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Doomkid

English is the stupidest language ever, bar none

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At least English has the phonetic alphabet. Chinese is pretty ridiculous, it has no visible phonemes so it's nearly impossible to look at a character and infer what it's supposed to sound like.

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On 5/30/2021 at 5:31 PM, Lol 6 said:

Don't worry, spanish is waaay harder

 

No, Portuguese is way more nonsensical, and much more edge-casey. Spanish is surely ez pz

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1 hour ago, RDETalus said:

At least English has the phonetic alphabet. Chinese is pretty ridiculous, it has no visible phonemes so it's nearly impossible to look at a character and infer what it's supposed to sound like.

It's supposed to sound like "shi".

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2 hours ago, RDETalus said:

At least English has the phonetic alphabet. Chinese is pretty ridiculous, it has no visible phonemes so it's nearly impossible to look at a character and infer what it's supposed to sound like.

 

To be fair English's alphabet is no more "phonetic", the difference is that each glyph maps to a more individual sound, rather than a whole syllable like Eastern syllabaria (e.g. Japanese katakana or hiragana), or a whole word (like in Chinese, or Japanese kanji).

 

The one thing that makes the letters in the English language recognizable, both graphically and phonetically, is the fact that those letters derivate from the same Latin alphabet that the vast majortiy of Western languages' alphabets also do. Now a Russian or Greek person would surely think otherwise, because.. well, duh, I don't have to say why, do I? It's all a matter of perspective.

 

Now, there's no denying how big the Latin language was - and, by extension, its alphabet and its derivates -, even still to this very day. If anything, the global expanse of European languages throughout modern history has only furthered it so much that the Latin alphabet is basically in every corner of the world now. Suddenly, it being the basis for the International Phonetic Alphabet feels a lot less like an arbitrary choice and much more... natural.

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18 minutes ago, Gustavo6046 said:

Now a Russian or Greek person would surely think otherwise, because.. well, duh, I don't have to say why, do I? It's all a matter of perspective. 

Knowledge of the Latin alphabet among native users of Cyrillic or Greek is quite widespread actually. Because Latin alphabet languages have been dominant for so long that educated people just learn them anyway (English nowadays, before it was French -- they didn't speak Russian at the Court of the Tsar, they spoke French -- and before it was, well, Latin, which remained the language of scholars and scientists for so long that we still use it today in biology to classify species).

 

Like, compare Tetris with Doom. Look at the amount of Latin characters and words in the latter page, including sidebars and the categories.

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Yes, apologies, somehow I missed that. All my Russian friends are actually quite decent at English, to varying degrees, which obviously includes some level of knowledge of the Latin alphabet.

 

Although surely there was a time where Latin wasn't quite so widespread, and thus what I said would remain most ubiquitously true, compared to more modern times, especially now where English has established itself as a pervasive international lingua franca of sorts.

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Has anyone mentioned how awful comma rules are? Both in German and English, I still make mistakes despite having spoken and written both languages basically my whole life.

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51 minutes ago, Gustavo6046 said:

Although surely there was a time where Latin wasn't quite so widespread, and thus what I said would remain most ubiquitously true, compared to more modern times, especially now where English has established itself as a pervasive international lingua franca of sorts.

Well it's mostly that higher education is now pervasive across all the developed world. Gone are the times when 95% of the population could earn a living without needing any sort of literacy.

 

Bring Internet to the 15th century, and everyone would speak Latin on it.

 

But basically I was commenting because I sometimes take a look at international newspapers for fun, see what they're talking about in country A or B (thanks to sites like DeepL and Google Translate for making that possible, even if the quality of the translations is atrocious it's at least possible to get an idea of what they're talking about) and it's something that always struck me when looking at non-Latin alphabet languages. Greek, Russian, Japanese, Arabic... Doesn't matter. There's Latin text in it because nobody has ever thought that "iPhone" or "NASA" or whatever was something that could be transliterated. The other way around, transliteration is systematic. You will not see any newspaper titling "Роман Протасевич captured by the КГБ".

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Hardest part of english for me is the pronunciation. A vogal can have entirely different sound and there´s no indication at all lol

 

Still, regarding ruleset, english is still a lot easier than Portuguese and (especially) French >.<

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27 minutes ago, Gez said:

There's Latin text in it because nobody has ever thought that "iPhone" or "NASA" or whatever was something that could be transliterated.

