View Full Version : Most beautiful language


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03-01-07, 01:14 AM
Hi,
which language do you think sounds the best, is most beautiful and pleasant to the ear?
From what I've heard I like Latin most.

They even have a saying: Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur.
Or "Anything said in Latin sounds profound".

spuriousmonkey
03-01-07, 01:38 AM
Finnish is quite poetic. I like listening to Finnish lyrics more than to English although I understand less.

Plazma Inferno!
03-01-07, 06:35 AM
Czech! Sounds so cheerful!

tablariddim
03-01-07, 06:44 AM
I like French the most. I went for French lessons once, it cost me 20 quid and I got crabs.

Ripley
03-01-07, 07:36 AM
I like a language that's direct and open to new possibilities: english. Like, hey, I need to sync pronto. I also like german but words tend to be a tad long. French! Too many words and roundabouts, as is spanish. Latin, although I don't speak it, feels too convoluted for my personality -- and has that green brass, abraded feel to it.

Xerxes
03-01-07, 07:46 AM
Portuguese

Nickelodeon
03-01-07, 07:50 AM
Won't a lot depend on the accent?

RoyLennigan
03-01-07, 08:37 AM
Sanskrit

Ripley
03-01-07, 08:37 AM
Won't a lot depend on the accent?

Or the tempo/rhythm. I suppose it all depends on personal taste. I prefer angular over melodic -- each 'beautiful' in their own right, I suppose.

The Devil Inside
03-01-07, 08:47 PM
russian is a wonderful sounding language if a woman speaks it....when men speak it, it sounds like vomiting glass.

*shrug* go figure.

Genji
03-01-07, 08:50 PM
Spanish sounds beautiful to me. Whispered especially. Then French.

mindtrick
03-01-07, 08:53 PM
I like Asian languages, Korean, Chinese, Japanese

S.A.M.
03-01-07, 08:57 PM
Urdu is the most beautiful language I know. I luuuuv Urdu poetry, especially the ghazal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghazal) and the work of Mirza Ghalib. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirza_Ghalib)

You can say stuff in Urdu that is simply impossible to translate.

The Devil Inside
03-01-07, 08:59 PM
Urdu is the most beautiful language I know. I luuuuv Urdu poetry, especially the ghazal and the work of Mirza Ghalib.

You can say stuff in Urdu that is simply impossible to translate.

my sister speaks urdu..her kids sound hilarious in their little kid voices, babbling away.

i believe what you say!

S.A.M.
03-01-07, 09:00 PM
my sister speaks urdu..her kids sound hilarious in their little kid voices, babbling away.

i believe what you say!

Did you pick up any?

mindtrick
03-01-07, 09:02 PM
Jive Jive Pakistan

Genji
03-01-07, 09:04 PM
Alot of languages are beautiful but are spoken so rapidly it loses it's appeal. East Asian tongues are like this. Arabic and Persian too. If they were spoken much more slowly they would sound better.

The Devil Inside
03-01-07, 09:10 PM
Did you pick up any?

nah i dont see them often..havent in 2 years :(

they live in florida, and im in this hellhole of a country called belgium.

Zardozi
03-02-07, 10:45 AM
is Opera a language? Can it be spoken without song? No, Not Oprah.

Nickelodeon
03-02-07, 11:05 AM
C++

Xerxes
03-02-07, 11:10 AM
Ahh yes, the ugly twin sister of C.. C++.

*throws up a little in mouth*

You must be joking?

draqon
03-02-07, 11:23 AM
Hi,
which language do you think sounds the best, is most beautiful and pleasant to the ear?
From what I've heard I like Latin most.

They even have a saying: Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur.
Or "Anything said in Latin sounds profound".

math language is amazing. I mean just use formulas to convey everything.

orcot
03-02-07, 12:52 PM
Personally I never figured out the headers in C++ and al my creations look like their in DOSS.

