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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Language identification
Author:   Mark Mandel
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Genetic Classification

Query:   An acquaintance of my daughter's writes:


Identify this language please?

''Idolem urodo iatu a wi rot
Ukufu kush onuoy nehawuoch
Etia di ukoik ura nakurah
Enadu yoimi nnesar urugem
Eteako ich atak
Ureatu tso oodah
Amia wibo koro yonneie''

I think I have a pretty good idea of what languages this is *not* (not
a Romance language, not Germanic, not Slavic, not Chinese, Japanese,
Vietnamese...). Also, if it translates to something really corny,
lemme know so I can stop embarrassing myself every time I sing it.


Please respond to me. I will forward replies to the inquirer and
summarize to the list. Thank you for any help.

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark@dragonsys.com
Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200
320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com/
Personal home page: http://world.std.com/~mam/
LL Issue: 8.797
Date posted: 29-May-1997


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