Why does the Turkish people think about unfair artificial boundaries been created between Greece and modern Republic of Turkey?

Not my business to answer for Turks, but

  1. that map is wrong: Imbros/Gökçeada on the top right is Turkish.
  2. The South China Sea islands are uninhabited; the Greek islands are full of ethnic Greeks. Just as with the Falklands, who lives there is slightly more important than geographical location.
  3. We had a war, a mass population exchange, and a couple of treaties to deal with this. (And I get the impression that most of the ethnic Greek population of Imbros, who were meant to remain in place, have ended up in Australia.)

What are some songs whose lyrics can be sung to the tune of another song?

Anything in Common metre can be sung to anything else in Common metre. A favourite party trick in Australia, given that our national anthem is in Common metre. And so is the theme song of Gilligan’s Island.

See also Songs that scan to other songs, for more such examples.

There are similarities in different words in languages. But the word for “2” is very similar in most of languages. Why this number is so special?

To build on Matthew McVeagh’s answer and comment:

Go to the renowned Zompist Numbers List.

Two and Three, *duwō and *treyes, are reasonably similar across Indo-European.

One gets conflated with Single/Same, *oynos / *sem, and ends up looking different.

Four and Five have a *kw, which went different ways in different languages, and get affected by analogy: *kwetwores *penkwe

More analogy kicks in with higher numbers, and they are less frequent to begin with as Matthew pointed out. (We have a long-standing suspicion that 7 is a loan from Akkadian, and 10 is somehow related to the word for fingers.) (EDIT: “two hands”.) But they’re still surprisingly consistent.

Latin: if there is no slang terminology utilized in it, how boring a language is Latin?

Quite apart from the sexual vocabulary noted by other respondents, Vulgar Latin, as we can reconstruct it from the Romance languages, had words we can only classify as slang.

Such as testa “head”, which originally meant “pot”. Or caballus “nag” instead of equus “horse”. Or using manducare “to chew” instead of edere for “to eat”. Or, instead of loqui “to speak”, using fabulare “to tell stories” or parabolare “to tell parables”.

For a lot more instances of reconstructed Vulgar Latin words, see Vulgar Latin vocabulary.

Is Mahler’s music hard to get into?

Mahler is not Schoenberg, and Mahler is not Webern, and Mahler is not Pierre fricking Boulez. He’s still solidly in the Common practice period, and his music is full of “vernacular music” catches, which make his music quite approachable. The marches, the dirges, the ländler, the lieder.

But Mahler isn’t Johann Strauss either (despite his half-hearted attempt in the Seventh). Mahler architects some pretty massive forms in his symphonies—far more ambitious than anything in the Classical period. Particularly after the first four symphonies, he puts on some heavy polyphony. And he goes through some prodigious emotional journeys. Not to mention that sometimes, he’s doing irony, and not singing to you what he means. (The finale of the 5th is a clear instance—a deliberate study in anticlimax; the finale of the 7th less so.)

I got into Mahler in my teens. I remember that the first time I heard a new symphony of Mahler’s, it would be a jumble of tunes. I needed to listen all the way through, several times, before the overall structure could coalesce in my head.

It’s superficially easy to get into; but to get it, I think, including getting the structures, needs several attentive listens.

If having 2 words for same thing seems logical, then why have 2 meanings out of 1 word? That’s also logical, and why would this happened in a rich language like Arabic?

As Mohamed Essam has commented, linguists are reluctant to accept that there are ever absolute synonyms, precisely because that kind of redundancy isn’t really logical. Usually, there will be some slight nuance of difference between them; if not in their etymology, then in their social register, or their connotations, or even just their sounds.

As to why one word might develop two meanings: meaning itself is not a static thing, and words can be reinterpreted to have simultaneous ambiguous meanings, which can in time diverge. This could be because of the pursuit of vivid language, as in metaphor, or it could be a “metonymic” change, relying on the ambiguous possible interpretations of a word in a given context. Language hearers construct the meaning of words from their context, and that construction is not logical induction or deduction: it is abduction, reconstructing a theory (the meaning) based on observations.

And abductive reasoning is logically fallible. If it were not, word meanings would never change.

How many Greek dialects are there in the Balkans?

A2Q (as opposed to A2A) by Peter J. Wright.