Give me Spanish for most beatiful languege.
I do also like finish but that's more funny then beautiful

Asians seem to bark to much when they speak no offence but they seem to speak in syllables in stead of more fluwend languege.

Yorda
03-02-07, 02:21 PM
Greek, Japanese/Chinese, Hindu, Sinhalese and Arabian (for example) have a much cooler "alphabet" than we. Greek also has cool words, that's why all planets have Greek names and all the ancient Greeks had to become geniuses to invent their language because their language looks like a big equation. And even today scientists have to use Greek letters in Mathematics to make their equations sound more genius.

The Bible tells us that language created our universe: "In the beginning was the Word".

So the only reason Japanese are obsessed with cuteness is because their language sounds cute. And Americans make cool movies and music because their language sounds cool.

English is not a big language because people spread it around, because if the language had sucked, it couldn't have been spread.

Programming and Math language are pretty cool too, but they don't count!

draqon
03-02-07, 02:24 PM
what about language of silence? everlasting eternal silence that never bothers the ear and makes us all understand it without need to learn?

iam
03-02-07, 06:04 PM
Greek, Japanese/Chinese, Hindu, Sinhalese and Arabian (for example) have a much cooler "alphabet" than we. Greek also has cool words, that's why all planets have Greek names and all the ancient Greeks had to become geniuses to invent their language because their language looks like a big equation. And even today scientists have to use Greek letters in Mathematics to make their equations sound more genius.

The Bible tells us that language created our universe: "In the beginning was the Word".

So the only reason Japanese are obsessed with cuteness is because their language sounds cute. And Americans make cool movies and music because their language sounds cool.

English is not a big language because people spread it around, because if the language had sucked, it couldn't have been spread.

Programming and Math language are pretty cool too, but they don't count!


sucky things can be spread around if thier are enough basesuckers who like it. Mcdonalds is the number one restaurant in the world but its 95% shit for food. english is mostly pragmaticly descriptive but i think quite limited in first person full breadth nuanced communication, it talks around the issue rather than the issue.

Facial
03-02-07, 06:46 PM
If there is a most beautiful language, then it would be either Spanish or Mandarin. But you see, I do not know one tenth of one percent of the world's languages, so it's very well still at large.

Ripley
03-02-07, 07:08 PM
english is mostly pragmatically descriptive but i think quite limited in first person full breadth nuanced communication, it talks around the issue rather than the issue.Full breadth nuanced communication? On the contrary, I think one can easily adjunct any sort of subtle coloring into plain english that will transform what you say to mean what you really want to say. Take the word fuck. Depending how it's said, it will puncture surface-reality like a runaway bullet.

Fraggle Rocker
03-02-07, 08:33 PM
Which language do you think sounds the best, is most beautiful and pleasant to the ear?Romanian
From what I've heard I like Latin most.How can we know what spoken Latin sounded like? Everyone today speaks it with a foreign accent. Most people try to make it sound like Italian, with the palatalized soft C's and G's. The Brits of course pronounce the vowels as if they're English. The way scholars reproduce what we can deduce of the phonetics of Classical Latin, with V like W and always-hard C's and G's, it sounds rather harsh to me.
Won't a lot depend on the accent?Oh yeah. Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese sound much different.
I like Asian languages, Korean, Chinese, JapaneseHmm. You must just like them because they're exotic. Chinese doesn't have much of anything in common with the other two.

draqon
03-02-07, 08:44 PM
If there is a most beautiful language, then it would be either Spanish or Mandarin. But you see, I do not know one tenth of one percent of the world's languages, so it's very well still at large.

spanish is one of the ugliest languages in existence. The way they scream and shout...is so repelling. ...and everything is like ending on "cha" or "chos". disgusting.

Silence is the ultimate language.

