Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Finnish? Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted
The forum description is about supposedly untranslatable words, & this Q is not, but seemed like a good spot.

I'm reading a Finnish mystery (again), & always find the language peculiarly similar to Maori (or maybe Japanese), which seems geographically unlikely. I am completely unfamiliar w/other Uralic languages which might give me more context. Hunting around the net, the closest I've come is a blog post discussing theories about the development of Japanese, whose spoken language is apparently unique. The comment thread is fascinating. Finnish is mentioned.

A Hungarian speaker comments: "our language is inner north asian in origin and not related to any other aside from a few diminishing mongolian tribes today known as khanty and mansi both on verge of extinction."

As Finnish (like Hungarian) is a Uralic language, brought north along the Urals, this comment seems to make some sense of similarity between Finnish & Asian languages. But the connection would be probably though Altaic? languages e.g. Korean (thought to have had much influence on Japanese).

Any of our linguistic gurus have anything on this?
 
Posts: 2049 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
p.s. my Finnish detective's name is Kari Takamaki (umlaut over second a)-- sounds a lot like NZ soprano's Maori name, Kiri Te Kanawa...
 
Posts: 2049 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
There is no evidence that Uralic languages are related to Japanese, Korean, or Maori. That doesn't mean that they're not related of course, but we don't know.

Japanese and Korean are their own branches, unrelated to each other and to any other language groups. I don't think the Altaic hypothesis has much consensus. Maori is Austronesian, so is related to Hawaiian, Fijian, and Malay.

The fact that Finnish might sound similar to Maori or Japanese doesn't mean much. There's no reason to expect related languages that far apart to sound similar. It's more likely that they won't sound similar. Does English sound similar to Sinhala?

So you can read Finnish, bethree5?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Even though inactive, Geoff is really quite active. He sent this interesting link about the origin of Finnish.

BTW, on another note, I am sorry goofy about the the shooting in Ottawa.
 
Posts: 23286 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by bethree5:

A Hungarian speaker comments: "our language is inner north asian in origin and not related to any other aside from a few diminishing mongolian tribes today known as khanty and mansi both on verge of extinction."


Khanty and Mansi are Uralic languages, and Proto-Uralic is thought to have originated in the Urals.
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
quote:


So you can read Finnish, bethree5?


Haha, I wish, goofy! I read Icelandic, Swedish, Norwegian, & the occasional Danish mystery series [because there aren't many] as the English translations come out. They have their own tradition of the genre, which is usually quite a bit more atmospheric & place-centered than the typical American series. Although some of their detectives share the American stereotype (alcoholic misfits), the majority is a taciturn lot with deadpan humor.

They are rife with native-language place- & personal names. I like to 'hear' the narrative in my head as I read; my rudimentary German helps a bit, but I'd be much better off if I knew how to pronounce all those odd vowels with lines through them or above them, tiny circles above, umlauts in odd spots, etc. It doesn't help that I've failed to learn the universal pronunciation symbols, but I get a little guidance from 'howjasay' et al online audio pronunciation guides.

Can't help wondering whether history of migrating peoples jells with a family of language 'originating' in the Urals. The southern end of the Urals (where the Uralic languages developed & supposedly migrated north to Finland) is in central Asia, whose languages were influenced by eastern marauders-- but perhaps much later than the uralic trek northward?

If I were to imagine a theory of why the Finnish language resembles Pacific rather than other Scandinavian languages, I would more likely assume it had to do with the travels of the Lapplandic peoples of the Arctic circle (called the Sami in Finland), who surely in their travels came into regular contact with Siberians, Mongols, and Manchurians...

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bethree5,
 
Posts: 2049 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by bethree5:


They are rife with native-language place- & personal names. I like to 'hear' the narrative in my head as I read; my rudimentary German helps a bit, but I'd be much better off if I knew how to pronounce all those odd vowels with lines through them or above them, tiny circles above, umlauts in odd spots, etc. It doesn't help that I've failed to learn the universal pronunciation symbols, but I get a little guidance from 'howjasay' et al online audio pronunciation guides.


ö and ø sound like German ö. æ and ä sound like the vowel in cat or pet depending. y sounds like German y. å sounds like the vowel in RP "thought".

quote:
Originally posted by bethree5:
Can't help wondering whether history of migrating peoples jells with a family of language 'originating' in the Urals.


Wasn't everyone migrating in those days? I know nothing about Uralic, but I know that when hypothesizing about where Proto-Indo-European originated, we look at the the sort of tools and trees they have words for, and the fact that all IE languages share a word for "horse" means it was probably spoken somewhere where horses were domesticated. We compare this with archeological evidence. I imagine we do the same thing with Proto-Uralic.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
What a helpful & interesting post, goofy! Thanks for the tips.
 
Posts: 2049 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Long-range etymologies:

http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-b...root=config&morpho=0

I think this is all extremely speculative.
 
Posts: 2369Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
quote:
the fact that all IE languages share a word for "horse" means it was probably spoken somewhere where horses were domesticated.

Now if we can ascertain the origin of "fig leaf" we'll know for certain where the Garden of Eden id located.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 5991 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Nah, fig leaves were added by puritanical types. What really happened is that Adam showed it to Eve when it was chilly outside, and told her it was getting cold. She grbbped hold of it and it erected. She then said, "It's frozen stiff! Let me keep it warm for you." The rest is history.

BTW, it sounds funny if one is just starting to learn Finnish and one says, "I'm beginning Finnish."
 
Posts: 4431 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
Interesting vid about understandble English here.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 5991 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 


Copyright © 2002-12