Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

I can read (and write) Romansh!

This morning I was giggling like a little schoolboy.

Why? I had asked a question in the Romansh Wikipedia (six [short] paragraphs!) yesterday and felt that I had managed to produce something that was, if not idiomatic, at least comprehensible. I felt totally proud of myself for achieving that much after only having had contact with the language for—what, two weeks or so?

What definitely helped, of course, was the availability of an online German–Romansh dictionary, which even provides conjugation tables for each verb lemma—faster than looking up in a paper dictionary.

Then this morning, I found that I had received an answer. Yay! I had been understood!

And what's more, I understood the response! And I only had to look up a handful of words.

Here it really helps that Romansh is a Romance language, so you (well, I) can understand quite a bit just from the cognates with languages I already know, such as French and English. For example, "consequenza" or "differents" I don't have to look up, and I doubt most readers of this entry would, either.

I think this ease of recognition gives Romansh a pretty low barrier to entry for me compared to many other languages: if you can more easily read texts in it, you feel more accomplished than if at first you can only read "See Spot run" because of the gigantic vocabulary barrier.

Anyway, the whole thing left me all giggly and happy and accomplished, and feeling all clever.

Tags: romansh
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