User Tag List

First 56789 Last

Results 61 to 70 of 96

  1. #61
    Senior Member syndatha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MBTI
    ENFJ
    Enneagram
    3w2
    Socionics
    ENFJ
    Posts
    256

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by syndatha View Post
    I used to speak french fairly well too (well enough to get admitted to a french uni,) but since I never get to practice, it's way down in the unconscious again :steam:
    Tiny demonstration of problems with nuances; what I meant was that I once spoke it well enough to get admitted to a french uni. No way I would ever get in now... But I would probably be able to go to France, and slowly rebuild my skills

    Love the idea of learning a third language via a second language, btw
    I have no sense of humour.

  2. #62
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Posts
    3,272

    Default

    I haven't received complaints lately. What's wrong with you?

    Do you just wish to complain when it's not invited?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #63
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Posts
    2,934

    Default

    It's curious to notice every native English speaker or almost wants to think that English is a difficult language. Perhaps they think this fact could balance their monolinguism or their linguistic laziness?

    As many here already said, English is THE most simple Indo-European language, it's a no brainer. It's an isolating language where almost every other Indo-European languages are synthetic. And throughout history, English evolved as a kind of creole between many existing languages, especially Frisian/Plaatdeutsch and French. It was bound to become simpler and simpler with every new century.

    Many claim here that English has curious grammar rules, and exceptions everywhere. But frankly, believe me, French, German, Hindi or Russian are INCREDIBLY more complex, and share A LOT more exceptions and grammatical oddities.
    Hence, English remains very easy to learn. It is very intuitive, even if it sorely lacks accuracy and sometimes subtlety. But nonetheless, it's nice to hear. And without it, we wouldn't be able to communicate with so many different people at once.

    English is not a language made for philosophy, diplomacy or deep thoughts, but nevertheless, English poetry is acceptable. It's a very useful tool, and I thank Englishmen to have invented it.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

    7w8 SCUxI

  4. #64
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    8,193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    It's curious to notice every native English speaker or almost want to think that English is a difficult language. Perhaps they think this fact could balance their monolinguism or their linguistic laziness?

    As many here already said, English is THE most simple Indo-European language, it's a no brainer. It's an isolating language where almost every other Indo-European languages are synthetic. And throughout history, English evolved as a kind of creole between many existing languages, especially Frisian/Plaatdeutsch and French. It was bound to become simpler and simpler with every new century.

    Many claim here that English has curious grammar rules, and exceptions everywhere. But frankly, believe me, but French, German, Hindi or Russian are INCREDIBLY more complex, and share A LOT more exceptions and grammatical oddities.
    Hence, English remains very easy to learn. It is very intuitive, even if it sorely lacks accuracy and sometimes subtlety. But nonetheless, it's nice to hear. And without it, we wouldn't be able to communicate with so many different people at once.

    English is not a language made for philosophy, diplomacy or deep thoughts, but nevertheless, English poetry is acceptable. It's a very useful tool, and I thank Englishmen to have invented it.
    See, this is interesting, because ALL my life, growing up, I've been told English is very hard to learn, but nobody really ever bothered to explain why.

    Can you explain more about isolation vs. synthetic?



  5. #65
    Sniffles
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    It's curious to notice every native English speaker or almost want to think that English is a difficult language. Perhaps they think this fact could balance their monolinguism or their linguistic laziness?
    Actually I hear that claim more often from non-native speakers. It's rather hilarious at times hearing how some nationalities butcher the language.

    Yes, anybody who thinks English grammar is difficult needs to study a Slavic language like Russian.

  6. #66
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Posts
    2,934

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    See, this is interesting, because ALL my life, growing up, I've been told English is very hard to learn, but nobody really ever bothered to explain why.
    Once again, ask ANY foreigner here.
    Nobody has ever said that English was difficult to learn. Whether we were Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Italian Finnish, Korean, Sinhalese, or Japanese we ALL said the same thing. Can you wonder why?

