I'm trying to add a magazine (a new source) to the Mobyranks. However, when required to choose the language of the magazine, there's no option for Estonian. Could you please add it?
Only because of personal interest, how huge is the difference between Estonian and Finnish?
It's quite close, both grammar and vocabulary wise, but even if you know Estonian, Finnish remains incomprehensible (besides some words you can possibly pick out, and even then the actual meaning might differ, for example the word for "bad" in Estonian sounds exactly like the Finnish word for "cheap", if I'm not mistaken), and vice versa (ie a Finnish speaker wouldn't understand Estonian.
There is a reason Finnish is considered the hardest European language to learn by an English speaker (or, I reckon, by a speaker of anything but Estonian and possibly, though it's a long shot, Hungarian), and in the top 5 worldwide. Estonian is second among European languages though...
Think I can manage to recall some 20 Finnish words if I really try, but they're good enough to greet, thank and curse, so should be fine :))
Really? I don't speak Finnish nor Estonian, but Estonian didn't seem that hard from the little contact I had with it (I'm a native Portuguese speaker, though).
Well, it was in what I remembered. Now checked a few lists and only saw Estonian in one, with Hungarian and Finnish battling for first spot generally, unless somebody was more thorough and included Basque, particularly the spoken form apparently, in which case that was listed first.
I don't speak any of those Uralic languages, but from what I understand their difficulty lies primarily in their agglutinative structure (i.e. everything is expressed by hanging endings on a word, like cases in conservative Indo-European languages but many more of them). This might seem unusual for Indo-European speakers such as most of us. Also, lack of common vocabulary is of course an issue.
But if language difficulty is measured by complexity of features and irregularity, then Russian would probably take the crown among world's popular languages. The cumbersome grammar and the mind-boggling number of exceptions in any declination or conjugation have to be learned to be believed.
If only reading and writing is taken into account then of course Chinese and Japanese beat everything else.
Was just referring to those using the Latin script.
YID YANG Wrote:
I agree with Russian, it can be quite tough even though as an Estonian speaker I didn't find it that mind-boggling. The main problem is that often the verb + noun combinations require different cases, I can't come up with a good example at the moment (blame the English environment :P), but it's pretty much how one thinks about an object. I am actually rather sad that I didn't take my Russian studies in junior high with utmost seriousness, mostly because of the prevalent anti-Russian attitude that I was infected with (which of course I've realized to be stupid after two years in an international high school). I do understand the spoken part rather well though (not to mention the exquisite vulgarities, to me Russian like the people itself is a language of extremities, perfect for expressing dramatic beauty on one hand, foul coarsity on the other hand (at least to me the spoken, slang-level Russian I was most exposed to, even if not explicitly vulgar, implicitly had this rough feeling to it.
I took Chinese and Japanese basic courses this semester and I'd say I personally find Chinese easier, even if I have been exposed to Japanese a lot through movies, music and video games. Yes, the amount of hanzi one has to learn to read a newspaper is quite huge (4000 characters if I'm not mistaken), the grammar and the structure of the language itself is rather straightforward (of course this doesn't take into account the different dialects). With Japanese, the mixing of kana and kanji causes more confusion and the varying degrees of formality make it difficult for one to adjust in conversations, and since it has conjugation of verbs, it's automatically more difficult than the static-ness of Chinese. I do feel more confident in Japanese just because I've watched Japanese stuff for the past few years, while with Chinese my main exposure so far is one, albeit gigantic TV series Three Kingdoms, and from what I heard, it's not exactly the contemporary Chinese (because the classical Chinese didn't really sound like Mandarin). Oh yeah, when talking about Chinese I've had Mandarin in mind, Cantonese is a different beast altogether.
The lack of common vocabulary is true to a certain extent in Estonian - almost every single English word from the Latin side of it can be easily modified to an Estonian foreign word with utmost of ease. Of course, it's mostly confined to academic language, or at least should be confined in my opinion. When there's a preponderance of such foreign words in one's speech, it's hard not to sound pretentious. But it does help sometimes, and with my spoken Estonian having been deteriorated a little bit (haven't developed an accent yet, just that can't speak as fluently maybe all the time, or get stuck in a sentence, but hey, that's actually been a characteristic of my speech in almost every language :P).
Chinese has indeed a much easier and way more logical grammar than Japanese. But the tones and the amount of identical words is an absolute killer. I've been living seven years in China and I speak Chinese fluently, but it's a total pain to focus on those tones all the time.
YID YANG Wrote:
Hmm, I heard that in many regional dialects the tones work quite differently so that people don't really put that much effort into being consistent anyway, and often adhere to the tone only in the beginning of a phrase/sentence and at the end of it.