 

Chinese has a habit of doing this transliteration to an extent that I don't see in other languages, even Japanese. The language demands that everything be turned into Chinese characters, there is no Shrek or McDonalds or iPhone, there is 史瑞克, 麥當勞, and 蘋果手機.

This is more apparent in spoken language, if you had a room of people from all over the world and asked them what the name of that restaurant with the golden arches is, everyone will reply "McDonald's" in the closest approximation of English that their accent will allow, only the Chinese will say 麥當勞.

Edited by RDETalus

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25 minutes ago, Gez said:

Well it's mostly that higher education is now pervasive across all the developed world. Gone are the times when 95% of the population could earn a living without needing any sort of literacy.

 

Bring Internet to the 15th century, and everyone would speak Latin on it.

 

Literacy is ubiquitous now, and there is no contesting of that. But I don't think that merely that is sufficient to imply that the spread of the Latin alphabet across so much of the Western world was natural and entirely by chance, as you seem to imply; both the Roman empire, subsequently the French, and, now, the English (and anglophones alike), share, by their sheer omnipresence in history, responsibility in spreading the Latin language, as well as European linguistic traits in general, disseminating them all across the world. While now American English is the form of English that is most likely to reach people whom aren't natively anglophone, I still give credit to the English (or British in general), given the naval supremacy of the English Royal Navy during colonial and modern history.

 

Rome already rose and fell before the 15th century. :)

 

26 minutes ago, Gez said:

The other way around, transliteration is systematic. You will not see any newspaper titling "Роман Протасевич captured by the КГБ".

 

Yes, but do keep in mind that the original literation is often included next to the Romanticised form, most notably in Wikipedia articles.

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17 minutes ago, Deadwing said:

Hardest part of english for me is the pronunciation. A vogal can have entirely different sound and there´s no indication at all lol

I used to worry about it, but then I found out that you can apply the following rules to pronounce any unknown English word:

  1. Replace all vowels with schwas.
  2. Mash up the consonants in a thick formless paste, so that you get only one syllable, or two at most. Follow the example of forecastle => focsle and Worcester => wuster
  3. If people don't understand, just repeat the same unintelligible mess, but more loudly.
  4. If that fails, give up and tell the other person to learn English. Especially if they're a native English speaker.
3 minutes ago, Gustavo6046 said:

as you seem to imply

I didn't imply anything about the whys and wherefores.

The cause was largely the influence of the dominant empire, really. This influence can be exerted directly by conquest, or indirectly by prestige (aka soft power). For example, take the 1875 Treaty of Saint Petersburg between Russia and Japan. Is it written in Russian? Or in Japanese? Or maybe in both? Nay, it's in French. The shift from French to English started after WW1 and was complete by the end of WW2; neatly coinciding (and not by random chance) with the rise of the USA as an economic and military superpower and the simultaneous downfall of European empires. Which is why it's specifically American English, and not British English, that is the current lingua franca.

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1 minute ago, Gez said:

The cause was largely the influence of the dominant empire, really. This influence can be exerted directly by conquest, or indirectly by prestige (aka soft power). For example, take the 1875 Treaty of Saint Petersburg between Russia and Japan. Is it written in Russian? Or in Japanese? Or maybe in both? Nay, it's in French. The shift from French to English started after WW1 and was complete by the end of WW2; neatly coinciding (and not by random chance) with the rise of the USA as an economic and military superpower and the simultaneous downfall of European empires. Which is why it's specifically American English, and not British English, that is the current lingua franca.

 

Ah, I see. Yes, I did mention French as an European lingua franca. But I wasn't aware of how modern English as a lingua franca really is. And, indeed, it seems it had nothing to do with the Royal Navy after all, heh.

 

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8 hours ago, Muusi said:

Didn't even realize that yeah it came off as if i think of trans people are the living stereotype and i'm not gonna argue with that.

 

I always wondered how many such people try, well, living normal lives ("under the radar" you might say, away from stereotypes as possible) and how many actually adopt a set of codified behaviors and a more "activist" and visible attitude not so much because they really want to or feel like they must, or as an act of individual rebellion, but because the group they belong to says they must do so, through the usual means (ranging from low-simmer peer pressure, down to old-fashioned explicit "political guidance" in some cases).

 

The latter wouldn't be unusual, a lot of religious but even non-religious groups actually frown upon non-militant/tag-along members, feeling that there's no time and place for "lukewarm" attitudes. And yet you seldom hear anyone from what I assume must be the silent majority of said groups saying "the loud ones speak only for themselves" or "I think me and others like me are needlessly exposed by the actions of a minority within our group". I guess that's why they're the "silent" majority, duh....

