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Old 08-05-2015, 05:52 PM
Location: US
148 posts, read 103,853 times
Reputation: 161


Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
I think that applies to the Mainland Southeast Asian languages like Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, etc. But the Austronesian language (in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) don't have the features you're describing.

Even Thai, which IMO sounds the least "alien" of the Mainland SE Asian languages, still has the features you're describing. I think the main thing that makes it sound foreign is that it's mono-syllabic, like Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese, and many languages in Asia

Thai News Talk about Laos - YouTube

Compare that to some Austronesian languages like Malay & Tagalog (Filipino)...


Drop-out rates climbing - YouTube


GMJ Flash mob news on Bernama (BM) - YouTube

They sound less foreign for a Western. Although, I can see how Filipino would still sound alien/harsh to a Westerner. But Malay sounds Western for some reason. Maybe Arabic and Indian influence.
No one really speaks the way Tagalog is spoken in news. In real life.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:27 PM
919 posts, read 602,331 times
Reputation: 369
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
The spoken language has a simple subject-verb-object syntax and there are no irregular verbs.
Off topic, but you must have forgotten two irregular verbs, suru (to do) and kuru (to come).
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:04 AM
722 posts, read 920,740 times
Reputation: 992
They all sound terrible if you dont understand it, especially if your around those native speakers all the time, it's like listening to a broken record.

some almost sound annoying like the sound of a group of ducks quaking and screaming

I guess Japanese sounds more pleasant to the ears, since they dont yell out and scream so loudly in normal conversations.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:10 AM
Location: US
645 posts, read 610,146 times
Reputation: 210
Whatver anyone says, none of them sound remotely close to English. The difference is like meat and veggies. Only thing is can remotely say close would the Indo Germanic languages still have some similar traits.
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:10 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
Reputation: 36087
Probably, that throat-language that singers use in the Touva Republic.

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Old 08-09-2015, 08:19 PM
96 posts, read 99,165 times
Reputation: 75
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
I share your aversion for strongly tonal languages, where 'ma' can mean half a dozen different things depending on intonation and context, but have to admit that Japanese is the only Asian language I have studied. Maybe if I studied other languages they would not appear so difficult.

Off topic, but I would nominate Norwegian as the language most similar to English. If you understand Scots you have a big leg up on vocabulary and the syntax is identical to English. Some simple sentences in Norsk just sound like accented English.
You are probably not averse to Norwegian even though it is tonal too.
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