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#88243 - 12/02/02 05:00 AM ambilingual, equilingual
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
Anyone here run across these? Any thoughts? I was chatting the other day to someone who explained that many academics have taken to using quite a range of new vocabulary when it comes to defining people's capabilities in languages. Although I do on the one hand understand the need to determine fairly accurately between different levels of knowledge, I think we've have got a neological shambles based on a pseudo science here. This site explains (authoritatively) on..

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Gulf/7503/bilingualism.html


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#88244 - 12/02/02 05:32 AM Re: ambilingual, equilingual
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
An interesting site, by.

I was struck by this definition -
An equilingual can use all of his/her languages with equal, but not necessarily native proficiency in one, more or all of his/her languages

By this definition, I am equilingual in at least five languages - the ones in which I can say "Hello", Goodbye", "Thank you", "Please" and "Two beers", but nothing else.


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#88245 - 12/02/02 05:41 AM Re: ambilingual, equilingual
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
I am equilingual in Finnish, Swahili, Polish, and, now, Urdu. The other languages in which I can say, "I don't speak/understand/know [name of language]" I can also say a few other things.


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#88246 - 12/02/02 01:30 PM Re: ambilingual, equilingual
sjm Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 742
Loc: Akina
Your mention of Urdu brought to mind a surprising factoid I picked up from the CIA factbook. I already knew that Urdu, the language taught alongside English at my Dad's alma mater, was a minority language in Pakistan, despite being the official language of the country. What surprised me was how much of a minor language it is there. Many non-Maaori here are upset that a language spoken by, at the very most, 8% of the population should have dual status with English. According to the CIA, that's the percentage of Pakistanis for whom Urdu is their first language. That seems a vfery low percentage for a language designated as the sole official tongue of a nation. On the subject of equilingual, I'm with you and RhubC on this one , or as Steven Wright said, "Im a bilingual illiterate, I can't read and write in two languages."


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#88247 - 12/03/02 04:26 AM Re: ambilingual, equilingual
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
I was under the impression that Urdu is an artificial lingua franca similar to Esperanto, developed so that communication could take place amongst the many differing cultures.
If that is so (and I admit that my belief is based on a fairly shaky foundation!) then it is hardly surprising that it isn't the mother-tongue of many people - more surprising that it is as many as 8%.
(How many people speak Esperanto as a first language?)


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#88248 - 12/03/02 04:38 AM Re: ambilingual, equilingual
sjm Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 742
Loc: Akina
I don't know about the lingua franca thing, but it is the mother tongue of Ismail Noormohamed Abdul Rehman (aka Merchant), born in Bombay, so it has a long reach. Apparently, the preservation of Urdu culture and literature is an abiding passion of Mr Rehman, and he even made an entire film devoted to the subject (if it were an autobiography he might have called it "Rehmans of Bombay"). It seems somehow unlikely to me that an "Esperanto" would develop such a culture, though not impossible.


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#88249 - 12/03/02 05:08 AM Re: ambilingual, equilingual
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
unlikely to me that an "Esperanto" would develop such a culture, though not impossible.


True enough, sjm. However, as an example of the possibility, the Nigerians have taken Pidgin - a language developed by the white rulers so that their "servants" could understand enough to serve, but not enough to really know what was going on - and turned it into a very vibrant language, with its own newspapers, books, song-lyrics and slang.


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#88250 - 12/03/02 06:28 AM Re: ambilingual, equilingual
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Urdu is an artificial lingua franca

Might bear looking in to. I always thought it was more a natural lingua franca, not unlike Swahili. Basically Hindi with additions from Arabic, Farsi and Pashtu (mostly).


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#88251 - 12/03/02 06:54 PM Ambilingual
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
means kissing with a forked tongue. And further than this I will not venture. must ... resist ... temptation.

_________________________
TEd

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