Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Colorful Language (SFW)


Just a quick post to let you all know that I haven't forgotten about my blog! Here's an update of what's going on right now:

Summer B is well underway at UF, and I'm taking classes! I've got a great schedule, with Biology (online) and French (lecture). Biology has been seriously neglected, but I'm starting to catch up.

On the other hand, French has been wonderful! I'm learning a whole lot, and very quickly. I've got at least three factors working for me. First, I have some experience with linguistics and language-learning. Second, the grammar is very similar to Spanish. Third, and perhaps most importantly, about 70% of the vocab is cognate to me, from English, Spanish, and Esperanto. Here's a simple example:

I have provided Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English, Esperanto, Spanish, and French. Words that are cognate with French will be highlighted in special colors. Blue for English, yellow for Esperanto, and red for Spanish. At the end, the colors will mix together for the French, showing which words are cognate to me, and from which language(s).

EN: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

EO: Ĉiuj homoj estas denaske liberaj kaj egalaj laŭ digno kaj rajtoj. Ili posedas racion kaj konsciencon, kaj devus konduti unu al alia en spirito de frateco.

ES: Todos los seres humanos nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos y, dotados como están de razón y conciencia, deben comportarse fraternalmente los unos con los otros.

FR: Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Ils sont doués de raison et de conscience et doivent agir les uns envers les autres dans un esprit de fraternité.

Well, that was fun! This is my first time ever delving into the wonderful world of HTML. I tried to do most of it on my own, but I do have to credit Jordon with pointing me in the right direction for the color mixing. Apparently, I missed that day of kindergarten. Thanks, Jordon!

To wrap up this post, I'll give some basic statistics about my little demonstration.

In the original passage...

Total Words: 34
Total Unique Words (not counting repeats): 26
Total Unique Non-Cognate Words: 7

So, from this VERY small sample size, it would seem that I was able to identify 19/26 = 73% of the words. Pretty close to my estimate of 70%.

Well, I have truly enjoyed writing this blog post. Nevertheless, a French exam awaits me in the morning. Wish me "bonne chance" on my exam!


P.S. For those of you who don't know, SFW = Safe For Work. :-P

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