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dalloga · 2 days ago
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hey! hope it's okay to just ask stuff about language and culture haha but I always wondered how Koreans don't find it awkward to use honorifics with family/partners? My language (German) also has a formal and informal way to address people though not as nuanced and I'd never use formal speech for someone only 1 year older than me but to me formal speech is ofc about respect but it also creates a distance btw me and that person so using it for a loved one is unthinkable to me ...
Hello anon!
These kind of questions about language and culture are actually very welcome here because as a literature student, I'm fascinated with both of those things.
Personally, I think the existence of honorifics/formal language in Korean creates so much creative potential for how the social bonds between people are articulated and developed. Having that kind of strict structure that underpins all relations establishes these very clear-cut boundaries which are then either kept or crossed with every interaction, every address, every sentence you communicate because, to a certain level, the basic elements of how that sentence is constructed announce your relation to the person you're addressing.
The decision to drop formalities (ie. between friends) or reversely, the decision to put formalities back on (ie. in an argument, or after a breakup) then becomes a moment where the status between personal relations is being negotiated — a kind of signal of entering into a new intimate space or exiting it, navigating and tracking that movement through language.
Personality plays a big role here too, with some people finding formalities more awkward (and therefore wanting to relax them as soon as they can) while others finding the absence of formalities awkward instead (and therefore preferring to keep them in place even when it's not needed). Other factors like age, social class, circumstantial context for the relation, etc all play into the decision of whether or not to invoke formalities, with the additional note that none of this is fixed or determined. That there are always exceptions, always contradictions, always changes, and that's what makes the interplay between language and culture so interesting.
I guess what I want to emphasize with all of this is the immense potential for nuance that a designated formal language introduces, and how so much of its expression depends on the diverse agency of the people who use it or choose not to. Because honorifics and formal language are a form of measuring respect and distance, there's a lot interesting ways that it can then be played with and manipulated for various effects. The flirtatious/comedic/slanderous potential of various honorifics and forms of formal language, for example. It's all part of what I think makes Korean such an interesting and rich language to use and study.
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sociolinguo · a day ago
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"Nowadays, you can easily deduce someone’s age based on how they communicate. Do they use the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji instead of the “Loudly Crying Face” emoji to connote laughter? Do they use a question mark when posing an inquiry over text? And when you say “thank you,” do they respond with “you’re welcome” or “no problem”?"
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neurosciencestuff · 2 days ago
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How we retrieve our knowledge about the world
In order to find our way in the world, we classify it into concepts, such as "telephone" or "cat". Until now, however, it was unclear how the brain retrieves these when we only encounter the word, that is when we do not see, hear, or feel the objects directly. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have now developed a model of how the brain processes abstract knowledge. They found that depending on which features one concentrates on, the corresponding brain regions go into action.
To understand the world, we arrange individual objects, people, and events into different categories or concepts. Concepts such as ‘telephone’ consist primarily of visible features, i.e. shape and color, and sounds, such as ringing. In addition, there are actions, i.e. how we use a telephone.
However, the concept of telephone does not only arise in the brain when we have a telephone in front of us. It also appears when the term is merely mentioned. If we read the word "telephone", our brain also calls up the concept of telephone. The same regions in the brain are activated that would be activated if we actually saw, heard, or used a telephone. The brain thus seems to simulate the characteristics of a telephone when its name alone is mentioned.
Until now, however, it was unclear, depending on the situation, whether the entire concept of a telephone is called up or only individual features such as sounds or actions and whether only the brain areas that process the respective feature become active. So, when we think of a telephone, do we always think of all its features or only the part that is needed at the moment? Do we retrieve our sound knowledge when a phone rings, but our action knowledge when we use it?
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have now found the answer: It depends on the situation. If, for example, the study participants thought of the sounds associated with the word "telephone", the corresponding auditory areas in the cerebral cortex were activated, which are also activated during actual hearing. When thinking about using a telephone, the somatomotor areas that underlie the involved movements came into action.