    So, who will you trust?

    Can you explain more about isolation vs. synthetic?
    Well.

    An Isolating language tends to always have a one word per morpheme ratio, while in a synthetic one, the morphemes tend to be influenced by context, meaning or pronunciation.

    Check for instance Latin: you have specific grammatical cases (nominative, accusative, dative, ablative, genitive, vocative and so on), and depending of its genre and numbers, the entire word would vary accordingly (->Rosa; Rosa; Rosam; Rosae; Rosae; Rosa; Rosae; Rosae; Rosas; Rosarum; Rosis; Rosis). And it's the same with verb conjugation.

    Now, compare to English. The cases are almost non existent, and verbs are conjugated the same way whether you say "I", "you", "we" or "they" and so on. Plus, the variety of tenses are limited, and even if sometimes you can complain because you have to learn two or three roots, with Latin you would ALWAYS have to learn at least 5 or 6 of them, and for EACH verb (->Do, das, dare, dedi, datum)! The exceptions are always extremely weak, and tend to be suppressed with time and centuries. English subjunctive only exists as a tiny remnant of what it was a millenia ago (a joke, compared to French subjunctive!). Another example? For instance, to express plural form in English, you only add "s", or something like that according to its ending.
    Now, take Latin once again and compare!

    English is ridiculously simple! Like Esperanto or almost!

    It's a no brainer, really!
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

    7w8 SCUxI

  7. #67
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    3h50
    Socionics
    ILE
    Posts
    4,460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    See, this is interesting, because ALL my life, growing up, I've been told English is very hard to learn, but nobody really ever bothered to explain why.

    Can you explain more about isolation vs. synthetic?
    In English, morphemes (that is, combinations of sounds that constitute a "word") tend to stay separate from one another as far as base words go. Consequently, word order is very important, and identifying words are entirely necessary to convey meaning. For example:

    Spanish: La enamoro. (Spanish is far more synthetic than English is, though fairly analytic (or isolating))

    English: I am falling in love with her.

    Where in Spanish, the speaker is implied through the inflection of the verb, as is the present progressive tense, in English, both have to be clearly noted through their proper morphemes, and in the proper place in the sentence. Likewise, what Spanish does through word order ("La" placed before the verb), English requires the addition of the word "with".

    Mandarin Chinese, for that matter, is even more isolating than English is.

    While that's difficult, what makes English the most difficult is that there is very little word inflection... except for the most important words. So, while words don't have gender nor inflection:

    The ball
    The school
    The hat
    The racetrack

    Many common pronouns do:

    He, she, it, hers, his, its, I, me, him, her, they, mine, my, their, who, whom, whose etc.

    The word "I" is heavily inflected, for example:

    Nominative: I, we
    Genitive: my (mine), our(s)
    Objective (combo of dative and accusative): me, us

    It doesn't get much easier when we get to verbs. While most words have a very simple conjugation:

    I run we run
    you run you run
    he/she/it runs they run

    Past tense:

    I ran we ran
    you ran you ran
    he/she/it ran they ran

    when you get to the most common verb, to be, the conjugation gets crazy:

    I am we are
    you are you are
    he/she/it is they are

    Past tense:

    I was we were
    you were you were
    he/she/it was they were

    Not to mention the infinitive, "to be" and the gerund, "being"

    This sort of thing happens all the time in English with common words (though "to be" having the most difficult conjugation happens in every language on this planet). The rules are very easy and regular, except when it actually matters.

    The last point is that English spelling is deliberately etymological. While Germanic words never underwent a specific process (other than never bothering with changing the spelling post-Great Vowel Shift), Latinate words had several specific efforts to shift their spelling closer to their forebears. So the word "dette", which sounded exactly like it looked, became "debt", because it came (supposedly, not sure nowadays) from the Latin "debitum".

    Ain't our fine language fun?

