak is = bhindi [bengali translated into hindi]


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golghar View Post Khayaal is Arabic and basically means thought. Both Bengali and Hindi got it via Persian with all the expected extensions and shifts of meaning that go with "borrowings" of this kind.
thank you them nuances that the word has is zimbly fascinating - translated into english, sounds bleh.


Quote:
Originally Posted by suricate View Post I was talking about the word "kheyal" in Bengali, not the Hindi word. I was thinking about Bengali since you were just talking about Abhimaan (the Bengali word, I presumed). My mistake.
please dont make it one of your 'sh' 's' explanations.
abhimaan is both a hindi and a bengali word - the meaning of which is similar in either language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suricate View Post And whim does indeed represent one meaning of "kheyal" (the Bengali word).
...whether khayaal or kheyal or khayal.
- whim dont exactly match up... makes it sound whimsical

ok - here's one for you to translate, suricate, bengali... butt of course!
when someone is leaving - they usually say...
aashi / aaschi [i will come / i am coming ?]

the replay to which is...
esho [please come / you will return ?]

keep in mind - jhaal muri made at home aint the same as the one on the street

:brishti
Last edited by brishti; Sep 22nd, 2010 at 16:33.. Reason: jhaal muri - tee hee hee hee
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