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(Image caption: If we think of the word "telephone" only as ringing or its use, only the two brain areas that would also process the actual hearing (yellow) and the actual action (blue) become active. If, on the other hand, we call up the overall concept of "telephone", in addition to these two so-called modality-specific areas, multimodal (green) and amodal (not in the picture) areas also come into action. They are responsible for more abstract information that does not arise solely through sensory impressions. Credit: MPI CBS)
In addition to these sensory-dependent, so-called modality-specific areas, it was found that there are areas that process both sounds and actions together. One of these so-called multimodal areas is the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL). It became active when both features were requested.
The researchers also found out that, in addition to characteristics based on sensory impressions and actions, there must be other criteria by which we understand and classify terms. This became apparent when the participants were only asked to distinguish between real and invented words. Here, a region that was not active for actions or sounds kicked in: the so-called anterior temporal lobe (ATL). The ATL therefore seems to process concepts abstractly or "amodally", completely detached from sensory impressions.
A model of conceptual knowledge
From these findings, the scientists finally developed a hierarchical model to reflect how conceptual knowledge is represented in the human brain. According to this model, information is passed on from one hierarchical level to the next and at the same time becomes more abstract with each step. On the lowest level, therefore, are the modality-specific areas that process individual sensory impressions or actions. These transmit their information to the multimodal regions such as the IPL, which process several linked perceptions simultaneously, such as sounds and actions. The amodal ATL, which represents features detached from sensory impressions, operates at the highest level. The more abstract a feature, the higher the level at which it is processed and the further it is removed from actual sensory impressions.
"We thus show that our concepts of things, people, and events are composed, on the one hand, of the sensory impressions and actions associated with them and, on the other hand, of abstract symbol-like features," explains Philipp Kuhnke, lead author of the study, which was published in the renowned journal Cerebral Cortex. "Which features are activated depends strongly on the respective situation or task" added Kuhnke.
In a follow-up study in Cerebral Cortex, the researchers also found that modality-specific and multimodal regions work together in a situation-dependent manner when we retrieve conceptual features. The multimodal IPL interacted with auditory areas when retrieving sounds, and with somatomotor areas when retrieving actions. This showed that the interaction between modality-specific and multimodal regions determined the behavior of the study participants. The more these regions worked together, the more strongly the participants associated words with actions and sounds.
The scientists investigated these correlations with the help of various word tasks that the participants solved while lying in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. Here, they had to decide whether they strongly associated the named object with sounds or actions. The researchers showed them words from four categories: 1) objects associated with sounds and actions, such as "guitar", 2) objects associated with sounds but not with actions, such as "propeller", 3) objects not associated with sounds but with actions, such as "napkin", and 4) objects associated neither with sounds nor with actions, such as "satellite".
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korstudying · 2 days ago
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Week 5 vocabulary
안녕하세요~ If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that I am currently studying in South Korea. I decided to share the vocabulary I have to learn every week. So if you want to study in Korea, this might be a fun little challenge for you to try and keep up! This is the actual pace, so a great way to get into the Korean study vibes~~
All the vocabulary can be found on memrise.
