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Old 02-24-2014, 07:22 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 892,082 times
Reputation: 306

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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
I agree with you botticelli. Most people who claim to be multilingual almost always speak only western European languages. But what about Finnish citizens? Do they count? Their native language is an Asiatic one
No, it's not. Finland is in Europe and because of that it's a European language as much as any other which belongs to the Indo-European language family or any other.

Are you referring to Finno-Ugric language as a language family who has members that straddle the area between Asia and Europe? Well Indo-European languages also straddle the area between Europe and Asia too and far beyond too.

It doesn't even make sense to have a category called "Asian languages" in anything other than a geographic term. They have nothing to do with one another. Is Arabic both an Asian and an African language (hey, it's even in a category called "Afro-Asiatic" as a language family )?
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:24 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 892,082 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
^ Interesting. Yes it's a bit like Latin, very logical/scientific with a lot of roots. That's probably partly why science retains Latin names to describe species.

Yet it seems they also speak fast in Mandarin.
Ummm.... all languages have roots. Unless you created an artificial language from scratch for fun, and those do exist, right?
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,231,639 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
Ummm.... all languages have roots. Unless you created an artificial language from scratch for fun, and those do exist, right?
Well I mean, more words are based on their roots vs English. I think the fact English vocab is so borrowed from elsewhere, especially French/Latin along with Germanic, which complicates things. I think most Chinese vocab is Chinese.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:35 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,253,275 times
Reputation: 7578
Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
Ummm.... all languages have roots. Unless you created an artificial language from scratch for fun, and those do exist, right?
yes but to different extent.

What's the roots for cheetah, leopard and cougar? they are very similar animals.
What's the roots for cod, mackerel, carp and tuna? they are all fish.
What's the roots for apple, mango and fig? they are all fruits.

In Chinese, these things who belong to the same category will share one root, so just by know that root, you will know they are large cats, fish and fruits. In English, you just have to know the words. There is nothing in "mango" that indicates that it is a kind of fruit.

that's why English needs such a large vocabulary while Chinese doesn't because the morphology of Chinese is more creative and flexible. Mango for example isn't originated from China, but Chinese integrated it into its own vocabulary system to make it very Chinese.

Japanese is the worst. It literally just borrows "banana" from English and "apple" from Chinese, and pronounce them in the similar way too.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:49 PM
 
268 posts, read 324,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Well they would use tone markers like in Vietnamese quoc ngo. I don't think there's been a problem there.
People studying Chinese often rely on tone markers initially, but after a certain point it isn't feasible because too many words sound the same. For example: 'mai' said only in the 4th tone has 7 different meanings. Even with a tone marker on top I wouldn't know which meaning is being implied. They would have to give a unique mark in addition to the tone mark for all 7 of those words.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,231,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guawazi View Post
People studying Chinese often rely on tone markers initially, but after a certain point it isn't feasible because too many words sound the same. For example: 'mai' said only in the 4th tone has 7 different meanings. Even with a tone marker on top I wouldn't know which meaning is being implied. They would have to give a unique mark in addition to the tone mark for all 7 of those words.
Haha, what a coincidence, my good friend from Vietnam is named 'Mai.' I'll have to ask her about that. Well they seem to get by ok with the tone markers.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:54 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,546 posts, read 70,455,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
5) Be difficult is not a good reason for not learning. If westerners are not motivated enough to learn, that only means China is not strong and influential enough. How many westerners actually put as much effort in learning Chinese as a Chinese student learns English? You can always be good at a language if you put enough time into it.
?? I wasn't making an argument for switching to pin=yin, I was just commenting. There's no question that characters are a better way to represent the language.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:55 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,546 posts, read 70,455,727 times
Reputation: 76511
Quote:
Originally Posted by guawazi View Post
People studying Chinese often rely on tone markers initially, but after a certain point it isn't feasible because too many words sound the same. For example: 'mai' said only in the 4th tone has 7 different meanings. Even with a tone marker on top I wouldn't know which meaning is being implied. They would have to give a unique mark in addition to the tone mark for all 7 of those words.
This is exactly what I meant when I said pin-yin doesn't work because of the problem with so many homonyms. Even if you add tone marks, it doesn't eliminate the problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman;
Well they would use tone markers like in Vietnamese quoc ngo. I don't think there's been a problem there.
There is a problem there, as explained above.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:06 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,667,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
This is exactly what I meant when I said pin-yin doesn't work because of the problem with so many homonyms. Even if you add tone marks, it doesn't eliminate the problem.
There is a problem there, as explained above.
There's actually a poem that uses only the syllable "shi" in different tones: Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It illustrates how incomprehensible written Chinese can be if not for the characters. This poem is extremely outlandish, but the point is the characters can convey something effectively that is impossible with pinyin.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:58 AM
 
Location: West Jakarta + Tangerang
376 posts, read 742,424 times
Reputation: 77
for me the difficulties I faced in learning Asian languages ​​is how I had to learn to write letters and memorized word for word, all Asian languages ​​are very difficult to learn but one The most straightforward is to memorize and write "Tagalog and Malay " or Japanese without kanji .. it's a little easier I learned to ^ ^
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