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Most logical languages

 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
143 messages over 18 pages: 1 24 5 6 7 ... 3 ... 17 18 Next >>
Senior Member
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Speaks: Dutch*, English, German, Spanish, Turkish, Italian, French
Studies: Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian, Latin, Swedish, Arabic (Written)

 Message 17 of 143
03 September 2006 at 12:11pm | IP Logged 
surfingnirvana wrote:
I agree with the previous statement in relation to Turkish.
[]There is only one irregular noun in the whole language(su, water), and no irregular verbs! Vowel harmony is easily mastered, and plurality is formed by just a ler or lar!-Alex

Yes it is certainly quite regular. One of the most striking futures is that declensions are the same in plural and singular, just put the ler/lar in front of the case suffix and there you go.
One small observation about verbs: some aorists have the four-vocal harmony -ur, ür, ir, Ir rather than -ar -er. Not really an "exception" but a small list of words that you should learn by heart. I invented a mnemonic that works for Dutch anyway , since the words are kalmak, vermek, bilmek, varmak, bulmak, gelmek, almak, olmak, sanmak, durmak, vurmak I remembered for the first seven of them the Dutch words kalverbil ("a calf's leg") warboel(pronounced almost the same as Turkish var-bul, meaning "a mess") and gelal (nonsensical talking, e.g. by a drunk person) so I only had to remember ol-san-dur-vur :)

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United States
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Studies: Russian

 Message 18 of 143
18 September 2006 at 10:30pm | IP Logged 
Aside from artificial languages such as esperanto, which was designed to be "logical", Latin has generally been considered to be among the most logical languages, and for a few reasons: it has very few irregular verbs, fairly solid "rules" for the use of its cases, and forms its tenses according to a predictable paradigm. That being said it remains a very difficult language to learn, far more so than other languages which some people here have mentioned as being illogical (i.e. English, French, etc.). So it might be a better question to ask what role the so-called logic of a language facilitates learning it. It's also important to keep in mind that all languages have their own inherent logic--spelling, for example, in English as in Russian is entirely "logical"; the problem is that that logic can't be broken down into a half handful of easy-to-memorize general principles.

Edited by phlegethon on 18 September 2006 at 10:34pm

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Senior Member
Hong Kong
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 Message 19 of 143
19 September 2006 at 4:06am | IP Logged 
From a Chinese point of view, very few European languages are logical. Just put it in one sentence and you will know what I mean: it's so difficult to find the logic behind the grammatical genders of many European languages. Usually the gender is assigned arbitrarily. And many grammatical inflections have to be done with the according illogical grammatical genders.
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 Message 20 of 143
19 September 2006 at 12:58pm | IP Logged 
As far as I know:

English has very limited grammatical gender (he, she, it and some nouns which have male/female counterparts)

French and German have very arbitrary grammatical gender (e.g. book = le livre (masculine) = das Buch (neuter) which makes learning vocabulary a little more difficult. However, French like English has lost most of its case endings and thus grammatical gender only affects the declension of nouns and adjectives in German (which has retained case endings).

Hungarian has even more limited grammatical gender than English (just some nouns which have male/female counterparts. The pronouns he, she and it are translated using the same pronoun in Hungarian and the gender of the subject or object doesn't affect declension and conjugation) N.B. Learning Hungarian can be difficult for Chinese students anyway because of other matters such as vowel harmony, definite vs. indefinite conjugation and agglutination to reflect cases.

Croatian, Czech, Polish and Slovak have grammatical gender that does affect declension of nouns and adjectives and conjugations of verbs. However, the assignment of grammatical gender isn't quite as arbitrary as that in French or German. (most Slavonic nouns that end in consonants are masculine, most Slavonic nouns that end in -a (or sometimes -e in Czech) are feminine, and most Slavonic nouns that end in -e or -o (or sometimes -í in Czech) are neuter)

Given this limited list, perhaps English would give less trouble for Chinese students than other European languages. English has strict syntax and almost total loss of case endings and conjugational endings (similar to Chinese) and very limited grammatical gender.
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United States
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 Message 21 of 143
19 September 2006 at 7:55pm | IP Logged 
It really depends on what you mean by 'logical', but in my opinion a language that has noun declensions must be logical, because you can't really speak these languages without knowing how it's made-up, in terms of parts of speech. Modern Romance language are probably the last on my list of 'logical' languages, eastern languages somewhere in the middle. I can't really make a very valid opinion, because I don't know how every single language works, but based on what I do know, I'll say Latin, Russian, and most artificial languages like Esparanto are the most logical.

Edited by rudyman12 on 19 September 2006 at 7:58pm

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 Message 22 of 143
29 November 2006 at 1:23pm | IP Logged 
In my opinion the most logical languages are Finnish and Latin...and I'm very surprised that rudyman12 mentioned Russian as one of the most logical languages, I thought it's so illogical to non-native speakers!
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United Kingdom
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 Message 23 of 143
29 November 2006 at 1:32pm | IP Logged 
By logical, do you mean easy? For me, an easy and logical language are pretty much the same, as if a language is logical (i.e. follows a set, predictable pattern) then its easy as well. Take Spanish with its very easy method for learning plurals (either add s or es). Easy and logical!
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 Message 24 of 143
29 November 2006 at 1:55pm | IP Logged 
Latin is logical?!?
It's got so many exceptions in its grammar! :S

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