Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Most inefficient languages?

  Tags: Difficulty
 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post Reply
69 messages over 9 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 ... 5 ... 8 9 Next >>
justinwilliams
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 6559 days ago

321 posts - 327 votes 
3 sounds
Speaks: French*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Italian

 
 Message 33 of 69
19 September 2007 at 4:24pm | IP Logged 
...

Edited by justinwilliams on 19 September 2007 at 8:32pm

1 person has voted this message useful



FSI
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6229 days ago

550 posts - 590 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 34 of 69
19 September 2007 at 4:27pm | IP Logged 
justinwilliams wrote:
I'm still not satisfied with your left-biased interpretation of my post.


"Left-biased"? Do you really think this is about politics?
1 person has voted this message useful



justinwilliams
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 6559 days ago

321 posts - 327 votes 
3 sounds
Speaks: French*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Italian

 
 Message 35 of 69
19 September 2007 at 4:33pm | IP Logged 
...

Edited by justinwilliams on 19 September 2007 at 8:33pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 7026 days ago

4228 posts - 8259 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 36 of 69
19 September 2007 at 4:52pm | IP Logged 
lloydkirk wrote:
[...]
I don't understand why people some people find this thread infuriating...Some languages are more practical for communication and dare I say it...easier. I stick by my point that written mandarin isn't practical and more people would learn it if it used an alphabet. Most of the people on this forum seem to enjoy the complexities they encounter in new languages and are somehow angered that I don't share the same passion. What's wrong with making language easier/more practical to learn and use? It's nothing that has happened before. I dare someone to name one language that has become harder over time. In comparison, arabic dialects and swiss German both have considerably simpler grammar than their respective standards.


I can see why people find the thread infuriating since it implies that those who speak "complicated" languages as native ones must be somehow inferior since they haven't "seen the light" and simplified their languages.

The problem with your thinking is that it's relative and it's very hard to say that X is simpler than Y in absolute terms. You could only say this in relative terms (e.g. English is generally easier for a monolingual German to learn compared to a monolingual Korean). As linguamor posted, why doesn't English drop articles, the distinction between "he" and "she" or the distinction between present and past tense? How would you as a native speaker of English react to those ideas if they were put forth by an ESL student?

About evolution of language towards "simplicity", it's debatable. As an example, let's take Bulgarian. It's Slavonic, however unlike almost all other Slavonic languages, it has almost totally lost the pattern of declension (7 cases, 3 genders and 3 numbers) that was used in Old Church Slavonic and still used to a large degree in almost all of the other Slavonic languages. (It's similar to how modern English has shed almost the entire pattern of declensions that was used in Old English and still used more or less in German). Right away, you would say that modern Bulgarian is simpler, right? On the other hand, modern Bulgarian has for whatever reason a much more elaborate system of verb conjugation (i.e. more tenses and moods) than other Slavonic languages and Old Church Slavonic. Would you now say that modern Bulgarian is still easier than Old Bulgarian?

In some ways, I can see your point in that certain distinctions made in the older version of the language are no longer made, and in a limited sense the modern language is arguably simpler than the old language. Yet when it comes to implying that the modern version is somehow superior to the older version, that's where things get dicey, to say the least. As you can see with Bulgarian, I'm not sure how Bulgarians would react if you would tell them that their language is now simpler because it has virtually no declension. What about the other features of Bulgarian? Does the modern language make distinctions that the old one didn't?

Edited by Chung on 19 September 2007 at 4:55pm

1 person has voted this message useful



joan.carles
Bilingual Pentaglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 6203 days ago

332 posts - 342 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, Catalan*, French, EnglishC1, EnglishC2, Mandarin
Studies: Hungarian, Russian, Georgian

 
 Message 37 of 69
19 September 2007 at 4:57pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
However, there are other aspects of romance languages that are shared such as assigning gender to nouns and adjectives. What purpose does it serve other than to complicate things?


You're right, we use genders, but they are not the same across the different romance languages. But again, like I say, languages were not intended for foreign learners, so maybe you find it complicated to have genders in these languages. Natives don't, for me it's clear that milk is feminine and for a French it's clear that it's masculine. If this was that difficult to comprehend, we would find people saying "el leche", others "la lait" on weekdays and the other way round on the weekends, for example. Instead, once acquired we use it with sufficient consistency so that to consider that that's not that difficult and obscure. Also, if this was that hard, after so many centuries there wouldn't be any language that use genders, or it's just that we are stupid and want to keep things so that to make communication difficult?   

Really, I can't understand this obsession for creating hierarchies to demonstrate what language is better and what is worse. What can this prove?

mm, well, yes, it could prove something. Why don't you guys that think about inefficient and efficient languages create a list of those considered inefficent, a ranking. Then according to this ranking, you can visit the countries where they are spoken or take a couple of specimens that speak these languages and check that effectively, as you thought, they can't communicate between each other. That would be a good way to justificate the usefulness of the dozens of posts about superior and inferior languages.

Good luck in your investigations!

Edit. Good example, Chung, thanks!

Edited by joan.carles on 19 September 2007 at 5:10pm

1 person has voted this message useful



lloydkirk
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 6283 days ago

429 posts - 452 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 38 of 69
19 September 2007 at 5:18pm | IP Logged 
A mod can go ahead and close this thread. Hardly anyone is contributing, mainly just a lot of impolite and uncivilized criticism. I don't have the time to argue with fundamentalist linguists. Many of you chaps take yourself far too seriously...

Best of luck in your endeavors
1 person has voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 7026 days ago

4228 posts - 8259 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 39 of 69
19 September 2007 at 5:21pm | IP Logged 
C'mon lloydkirk, show some spirit! I don't know about the others, but I'm more than happy to shoot the breeze with you.
1 person has voted this message useful



FSI
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6229 days ago

550 posts - 590 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 40 of 69
19 September 2007 at 5:24pm | IP Logged 
joan.carles wrote:

To me, an inefficient language would be one that made communication difficult to its speakers, or that acquiring the language by its learners (and with learners I mean the kids that grow immersed in these languages, ie, the natural users of these languages) proved to be an impossible or extremely difficult task compared to the rest of languages. Languages were not made for foreign speakers. If foreigners don't like this or that feature of a language, that's not a native speakers' problem to put it clearly.


Exactly. If the natives have no trouble with speaking their language, how can I judge it inefficient with my non-native knowledge of the language? The burden of learning is not on those who have already learned the language to make it easier for those who haven't, but on those who haven't to learn it if they wish to communicate with those who have.

To put it simply, a piano is not an impossible instrument simply because you have not learned to play it. A natural language spoken by human beings is everything it needs to be for those who speak it; if you want to make use of it, you will need to learn it, instead of passing judgment on it from the non-objective vantage point of your mother tongue. You don't get to change the rules until you understand them.


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 69 messages over 9 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 46 7 8 9  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3438 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2024 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.