Zephyr
03-06-07, 07:34 AM
Quenya was designed to be beautiful. (Tolkien based Quenya on Welsh and Sindarin on Finnish, apparently)

A Caita carelya ammelda ar moiana.
Lanta i lómë, utúlielyë tiëo mettanna.
A lorë si, ar óla len i epë tuller.
Entë yaitar hrestallo pella.
Manen neyilyë? Mallo niër antalyassë?
Rato cenuvalyë sa ilyë caurelyar autuvar,
varna mi inya ranqui.

http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/tothewest.htm

(I don't understand it, mind...)

Zephyr
03-06-07, 07:40 AM
Urdu is the most beautiful language I know. I luuuuv Urdu poetry, especially the ghazal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghazal) and the work of Mirza Ghalib. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirza_Ghalib)

You can say stuff in Urdu that is simply impossible to translate.

I thought Urdu was just Hindi with a different alphabet...?

Circe
03-06-07, 08:16 AM
Whispers of the whales

http://youtube.com/watch?v=y0IcB34uE9Q&mode=related&search=

Facial
03-07-07, 07:11 PM
spanish is one of the ugliest languages in existence. The way they scream and shout...is so repelling. ...and everything is like ending on "cha" or "chos". disgusting.

Silence is the ultimate language.

Then you must hate staccatos in music.

paulfr
03-08-07, 11:47 AM
Thailand's Thai language is soft, monosyllabic and lovely sounding.

In general, a language with heavy use of vowels rather than harsh sounding consonants should be the most pleasant to hear. But it is the consonants that have all the information. You can confirm this by taking some text and blacking out the vowels and anyone will be able to read it with >90% comprehension.

The Czek language is known for heavy use of consonants and it sounds harsh and unpleasant. But it sure is efficient.

draqon
03-08-07, 02:15 PM
Thai is indeed a beautiful language

Oniw17
03-08-07, 02:26 PM
I'd say Magyar or Cantonese, but I haven't been exposed to all that many languages, outside of movies.

Athelwulf
03-09-07, 11:13 PM
As with most things, I have a hard time choosing one language and labeling it "most beautiful". Each language has its own character and its own sound, and they're all quite beautiful in their own ways and in their own right.

I like German and other Germanic languages because they sound distinctly rugged and manly. I'm also partial to them, German being the only other language I know fairly well.

Russian sounds similar to me, but a bit exotic because I don't know it well at all, and also cleaner because it uses the velar fricative rather than German's gargley uvular fricative. I used to not like its rolled R because I didn't think of it as particularly rugged, and I wished it used a guttural R instead. But I've grown to appreciate the added cleanliness, which seems not to retract from the language's overall rugged, manly sound. I really like Russian accents too.

Spanish sounds kinda spicy, and I like the clean, pure sound of it. Italian and Portuguese sound like this too, although more classy than spicy. But Portuguese has a vaguely Spanish class to it, almost "saucy", I guess. To me, these sound smoothest and most esthetically pleasing when spoken by a deep-voiced man, Spanish especially. Sometimes women will sound like they're squawking when they speak, but not always.

French sounds a bit stuffy, but also intelligent, and I like how the native speakers almost whisper when they talk. French seems to be somehow well suited for whispering in a way English just isn't. I think both men and women can pull off pleasing accents and pleasing French.

Although, all these descriptions of what languages sound like are largely subjective.


Greek also has cool words, that's why all planets have Greek names and all the ancient Greeks had to become geniuses to invent their language because their language looks like a big equation.

The Greeks didn't invent their language, unless you mean their written language, but even then I might disagree. And their alphabet looks just as natural and normal to them as ours does to us.


And even today scientists have to use Greek letters in Mathematics to make their equations sound more genius.

Because our culture perceives the ancient Greek language and culture as sophisticated.


So the only reason Japanese are obsessed with cuteness is because their language sounds cute. And Americans make cool movies and music because their language sounds cool.

I wouldn't say Japanese people are obsessed with cuteness any more than Americans or anyone else are. And American culture isn't really any more or less "cool" than any other, nor is American English. If you expose yourself to foreign cultures, I'm sure they'll seem pretty "cool" too.


