Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#61  Postby Agrippina » Apr 14, 2012 6:09 pm

Horwood Beer-Master wrote:
Agrippina wrote:...On the dialect thing. It's definitely only a spoken issue...

"Only"? Surely the spoken form of a language is fairly damned important - certainly to those speaking it at any rate. :ask:


I meant from the point of view of writing. Or do people actually write in their particular dialect? I didn't mean to sound like spoken language wasn't important, actually I don't know what I meant. Just ignore what I said. :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#62  Postby Zwaarddijk » Apr 14, 2012 8:46 pm

Dialectal writing probably has increased in prevalence ever since the introduction of SMS and instant messaging.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#63  Postby Warren Dew » Apr 14, 2012 10:42 pm

don't get me started wrote:Don't get me started on formality in Japan. It is like a completely separate language. Not only is there a completely different vocabulary, but the degree of indirectness renders the speaker's intent opaque, to say the least.
I was at a bank and needed to change my account to a different branch. Rather than let me just go to that bank, they led me into a small booth which had a Skype-like connection to the other branch and a scanner.
The woman at the other end appeared and we began the transaction, in Japanese:

Me: I can speak Japanese, but please don't use KEIGO (polite language ) because I can't understand it well.
Staff: I understand.
Me: So, I need to transfer my account to your branch.
Staff: I see. Honorable and respected customer, might I be so bold as to request you to, at the current time, to position the completed transferregistrationauthorisationapplication document in such a way as to enable the contents to be registered in our electronic data transmission service, thus permitting me to proceed with your requested procedure.
Me: Eh?
Staff: (Repeat above request verbatim)
Me: (Guessing) Er...put the document on the scanner?
Staff: Honorable and respected customer, if you would be so kind as to be in compliance... that would be...hmmm...
Me: Like this?
Staff: Honorable and respected customer, I am happy to inform you that I am now fully able to proceed.

And so on for the next 35 minutes.
it is especially difficult in service situations, where the staff have been drilled to be word perfect and not deviate from the script. And the problem is compounded by 'Gaijin Panic' effect, where they get nervous and speak even faster and women speak in en even higher squeaky voice.

Do recorded announcements work that way as well? I've noticed that the Japanese version of, say, airliner safety instructions seem to be three times as long as the English and Chinese versions.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#64  Postby don't get me started » Apr 15, 2012 8:36 am

Warren Dew asked
Do recorded announcements work that way as well? I've noticed that the Japanese version of, say, airliner safety instructions seem to be three times as long as the English and Chinese versions.


Yes they certainly do. These kind of recorded announcements abound and they always err on the side of politeness.
I'm thinking of actually timing the length of the announcements when I'm on a plane next. I'm pretty sure that the Japanese one's are longer than other languages, but this is just a hunch.
On planes the Japanese announcements are usually prefaced with an elaborate apology for disturbing the passengers...
皆様 (Mina Sama. 'Mina'= everyone 'Sama'= a more formal and polite version of 'San' which is a daily honorific)
申し訳ございません (Moshiwake Gozaimasen) Literally, "There is no excuse for this."
By the time they've got round to actually asking you to fasten your seat belts the turbulence has usually passed!
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