User talk:Gati123

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Labiodental /r/ in Received Pronunciation[edit]

Hello once again. I'm re-reading Wells's Accents of English 2, and this may be interesting for you: in section 4.1 (RP revisited), page 282, Wells writes "Yet another possibility for U-RP [Upper Crust RP - my note] /r/ is the labiodental approximant, [ʋ]. Although, this is often regarded as an upper-class affectation, I am not convinced that it is nowadays found more frequently among upper-class speakers than among those of other social classes. The same goes for the (extremely rare) use of [w] for /r/." So, apparently, 33 years ago [ʋ] was technically already a part of RP, though obviously it wasn't taught to foreign learners. — Peter238 (v̥ɪˑzɪʔ mɑˑɪ̯ tˢʰoˑk̚ pʰɛˑɪ̯d̥ʒ̊) 13:06, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Hello Peter, I noted this recently as well in some radio from the time. I also noted that when some people mock RP, they use a labiodental r. Do you know if it has become more common in recent years in RP as well? Thanks for making me remember! Gati123 (talk) 14:30, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Surely it has. The thing is that the boundary between RP and Estuary English is getting more and more blurred. The only things that clearly differentiate EE from RP are th-fronting and intervocallic /t/-glottaling. The rest I wouldn't be so sure about. — Peter238 (v̥ɪˑzɪʔ mɑˑɪ̯ tˢʰoˑk̚ pʰɛˑɪ̯d̥ʒ̊) 14:54, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the information! But asking yet another one: is it fully accepted in RP, is there any stigma connected to it?Gati123 (talk) 17:14, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
It's accepted by younger speakers (I'm not sure how many of them use it), but uncommon in older speakers. So the answer may be yes and no. It's not that they differ so much acoustically. I've always heard the labiodental /r/ (as used in England) as a simultaneous labiodento-postalveolar [ʋ͡ɹ̠], rather than the Dutch [ʋ], which, when used for English /r/, sounds like a speech defect. I'm 99% positive I can back that up by sources, but not off-hand. Oh, by the way, pre-lateral /t/-glottaling is non-RP as well. Extreme /eɪ, əʊ/-widening [æɪ, ɐʉ] are non-RP too, if used as main realizations. — Peter238 (v̥ɪˑzɪʔ mɑˑɪ̯ tˢʰoˑk̚ pʰɛˑɪ̯d̥ʒ̊) 17:47, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

English in Amsterdam[edit]

