Do you speak any "minor" language?

#1
By "minor" I mean "a language less than 50k people speak". Not "minor" as in "lesser", because English (being the unholy kleptomaniac bastard of three languages) is a horrible mess of a language and all other languages are comparatively better than it.
But that's a topic for another time.
So yeah, I'm just wondering who in this corner of the internet speaks a language that not many people speak, or possibly have even heard of. Because that's really cool.
Personally, all I know are a handful of words in Kichwa that people here add into Spanish as slang. It isn't much, but if I were suddenly transported back to Incan times, I'd be able to tell someone their baby was cute or know if someone was shouting for the police. ...And identify food. All the important things.
I just like diving down rabbit holes of language history, and if you have one I'd love to hear about it!

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#2
I'm a native speaker of Spanish and English. I studied Hungarian which has 13 million practitioners because the early history of the fantasy setting of my other novel series (book one is on this site) is based on the 5-6th century conflict between Huns and Visigoths. Being the Eastern empire of my mellieu, I dove into the culture.
Hungarian (Magyar) being an Uralic language is structural very different from either Spanish or English.
To give a simple example. 
The question, do you speak Magyar?
translates to: beszélsz magyarul?
pronounced (strictly by memory taught to me by one native)
bass I lick madge are you.
If you say it very slowly.
The second and third syllables of the first word modifies the root word first syllable which means 'speak'. Modified together, 'do speak.' More specifically, that second syllable activates the root from being passive.
'Ul' on the end of the second word refers to the person being addressed, and substitutes for the 'you' in the English sentence.
Utterly fascinating language.

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#3
I speak New Guinea Pidgin, although IIRC it's technically a creole language - it's made mostly from mixing words from lots of other languages together, so it might actually be more bastardized than English. :P However, it's pretty simplistic, so even if all the words are borrowed, it might still have less borrowed vocabulary!

Pretty sure it's spoken by more than 50k people, though.

As far as small language groups go, I'm pretty sure Papua New Guinea (where New Guinea Pidgin is spoken) has the most. Something like 800 languages, depending on how you define 'language' and where you draw the line for dialects. It averages something like 7,000 speakers per language. 

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#4
No, I don't. 

Also, english is a great language. It has over 500k words, and fairly simple grammar, which make it extremely easy to express your thoughts in it. A lot of people who come from languages that have 100k words or less prefer to talk in English, or use English words even in everyday speech, simply because there are no words in their natives that mean the same things.

For example, in my native, there are no words for "bullying", "mobbing", "kindness", "victimization", "nagging", "abuse". There is also only one word for "jump" while English has at least 14, including "leap", "hop", "bounce" etc.

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#5

Mad Wrote: (being the unholy kleptomaniac bastard of three languages) is a horrible mess of a language and all other languages are comparatively better than it.
I resent this. It's this variation of English that makes it so powerful. It's a language with versatility, with the ability to be short, aggressive and pointed when falling back on it's Germanic roots or eloquent poetic and complex when leaning to the Latin side.


As for the grammar... Say what you like, haha!

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#6
I speak Kapampangan, a language in the Philippines, misidentified before as a dialect.

I can say that there isn't much as vocabulary as English but much of that I can blame to words being lost over time. 

There are words that English has that Kapampangan does not and vice versa and I can chalk that to cultural differences. 

Also, one interesting thing is that this phrase, Gagaga kang gagaga, makes perfect sense. The meaning is drawn from how you pronounce the 'Ga's. 

I cannot describe it much because I look at language as being its own person. I speak three languages, English, Tagalog, and Kapampangan, and  speaking one is like donning a different personality for each. 

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#7
I can speak a few words in German although that hardly counts as a 'minor' language.

Greek is my mother language and I live in Greece to this very day so I guess you can pick that. It's relatively minor, ie not a main language in most countries, and Greece itself isn't big of a country size and population wise. Plus there is even an English saying that sort of shows how weird it sounds to people.

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#9
When I used to write in French, my beta readers had to correct a lot of words and idioms coming from my regional language. And when I say 'regional', it means 'only spoken in the village I lived and a 50 miles area'. It's called the Saintongeais, a derivative of the langue d'oil (Southern French) from vulgar latin. The accent mixed with odd middle age vocabulary makes my 'regional', yet French, language widely different than Parisian French.

For instance, despite speaking 'French', both my wife and my parents can't understand each other. Family reunions are awkward af.

Funny enough, I can understand the Quebecois (from Quebec, Canada) and Cajun (from Louisiana, US) as the Saintongeais influenced the Acadian and Cajun dialects, related to the New France in America.

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#11

DrBuller Wrote: Røversprog

Basically danish but every consonant gets a o and then the original consonant again.

Dog becomes Dodogog. Man becomes Momanon.

Pretty much nobody under the age of 90 knows it but I learned it purely because I was bored one night. Still requires that I speak it slowly else I mess up but still.
Rövarspråket! <3 Now that's a treasure trove of latent memories. My family used to have a cd with christmas carols in rövarspråk and it was the best dumbest thing. 

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#12

Ovid Wrote: The question, do you speak Magyar?
translates to: beszélsz magyarul?
pronounced (strictly by memory taught to me by one native)
bass I lick madge are you.
If you say it very slowly.
The second and third syllables of the first word modifies the root word first syllable which means 'speak'. Modified together, 'do speak.' More specifically, that second syllable activates the root from being passive.

Excuse me, I only see two syllables there.
Be-szelsz 

Re: Do you speak any "minor" language?

#14

Mad Wrote: By "minor" I mean "a language less than 50k people speak". Not "minor" as in "lesser", because English (being the unholy kleptomaniac bastard of three languages) is a horrible mess of a language and all other languages are comparatively better than it.

Don't get me started on how shitty base-ten mat is compared to base 12 or even base-2. The metric system is an abomination because it uses the wrong number base, not because the idea lacks merit.

Does orcish count?