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Most logical languages

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Mikael84
Bilingual Pentaglot
Groupie
Peru
Joined 3703 days ago

76 posts - 116 votes 
Speaks: French*, Finnish*, English, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Arabic (classical), German, Russian

 
 Message 81 of 143
11 October 2010 at 7:08pm | IP Logged 
Andrew C wrote:
Mikael84 wrote:
I don't understand those people who mention MSA/classical Arabic. It is certainly the least logical language I have studied. It seems everything is irregular, nouns, verbs, everything.

Just a few examples: plurals of nouns (although sometimes you can guess the plural it is better to learn them by heart), numbers (from 3 to 10 if the noun is masculine then the number is feminine and the noun is plural with indirect case, however after 10 it is singular with direct case, etc etc crazy stuff), feminine/masculine (if the subject is a plural of a thing then the verb is singular feminine.. why?!!, if the verb is placed before the subject and the subject is plural then the verb stays singular, etc etc), tons of irregular verbs outside of the 10 regular schemes (qala, da3aa, baqiya, etc).


Arabic may appear illogical at first, but the more you study it the more logical it becomes. I'm talking about the internal logic of the language, not its adhering to preconceived ideas of logic (for example saying that a plural should be formed by adding a simple suffix to the singular).

Yes, Arabic plurals are irregular, but when (as in Arabic) the plurals are ALL irregular and you just have to get used to learning them individually, that is actually a regularity.

The numbers are horribly complicated, but they are still regular, once you know the rules.

The verbs you mentioned are not irregular. There are logical rules governing the conjugation of all of them. There are no irregular verbs in Arabic, except for the middle vowel of form I verbs. But even in this latter case if you accept that this is something that always needs to be learned by heart, it becomes a regularity.


Concerning plurals in Arabic I wouldn't agree with you that they are all irregular, kind of like German there are certain identifiable schemes and once you have been learning the language for a certain time you can even guess them right a lot of the time, but there are many many exceptions to the "rules". I guess that's my own definition of illogical, seemingly arbitrary exceptions that don't have any functional use. On second thought I agree by the way that the verbs I mentioned are not irregular.
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crafedog
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4221 days ago

166 posts - 337 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Korean, Tok Pisin, French

 
 Message 82 of 143
21 October 2010 at 3:17am | IP Logged 
chucknorrisman wrote:
Korean is a quite logical language in my opinion, both in terms
of the grammar and the alphabet. But being a native speaker I am biased, so what say
you, learners of it?


I would agree that there are times when Korean can be very logical. It's normally very
simple to understand the most important parts of the sentence without knowing too much
of the language and the word order doesn't take too long (in simple levels).

The biggest problem though is how Korean can be too precise with it's
endings/circumstances. A simple example is the various uses of '!' (like 는데요, 군요, 거
든요 and one or two I might've forgotten). This crosses the line from logical to picky
and makes some parts of speaking Korean so precise that it's like a mental gymnastics
(but makes reading Korean much less ambiguous than reading English). Also the repeated
use of meanings but with different endings (I've seen so many endings for so, because)
for me harms the logic of the language because it's unnecessary.

Spanish can be very logical at times. English is sometimes very simple compared to some
languages (verb endings, no genders) but it's too inconsistent. Spanish is more
consistent than English but certainly not perfect (sometimes adjectives change and many
verbs are reflexive but some aren't).

It doesn't surprise me that people say Turkish is logical as it is technically a
constructed language (I don't know the extent of how much was constructed) and was
predominantly constructed by the ruler Ataturk less than a century ago hence the
logical nature of it.

Edited by crafedog on 21 October 2010 at 3:18am

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plaidchuck
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United States
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71 posts - 93 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 83 of 143
21 October 2010 at 4:53pm | IP Logged 
Seems to me at the end of the day what is "logical" all depends on your native language and culture. Now of course we could agree on concrete "operational definitions" on what is logical for a language and then systematticly analyze each one, but from a subjective viewpoint what is considered logical will depend largely on the person.

Of course there are common complaints about each language that most people share, such as spelling/pronunciation/pronouns in English. Personally what gives me the most problems with Spanish are the different past tenses and also the more fluid word order at times.

Edited by plaidchuck on 23 October 2010 at 2:58am

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Lucas
Pentaglot
Groupie
Switzerland
Joined 3570 days ago

85 posts - 130 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, German, Italian, Russian
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 84 of 143
21 October 2010 at 5:07pm | IP Logged 
We should ask an alien...we are all biased here!

PS: "Logicalness" is not only about morphology...did people claiming here that mandarin
is logical ever try to write and read that language?
:)
4 persons have voted this message useful



clumsy
Octoglot
Senior Member
Poland
lang-8.com/6715Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3581 days ago

1116 posts - 1367 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Mandarin, Italian, Vietnamese
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swedish
Studies: Danish, Dari, Kirundi

 
 Message 85 of 143
23 October 2010 at 3:53pm | IP Logged 
Korean alphabet is said to be the most logical one, but the Korean language... well it's certainly easy to learn, not many exceptions, but it has a lot of endings, which I find fascinating, but I would not call it logical.

however it seems there is such thing like different between if and only if (iff).