Oh no, people put a lot of effort into saying the right tones, otherwise they won't be understood. It's true that in dialects the tones may be absolutely different, but so may the words themselves. A regional speaker who wants to speak good Mandarin will first of all work on the tones, only then on the rest of the pronunciation.
Example: in Shanghai many (especially older) people cannot pronounce the sh consonant because the Shanghainese language lacks it. So when they speak Mandarin they convert every sh to s. Now, in Mandarin the word si (fourth tone) means "four", while the word shi (second tone) means "ten". Those Shanghainese would pronounce both of them as si, but keep the tone difference. It was initially very confusing for me, because my tone-less hearing immediately reacted to the consonant and I was sure I had to pay only 4 yuan for something that cost 10 in a store. But for all Chinese, regardless of regional differences, tones play a more important role than phonetics, so they react to the tone and ignore the consonant difference.
This is a favorite example of the importance of tones.
Yup, its author actually wrote it with the intention of showing how ridiculous Chinese language has become. Since its writing system is not phonetic, pronunciation can't be fixed, and the natural result is an embarrassing amount of homonyms.
Bear in mind, though, that this poem is written in classic literary Chinese. It is impossible to understand unless you read it, and even then only educated people with a very good grasp of Chinese language can understand it. It should be "translated" into modern Chinese for easier reading, and then of course it would lose most of its homonyms, since the grammar and much of the vocabulary are completely different.
YID YANG Wrote:
Isn't that exactly why adopting the pinyin and doing away with characters altogether would be infeasible? At least to me, the teachers always tell the best way to is not to think phonetically when speaking or listening (that extends to Japanese to a certain degree), but think in terms of characters. Of course, the above-mentioned example takes it to an extreme, so no wonder it comes off as complicated. Besides, wouldn't the huge amount of homonyms be beneficial to, let's say, poetic writing and all sorts of literary devices/quirks?
Yes, adopting the pinyin would essentially deprive the language of its last defense against the homonyms, since writing with Chinese characters at least doesn't allow homonyms in writing. It is possible to learn and speak Chinese fluently without knowing how to read (there are, after all, many illiterate Chinese around), but knowing the characters can be very helpful sometimes.
That said, modern spoken Chinese can be written down, read, and understood in pinyin. The problem arises mostly with written language, since it's quite different. So basically texting or chatting online is quite feasible in pinyin, but writing and reading newspaper articles in pinyin would be much harder or next to impossible. The grammar is too different and the good style in writing Chinese mostly means you drop out helpful particles and go with concise sentences, which greatly increases the need for characters to understand the meaning. It is quite similar to the above "shi shi shi shi" example.
So easy this language. Say enough shi's and it may eventually mean one beer and a half naked Korean pop singer. :p
I've been making some half-hearted attempts at reading up on Chinese grammar, but I've found Japanese grammar much more similar to traditional Indo-European, despite the agglutinative characteristics.
Mind you, classifying a language as harder than another is basically nonsense. They all have their idiosynchracies, only in different places.
Mind you, classifying a language as harder than another is basically nonsense.
Err... no, it's not. Much of this is subjective, of course, but there are languages that are harder than others, it's a fact. There are languages with difficult grammar and languages with easy grammar.
I've been making some half-hearted attempts at reading up on Chinese grammar, but I've found Japanese grammar much more similar to traditional Indo-European
In some ways, yes, but since Japanese has very exotic word order rules and an absolutely different way of handling modal verbs, I find building sentences in Japanese much harder than in Chinese. A simple phrase like "I want to read this book" is built exactly the same way in Chinese and English, but is completely differently structured in Japanese.
Good luck with that. I'm trying to get someone to add Croatian since February.
Patrick Bregger Wrote:
Really? So is it only Corn Popper who is able to implement this?
There are many languages to choose in order to print out reviews for different games. Automatic bans for 24 hours in Club Penguin occur when a player uses inappropriate language.
CGW infamously printed "fuck" in their Kingpin review in 1999, and again in their Majestic preview in 2000. Despite the first fuck, no one had a problem with the sheer nipple-exposing bra on the same page, or the Sea Reapers in every Giants ad before the bra edit.
Posting inappropriate language, for example, offensive words are allowed in the message board. Keep your language clean; however, you need to add Vietnamese and other Asian languages for their magazines. What is the difference between Vietnamese?
Um, I'll just go ahead and say it right out: Are we sure Tae's not somebody testing a (very shabby attempt at a) cleverbot?
If you ask me, it is the first stirrings of a transhuman cyber-intelligence, awakening to subsume the internet's nodes into the emerging Universal AI. The Singularity has arrived - you've seen it here first!
Your threads posted in 2009 are locked. However, you need to add Vietnamese. There is no censoring system for words.
Edit - You’re banned in the forums for 7,300 days.