At 7:54 pm +0000 10/6/99, Jim Henry wrote:
>On 10 Jun 99, at 7:01, Raymond A. Brown wrote:
>> Give me a natlang I've not met before & I'll spend hours & hours on it just
>> for the fun it.  If someone, e.g. gave me an Innuit grammar I'd devour
>> greedily.  I'd not care a damn whether I ever met an Innuit or found
>> anything to read - those would be bonuses.  I just love finding out about
>> and discovering languages for their own sake.
>That's more or less true of me as well - besides the small number
>of languages that I've put serious efford into learning (Classical
>Greek, French, Esperanto, German, Finnish)  with varying degrees
>of success, I've also spent a few hours apiece on Japanese,
>Russian, Serbo-Croat, Melayu, Euskera, Magyar, Lojban, Vorlin,
>and lots of other natlangs and conlangs for which I've happened to
>find materials available.

Certainly sounds like a kindred spirit  :)

>But there's a big difference IMO between
>spending a few hours or days reading a language's grammar, and
>persisting for months or years in attempting to really learn enough
>vocabulary, and get enough practice, to become fluent.  That's
>what I was referring to in my earlier post about my criteria for
>learning vs. just looking at languages.


I don't think we're really so different, except that your experience of
Esperanto & mine has been different.  That may be due to all sorts of other
factors.  But if you see as it a useful way of communicating with people
who'd not otherwise meet or communicate with and are neither pushing it as
*the* universal IAL nor flaming me because I'm not an Esperantist, then I
no problem with that at all.

At 3:00 am +0000 11/6/99, Herman Miller wrote:
>What's weirder is that I still collect Teach Yourself books and similar
>language texts even though I know I'll never have the time to learn all
>these languages. I must have nearly 40 languages by now, and I'm fluent in
>none of them!

That's not weird - that exactly what I do!!
But - darn it - a quick count along my shelves gives only 36 - must try to
reach 40   :)

>Even when I was trying to learn them, I rarely got past the
>seventh chapter in any of those books.

I tend to dip & browse and try to get the 'overall picture' and 'feel' of
the language and then to get grips with its more exotic features.  But I'm
rarely methodical.  Much depends also on how the book was written.

>I'm not familiar with any books on Inuit grammar, but if you want to see a
>sample of Inuktitut, go to and download the Nunacom

Thanks  :)