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5 hours ago, Maes said:

The latter wouldn't be unusual, a lot of religious but even non-religious groups actually frown upon non-militant/tag-along members, feeling that there's no time and place for "lukewarm" attitudes. And yet you seldom hear anyone from what I assume must be the silent majority of said groups saying "the loud ones speak only for themselves" or "I think me and others like me are needlessly exposed by the actions of a minority within our group". I guess that's why they're the "silent" majority, duh....

 

Whenever I see Christians saying offensive, hateful nonsense on the internet I am always quick to notice the number of Christians who will point out that the hateful ones are not representative of all Christians, and are just hateful people twisting the bible to suit their hateful needs.

 

More on topic, I am glad that I didn't need to learn multiple different writing systems like if I'd learned Japanese as a first language. There is no way me as a child could have kept all the different symbols and what belongs with what system straight.

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On 6/8/2021 at 8:02 AM, Gez said:

German is famous for having had "Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz" in official documents. You could split back the word into its constituent parts, maybe insert some articles and perhaps change the order a bit, to turn a single agglutinated word into a multi-word phrase that looks simpler to parse.

I've always heard it's possible in German to construct a single word roughly translating to "Please don't spit on the floor." Whether that's true or not, I have no idea.

 

Alas, the only German I know, and it's probably grammatically incorrect German, is "Vergessen Sie nicht, bitte, mein Ohr in der Plastiktasche zu bringen."

 

HOW I know that is a story for another time.

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Watching my 6 year daughter learn how to write, what does not make sense for me (in any language) is that C sometimes is pronounced as S, and S sometimes is pronounced as Z, G sometimes is J, etc etc. It would be much simpler if every letter sounded always the same. Most of her spelling errors happen because she writes the words exactly as she hears them, and it makes more sense to me.

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7 hours ago, Darch said:

Watching my 6 year daughter learn how to write, what does not make sense for me (in any language) is that C sometimes is pronounced as S, and S sometimes is pronounced as Z, G sometimes is J, etc etc. It would be much simpler if every letter sounded always the same. Most of her spelling errors happen because she writes the words exactly as she hears them, and it makes more sense to me.

That's what happens when it evolves but literacy was not really considered a significant thing until relatively recently.

 

Of course, there's also the fact languages evolve over time. The way we write is going to seem just as strange to people in the year 2612 as we look at Shakespeare today, even if they can understand it.

 

Or should I say, to-day?

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21 hours ago, Dark Pulse said:

I've always heard it's possible in German to construct a single word roughly translating to "Please don't spit on the floor." Whether that's true or not, I have no idea.

 

Alas, the only German I know, and it's probably grammatically incorrect German, is "Vergessen Sie nicht, bitte, mein Ohr in der Plastiktasche zu bringen."

 

HOW I know that is a story for another time.

 

You fuse nouns and adjectives when they belong together.


Example:
Main Weapon = Mainweapon

 

Also happens in english, but not as a frequent Rule.

Mainboard as example.

 

So if you have shitty Mainboards you can create:

Shitmainboards.

 

If you make a Law for Shotmainboards you can call it the:

Shitmainboardlaw

 

The last part is the main part and everything before is to make a exactly description.

Everything behind the "of" :

 

Law of shitty Main Boards.

 

So and to close it up.

Because our Law is a public one, we will call it the:

Shitmainboardcivillaw

 

Edit:

Now it would be:

Civil Law of shitty Main Boards.

 

Edit2:

And yes, you could part it more or less in the same Way as in enlgish.

Sheißhauptplatinenzivilgesetz =

Ziviles Gesetz der scheiß Hauptplatinen

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Written English and spoken English are two completely different languages.

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On 6/26/2021 at 7:10 AM, Gez said:

Written English and spoken English are two completely different languages.

 

Written language and spoken language are two completely different systems that have been linked together out of practicality. It does not matter what language you look at, there will be bizarre inconsistencies between what's written and what's intended to be spoken aloud. There will always be contradictions, there will always be variations, there will always be changes over time. A lot of the complaints about how English letter pronunciation rules make little sense could be solved if accents were reintroduced to English spelling rules (é, â, ç, etc.), but then you'd get people complaining about how those accents make spelling more complicated. There is no pretty solution, and honestly I'm of the opinion that there isn't even a problem to be solved. Language is language. It isn't broken, it just is. And it's beautiful.

