Post ZrTBvPxP8WX

Tamas Ferencz Mar 17, 2016 (17:12)

What a fantastic adventure it would be to start a similar experiment and teach Quenya in a nursery school. It would be exciting to see how the language evolves "in the hands" of the children, how they deal with missing vocabulary (would they start using loanwords? make up new words?) etc.

Any adventurous nursery schools out there? :)
Swedish nursery to teach rare Viking-era language - BBC News
Swedish nursery school will use the immersion method to teach children a rare Viking-era language.

Lúthien Merilin Mar 17, 2016 (17:44)

The Omentielva Nelya back in '09 in Whitehaven was visited by a schoolteacher (I think his name was Mick) and some of his pupils, though I don't think they had actually been trying to learn Sindarin or Quenya. Or maybe they were considering it? Some of the other participants might remember.

Incidentally, I think that the immersion method also works great for others. The problem is mostly practical, because everybody's life is too busy to have a serious stab at that. 

Rick Spell Mar 17, 2016 (19:01)

This is a great experiment. I have heard that if children learn a new language before the age of seven, they will speak it without an accent, so they would be "fluent" with the accent they were taught. Small children can easily learn more than one language. It would be very interesting to me to see how Quenya and Sindarin would evolve considering the children's native language. I bet they would fill in a lot of words for us.

Tamas Ferencz Mar 17, 2016 (20:17)

+Lúthien Merilin
I like the nursery school idea because children don't have bias. If, for instance, we folks from the community sequestered ourselves somewhere to do nothing but learn and talk Eldarin, we would constantly worry about things like attestation and consistency; but the children would simply use the language as they'd see fit.

Andre Polykanine Mar 17, 2016 (21:07)

+Tamas Ferencz Actually, we (my wife and I) tried to teach Quenya not in a nursery school, but in an online virtual school (mostly for the fantasy fans). There were many children in there — not too small children, though, but still. The interest to the language was really great. However, we have two stumbling blocks that prevent us from continuing: the "attested/unattested" (and, consequently, "correct/incorrect") thing you mentioned and... copyrights. For instance, I had asked about what is copyrighted and what is not because I don't want to be suited because of a Tengwar inscription or a Quenya word somewhere.

Tamas Ferencz Mar 18, 2016 (10:06)

+Andre Polykanine
well. I am not a lawyer - and this is no legal advice. My understanding (or maybe just my wishful thinking!) is that Tolkien's names, characters (and of course the text of his works beyond fair use) are copyrighted, but the languages (grammar, structure, vocab) themselves aren't. But I may be sorely mistaken in this, in which case someone please come and correct me - I would not want to perpetuate fallacies.

Hjalmar Holm Mar 18, 2016 (12:57)

There have been things like this in court in the US, and they stated that a text can be copyrighted, but not a language. It was about non-maories talking a maori language.

Hjalmar Holm Mar 18, 2016 (13:03)

Also, I have been in Älvdalen, the (rather small) area in Sweden where this "rare viking-era language" is now taught in nursurey school, and I want to point out that there are still native speakers, which makes it a whole lot easier to teach children... But still, it would be fun to teach kids, and I have considered it myself, since many of my friends have small children.

Tamas Ferencz Mar 18, 2016 (13:17)

+Hjalmar Holm
"non-maories talking a maori language"?? How on Arda does such a thing get into court?

Hjalmar Holm Mar 18, 2016 (13:25)

The maori (rather small) community in question thought that their language was special to them, and that neo-colonists just took their sacred words to use them just for fun. Cultural appropriation. I can understand their frustration, but it is still silly. 

Tamas Ferencz Mar 18, 2016 (13:30)

+Hjalmar Holm
I see. Well, one can argue that Tolkien's languages are entirely invented - but I hope even a court would not take such a strict stance.

Ицхак Пензев May 03, 2016 (17:55)

I tried to teach my daughter some Neo-Quenya a year ago (when she was 2 yo). I failed because of frustration, and gave up.

Lúthien Merilin May 04, 2016 (17:41)

Ицхак, may I ask how you tried to do that?
I would maybe simply try reading out texts and poems; the 'immersion' method, just to get used to the sound. That's how children always learn languages, though it would be hard to maintain the level of exposure that one would have with regular languages. I used to read Sindarin poems to a daughter of a friend at bedtime because she liked it (she was around 8 at the time) but I did not see her that often.

Ицхак Пензев May 04, 2016 (18:05)

+Lúthien Merilin no, I merely tried to talk to her in short phrases while walking in the street, or at the playgroud. Naming things and actions, permitting and forbidding this or that. I was frustrated because I often lacked vocabulary. Maybe I'll resume this experiment this summer when I have more time to examine available resources.