to ride - 타다
to get off (a ride) - 내리다 
to sit - 앉다
to get up - 일어서다
to open - 열다
to close - 닫다
to wear - 입다
to take off - 벗다
to sell - 팔다
to (ex)change - 바꾸다
to walk - 걷다
to send - 보내다
to wait - 기다리다
to smoke tabacco - 담배를 피우다
to cut hair - 머리를 자르다
to take a picture - 사진을 찍다
to make - 만들다
to come back - 돌아오다
to go somewhere regularly - 다니다
to borrow - 빌리다
to have a part time job - 아르바이트하다
to withdraw money - 돈을 찾다
mountain - 산
amusement park - 놀이공원
to play tennis - 테니스 치다
college student - 대학생
family - 가족
downtown - 시내
parcel - 택배
to change money - 돈을 바꾸다
account - 계과
to send money - 돈을 보내다
to borrow money - 돈을 빌리다
dessert - 디저트
to taste delicious - 맛있다
to taste awful - 맛없다
to be comfortable - 편안하다
to be uncomfortable - 불편하다
to be handsome / gorgeous - 멋있다
to be beautiful - 아름답다
to be hungry - 배고프다
to be full - 배부르다
to be big - 크다
to be small - 작다
to be many - 많다
to be little - 적다
to be long - 길다
to be short - 짧다
to be high - 높다
to be low - 낮다
to be good - 좋다
to be bad - 나쁘다
to be fun - 재미있다
to not be fun - 재미없다
to be difficult - 어렵다
to be easy - 쉽다
to be heavy - 무겁다
to be light - 가볍다
to be cold (touch) - 차갑자
to be hot (touch) - 뜨겁다
to be cold (feel) - 춥다
to be hot (feel) - 덥다
to be far - 멀다
to be close - 가깝다
to be bright - 밝다
to be dark - 어둡다
to be clean - 깨긋하다
to be dirty - 더겁다
to be wide - 넓다
to be tight - 좁다
to be fast - 빠르다
to be slow - 느리다
to be the same - 같다
to be different - 다르다
to be quiet - 조용하다
to be loud - 시끄럽다
to be relaxed - 편하다
to be busy - 바쁘다
to be pretty - 예쁘다
to be sick - 아프다
to be kind - 친절하다
food - 음식
weather - 날씨
feeling - 기분
meat - 고기
but - 하지만
to live - 살다
people - 사람들
facilities - 시설
atmosphere - 분위기
very - 아주
to write / to use - 쓰다
roommate - 룸메이트
night - 밤
alone - 혼자
around - 근처
to take a test - 시험(을) 보다
speaking - 말하기
listening - 듣기
writing - 쓰기
to go and get back - 갔다 오다
Mongolian language - 몽골어
two days ago - 그제
yesterday - 어제
today - 오늘
tomorrow - 내일
2 days from now - 모레
morning - 아침
midday - 점심
evening - 저녁
day - 낮
monday - 월요일
tuesday - 화요일
wednesday - 수요일
thursday - 목요일
friday - 금요일
saturday - 토요일
sunday - 일요일
workday - 주중
weekend - 주말
last week - 지난주
this week - 이번 주
next week - 다음 주
last month - 지난달
this month - 이번 달
next month - 다음 달
last year - 작년
this year - 올해
next year - 내년
before - 전
after - 후
concert - 콘서트
really - 정말
really - 진짜
really - 참
vacation - 방학
to move - 이사하다
friendship - 우정
story - 이야기 (애기)
to be sad - 슬프다
to be happy - 즐겁다
gloves - 장갑
second - 초
snack - 잔식 먹어요
night snack - 야식 먹어요
to be spicy - 맵다
facility - 시설
fridge - 내장고
wardrobe - 옷장
studio - 원룸
house - 주택
subway station - 지하철역
earlier - 아까
to swim - 수영하다
sometimes, occasionally - 가끔
sentence - 문장
in 2 weeks - 다다음주
2 weeks ago - 지지날 구
in 2 months - 다다음 달
2 months ago - 지지날 달
in 2 years - 내후년
2 years ago - 재작년
dialect - 사토리
broken - 부러
to wash the face - 세수하다
Every day - 매일
farm - 농장
before - 전
after - 후
years ago - 년 전
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cosmiclion · 2 days ago
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When I’m talking to a stranger and I don’t know their pronouns but am too socially anxious to ask
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ripkxdy · a day ago
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been skipping school a lot so im gonna learn Russian, just to learn something instead of math
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aeide-thea · 2 days ago
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it's always disconcerting as a native speaker to run into gaps in your own lexicon—like, okay, there's that post going around right now that's all, what do you call things X / Y / Z, and the second two for me are very straightforwardly '(shopping) cart' and 'hair tie,' but the first one? before peeking at other people's answers, i came up totally blank. eventually i saw someone tag them as 'freezer pops' and thought, okay, yeah, that sounds familiar-ish, maybe that's what i call them?? but if i were the last speaker of english with no external resources to consult, people who learned the language from me would not learn a name for those things. which is very strange to actively realize!
