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What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby NocturnalOcean » Wed 01.14.2009 1:20 pm

adriannrod wrote:I have been getting better about faulty word associations, it's just that maybe the similarities are what is getting me. I like languages that are so very distinctly different from English that they could never be mistaken. Makkudonorado is my favorite. It sounds nothing like English! And yet, it is how the Japanese pronounce it. All this, plus syllabary languages are the easiest when you want to spell something. Yay for easy-to-spell-ness!


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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby richvh » Wed 01.14.2009 2:27 pm

All this, plus syllabary languages are the easiest when you want to spell something.


Not really; languages with recent spelling reform (like Japanese, which had one in 1948 or so) tend to be the easiest when you want to spell something. If want a look at the madness that a syllabary allows, take a look at some pre-war literature (you can find some at Aozora Bunko, look for files marked 旧仮名 (old kana) or, for more fun, 旧字 (old kanji) as well.) Nowadays there are two ways to write a long o in Japanese (-oo and -ou); back then, there was at least a half dozen.
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby furrykef » Thu 01.15.2009 12:43 am

NocturnalOcean wrote:makkudonaRUdo


Nope! You've both got it wrong: it's makudonarudo -- just one 'k'. :)

richvh wrote:Nowadays there are two ways to write a long o in Japanese (-oo and -ou); back then, there was at least a half dozen.


'Cause, naturally, they weren't all pronounced ō back then. ;)

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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 01.15.2009 12:49 am

From what I understand, あふ and あう were pronounced as oo at least back to the Heian period, if not earlier than that. A lot of those spellings didn't express the pronunciation even by the middle ages.
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby furrykef » Thu 01.15.2009 1:29 am

True. But it just depends on how far back you want to go. There was a time and place where the spelling reflected pronunciation, though it might not be the same as the modern pronunciation of those letters would be. Reading あふ and あう as ō is something of a convention, albeit one that often makes a lot of sense.

Of course, the same goes for much of English spelling, too, except of course we never got around to reforming our spelling and are probably never going to, so we're stuck with silly spelling and pronunciation. Tough, though, through, thought, trough, thorough...

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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby Sairana » Thu 01.15.2009 4:26 am

furrykef wrote:Tough, though, through, thought, trough, thorough...


laughter
slaughter

:o
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby NocturnalOcean » Thu 01.15.2009 6:40 am

furrykef wrote:
NocturnalOcean wrote:makkudonaRUdo


Nope! You've both got it wrong: it's makudonarudo -- just one 'k'. :)

- Kef


Indeed you are correct, I got so caught up in the last spelling that I didn't even think about the first one hehe.
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby JaySee » Thu 01.15.2009 7:44 am

Sairana wrote:
furrykef wrote:Tough, though, through, thought, trough, thorough...


laughter
slaughter

:o


If there is not going to be any kind of reform, in a hundred years or so English spelling and pronunciation will be so divorced from each other that the writing system will start functioning like Kanji in Japanese and Chinese. Only the morphemes ('English kanji') won't be put in little squares, but rather be strung out a bit more. It is already true for many words that you can only very partially predict their spelling from the pronunciation, or their pronunciation from the spelling, as Furrykef and Sairana illustrated.

We can even think of ways to split words up in parts that (sort of) indicate the pronunciation, and parts that indicate the meaning of certain English 'kanji'. For 'to', 'two' and 'too', the parts that indicate pronunciation are the 't' and the 'o', which, without any additions means 'towards', with an infixed 'w' (the part that indicates the meaning) it means 'the number 2', and with an extra infixed (or suffixed, however you want to look at it) 'o', the meaning changes to 'also'.

For 'laughter' and 'slaughter' you would have to know that the 'augh' bit can be pronounced in several different ways, depending on the English kanji in which it is found. A bit like the way in which 寺 in 詩 denotes the pronunciation 'shi', while in 時 it is 'ji'.
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby richvh » Thu 01.15.2009 9:17 am

furrykef wrote:
richvh wrote:Nowadays there are two ways to write a long o in Japanese (-oo and -ou); back then, there was at least a half dozen.