Hi Gati, I noticed your addition on Languages of the Netherlands about basic communication with the municipality of Amsterdam, and I was wondering if it was actually true. By my experience, you can communicate whatever you like in English with the municipality just fine, be it basic or not. I always thought the lower status meant merely that Dutch is used as governing language (i.e. Dutch is spoken during council meetings, although it's known that they sometimes switch to English if the topic of the meeting involves largely English-speaking citizens). As I'm not a municipality official, I'll leave it there of course, but if you could provide me with some clarification, I would be very greatful! :) PPP (talk) 11:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, it's complicated but i'll give it a go. As an Amsterdam-native I hope I can explain it. With basic communication I mean as in: you can report a crime in English, there are English-language forms at municipality desks, you can speak to government officials in English at desks, those kinds of things. But it is on a lower status than Dutch i.e not everything is translated (i.e reports, guides etc.) as opposed to real bilingual cities like Brussels where street signs and advertising has to be done in both languages. I clarified it to reduce confusion for some one reading the article into thinking Amsterdam is a fully bilingual city. It isn't In Amsterdam official (government) signs are first and foremost Dutch but there are some in English as well. As for governing language I think it's quite usual in the Netherlands to switch to English when someone doesn't speak Dutch (i.e. if there's a council meeting with a lot of monolingual English-speaking persons in for example The Hague city council, they don't keep going on Dutch but will likely switch to English) I'm not a governing official but speaking from experience. Hopes this clarifies and I'm always open for a discussion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gati123 (talkcontribs) 12:54, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
From how I take it, your experience is the same as mine. We just have a different definition of "basic", I think. ;) Having lived in Amsterdam, but originating and now living elsewhere in the Netherlands, I can tell there is a lot more in English in Amsterdam than anywhere else in the country (except probably Statia and Saba). English is on a lower status than Dutch, but so is Frisian in Fryslân and Papiamento in Bonaire. Amsterdam, as any other place in the Netherlands, is not really comparable with Brussels or other Belgian cities. Whereas Belgium doesn't have a national language (Dutch is only official in Flandern, French only in Wallonia, German only in the east-kantons, with Brussels als bilingual region), the Netherlands actually does (Dutch is the official national language and there is no place in the Netherlands where Dutch is not official, even in areas where Dutch is hardly spoken). The law clearly places the national language Dutch above the regional languages Frisian, Papiamento and English. Hence, traffic signs, if not using symbols, are always in Dutch (as set in traffic laws), even on Statia and Saba or in the Frisian countryside. And hence, also in De Pijp or the Bijlmer. However, reporting a crime in English is, for what I know, only possible on Statia and Saba and in Amsterdam and Schiphol. This indicates a clear difference. PPP (talk) 15:12, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Haven't heard from you anymore... I've changed the text into "... meaning that communication with the municipality can be done in English, but publications of the municipality are primarily in Dutch." Is that a good way of describing the Amsterdam situation? PPP (talk) 08:50, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Hi PPP, there is a problem in this formulation, because not all communication with the municipality can be done in English it is kind of problematic as like I have experienced things like birth certificates can only be done in Dutch[1], you don't have to speak English to work at the municipality. I have also found this source which is a little contradictory with the information. The website of the municipality is only in Dutch while the English version is the IAmsterdam website and on that website I cannot find any information other stating English is an official language in Amsterdam. However I have found this but this also states some documents can be sent in German and French too, Can you explain this: Gati123 (talk) 15:25, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
I do think the is to be seen as the municipal website of Amsterdam for English speakers, at least it is listed as such on and on Google. For the matter of birth certificates: aren't those officially actually documents issued by the national government? I think it's the same story as with traffic signs: they're always in Dutch, also when issued on the BES-islands or in Fryslân; this is hence the same in Amsterdam.
I actually doubt one will be hired as clerk, often in contact with the public, when one doesn't speak both Dutch and English, but I suppose as a janitor one doesn't need to be bilingual indeed. It depends on the job one fulfils. Language laws are not strict in the Netherlands. One could even call them not strict enough. Take for example the Gwendoline Van Putten School on St. Eustatius, an island where far over 90% of the population speaks English as mother tongue, but where this secondary school used strictly only Dutch as instruction language.[2] As Dutch is an official language nationwide, they fully complied with the law, even though many scholars kept on failing their exams because they didn't understand the curricula. It is only since this academic year that the school started using English as instruction language at some departements.[3] Most unlike schools on Saba, which all use English as instruction language, and a handful of schools in Amsterdam teaching bilingual Dutch-English. But altogether, we just have incomplete language laws. On the other hand, if you look for example at Belgium, we might be glad that our laws aren't that strict. Our southern neighbours must always give information in (all) the language(s) of the area the publication was made in, even if one knows that the information in one (other) language would be sufficient. I personally don't mind that my birth certificate is in Dutch only, I know what my last name and my date of birth is, I don't need a translation for that. I think many Frisians or Bonarians think the same.
If one moves to Amsterdam from abroad, certain documents need to be handed in, in either English, German or French. This is however the same throughout the European Union, I have experienced the same in other countries, not only in cities but also on the Belgian countryside. PPP (talk) 21:22, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Hoi(je bent Nederlands dus ik neem aan dat we ook in het Nederlands kunnen antwoorden, als anderen het willen lezen kan ik makkelijk vertalen) Excuses voor dat ik laat antwoord, ik heb het druk. Het Belgische platteland betreffende, omdat zowel het Frans als het Duits officiële talen van België zijn. Voor de rest (EU) kan ik niet antwoorden. Ik denk dat de tekst nu goed is, maar omdat ik nergens op de site van de gemeente iets over de officiële rol van het Engels kan vinden, is het toch vreemd. Ik zeg wel als ik iets gevonden heb. Over de ambtenaren, omdat de meeste Amsterdammers we in meer of mindere mate een basiskennis Engels hebben levert tweetaligheid geen problemen op maar ik denk niet dat het een vereiste is, ik zal wel naar sollicitatiebrieven van de gemeente zoeken voor bevestiging. Mijn bewerkingen gingen er meer over om het duidelijk te maken dat Engels niet de volwaardige tweede taal is; Amsterdam kan niet vergeleken worden met volwaardig tweetalige steden. De rol van het Engels is een ingewikkelde zaak, de motie in de gemeenteraad was meer een symbolische dan een wetgevende, volgens mij. Volgens mij kan je als gemeente niet zelf volwaardig beslissen wat je officiële talen zijn maar gaat het Rijk daarover, men kan wel documenten in een andere taal laten vertalen maar dat is toch niet gebonden bij wet, iedere gemeten kan dat laten doen. Ook zijn meertalige er dingen in andere (officieel) niet meertalige steden zoals New York waar er dingen als stembiljetten in andere talen (Spaans, Russisch etc.) die wij als 'tweetalige' stad niet hebben. Looking forward to hearing from you. Gati123 (talk) 20:27, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
To prevent having the same conflict I already had some ten years ago about suddenly switching to another language on, I'll reply in English. My experience of having the need to have documents translated to either English, French or German wasn't on the Belgian countryside only, but also in Luxembourg and Germany and a friend of mine had the same experience in the UK. I can't find any official clarification as to whether or not this is indeed EU-wide, but my assumption is that it is.
In the Netherlands, a municipality can decide whatever it wants to decide, as long as it doesn't go against national law. The national law recognises English as a regional language (for St. Eustatius and Saba). A municipality can therefore decide to become bilingual Dutch-English if they want to. The national government however, doesn't need to comply with this. Hence, at the Stopera, one can expect that public workers can speak English to you, but the tax administration for example, will still only speak Dutch (although the tax administration might be a bad example, as they can always, everywhere, only be addressed in Dutch. also in Fryslân and the BES-islands) and unlike council members of St. Eustatius and Saba, those of Amsterdam will have to communicate with the national government in Dutch (art. 2.6 Gen. Governing Law). In addition, Amsterdam can decide to become bilingual Dutch-English, but not to become English-only, as that would go against national law (Dutch as national language).
The role of not only English, but also that of Frisian and Papiamento is a complicated matter. As mentioned earlier, a school (of all institutions!) who teaches in Dutch in an area where Dutch is hardly spoken, is not operating against the law. Train tickets cannot be obtained in Frisian; the NS ticket machines only 'speak' Dutch and English. Dutch public access television is only required to make programmes in Dutch and Frisian, ThreeNL is not an NPO activity required by the media law (if it is actually NPO at all) and Nos TV Bonaire has actually nothing to do with the NOS at all. Our country is not very consistent when it comes to (official) languages. It is no wonder that people from outside the Netherlands don't know we're a multilingual country at all. However, it does go both ways: Amsterdam recently published new leaflets warning tourists for white heroine. Would our legal language system be the same as in Belgium, these leaflets would have to be printed in both Dutch and English. However, these leaflets are clearly aimed at tourists, and despite the fact that some of these tourists may originate from the Netherlands or Flandern, the municipality chose to print these leaflets in English only, and billboards with texts somewhat similar to this also display them in English only. And there's no law that forbids them to do so. It wouldn't even be if Amsterdam was a strictly Dutch-speaking municipality, or even if the messages were in Chinese only. We don't have those strict language laws. PPP (talk) 23:21, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Speakers distribution table[edit]

