I'm from the USA (Whidbey Island and Woodinville, WA) and was born in 1992, my wife is Swedish. When I was 18 I moved to Reykjavík, Iceland, at age 20 I moved to Uppsala, Sweden and still live here now at age 24. Thanks to the unemployment situation here, me not being fluent in Swedish and not having a degree or driver's license, I've been unemployed for a reaaally long time. My wife's parents are abusive and we have no one to help us — my own family has essentially disowned me and we don't talk, but her entire family is completely messed up — so we're stuck like this for now and things aren't looking good. In the meantime I've been studying languages.
For fun, I teach people languages, write language lessons/textbooks and translate. I like manga/anime/videogames most so naturally I want to translate those most, but my Japanese only got good enough for me to even attempt that recently.
My favourite types of anime/manga is BL and psychological horror. For BL authors I really like Harada, Yoneda Kou and Asada Nemui — for other stuff I like Monster, Sanctuary, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Parasyte, Devilman.... For regular novels I like Osamu Dazai, Natsume Souseki and Vladimir Nabokov, but nowadays I mostly read nonfiction. I don't watch much TV but I like "Historieätarna" (comedy documentaries about what life and food was life in different time periods in Sweden) and "Halt and Catch Fire" (drama series set in the 80's about people buiding computers.) I also like "Due South" (stereotypical, and yes gay-seeming, Canadian mountie teams up with a stereotypical Chicago cop to fight crime in New York).
Contrary to popular belief I don't love all languages, but I do like how learning/translating a language is like figuring out a puzzle.
I have "aniridia", which means that my eyes don't adjust to light because the ring of colour in them is missing. Compared to a normal person, when I'm wearing glasses I have 40% vision in one eye and 5% in the other eye. Long story short, I see really badly and can't drive a car or work outside, which is half of why I can't find a job. Not even McDonald's wants to hire me!
English is my first language, I'm almost fluent in Esperanto (I'm at the "I could be, but I can't be bothered to learn vocabulary I don't personally use" stage). As for Faroese, Scandinavian, Esperanto:
I can read these extremely easily without any help (such as dictionaries), though I'm not fluent. I can't speak or write in Faroese or Icelandic. Watered-down Danish is easier for me to understand than spoken Faroese and heavy dialectal Swedish, but compared to those, it's easier for me to read Swedish if it's written as spoken compared to being written in standard Swedish spelling. I don't have any problem with most forms of spoken Swedish or Norwegian, Danish is just more difficult because I never listen to it.
I'm worse at it than the above, and definitely can't write or speak in it. I probably understand about as much spoken Icelandic as spoken Faroese, but I understand less written Icelandic than written Faroese.
I can get the gist of comics and videogames without help, but with a dictionary I can read novels (such as Natsume Souseki's Kokoro - I haven't tried many yet). I currently only know around 500 kanji. My listening skills are worse than my reading skills, speaking and writing is of course worse than both of those. As far as official University studies go, I've only studied for one semester. I'm aiming to get a Japanese degree and I want to live in Japan, but first I have to find work there!
I wish that the Nordic countries weren't so Americanized, or Europe-ized. I wish runes were still used instead of Latin/Roman letters and Swedes spelled things with kk, ks, æ instead of ck, x, ä. I'd like it if more traditions and unique stuff was around in general. I'm all for people borrowing from other cultures, but I don't want their own culture (and language) to be completely replaced by it as is what's happening now. At least keep the old stuff alive for tourism! Japan and China know how to do it!
I wish I could just turn on the tv and find Danish movies without subtitles, or where they would air Icelandic, Faroese, Greenlandic and Finnish programs with subtitles. We're in Europe, we're in the Nordics - so why is there more English, American, French and German and American stuff on TV than from our actual neighbor countries that we have actual ties to?
I wish all Scandinavians had to learn some Old Norse in school (Finns and Greenlanders would be excluded). Swedes would also learn some Finnish. I wish that Icelanders and Faroers had to learn Norwegian in school, not Danish.
I also think that in Esperanto, people should use as small a vocabulary as possible (fiction novels and so on being more of an exception, but even then). It's already difficult enough for ex. a Chinese person to learn, and people are only making it more difficult if they insist on using a bunch of loanwords like »mangao« (manga) instead of "Japanese picture-story", or "station" instead of "train-meet-place"...
In all languages, no matter how small your language is, if you feel that nothing interesting is in it then you need to make it yourself. Is there no text adventure or dating sim in Icelandic? Then make one! If you make one, or five, or ten, other people will definitely make some after you. It's just that no one ever wants to be the first to do something.
As for English, I don't get why everyone thinks that's "the" language of the internet - write your whole site in Dutch! Always blog in Russian and Finnish!! I only use English because it's my native language, but you other guys have no excuse. Translations to English are fine, but don't ignore your own language. You were raised speaking this language, it's a gift (it's an even bigger gift if it's a small language). Tons of people in the world speak my language, English. I can't ever do anything special or meaningful in it since everyone else is already doing the same thing.
I had no idea other countries even studied English until I was around 16 years old, and I thought that all languages were extremely different from each other (because I only ever really heard Cantonese and Japanese, and in the USA we only have to study a foreign language for two years in our last years of school). Imagine my shock when I found out that not only do a whole lot of people from other countries study English for years and years, but that their languages also borrow tons of words and phrases from English.
I think it's so weird how the whole world can just ignore big problems that people have actually found out the solutions for long ago. For example, this "world language" issue - obviously it would be easily and quickly solved by something like Esperanto. They could take Esperanto, improve it (so it's 100% regular, even easier, and has less sounds that should be pronounced) and then make everyone learn it. Everyone would learn it to fluency in 1-2 years (young kids might take 3 years), then bam, the whole world's communication problem would be solved.
This is instead of, say, 10+ years in school with English, Mandarin, French or whatever else. I mean, the end-result language would be so easy that it wouldn't matter if your teacher was horrible since you could learn it to fluency completely by yourself in the same amount of time if you wanted. But, no one really wants to speak the same language — it'd be troublesome if we all actually understood each other and saw each other as equals, eh? (from the point of view of various governments.)
But so much similar stuff is going on. There's problems with, say, bananas going extinct and pollution from food transportation or whatever? Well why am I able to buy 5 bunches of bananas everyday when I live in Sweden? Just make it so most imports come from the places that are actually close to us, and pollution will instantly go down. 100 years ago we couldn't buy fifty chocolate bars at the drop of a hat, so why can we now?
Schools are bad? Well how about we analyze how the best schools are teaching — Japanese kids aren't magically good at math, they're actually taught in a completely different way compared to American kids. We're in the 2010's, all this should be obvious, and yet!
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