English is not a big language because people spread it around, because if the language had sucked, it couldn't have been spread.

English spread because the English people were good conquerers, not because their language "didn't suck". The English could've spoken Klingon and it would've spread all the same.

D1v1ne
03-16-07, 08:34 PM
I have always thought that Romanian is very melodious because of all the rolled vowels in the words. :p

valich
03-17-07, 06:04 PM
Chinese is soothing to me and is perhaps the main reason why I became so involved with Chinese culture in the first place. It has a nice mellow flow compared to the say the more harsh consonant stops of German. However, I like Southern dialects much more than Northern because the later, such as Beijing dialect, sound more mushy and loose.

Facial
03-17-07, 06:42 PM
spanish is one of the ugliest languages in existence. The way they scream and shout...is so repelling. ...and everything is like ending on "cha" or "chos". disgusting.

Actually, I shall amend to the "staccatos" point. I would easily hate anything resembling that type of music too, it's just that the style isn't necessarily limited to a limited amount of Spanish speakers - of course you have the English rappers, who have limited enunciation and sometimes awful sounding, and the Portugese rappers, which can sound disgusting as well.

The worse to be found in any language I know would be English heavy death metal rock, like Pantera or Dying Fetus.

Fraggle Rocker
03-18-07, 12:02 PM
Chinese is soothing to me and is perhaps the main reason why I became so involved with Chinese culture in the first place. It has a nice mellow flow compared to the say the more harsh consonant stops of German.Chinese is a more compact language. Meaningless noise words like articles and prepositions are virtually absent, as are syllables indicating almost equally meaningless inflections. As a result it takes fewer syllables to express an idea in Chinese than in most other languages: About 15% compared to English and French (probably the most compact of the Indo-European family) by my own informal reckoning, which would make it about 30% compared to Spanish and maybe 35-40% for Italian. As a result, the language is spoken somewhat more slowly--or far more slowly if you're talking about Italian. (After all there's a limit to how fast your brain can produce the thoughts). That makes it easier for a foreign student to follow the sentences, and it also gives it that "nice mellow flow" you're talking about. Furthermore, the fact that tones are phonemic prevents Chinese speakers from animating the tone of their voice to express feelings. This gives it an even smoother flow, as well as requiring feelings to be expressed in words. Instead of a narrow range of tones to tell you how they feel, Chinese are naturally guided into using thousands of words to do it. It is much more expressive language.

superstring01
03-18-07, 02:51 PM
Hmmm. As a speaker of Spanish and English I'd have to say that FRENCH is the most beautiful sounding... followed closely by spanish. English, however, tops them all in its color and deapth.

~String

Fraggle Rocker
03-18-07, 05:43 PM
Beauty is in the ear of the... of the... be-listener? :)

Listening to one foreign language spoken by a native speaker of a different foreign language can be very entertaining. I don't think I've ever heard anything quite as lovely as the Swedish flight attendants on an SAS airliner speaking German.

Hani
03-19-07, 10:41 AM
The most beautiful language is, of course, French...

comes after it persian ( Farsi )...

this is a famous ordering... it depends on how much consonants are less pronounced, I guess...

Chatha
03-19-07, 11:52 AM
Personally, I think all language are beautiful. It sounds beautiful when an African speaks Afrikkan, so does a French, and so does an Arabian. Any language I don't understand, and sounds foreign, is beautiful to me. But when it comes to culture, India beats everybody hands down. Not that crapy mistake in America, the real India, the one with the oldest religion in the world, most beautiful scenery, and wonderful enchantements.

whitewolf
03-31-07, 02:12 AM
The language in which there is "denouement," the poor spelling of "denouncement." The language which has no brutal words like "блядь" but can go as pleasant as "lady" or "sir."