I have two questions about your additions to the speakers distribution table at Dutch language#Geographic distribution.

In the referenced source, I can't find whether the number for the Netherlands is for native speakers only. But if you are correct, wouldn't all numbers in the table be native speakers?

Only the data for the Netherlands and Belgium is of 2012, the data for Curaçao, Suriname, and Sint Maarten is of 2010, and the data for Aruba and the Caribbean Netherlands is undated in the source. Do you think we shouldn't add any years? I wasn't sure; there is a slightly different table at German language#Geographic distribution, also without dates. – Editør (talk) 17:57, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi Editør, because at the Ethnologue page the only figures that are sourced are this of the Netherlands from 2012 so I thought these figures were also for the other languages. A date is not really necessary, but t can be quite useful when the speakers are either growing very fast or the number of speaker is quickly decreasing. I don't think both categories apply for Dutch. I added native speakers because there's no way 1m inhabitants of the Netherlands are not able to speak Dutch, but if some immigrants, Frisian- and dialect speakers are omitted it does seem about right. Gati123 (talk) 20:47, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah thanks. So I'll remove the year. I will try to find the EU source that Ethnologue is referring to, maybe it states which speakers the 15.4 million represents exactly and whether it is the same for Belgium. – Editør (talk) 08:49, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Hello again, so I found this EU survey but I don't think it is the one Ethnologue is referring to, but I do think it is useful. This study cites the number of native speakers of Dutch at 96% which imho seems more correct. But judge for yourself: Gati123 (talk) 12:51, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Diagram on English language article page[edit]

Hi, Gati123,

You raise some good points about the diagram of relationships among Germanic languages on the English language article. Let's discuss those on the article talk page. If someone is able to revise the diagram (I didn't produce it), it would be a good feature to include in the article. See you on the article talk page. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 19:22, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Economy of the United Kingdom[edit]

Hi. Just to let you know that I've requested page protection for Economy of the United Kingdom, to stop the IP editing of the GDP rank. Cordless Larry (talk) 09:37, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Also, I've just noticed that at List of countries by GDP (PPP), the UK is fourth in Europe, not third. Is this just because the rank refers to a different year? Either way, it could perhaps be clearer in the article. Cordless Larry (talk) 09:43, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
@Cordless Larry Thank you! They seem to be fixated that the UK is the second largest in Europe and 8th in the world which it both isn't. Though the UK has overtaken France, Russia's economy is larger in PPP.[4]. The IP address that has harassed me, seems quite biased, (s)he sees every article/source that describes the UK as not being the second largest economy anti-UK and even accused me of being biased and adding 'Anti-UK' propaganda. (S)he has also added unsourced political claims etc. When asking him/her for sources (s)he completely ignores and says (s)he heard it and therefore (s)he deletes everything that doesn't seem to have her opinion. I didn't open a talk page because I thought it could only be used with auto confirmed users. Gati123 (talk) 15:08, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't see why an IP shouldn't be able to post on the talk page, and have suggested that they do so. Cordless Larry (talk) 16:07, 18 April 2015 (UTC)