가면 숲을 마실거야

if will go then will drink alcoholic drink.

가야 술을 마실겨야.
only if go then will drink.

Korean grammar is really interesting, I am not sure i I used everything correctly here, but there are so many interesting grammatical points in Korean.
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John Smith
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 4445 days ago

396 posts - 542 votes 
Speaks: English*, Czech*, Spanish
Studies: German

 
 Message 86 of 143
23 October 2010 at 4:24pm | IP Logged 
Mikael84 wrote:
Andrew C wrote:
Mikael84 wrote:
I don't understand those people who mention MSA/classical Arabic. It is certainly the least logical language I have studied. It seems everything is irregular, nouns, verbs, everything.

Just a few examples: plurals of nouns (although sometimes you can guess the plural it is better to learn them by heart), numbers (from 3 to 10 if the noun is masculine then the number is feminine and the noun is plural with indirect case, however after 10 it is singular with direct case, etc etc crazy stuff), feminine/masculine (if the subject is a plural of a thing then the verb is singular feminine.. why?!!, if the verb is placed before the subject and the subject is plural then the verb stays singular, etc etc), tons of irregular verbs outside of the 10 regular schemes (qala, da3aa, baqiya, etc).


Arabic may appear illogical at first, but the more you study it the more logical it becomes. I'm talking about the internal logic of the language, not its adhering to preconceived ideas of logic (for example saying that a plural should be formed by adding a simple suffix to the singular).

Yes, Arabic plurals are irregular, but when (as in Arabic) the plurals are ALL irregular and you just have to get used to learning them individually, that is actually a regularity.

The numbers are horribly complicated, but they are still regular, once you know the rules.

The verbs you mentioned are not irregular. There are logical rules governing the conjugation of all of them. There are no irregular verbs in Arabic, except for the middle vowel of form I verbs. But even in this latter case if you accept that this is something that always needs to be learned by heart, it becomes a regularity.


Concerning plurals in Arabic I wouldn't agree with you that they are all irregular, kind of like German there are certain identifiable schemes and once you have been learning the language for a certain time you can even guess them right a lot of the time, but there are many many exceptions to the "rules". I guess that's my own definition of illogical, seemingly arbitrary exceptions that don't have any functional use. On second thought I agree by the way that the verbs I mentioned are not irregular.


You cannot guess them. The only reason you are right sometimes is due to the laws of chance.

If I flipped a coin and asked you to guess whether it had landed on heads or tails your answer would be right 50% (not sure what the exact odds are) of the time due to the laws of chance. NOT because you have worked out some scheme that allows you to correctly predict the outcome of a coin toss.

When you get a German plural right it's the same thing.

Even someone with no knowledge of German would be able to guess some correctly if you told him how to form plurals in German and then showed him some singular nouns.

Edited by John Smith on 23 October 2010 at 4:27pm

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GREGORG4000
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3926 days ago

307 posts - 479 votes 
Speaks: English*, Finnish
Studies: Japanese, Korean, Amharic, French

 
 Message 87 of 143
23 October 2010 at 4:44pm | IP Logged 
John Smith wrote:

You cannot guess them. The only reason you are right sometimes is due to the laws of chance.

Umm, that's called an educated guess. If you're familiar with the plurals of many German words, you can make guesses about the plurals of other words. I don't know what your definition of "guess" is, since this seems to be exactly what he's doing, and at no point he said "I am making extremely accurate guesses".
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chucknorrisman
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3851 days ago

321 posts - 435 votes 
Speaks: Korean*, English, Spanish
Studies: Russian, Mandarin, Lithuanian, French

 
 Message 88 of 143
24 October 2010 at 5:00am | IP Logged 
crafedog wrote:
chucknorrisman wrote:
Korean is a quite logical language in my opinion, both in terms
of the grammar and the alphabet. But being a native speaker I am biased, so what say
you, learners of it?


The biggest problem though is how Korean can be too precise with it's
endings/circumstances. A simple example is the various uses of '!' (like 는데요, 군요, 거
든요 and one or two I might've forgotten). This crosses the line from logical to picky
and makes some parts of speaking Korean so precise that it's like a mental gymnastics
(but makes reading Korean much less ambiguous than reading English). Also the repeated
use of meanings but with different endings (I've seen so many endings for so, because)
for me harms the logic of the language because it's unnecessary.


You are right - thanks for reminding me of those.

Just wondering, for people who know both Japanese and Korean, how does Japanese compare to Korean in that aspect?


1 person has voted this message useful



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