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Most logical languages

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Serpent
Octoglot
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Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 129 of 143
17 June 2015 at 6:26pm | IP Logged 
Jimjam wrote:
It only has 2 tenses: present, and past.
There are no plurals.

That's easy to learn, but is it logical?

If you're hinting that German is a mess, I kinda agree ;D I found it much harder than Finnish, although in my 10th year of not very intensive learning it finally started to make sense :D
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daegga
Tetraglot
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Austria
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 Message 130 of 143
17 June 2015 at 6:35pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
If you're hinting that German is a mess, I kinda agree ;D


But German tenses are actually very logical, with the exception of having two tenses
which express exactly the same thing. Eradicating the preteritum from active use would be
no loss.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Monox D. I-Fly
Senior Member
Indonesia
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 Message 131 of 143
17 June 2015 at 7:26pm | IP Logged 
Jimjam wrote:
Out of the languages that I have some knowledge in, I would say that Japanese is definitely the most logical.
It only has 2 tenses: present, and past.
There are no plurals.
It is completely phonetic.
There are only 3 irregular verbs, and they are barely irregular.
The numbers are logical and easy to use.
I personally find the writing system logical and useful. If you don't know a word but know a kanji in it, it can
make it really easy to decipher what it means.
And one of the greatest things in the lack of genders.
Of course there are many illogical things in this language, but comparatively, it is the most logical language I
have come across.


Say that to Indonesian. :D
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vonPeterhof
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
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 Message 132 of 143
17 June 2015 at 9:49pm | IP Logged 
Jimjam wrote:
Out of the languages that I have some knowledge in, I would say that Japanese is definitely the most logical.
It only has 2 tenses: present, and past.
Non-past and past, if one should nitpick. I won't get into the arcane linguistic debate about whether those are actually tenses or aspects, but there is one thing that complicates the tense system and is likely to seem illogical to learners - the progressive tense (〜ている). It might seem arbitrary that 私はもう歩いている means "I'm already walking" but お前はもう死んでいる means "You're already dead" and not "You're already dying". Too bad that Standard Japanese isn't based on the Tosa dialect where these are two distinct verb forms.
Jimjam wrote:
There are no plurals.
There are marginal plurals with suffixes (〜たち, 〜ら) and reduplication (人々, 日々), but I guess the fact that they aren't mandatory and mostly serve disambiguation purposes is a plus.
Jimjam wrote:
It is completely phonetic.
A bit of a pet peeve of mine, but this statement is meaningless in relation to languages - all natural spoken languages have sounds, so none of them is more or less "phonetic" than the others. Even in relation to the writing system this statement hardly applies, because A) the kana is more phonemic then phonetic - even without the fact that syllables with technically different initial consonants are grouped in the same consonant rows ([ s ] and [ɕ]; [ t ], [tɕ] and [ts]; [ h ], [ç] and [ɸ]), there's also the phonetically elusive ); and B) there's the whole matter of Chinese characters, whose extremely limited phonetic properties are of even less importance in Japanese.
Jimjam wrote:
There are only 3 irregular verbs, and they are barely irregular.
A bit more than that, but still nowhere near what some European languages boast, so a plus for Japanese.
Jimjam wrote:
The numbers are logical and easy to use.
I'll grant you that the Chinese-derived ordinal numbers are easy to form, and the 10000-based large numbers aren't inherently illogical and just need getting used to, but having to alternate between Chinese and native Japanese numerals really stretches the definition of "logical" in places. Why is it that the superstitions surrounding the Sinitic pronunciations of 4, 7 and 9 affect the numbering of days in a month, but don't affect the numbering of months in a year? Why is the old Japanese word for 20 which bears no obvious resemblance to either 2 or 10 used for the 20th day, but not for the 21st, 22nd, etc.? And that's not even getting into the counter words...
Jimjam wrote:
I personally find the writing system logical and useful. If you don't know a word but know a kanji in it, it can make it really easy to decipher what it means.
You did say "personally", so I'll let this one slide ;) Just out of curiosity, have you heard of Atsu-giri Jason? Personally, I find his act sort of entertaining, but a part of me keeps getting annoyed at the constant misblaming - it should be "Why, Chinese people?!" :)
Jimjam wrote:
And one of the greatest things in the lack of genders.
Also a good point. One could argue that counters are similar in some ways (and even more difficult in other ways), but the fact that numbered nouns don't come up in every single sentence makes this a significantly less pressing issue.
Jimjam wrote:
Of course there are many illogical things in this language, but comparatively, it is the most logical language I have come across.
I've long given up rating languages on the parameter of adherence to logic and now I just try to embrace the whimsy of each and every one. Maybe that's why Japanese never struck me as particularly logical or illogical.

Edited by vonPeterhof on 17 June 2015 at 9:51pm

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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 Message 133 of 143
18 June 2015 at 7:22am | IP Logged 
I presume that saying "It is completely phonetic" about a language means that its writing system is more or less a parallel of either its phonematic system or its phonematic system modified to show audible allophone patterns.

Edited by Iversen on 18 June 2015 at 7:22am

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Franzel
Tetraglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 1616 days ago

2 posts - 3 votes
Studies: English*, German, Spanish, Finnish, French

 
 Message 134 of 143
19 June 2015 at 3:16pm | IP Logged 
As can be seen from more than 130 posts over a period of nearly nine years nobody can answer the
question. They can only say which of the few (two, three, five, fifteen or whatever) languages which they
happen to know seems the most logical. There may be a couple of thousand languages not represented on
your website, and any one of them might be more logical than the ones we've seen mentioned. Who knows?



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Jimjam
Newbie
Australia
Joined 2154 days ago

19 posts - 22 votes
Studies: Japanese, German

 
 Message 135 of 143
20 June 2015 at 11:36am | IP Logged 
Since I am relatively new to language learning, I probably do equate being easier to
learn with being more logical.
German is a little bit of a mess, but I still love it immensely!

I didn't really count those suffixes when I was thinking about plurals since they
aren't too common, but I suppose I should have said something that one a little
different since its not entirely true. It is nice to be able to learn a new word and
not have to also learn how to make it into a plural at the same time (though
thankfully there are some guidelines to help remember a fair few of them in German).

When I said about it being phonetic, I just meant that for each letter, there is only
one sound, so if you hear a word, you know how to write it, or vice versa. As an
english speaker, I am very thankful for this!

There are other verbs which don't fit with all of the conjugation rules, but in
comparison with other languages, it is not much of a problem at all. I'm looking at
you, French.

Thank you so much for linking that video. He had me in tears by the end of it!

I have never actually thought about how logical a language is before this thread. I
only study the languages that I like, no matter how illogical, or difficult.

As a side note, since I am newer to languages, and linguistics, it is a struggle every
time I read something on this forum. My knowledge of linguistic terms is tiny so I am
constantly googling most of the things people say! So if anything I post isn't very
linguistically accurate, or if I misunderstand something someone says, I apologise.
But I love this forum so much, as every time I come here, I learn something new and
interesting, so thank you all for helping create such an amazing linguistic haven.
I know this is a weird place to put this but I was already writing a post so why not.

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Saim
Pentaglot
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 136 of 143
20 June 2015 at 11:37am | IP Logged 
How is it that this thread has 17 pages when the original question is for all intents and
purposes meaningless? No linguist will try and establish which languages are more or less
logical, it's just impossible to measure.


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