  8. #68
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    -1w sp/sx
    Socionics
    IOU Ni
    Posts
    1,028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    It's curious to notice every native English speaker or almost wants to think that English is a difficult language. Perhaps they think this fact could balance their monolinguism or their linguistic laziness?
    English is the easiest language to speak.




    ... Badly.

    And that's only half in jest. I would say that English is in fact quite easy to learn.
    But that's if you're talking about basic conversational skills. A French teacher of mine once said that basic English was easier than basic French, but good English was harder than good French.
    Maybe the grammar is relatively simple. But the vocabulary is vast. Latin is quite the opposite - a relatively complex grammar, but a relatively sparse vocabulary, which can mean that one word can have a lot of different meanings.
    Also, if you want to have near-native skills of English, set phrases and collocations can make your life difficult. More than once I've thought I know almost nothing about English when I had to do translate seemingly simple texts. The hard part wasn't getting the meaning across, but not making it sound like a translation.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

    -τὸ γὰρ γράμμα ἀποκτέννει, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζῳοποιεῖ-

  9. #69
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Posts
    2,934

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post

    It doesn't get much easier when we get to verbs. While most words have a very simple conjugation:

    I run we run
    you run you run
    he/she/it runs they run
    Let's make a comparison with French:

    Je cours, Tu cours, Il/Elle court, Nous courrons, Vous courrez, ils/Elles courrent.

    when you get to the most common verb, to be, the conjugation gets crazy:

    I am we are
    you are you are
    he/she/it is they are


    Let's check French and German versions:

    Je suis/ Ich bin
    Tu es/ Du bist
    Il est/ Er ist
    Nous sommes/ Wir sind
    Vous tes/ Ihr seid
    Ils sont/ Sie sind


    ---

    And yet, you dare to say that English is going "crazy"?
    What should Frenchmen and German say, then? "ubercrazy"?

    Ain't our fine language fun?
    "Fun" is not the proper word to describe it.
    "So-ridiculously-simple-a-child-could-learn-it-in-6-months" would be more accurate.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

    7w8 SCUxI

  10. #70
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    3h50
    Socionics
    ILE
    Posts
    4,460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Let's make a comparison with French:

    Je cours, Tu cours, Il/Elle court, Nous courrons, Vous courrez, ils/Elles courrent.



    Let's check French and German versions:

    Je suis/ Ich bin
    Tu es/ Du bist
    Il est/ Er ist
    Nous sommes/ Wir sind
    Vous tes/ Ihr seid
    Ils sont/ Sie sind


    ---

    And yet, you dare to say that English is going "crazy"?
    What should Frenchmen and German say, then? "ubercrazy"?
    And yet, once you figure out the basic conjugations, they remain fairly consistent. You don't have to juggle words like in English:

    I run
    I do run
    I am running
    I ran
    I have run
    I have been running
    I had been running
    I will/shall run
    I will/shall have run
    I will/shall be running
    I will/shall have been running
    I must run
    I must have run
    I must be running
    I must have been running

    All those tenses are the combination of a few different words... and they mean very different things. Combine that with the inflection associated with "to be" and "to have", and that most native speakers don't use these conjugations in their prescribed manner, and it's not as simple as you make it out to be.

    "Fun" is not the proper word to describe it.
    "So-ridiculously-simple-a-child-could-learn-it-in-6-months" would be more accurate.
    I'm glad you learned it quickly. That's good for you. Most people don't have that sort of a faculty with language, and you've got an inherent advantage - English is essentially French with our modifying words placed in front of the verb or noun, and most of the inflection replaced with auxiliary verbs.

    That doesn't make it any easier for a Spanish or Russian speaker to learn it.

Similar Threads

  1. [NF] The NF's Writer's/Artist's Block Support Group
    By musicnerd93 in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-19-2010, 12:13 PM
  2. Mensa's Changing English Language
    By Apollanaut in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-19-2009, 09:45 PM
  3. The "I haven't been repped all day" support group.
    By swordpath in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 03-23-2008, 03:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO