Re: wow that is really interesting. What other languages are interintelligible?
Sterzha, Spanish and Italian are not mutually intelligible. That's what I was trying to tell you. I've tried speaking Spanish with Italian immigrants before and they consider it to be a little too foreign. Ditto Romanian.
The fact is that 1500 years ago, Italian, Romanian and Spanish were the same language, so they have words in common.
As Jordi said, Portuguese understand Spanish better than Spanish understand Portuguese. This is logic because Spanish has kept very simple phonetics and has lost a lot of phonemes (due to Basque influence), while Portuguese has developed weird things (like nasal vowels) and kept some things Spanish doesn't have (like open and close vowels). French and Italian have also open and close vowels. So maybe Spanish is the easiest Romance Language to pronounce.
PS 1: En Miroku és un monjo que es dedica a viatjar i es caracteritza per la seva desmesurada apetència sexual, a més de ser un lladregot. Però tot té una explicació, en Miroku no és cap obsés sinó que sofreix una estranya maledicció. El monstre Naraku va maleir la seva família amb un forat al palmell de la mà, un forat que passa de pares a fills i ho succiona tot, amb el temps el forat creix fins que arriba a devorar el portador. L'única manera que s'acabi la maledicció és matant en Naraku, per aquesta raó, en Miroku té unes ganes enormes de tenir un fill que pugui matar el monstre si ell no ho aconsegueix. Per tant, més que apetència sexual hauríem de dir que en Miroku es mort de ganes de tenir descendència. A més, en Miroku viu una contrarellotge ja que només té un any per destruir el causant de la maledicció familiar, el temible Naraku. Ho aconseguirà? (Did you understand?)
PS 2: The 'l' in l'Hospitalet de Llobregat isn't uppercase!!! It should be!
PS 3: Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai. (Did you understand?)
I understood the gist of the Portuguese text (I have never learnt Portuguese in my life), as I can figure out, it is about somebody with an excessive sexual appetite who has apparently been cursed by a monster, which must be killed, and thus the curse can be removed. I understood the Romanian text fully, it is about a lover who would like to go with his beloved but she won't take him, so he has to be contented with the memory of her eyes, her face and her love.
By the way, I can understand a lot of Spanish and Italian via French, and it helps me in learning both. The tricky thing with Spanish and Italian is that they are somewhat similar grammatically, but quite different in terms of vocabulary, and even cognates derived from the same words have developed differently.
<<So maybe Spanish is the easiest Romance Language to pronounce.>>
I would add Italian as well. Romanian is a little more difficult because of two schwa-like vowels it has, and French and Potuguese seem to be the most difficult for most non-natives (I am not sure about the other Romance languages). I have never head real problems pronouncing French, except perhaps for the nasals, because Hungarian has similar sounds, but I guess this would be different for an English speaker, for example.
Sorry, that text is in my mother tongue: Catalan. It's about a monk (monjo) who's a thief (lladregot) and has a great sexual appetite. It's not his fault though, since he has been cursed (maledicció) by monster (monstre). Due to that curse his family has inherited a hole in his palms (forat al palmell de la mà) and the hole ends up devouring the one who carries it (portador). The curse will end if he kills if he kills Naraku. Miroku wants to have a son (vol tenir un fill) who will kill the monter if he can't do it. So more than "sexual appetite" he actually wants to have a heir (descendència). Furthermore he's fighting against the clock (contrarellotge) --meaning time-- since he only has a year (només té un any) to do that.
("any" is pronounced with a palatal "n" like French "gn" or Spanish "ñ" giving Occitan "nh" and Catalan "ny")
Xatufan, not only did I understand all that, that's exactly how I speak with my wife and children every day and with my friends around me.
For people who don't know Catalan it has a feel between French an Spanish. As I have said other times Catalan is closer to Occitan than any other language. Anyway, a more literary text would give many more differences since this must be about Japanese cartoons, which have been popular in Catalonia for quite a few years now.
Our Brazilian NH is nothing like Spanish Ñ, French/Italian GN and Continental Portuguese NH. When we pronounce NH the tongue does not touch the upper floor of the mouth (palatum mole). NH is, in our pronunciation, a nasal glide, that is, Y (as in English yes, York) pronounced nasally (=through your nose).
Only some old speakers use the palatalized (consonantal) pronunciation (like Spanish ñ)...Some speakers, in North of Brazil, use [n] + [y] combination (exactly like NI in ONION), but this is a regionalism...
So, to conclude: NH is a nasal glide, in Brazilian Portuguese. NENHUM (none) and NEM UM (not a) are pronounced the same way, just like SEM HORA (without time) and SENHORA (lady).