Qodaet
12-09-07, 10:17 PM
Very Beautiful languages:

Portuguese = a very sweet and poetic language
Italian = a beautiful accent
French = nobly
Greek = very beautiful when spoken and when written
Farsi (Persian) = exotic, beautiful accent and beautiful writting form

Special cases:

English = beautiful in some places, extremely ugly in others (the Texan English is terrible in my opinion, while the brittish is very beautiful).
Spanish = due to its poor phonemes and strong accent, it can sound ugly. But when spoken slowly and poetically, it can be very beautiful.
Arabic = It can be ugly when spoken fast, but very beautiful when sung and written.
Japanese = This is the opposite of Arabic. Beautiful when spoken, ugly when sung.

But, being ugly or beautiful, all languages are interesting and perfect to express yourself.

Kadark
12-09-07, 10:28 PM
Turkish.

"O ne güzel bir kumandandır, Istanbulı fed eden kumandan."

draqon
12-09-07, 10:32 PM
Math is the best language after silence.

http://serc.carleton.edu/images/usingdata/nasaimages/math-equations.gif

lightgigantic
12-09-07, 10:38 PM
Math is the best language after silence.

http://serc.carleton.edu/images/usingdata/nasaimages/math-equations.gif

coming from a guy who averages 21 posts per day
:confused:

draqon
12-09-07, 10:40 PM
coming from a guy who averages 21 posts per day
:confused:

I admire math language and have not conquered it to speak it fully.

lightgigantic
12-09-07, 10:53 PM
I admire math language and have not conquered it to speak it fully.
it was more the idea of it coming a second to silence that I found intriguing

draqon
12-09-07, 10:55 PM
it was more the idea of it coming a second to silence that I found intriguing

well...what you see is just what I type.

lightgigantic
12-09-07, 11:02 PM
well...what you see is just what I type.

yup
and its not the sound of one hand clapping

shalayka
12-09-07, 11:58 PM
C++

I second that.

sniffy
12-10-07, 04:24 AM
The language of love is universal.

saudade
12-10-07, 06:36 AM
Hmmm let's see... I love listening to Welsh and Russian, as spoken by women. I also like to speak French, it's just so much fun... I also think that many British accents are very beautiful, especially on girls...

lepadept
01-02-10, 01:07 PM
Gaeilge (Irish). Easily the most beautiful language on the planet. Best language to sing in. Seriously this is the language that inspired all of the sing songy languages in fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings.

Forum over.

Beaulang
01-09-10, 10:18 AM
The most beautiful languages in the world by my opinion are:

Japanese
Lithuanian
Italian
French
Spanish

Watch this song and read it:

Japanese: http : // www . youtube . com/watch?v=c8KXoGuTeV4

Lithuanian: http : // www . youtube . com/watch?v=JOGz823nVIs
Lithuanian: http : // www . youtube . com/watch?v=IdVXEJJp1tc&feature=related
Lithuanian: http : // www . youtube . com/watch?v=KWt3Qd50mX0&feature=related
Lithuanian: http : // www . youtube . com/watch?v=mk0UcMb2X-w&NR=1

The other 3 you know well. Remove spaces where appropriate to be able to see the videos.

Orleander
01-09-10, 03:48 PM
Gaeilge (Irish). Easily the most beautiful language on the planet. Best language to sing in. Seriously this is the language that inspired all of the sing songy languages in fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings.

Forum over.

both my grandparents spoke Scottish Gaelic. They didn't teach it to any of their kids. They only spoke it to each other and rarely when they came to America.

And if anyone brings up a language created for a movie (elvish, klingon) I'm fond of the language LeeLoo speaks in Fifth Element

Omega133
01-09-10, 04:01 PM
both my grandparents spoke Scottish Gaelic. They didn't teach it to any of their kids. They only spoke it to each other and rarely when they came to America.

And if anyone brings up a language created for a movie (elvish, klingon) I'm fond of the language LeeLoo speaks in Fifth Element

Would how Yoda speaks count as a language? Cool, I think it is.

nirakar
01-09-10, 06:27 PM
Catalan is my favorite Indo-European European language to listen to. I also prefer Catalan to all Asian, Native-American and semitic languages.