Are we including Greece in the Balkans for the purposes of this question? If so, the breakdown of dialects is pretty arbitrary, but the dialect groupings from Newton, which I accept, are:

  • Peloponnesian–Ionian
  • Northern
  • Old Athenian (including Maniot and Kymiot)
  • Cretan (including Cycladean)
  • South-Eastern (including Cypriot)
  • Tsakonian

If we’re excluding Greece, we’re asking where Greek was traditionally, natively spoken in the home of people, north of Greece.

I’m making that distinction, because of the recurring claims of the Lost Greeks of Monastir and further north in FYRO Macedonia. As far as I can tell, those “Lost Greeks” were ethnic Aromanians, who identified themselves as Greek at one stage, and who changed identification later. They did in fact speak Greek, but as far as I know, they spoke it as a second language.

I’m happy to be contradicted, but I’d like a dialect sample that looks recognisably northern.

Other than that:

  • Northern Epirus/Southern Albania: a not-quite northern dialect, but it has been situated in the area around Sarandë, Himarë and Gjirokastër (Agii Saranda, Himara, Argyrokastro) for a very long time. Still in situ.
  • Eastern Rumelia/Southern Bulgaria, as a minority, including the towns of Plovdiv, Melnik, and Burgaz (Phillipoupolis, Meleniko, Pyrgos). Mostly relocated to Greece, but some Greek-speakers have remained in place. Northern dialect.
  • East Thrace/European Turkey, as a minority, including the towns of Edirne, Tekirdağ, Kırklareli, and Istanbul (Adrianople, Rhaedestus, Saranda Ekklisies, Constantinople). Relocated to Greece, apart from a small remaining population in Istanbul. Northern dialect, apart from Constantinople, which spoke a Northern dialect but without Northern vocalism.
  • The Sarakatsani, a traditionally nomadic transhumant population, moving through FYRO Macedonia, Southern Albania, Bulgaria, and Greece. Northern dialect. Still in situ.

How does Azerbaijani sound for non-Azerbaijani speakers?

OP, canım (and let me know if I’m using canım inappropriately, because τζάνουμ in Greek is merely antiquated and cute),

I have a tin ear, as I keep protesting to people, and I am easily misled.

But to my untutored ears, and even though I think the vid I attached is from Azerbaijan and not Iran, Azeri sounds like Turkish, but far more clearly enunciated and less mumbly, and with vowels that oddly sound like Persian’s /æ/ and /ɑ/, rather than the Turkish /a/…

… *looks up Azerbaijani language*…

… holy shit, I’m right! I had no idea you guys’ adorable <ə> ~ <a> contrast was actually /æ/ ~ /ɑ/, precisely like in Persian.

I can’t hear the /x/ clearly, but I’m sure it’s there. Which makes Azeri sound even more like Persian.

I’m not used to hearing things correctly. Yay me.

Does one accentuate French capital letters?

From this forum: France Forum

  • Canadian French routinely accents capital letters, and Microsoft Word obliges them.
  • The Academie Française says you should accent capital letters.
  • France French usually nowadays don’t accent capital letters.

Which means the Quebecois, once again, are being more royalist than the king…

Do the isolated pockets of Greeks in Russia have a dialect very different from Standard Greek?

A2Q (as opposed to A2A) by Peter J. Wright.

There are two Greek dialects spoken in the former Soviet Union.

The larger population speaks Pontic Greek, spoken in southern Russia, southern Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. The population is descended from Pontic Greek speakers from their original homeland, on the southern shore of the Black Sea, who moved to Christian Russia from the Ottoman Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite what the linked Wikipedia article hints at, I don’t know of any linguist that speaks of their dialect as anything but Pontic. Those in Tsalka are Turkophone.

Pontic Greek is not really mutually intelligible with Standard Modern Greek, although you can pick it up as a Standard Greek speaker relatively easily.

The smaller population speaks Mariupol Greek, in the villages around Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine. The population originally lived in the southern Crimea, and moved to Mariupol in 1778—again, moving from a Muslim realm to Christian Russia. A substantial number of Christians, who moved to Mariupol itself, spoke a variant of Crimean Tatar known as Urum, and the Greek dialect is substantially influenced by Tatar. The dialect itself is distinct from Pontic (although some of the villages surrounding Mariupol, like Makedonovka and Anadol’, are in fact Pontic-speaking); it is somewhat less divergent from Standard Greek, but if it’s mutually intelligible with Standard Greek, it’s only barely.