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Most logical languages

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PaulLambeth
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3776 days ago

244 posts - 315 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Icelandic, Hindi, Irish

 
 Message 97 of 143
28 October 2011 at 1:47pm | IP Logged 
Марк wrote:
Remster wrote:
I think languages that rely on case systems are more logical.
That doesn't mean they're easier, but they have less exceptions and are more bound
by the roles of their respective cases.

Really???


Haha, yes Mark, even Russian, I imagine, if you study it as a second language (although I've never looked at Russian). My Hungarian friend was confused when I told him that Hungarian is logical; it's a little overblown case-wise but it makes sense if you build up the rules.

German would be perfect for me if a few things happened:
- a division between nominative and accusative for feminine and neuter singular (and the plural)
- if sich were accusative and SIR were dative, instead of sich (like, mich/mir, dich/dir)
- if the adjective declensions neatened up a little like the definitive articles
- if Herr were Herr in accusative and dative too

And if not for numerous exceptions, and the abundance of genetive prepositions, Icelandic'd be up there for logic too.
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strikingstar
Bilingual Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3576 days ago

292 posts - 444 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin*, Cantonese, Swahili
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 98 of 143
28 October 2011 at 3:25pm | IP Logged 
Préposition wrote:
I reckon Arabic is only logical because they turn all their
exceptions into rules. It's definitely not more logical than many other languages.


I think this is because the rules seem largely arbitrary. As in they seem to exist in a
vacuum. (This is just my opinion from studying Arabic.)

In a language like Swahili for example, you can usually count on one plus one being
equal to two. Period.

In Arabic. One plus one equals two. Unless it's in the afternoon. Then it's equal to
1.95. If it's in the evening it's 2.05. And then if it's a Sunday, it's equal to 1.99.
However, if the Sunday also happens to be Eid Al-Fitr, then it's probably equal to
2.075. That's when you fling your textbook against the wall and start screaming like a
maniac.


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zerothinking
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 4775 days ago

528 posts - 772 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 99 of 143
31 October 2011 at 9:34pm | IP Logged 
I don't think any language can be considered logical but consistent. It is no more
logical for a language to have consistent rules with few exceptions than not to have
consistent rules. When a language is consistent you can deduce things about the language
leading to the idea that it is logical. In terms of the structure, logical doesn't apply.

Edited by zerothinking on 31 October 2011 at 9:38pm

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Xerxes
Quadrilingual Octoglot
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NetherlandsRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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10 posts - 12 votes
Speaks: Dutch*, Danish*, SpanishC2*
Studies: Biblical Hebrew*, French, English, German, Italian, Latin
Studies: Ancient Greek, Turkish

 
 Message 100 of 143
04 November 2011 at 5:16pm | IP Logged 
Every language has its own logic (sorry). The Basques I know tend to find their
language extremely logic and easy and so on (it's impossible). The same thing for a
couple of 'magyarok' and I guess this rule can be applied to the vast majority of
people who speak but one language.

As for my opinion:
Turkish is an extremely ''logical'' language once you get the hang of it (the
vocalharmony) and is not entirely useless, having almost the same amount of speakers as
German.
Other than that, Spanish is hands down the easiest, most widely spoken and most logical
(if so to speak) language you'll ever find, regulated by an excellent institution,
ensuring this reputation throughout the future.
If you want specific opinions please make a poll or something ;).


Xerxes
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koba
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AustriaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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118 posts - 201 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, French

 
 Message 101 of 143
04 November 2011 at 5:46pm | IP Logged 
@Xerxes: Can you please explain to me why Spanish is so logical? I agree that it's fairly easy, but I don't really see an obvious and distinct logic to it, perhaps it's just simple? I think there are other more logical languages (e.g.: Hungarian) and I say that because the language makes total sense after mastering the vowel harmony, that's like the key to understand all the cases and understand the vocabulary.

For example, if a word starts with a back vowel harmony it's very likely that all the other syllables are going to have a back vowel harmony, thus the vocabulary becomes very predictable and easy to memorise, it's something we can do instinctively. Also, the endings are very clear and distinctive, one can easily notice if a word is an adjective, adverb, verb, noun, by looking at it.

hang (sound/voice); hangzik (to sound); hangos (loud); hangosan (loudly); hangerõ ("voice-power", that is, volume), hangfal ("sound-wall" = speaker)




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Xerxes
Quadrilingual Octoglot
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Speaks: Dutch*, Danish*, SpanishC2*
Studies: Biblical Hebrew*, French, English, German, Italian, Latin
Studies: Ancient Greek, Turkish

 
 Message 102 of 143
04 November 2011 at 8:25pm | IP Logged 
@Koba
I am sorry to tell you that I am not very familiar with Magyar =/; I could really not
give you any clear arguments as for why Spanish is more 'logical' than Hungarian
and it sounds like you are completely right when you state that Hungarian is in a way
more logical than Spanish (once you have mastered the vowel harmony just like in
Turkish) as for the predictability of words e.g. Now, of course, I could start bragging
on about etymology, the fact that Spanish shares a huge amount of words with other
languages, has a clear mother tongue, etc. etc. Trying to justify the logical aspects
within Spanish vocabulary, but I really do not see the point of such a debate.

I think the main issue here is the word 'logical'. It is easy to get trapped in endless
discussions nobody really cares about since it at the end really is and will be a
subjective topic.
The main problem I have with the word is that I do simply not know its exact meaning.
It is not explained at all in the first post, so let's just assume we are looking for
the following: 'the most self-evident language'. To me, stating that something is self-
evident, is the same thing as saying that it is natural; easily comprehended; easy (for
a foreigner). I think you already know where I am going ;)...
Now, I think you can explain yourself even better than me why Spanish is easy,
its main assets being that is it written as it is pronounced (this is huge), its vast
vocabulary, making it possible to decir mucho con poco and of course the
tremendous amount of speakers.
Now I do not think these three points are the main strengths of Hungarian in any way,
as I even recall an Hungarian violinist and friend of mine telling jokes in front of
the orchestra about difficulties foreigners encountered as for the pronunciation of
Hungarian. We were playing Bartóks Két Kép (not that this is useful, provable
information to you in any way... :P).
Now I am going to use his arguments, hopefully you recognize them. What he told about
Hungarian pretty much came down on the fact that it is not an easy language for
foreigners to master. He did actually mention that the vocabulary is easy and
predictable... Once you have fought your way up to creating a base vocabulary,
memorizing all the new Uralic words by heart. Other than that the word order should be
completely different for foreigners and the same goes for the verbs. Now, I am sure it
is all very 'logical', now that you have mastered the language up to a certain point,
but please bear in mind how the average (bilingual) person, just having married an
Hungarian man/woman would experience these same 'logical' points.

And (sigh) here we have the subjectiveness coming back again, since everything depends
on the individual. Although I do think that the majority of persons would state that
Hungarian can't touch Spanish, simply because Hungarian is generally spoken of as a
harder language to learn. This does however not mean that there are people who'd state
the opposite ;)... God, why did I even write all this :D.
Bottom line:
I depends on the definition of 'logical' and of course on the individual in question.

Again, I do really not like these sort of discussions and have difficulties with seeing
the point of it ;). If you'd tell me Hungarian is more 'logical' than Spanish, I'd
happily believe you, but this does in no way affect my viewpoint since I have simply
only heard other people talking about Hungarian. I have never actually jumped in by
myself.
Hope I answered your question in a way x)

Have a nice day!


Xerxes


P.S. You don't happen to know a method for Spanish speakers to learn Portuguese (apart
from reading a lot)? It would make me very happy!!

Edited by Xerxes on 04 November 2011 at 8:27pm

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koba
Heptaglot
Senior Member
AustriaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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118 posts - 201 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, French

 
 Message 103 of 143
05 November 2011 at 2:34am | IP Logged 
@Xerxes: Spanish is definitely much easier and simpler, and I'm not trying to say that one can master Hungarian easier because it's more logical. Hungarian is still a very complex language besides all and definitely strange for Indo-European language speakers. My point is simply to discuss the logicalness of individual languages, that is, what we can deduce from obviousness and logicality and at this point I don't really see how a language like Spanish is more logical.

It might share Indo-European characteristics and other similarities in the structure that help other Indo-European language speakers to learn it with less effort, but if you see it from that point of view you're not really analysing the logic of the language itself, but rather how the logic of the language is similar to the one in your native language or in other languages that you have already mastered.

About a Spanish > Portuguese course, well, I'm not really aware of any good courses. There's one course published by Assimil though, I can't really assess the quality of this one since I haven't leafed it through, but Assimil is generally very good, specially for similar languages since it's bilingual, one can notice at once the divergences.
(Mind that this is Portuguese from Portugal, if you want Brazilian Portuguese there's a French course produced by the same company, just look for it on the website)
http://www.assimil.com/descriptionProduitDetail.do?paramIdPr oduit=1970¶mIdMethode=1970

Edited by koba on 05 November 2011 at 2:35am

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Xerxes
Quadrilingual Octoglot
Newbie
NetherlandsRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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10 posts - 12 votes
Speaks: Dutch*, Danish*, SpanishC2*
Studies: Biblical Hebrew*, French, English, German, Italian, Latin
Studies: Ancient Greek, Turkish

 
 Message 104 of 143
10 November 2011 at 10:02pm | IP Logged 
@koba
Sorry for the late response!
As I wrote in the previous post; If you want "
koba wrote:
simply to discuss the logicalness of individual languages, that is, what we can deduce from obviousness and logicality and at this point I don't really see how a language like Spanish is more logical.
" and define "logic" in such a way, I am affraid that I am not your man since to me this is truly a 100% subjective in all ways -unless you can convince me of the opposite ;)-. I would be happy to talk with you about it face to face, for a laugh in a bar or whatever, where I could see your facial expressions etc. Through the internet, however, I sadly can not...

Good luck out there!

Xerxes


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