You can read more on NH pronunciation in books MODERN PORTUGUESE (by M. Perini; Yale University Press) and FONÉTICA E FONOLOGIA DE PORTUGUÊS (by Thaïs Cristófaro Silva).
PIRANHA is pronounced as if were spelled PIRÃIA...
Jordi: <<Sorry, that text is in my mother tongue: Catalan.>>
Jordi, thank you for correcting me. I should have seen that of course, because the text has no nasal vowel letters (I guess "maledicció" would be "maledicao" in Portuguese, of course with the "wave" accent to indicate nasality). What confused me is that Xatufan was speaking of Portuguese earlier, and I was inattentive enough to make a lapse of judgement.
By the way, I wanted to ask if Catalan also has the /zh/ sound (spelled as "j") that French, Portuguese, Romanian (and as I know, Occitan) all have. So do you pronounce your own name as /yordi/or /zhordi/?
In Catalonia and the Balearic Islands we pronounce "Jordi" as in Occitan and French /zh/, in the Valencian Country they pronounce Jordi as in English "John" /dzh/.
Thank you, Jordi. I feel it is a proof to my theory that if you know two Romance languages, you can understand the others fairly well (I mean passively, of course, not implying that you can actually speak them). Better still, I understand almost everything from the occasional posts in Occitan, through my knowledge of French and a limited knowledge of Spanish.
By the way, as I found it out, "maledicció" is "maldicao" in Portuguese.
Sorry, by the first "it" I meant my understanding of what the text in Catalan is about.
PS 1: Un cop era un vilatge isolat de la montanha. Aquel vilatge fagueron festa e organiseron una vesprada de musicas e danças sacradas shintoistas. Una joventa crana qu era pas de la terra s en venguet a la festa. Un paisan jove la trobet bela. Lo ser, escabada la festa, lo paisan jove seguiguet sos passes.
Demori aici tota sola, podetz lotjar aici e lo regalet.
-Vau far de crompas al borg. Voletz gardar l'ostal? Dins lo meu ostal, i'a 7 cambras. Las podetz agachar totas, fora la setena.
Mas lo temps passava. Dubriguet una aprep l autra las seis primieras cambras:
-Dins la primiera, veget un paisatge ont semavan de grans de ris dins una plantoliera.
-Dins la segonda, lauravan la riziera.
-Dins la tresena repicavan los plants de ris.
-Dins la quatrena, arrancavna las erbas marridas dins la risiera.
-Dins la cinquenan copavan lo ris.
-Dins la seisena, de sacasses de ris en palha eran empilats, eran pas que los paisatges de las cubridas dusca la recolta del ris.
...Fin finala, sa curiositat foguet mai forta e dubriguet la setena: aqui veget las brancas d'un prunier en flora e un rossinhol que sautava de branca en branca. Barret doçament la porta. La joventa tornet e li diguet: "avetz dubert la darriera cambra e,...Per plan dire, soi ieu lo rossinhol!".
Sus aquelas paraulas, se cambiet en rossinhol e s'envolet. Quand tornet a el, lo paisan joves assietet sus una soca d'arbre enrodada de bauca seca. Demoravan pas traça de l'ostal bel!
You put me too much homework but I'm sure you had a good time looking fot that nice Occitan text.
That last one must be Occitan, if I am not mistaken, but I don't know from which region.
Oh, Jordi has been quicker!
It's "lengadocian" (from Languedoc). The most important cities in this area would be Tolosa de Lengadoc (Toulouse) and Montpelhèr (Montpelier). In the city of Toulouse only 14% of the population speaks Occitan and 28% in the countryside. About half the population still understands Occitan perfectly in the region since the language was widely spoken until WWII. After WWI (1914-1918) most families began to speak French to their children since the French education system told them it was a "useless patois".
Lengadocian is the Occitan variety which has remained the closest to the Medieval language (Troubadours) and it is, therefore, closer to Catalan than other Occitan dialect. You can see the languages are close but different. I could have, of course, have forced a more medieval version and they would have become more similar.
Un cop era un vilatge isolat de la montanha. Aquel vilatge fagueron festa e organiseron una vesprada de musicas e danças sacradas shintoistas. Una joventa crana qu era pas de la terra s en venguet a la festa. Un paisan jove la trobet bela. Lo ser, escabada la festa, lo paisan jove seguiguet sos passes.
Hi havia una vegada un vilatge aïllat en la muntanya. En aquell vilatge feren festa i organitzaren una vesprada de músiques i danses sagrades xintoistes. Una jove (crana?) que no era de la terra se'n vingué a la festa. Un jove pagès la trobà bella. Al vespre, acabada la festa, el jove pagès seguí les seves passes.