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Most logical languages

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ljones29
Triglot
Newbie
United States
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35 posts - 59 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, French
Studies: Arabic (Written), Greek

 
 Message 105 of 143
18 November 2011 at 1:25am | IP Logged 
I felt like I didn't know what logical meant when referring to languages until I started
studying Arabic. And when I say logical, I simply mean consistent. I agree with what
others have said here - that it exists in a vacuum - but I believe that it is absolutely
the most logical, consistent, and rhythmic language that I've studied. I simply adore
Arabic and believe it is very beautiful. Of course, I love French and German too, but
they come nowhere close to Arabic in terms of logic.
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druckfehler
Triglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3271 days ago

1181 posts - 1912 votes 
Speaks: German*, EnglishC2, Korean
Studies: Persian

 
 Message 106 of 143
25 November 2011 at 2:55pm | IP Logged 
Korean always strikes me as extremely logical (much more so than English, French, German, Portuguese or Latin). The logic is extremely foreign to any speaker of a western language, but actually it's very consistent.
Hangeul is just ingenious for writing Korean and with a couple of phonetic rules any sound changes that occur in spoken Korean (and the very few that occur in written Korean) can be explained. There are a couple of "irregular" verbs, but they are organised in groups that all follow the same rule and their irregularity is quite logical phonetically. There are no declensions and no irregular past or future tense forms.
Korean grammar basically works by adding specific endings to words. These are the same for every word. There are no irregular Plurals or anything like that. Korean has a lot of these endings for verbs, that sometimes connote only slight differences. For example, there's the ending 거든 "geodeun" for stating something that the listener is expected not to know and ending 잖아 "janha" for stating something the listener is expected to know already. That may be difficult to learn, but it makes the language extremely precise, especially for expressing feelings and the relationship between listener and speaker.
The different levels of politeness are quite consistent and, like all Korean grammar, mainly work by adding specific endings to the words. In some cases there are completely different formulations and words to be used in the polite level, so that is the only thing that I think might really be called "inconsistent".

And because many people seem to have mentioned Arabic, I want to mention that Hebrew can be added to logical semitic languages. Word formation and different forms are very consistent when you understand the writing system and how the roots work. It also has an extremely consistent use of gender. I'm thinking Modern Hebrew might even be more consistent than Arabic, because it's basically a constructed language (although some references to Ancient Hebrew in spelling make some of it irregular).

Edited by druckfehler on 25 November 2011 at 3:33pm

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Ari
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Norway
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Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 107 of 143
25 November 2011 at 3:19pm | IP Logged 
Man, this makes me want to study Arabic and Korean!
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AccentClipper
Bilingual Triglot
Newbie
United States
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13 posts - 15 votes
Speaks: French*, English*, Portuguese
Studies: Persian

 
 Message 108 of 143
26 November 2011 at 7:56pm | IP Logged 
All these mentions of Turkish and Arabic make me wonder: How logical, or consistent, is Persian? I'm curious because I'm starting to learn it.
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Martien
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Senior Member
Netherlands
martienvanwanrooij.n
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134 posts - 148 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, German, Spanish, Turkish, Italian, French
Studies: Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian, Latin, Swedish, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 109 of 143
26 November 2011 at 8:09pm | IP Logged 
AccentClipper wrote:
All these mentions of Turkish and Arabic make me wonder: How logical, or consistent, is Persian? I'm curious because I'm starting to learn it.

I know Turkish and although Persian is an Indo-European language and Turkish isn't there are some similarities especially for word order and the lack of a grammatical gender . Verbs are quite regular with one restriction, you have to learn two verb stems by heart, one for the present and one for the past tense, but as soon as you know the two of them you can conjugate the verb you learned and when you learn a new verb, again you will have to learn the two stems but having said that, you can use the same conjugation algorithm ( I know "algorithm" sounds very mathematical but it really works like that) Anyway this is what I saw about Persian although I didn't learn it very thoroughly.
You can find some additional explanation at http://www.jahanshiri.ir/fa/en/verb-stem.html

Edited by Martien on 26 November 2011 at 8:13pm

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druckfehler
Triglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3271 days ago

1181 posts - 1912 votes 
Speaks: German*, EnglishC2, Korean
Studies: Persian

 
 Message 110 of 143
28 November 2011 at 6:47pm | IP Logged 
I agree that what I've seen of Persian so far is pretty regular, in Verb forms (no irregularity except for the two different stems you have to learn, but that in itself is consistently irregular), nominalization, adjectivization. I'd add that there are several different plural forms and I don't know yet whether they follow a logic or are something you just have to learn. There is some "redundancy" in the alphabet, some sounds correspond to two or three different letters and the spelling seems to differ mainly between Persian words and words who are taken from Arabic. There are some sound changes between written and spoken language, so the pronunciation doesn't always closely follow the writing. That's all I can say so far, I haven't been studying Persian for long.

Edited by druckfehler on 28 November 2011 at 6:48pm

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Camundonguinho
Triglot
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Brazil
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Speaks: Portuguese*, English, Spanish
Studies: Swedish

 
 Message 111 of 143
11 December 2011 at 11:53am | IP Logged 
Brazilian Portuguese is the most logical:

eu = I
você = you

Eu amo você. = I love you.
Eu amo vocês. = I love you (all).

Quem = who
ama = loves
você = you

Quem ama você? = Who loves you?

Quem você ama? = Who(m) do you love?


para = for

para ele chegar em casa = for him to arrive home


eu ir embora = my/me going away
você ter mentido para mim = you/your having lied to me


eu/você/ele/a gente QUERIA = I/you/he/we WOULD LIKE
vocês/eles QUERIAM = you (all)/they WOULD LIKE

;) It's close to English.

Edited by Camundonguinho on 11 December 2011 at 12:00pm

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MarcusOdim
Groupie
Brazil
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91 posts - 142 votes 

 
 Message 112 of 143
11 December 2011 at 12:19pm | IP Logged 
Portuguese logical? :PPPPPPPPP no Romance language is supposed to be logical, why in heck is tree masculine in Spanish but feminine in Portuguese?

I assume we can narrow down the list of logical languages to the genderless and gender-neutral ones, then we exclude English, now we have an "easy list" from which we can pick out some languages


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