'Cause, naturally, they weren't all pronounced ō back then. ;)

- Kef


Which ones weren't pronounced ō in the 1930s? Because that's the "back then" I was referring to.

furrykef wrote:Of course, the same goes for much of English spelling, too, except of course we never got around to reforming our spelling and are probably never going to, so we're stuck with silly spelling and pronunciation.


Well, we (that is, Americans) did get a partial spelling reform back around 1828, though old Noah Webster didn't go far enough, and of course the English stuck with Samuel Jonson's spellings.
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby furrykef » Fri 01.16.2009 2:12 am

richvh wrote:Which ones weren't pronounced ō in the 1930s? Because that's the "back then" I was referring to.


Ah, sorry. I must have been reading too hastily.

richvh wrote:and of course the English stuck with Samuel Jonson's spellings.


I presume you mean Johnson. ;)
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby adriannrod » Fri 01.16.2009 11:22 am

Yeah, well, it's not our fault English is a crappy fracking mess. It takes a lot of time to thoroughly screw a language over like we have! I'd almost say that we are unique in that way. :D You really have to work hard to make gh sound like f and nothing at all at the same time. Yay ghoti! The English language is only convenient to those born into it, that's for sure (And sometimes not even then). Otherwise, it's a horrible nightmare that keeps linguists and translators awake at night. :lol: At least Japanese HAS been reformed. Us Americans are to proud of 'our' language to change anything. Heck, English isn't even ours! If it was, it's be Americanish, or Americanese, or my favorite, Americani! The Brits beat us to the punch!
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby AJBryant » Fri 01.16.2009 4:29 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:From what I understand, あふ and あう were pronounced as oo at least back to the Heian period, if not earlier than that. A lot of those spellings didn't express the pronunciation even by the middle ages.


One of the things that fascinates me is the pronunciation/orthography of classical and modern J.

For example, in MJ we have verbs like 笑う and 給う. In Classical J they were わらふ and たまふ, which indicates they were pronounced わろう and たもう -- and, in fact, according to the Nippô Jiten, they *were* pronounced that way. Yet in Modern J, they have come down to us as わらう and たまう. What the HELL?


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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby adriannrod » Wed 01.21.2009 2:35 pm

Living languages are constantly changing. If a language has been reformed, although everything is now regular, stuff will be off. You can't make a language perfectly sensible unless it's man-made, like Esperanto. Nothing works like that normally... XDDD
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby kurisuto » Wed 01.21.2009 2:55 pm

adriannrod wrote:Living languages are constantly changing. If a language has been reformed, although everything is now regular, stuff will be off. You can't make a language perfectly sensible unless it's man-made, like Esperanto. Nothing works like that normally... XDDD


"Man-made"? All languages are man-made, right? Although it could be confusing too, artificial is the right word (a little quibbling can do no harm!).

If we're talking about orthography, then Finnish is a regular language (not sure but I think there's no exceptions).
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Re: What now? (Upper Beginner looking for ideas & help)

Postby jcdietz03 » Wed 01.21.2009 4:49 pm

Like for example, Pig Latin, Klingon, and Al Bhed are man made.
Are languages really constantly changing?
About 500 years ago, people in what is now the USA started living apart from their friends in England. However, even today, 500 years later, I can understand someone from there almost perfectly despite not ever having learned "British" English. Honestly, I think the day when people from the two nations won't be able to understand each other will ever come. This is probably because we speak with our British friends daily, while people in earlier times almost never spoke with people in different parts of the world than them. There are new words in the dictionary each year, but it's a small fraction of all the words. They're almost never common use words.

It's strange - Japanese seems to be changing more rapidly than other languages. I'm not really sure of the history here - they were conquered by USA, told to use roman letters, then chose not to but instead choose a subset of Kanji as opposed to all of them. From there they've been adding to the "official" list... You might not be able to "revise" a language but you sure can try... the Americans certainly tried to do this to Japanese. And apparently the Chinese communists did it to Chinese (called "simplified Chinese").

Then there's すいません versus すみません but I don't think that's such a major change.
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