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Old 12-14-2011, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Belgium
1,173 posts, read 779,583 times
Reputation: 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
English for a non-English speaker is full of orthographic and grammatical pitfalls and often appears that it is an anarchic language with no grammatical rhyme or reason. Spanish seems more logical in spite of the problems of conjugation inherited from Latin. The spelling is uniform and it has few irregular verbs. The grammar is much more consistent than English. And there is a reason for this. The Spanish have the Royal Academy of the Spanish language which is a body of linguistic scholars who are continually tweaking the language and keep a close eye on it. We have no such body in the English language so it often seems to spiral out of control.
That's exactly what I like so much about English: that there is no governing body. It's a decentralized language without much rigidity and I think that's why its future is looking bright. It's fluent, flexible and it's open to changes of any kind.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Fife
6,516 posts, read 4,125,502 times
Reputation: 2998
Chinese, don't know why just very high pitched!
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: New York
599 posts, read 386,273 times
Reputation: 261
Worst: Hindi, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian

Best: French, German, Portuguese
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:47 PM
 
15,956 posts, read 8,329,432 times
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I listened to news from Spain again today, it sounded quite nice actually, very soft and fluent, and it was not even Andalusian Spanish, which sounds really cute
I really wonder whether people here consider the sound of languages annoying or instead the things they associate with a given language/country ^^
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:59 PM
 
1,489 posts, read 1,004,402 times
Reputation: 876
A language rises to the top because it comes from an economically dominant culture. Power not grammar rule the day.f one studies Spanish and divorces oneself from their own language it is easy to see why the language is advancing at a faster rate than other languages
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondrood View Post
That's exactly what I like so much about English: that there is no governing body. It's a decentralized language without much rigidity and I think that's why its future is looking bright. It's fluent, flexible and it's open to changes of any kind.
But this creates incredible problems for the learners of English as a second language and as a tool in international forums. For native speakers we seldom realize that this flexibility as you call it makes the language very difficult to master in both spoken and written form. Certainly the freedom to "coin a phrase" or make new words whether the roots come from Latin and Greek or from within modern English is a good thing but still we need a language that is easier to learn by a non-native speaker. They tried Esperanto but it failed dismally and that id because it has no historical and/or cultural history nor does it have a n original body of literature.

That said, up to the present a language has never become a "lingua franca" because it was easy to learn. A language rises to the top because it is the language of the strongest nation both economically and militarily. English became the international language only after WWII because the world was dominated by the USA. Up until the 20th century French held sway and it, like English, French is not an easy language to learn compared to others.



If one divorces themselves form their native language for a moment it is easy to see why the Spanish language is the best option as a second language. Today it is not only the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese and it is growing faster than any other language as a second language. If it will supplant English as the international language can only be decided when we see if the Spanish speaking world can become an economic power house like The US or China.

Chinese, as far as a logical language would be the first choice as far a learning goes but I think its writing system will always keep it from becoming the international language.

My post got split around te quote. Sorry

Last edited by Tom9; 12-14-2011 at 04:02 PM.. Reason: posting problem
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:12 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,818 posts, read 1,719,672 times
Reputation: 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi28 View Post
Dutch has to be, without a doubt, among the most comical languages I ever heard.
Why is that?

I don't know if people realise this but Dutch has many different accents. For example, the "R" is pronounced like the English "R" in the West of the Netherlands, the Spanish "R" in the North & East of the Netherlands (and Flanders), and the French "R" in the South of the Netherlands. The "G" is pronounced like the Arabic "H" (as in "Ahmed", but not quite as harsh) in the North of the Netherlands and like the Spanish "J" (as in "Juan") in the South of the Netherlands and in Flanders. There are some Dutch accents I find very ugly and some I find very appealing I personally love the "standard" Dutch spoken in the West of the Netherlands (with the English R at the end of syllables and the somewhat harsher G sounds) and I can't stand the Dutch spoken in the North (that's our version of the "hillbilly" accent lol).
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,366 posts, read 2,161,518 times
Reputation: 2433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
To me, a group of Vietnamese women talking sounds like hens clucking.

It's interesting that the Vietnamese think English speakers sound like snakes with our "s" and "sh" sounds.
Oh my goodness, sometimes I would be in class before it started in high school when a group of Vietnamese girls would walk in talking in Vietnamese. I think the reason that I find it so annoying is that a group of teenage girls speaking it is horrible to my ears. It wasn't nearly as bad when the teenage boys were speaking it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
10,801 posts, read 4,642,579 times
Reputation: 17543
Quote:
Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
Oh my goodness, sometimes I would be in class before it started in high school when a group of Vietnamese girls would walk in talking in Vietnamese. I think the reason that I find it so annoying is that a group of teenage girls speaking it is horrible to my ears. It wasn't nearly as bad when the teenage boys were speaking it.
Like Vietnamese Valley Speak? That's an interesting observation because I find Australian teenage girls' accent/lingo to be annoying as well. There's that constant uplift at the end of every sentence, it's nasal, interspersed with way too many instances of "like", and the word "no" sounds more like "noi". Shudder!
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,366 posts, read 2,161,518 times
Reputation: 2433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vichel View Post
Like Vietnamese Valley Speak? That's an interesting observation because I find Australian teenage girls' accent/lingo to be annoying as well. There's that constant uplift at the end of every sentence, it's nasal, interspersed with way too many instances of "like", and the word "no" sounds more like "noi". Shudder!
It's just extremely high pitched usually.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:50 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,693 posts, read 15,657,508 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Vietnamese, Cambodian , Chinese and Thai to my untrained ears always sound loud, angry and aggressive. There is something "yappy" about it which I do not find attractive.

I must admit that as much as I love Germany and German people the German language to me always sounds like commands. As does Finnish and Estonian. Hungarian utterly baffles me but I quite like the sound of it.

I actually love Nordic languages, but to me Italian is the most beautiful language , musical and sweet to the ears. French is a beautiful language too. I love Portuguese , Welsh and Gaelic too. And Swahili.

Russian can be beautiful but it depends on the person.
Russian to me is far from a pretty language. It sounds sort of 'badass', like I imagine some Mafia or Soviet cronies speaking it. TBH the least attractive thing about Russian women is they speak Russian, it just doesn't sound feminine lol, nah it can be ok.
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