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For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.
T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding
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language-fae · a day ago
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i need russian friends to practice speaking with
there’s a russian student association at my school, but a few too many of the guys there are… questionable to say the least, so i need new friends
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randomreasonstolive · 13 hours ago
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Reason to Live #6554
  Finally mastering a language I've been learning for years! – Guest Submission
(Please don't add negative comments to these posts.)
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namonakirei · 20 hours ago
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Apparently in Encanto, Camilo was named Camilo because it sounds like Chameleon. I really hope this is not supposed to be an in-universe decision, given that in spanish, Camilo and Camaleón sound pretty much nothing alike. So take that as a pro tip, Encanto Fanfic writers!
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sociolinguo · 2 days ago
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"THERE’S A WORD in Irish to describe the luminous track of a boat through phosphorescence, tine ghealáin.
It can also refer to flashes of lightning and the mysterious light that is emitted from putrid fish or rotten wood."
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kata4a · a month ago
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concrete meaning "not abstract" predates concrete meaning, you know, the material, by about two hundred years or so
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Hi again, religious anon! Thank you for your reponse, let me ask you somthing, would you ask any other cultural minority to limit their political posts too, or is it just us because we are white europeans? Just today a politician greeted a basque politician in euskera and it was greeted with boos from spanish nationalists, if that makes you understand a bit more what we go through daily with our language and culture. It's met with zero respect, being silent helps no one.
For the ones wondering: anons's refering to this, when Inner Affairs minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska - from Bilbo himself - responded to EH Bildu congressman Jon Iñarritu by saying "Egun on, Iñarritu jauna", which means "Good morning, Mr. Iñarritu".
You can see in the vid below how after the sentence, he's booed by PP and Vox congress people:
He even interrupts himself by the booing and asks "Is there any problem with me using...[Basque, although he didn't end the sentence]".
The far right press has described the greeting as "snivelling", and writes it's a "formula of high courtesy", which is completely false unless saying good morning mr whatever is of royal courtesy. Basque is a very direct language that gives the same treatment to a president than to a worker.
So yeah, it's hard to turn a blind eye to this and pretend this isn't our everyday life...
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futureevilscientist · 2 months ago
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Thinking about how the Russian word for “comrade” isn’t actually nearly as stilted and formal-sounding in the language itself and would be more accurately translated as companion/fellow/pal/partner (the whole point of it is that it’s a gender-neutral informal form of address that makes no distinction by gender or social class or profession), and how much that simple mistranslation turned viral has done to shape the perception of people living in Soviet times as these fanatical overly stilted communist caricatures
anyway, language and propaganda and all that
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language-fae · 3 months ago
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so weird how in english some words are really just used in expressions and not otherwise… like has anyone said “havoc” when not using it in the phrase “wreaking havoc”? same goes for “wreaking” actually…
reply with more, i’m fascinated
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justlgbtthings · 3 months ago
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in my experience if you're learning a language but you're worried about not pronouncing it right or sounding ridiculous in front of native speakers, I'm here to tell you that most people do not care. they don't care if you have an accent or if your mother tongue is peeking through, because in all honesty, everyone has an accent. it's unfair and frankly unrealistic to expect people to bear no remnants of their native tongue when speaking another. you've spent your entire life speaking your language, interacting with the world in it; your understanding of language is built on your native one and its natural sounds. no one can expect you to entirely shift how your brain processes words and sounds. most native speakers will just appreciate you trying at all. if it's comprehensible, if the gist of what you're saying gets across, then it's good enough. if you're trying, your accent is fine.
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