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On 6/26/2021 at 9:10 AM, Gez said:

Written English and spoken English are two completely different languages.

 

If people think spoken and written English are completely different, try Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, or Thai.

 

The Thai script looks even crazier than Chinese characters do:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_script

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On 5/30/2021 at 3:25 PM, Doomkid said:

I'm a native English speaker, but the arbitrary, nonsensical rules of English make my shit curl..

 

Why in the name of fuck can't "it's" be used as a possessive? Throughout all of English, adding an apostrophe and an S either shows possession, or is a contraction of "<word> is (or has)".

 

For some reason, when it comes to the word "it", that's thrown out the window and now it's magically only valid as a contraction. "It's" means "it is" exclusively, so the sentence "every dog has it's day" is not valid, even though "every dog's day" is valid.

 

Whatever dumbfuck decided that rule is a real asshole, you know that?? I'm going to continue to use "it's" as a possessive even though I know it's "wrong". Because it shouldn't be wrong. "Every dog has it's day" SHOULD be valid, goddamnit, and there is no argument that will convince me otherwise, because applying different rules to "it" than basically every other word in the dictionary is just inherently nonsensical. It's gibberish.

 

The rules are so inconsistent. This frankenlanguage makes no goddamn sense whatsoever.

 

Any other examples of English being a messy pot of shit you can think of off the top of your head?

 

EDIT: I realized what a dumbfuck I am after writing this so don't feel the need to point it out to me (or do, it might be funny, who gives a damn anyway)

 

Every language is full of amazing absurdities.

 

From a 20th century Chinese poem (written in Classical, read in Mandarin) written to mock proposals for the compulsory romanization of Chinese. If it looks like it would be incomprehensible spoken out loud, it is, even to Chinese speakers:


 

Quote

 

石室詩士施氏,嗜獅,誓食十獅。

氏時時適市視獅。

十時,適十獅適市。

是時,適施氏適市。

氏視是十獅,恃矢勢,使是十獅逝世。

氏拾是十獅屍,適石室。

石室濕,氏使侍拭石室。

石室拭,氏始試食是十獅。

食時,始識是十獅屍,實十石獅屍。

試釋是事。

 

Shíshì shīshì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī.

Shì shíshí shì shì shì shī.

Shí shí, shì shí shī shì shì.

Shì shí, shì Shī Shì shì shì.

Shì shì shì shí shī, shì shǐ shì, shǐ shì shí shī shìshì.

Shì shí shì shí shī shī, shì shíshì.

Shíshì shī, Shì shǐ shì shì shíshì.

Shíshì shì, Shì shǐ shì shí shì shí shī.

Shí shí, shǐ shí shì shí shī shī, shí shí shí shī shī.

Shì shì shì shì.

 

 

Translation:


 

Quote

 

In a stone den was a poet called Shi Shi, who was a lover of lion meat, and had resolved to eat ten lions.

He often went to the market to look for lions.

At ten o’clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.

At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.

He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, killed them.

He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.

The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.

After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.

When he ate, he realized that these ten lions were in fact ten stone lion statues.

Try to make sense of this [in Roman letters].

 

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On 5/30/2021 at 3:55 PM, Endless said:

Let's not forget that pronunciation is god awful if you're not a native speaker. You pretty much have to memorize all the sounds.

 

This pronunciation sounds a lot like 14th century Middle English, which is fairly close to the sort of English that our spelling is based on:

 

 

On 5/31/2021 at 10:30 AM, illwieckz said:

 

In French, inflammable means “can be put on fire”, we use “ininflammable” for ”cannot be put on fire”, “flammable” being a mistake, a word that must not exist and that is sometime made up by ignorant people misunderstanding “inflammable” (wrongly believing it means the opposite). But what's fun is like, In french we say “habitant” for what English uses for “inhabitant”, but in French we say “inhabité” (“inhabited”) for place without “habitant”, so place without inhabitant. So, “inhabitant” is consistent with “inflammable”, and “habitant” is consistent with “flammable”, but “inhabitant” and “flammable” are used in English and “habitant” and “inflammable” are used in French. But, well “flammable” was probably a mistake in English at first.

"Inflammable" is the original English form (derived from inflame, to set on fire, just like French) but it apparently caused confusion on safety labels when read by uneducated people, so the "in" was removed.

Edited by Woolie Wool

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