Some African languages sound very nice in music and I have liked listening to some Nigerian immigrants in the USA. It is possible that I might prefer some African languages to Catalan.

krazedkat
01-10-10, 12:48 AM
Czech/Slovak both rock.

ScaryMonster
01-10-10, 02:32 AM
Portuguese

I concur! But I like Brazilian Portuguese the best it sounds like a Samba.”

Norsefire
01-10-10, 09:01 AM
Spanish, in my opinion, is one of the least attractive languages. Though that is probably because I hear it so much here; though like dragon says, it is repulsive.

Most beautiful language? Probably Latin, Gaelic, or Russian

Fraggle Rocker
01-10-10, 01:47 PM
Most beautiful language? Probably Latin, Gaelic, or RussianNo one knows how Latin sounded. Of course we know the phonemes but there were no tape recorders to give us any more than that.

The way Latin is pronounced today by priests and scholars is a travesty. They don't even get the phonemes right, overlaying them with the "foreign accent" of their own native language.

By reconstructing Latin phonetics from the phonetics of the Romance languages that descended from it, and from the pronunciation of words borrowed from Latin into unrelated languages, we know that in Classical Latin:V was always pronounced W R was flapped, not liquid G and C were always "hard" QU was always pronounced KW, never K S was always pronounced S, never Z U was always a monophthong OO, never a diphthong YOO J was always pronounced Y Vowels were all cardinal, although a few had long and short versionsFor example, vere was pronounced way-ray with a British R, not vee-ree with an American R.

I don't think the Pope can get through two sentences of a speech before he blows one of those phonemes.

But there's more to it than that. You can get all the phonemes right and still not sound right. Look at the vast difference between the British and Indian dialects of English, which pronounce all the phonemes the same way but still don't sound like the same language.

Fraggle Rocker
01-10-10, 01:51 PM
both my grandparents spoke Scottish Gaelic. They didn't teach it to any of their kids. They only spoke it to each other and rarely when they came to America.That's a shame. I had the same problem: My mother didn't teach me Bohemian. (We call it Czech now because it's easier to pronounce and spell.)

In those days a lot of people thought it was a handicap to grow up bilingual. Can you imagine that??? It gives you a tremendous advantage, because you have two ways of thinking and it makes it easier to spot your own bullshit before it leaves your mouth.;)

krazedkat
01-10-10, 02:16 PM
Fraggle, you're from Bohemia? (Which in the the czech rupublic, right?)
My family (part of it) comes from the former Czechoslovakia area.

Orleander
01-10-10, 05:33 PM
That's a shame. I had the same problem: My mother didn't teach me Bohemian. (We call it Czech now because it's easier to pronounce and spell.)

In those days a lot of people thought it was a handicap to grow up bilingual. Can you imagine that??? It gives you a tremendous advantage, because you have two ways of thinking and it makes it easier to spot your own bullshit before it leaves your mouth.;)

they wanted to be all things American. My grandmother even changed her name to something more American.

Fraggle Rocker
01-11-10, 05:09 PM
Fraggle, you're from Bohemia? (Which is the the Czech Republic, right?) My family (part of it) comes from the former Czechoslovakia area.The Romans named an area (which comprises the majority of the modern Czech Republic) Bohemia, because at that time a Celtic tribe, the Bohumil, lived there. The Slavs had not arrived in central Europe yet. The Balts and Slavs were the last of the Indo-European tribes to show up in Europe. Unlike the Western Indo-European tribes (the Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic, Italic and Albanian peoples), who came straight up from the ancestral homeland in the Anatolia-Georgia region, the Balts and Slavs are an Eastern Indo-European tribe more closely related to the Indic, Persian, Kurdish and Armenian peoples, and they came up the long way, after first stopping off in India.

The ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks (presumably a single tribe at that time since their modern languages could be considered merely dialects of the same tongue) found their way into Bohemia and evicted the Bohumil around 300-400CE. By then the name Bohemia was established and it was used by all the western and southern Europeans clear up into the 20th century, e.g. German Böhmen. It didn't help that the Czechs named the place Čechy, after themselves, and no one else could spell or pronounce it.

When the Czechs and Slovaks united their countries after WWI, it was natural to call it Československo, running the two names together with proper grammatical inflections. The rest of the continent used the Polish form of that name, Czechoslovakia, presumably because it doesn't require the use of diacritical marks.

When the two countries split up again after Perestroika, the Slovaks retrieved their original name for their country, Slovensko, and we call it Slovakia using the Latin model for country names. However, the Czechs could not call their half by the original name Čechy, because that name only describes the homeland of the Czechs, Bohemia itself, whereas the country also encompasses Moravia--a region with its own history which we'll leave for another time. So they call it Česka Republika, "the Czech Republic."

My mother's parents emigrated from Bohemia about 120 years ago, after first trying a couple of other places including Yugoslavia and Australia. She was born in Chicago, grew up speaking Czech until she went to school, but never visited the old country. I was also born in Chicago but I celebrated my 30th birthday in Praha.
they wanted to be all things American. My grandmother even changed her name to something more American.What could be more American than a northwestern European surname??? The English, Scots, Dutch and French founded this country! Today Irish (Kennedy) and German (Bush) surnames are also regarded as completely American.

Orleander
01-12-10, 05:29 PM
....What could be more American than a northwestern European surname??? The English, Scots, Dutch and French founded this country! Today Irish (Kennedy) and German (Bush) surnames are also regarded as completely American.

she changed her first name. My grandparents came over here as Angus and Agnes. They died as Angus and Dixie. Most American name she could think of.

Fraggle Rocker
01-12-10, 06:35 PM
she changed her first name. My grandparents came over here as Angus and Agnes. They died as Angus and Dixie. Most American name she could think of.How funny. Agnes is a perfectly unremarkable female name in any anglophone country. It's Angus that is so Scottish that you can hear the bagpipes playing. Nobody had to tell us that AC/DC's mooning guitarist Angus Young was born in Scotland!

Norsefire
01-12-10, 07:21 PM
That's just accents, though, isn't it? It's like saying Australian English is 'wrong' because it doesn't sound like American English, but neither of them is 'wrong'. So if you pronounce Latin correctly, is it still 'wrong'?

Fraggle Rocker
01-12-10, 11:27 PM
That's just accents, though, isn't it?To some extent. But an accent is really one of two things: dialect pronunciation that varies from the national standard, or a foreigner changing unfamiliar sounds into similar, more familiar sounds from his native language--often not quite consciously.

With a dead language we don't know precisely what the original phonemes sounded like. Sure, we can reconstruct Latin phonetics so Caesar or Ovid could understand us without a bit of trouble, but they would still say, "Your Latin is really odd; where are you from?" So to that extent, a true scholar of linguistics who is trying to pronounce Latin as closely as possible to authentic, and fails only because he has no precise record of what authentic Latin sounded like, would be said to have an accent.

But with modern Latin there's something beyond that. Most people really don't try to make it sound like the Latin of Ancient Rome. They change the pronunciation of letters into something that's simply incorrect, because it matches the familiar spelling rules of their own language. People pronounce Latin V as V instead of W not because it's hard to say, but because they're following the rules of their own language.

The only people who could almost be called modern native speakers of Latin are the clerics in Vatican City who speak it among themselves. And they speak it as if it were a dialect of Italian. They pronounce ecce as ECHE, the way a word spelled like that would be spoken in Italian. It's supposed to be EKKE. This is not a foreign accent or a regional dialect, this is simply doing it wrong because they never learned what little we actually do know about Latin pronunciation, or because they did learn it but don't give a damn.
It's like saying Australian English is 'wrong' because it doesn't sound like American English, but neither of them is 'wrong'.No. Those are just dialects of English, like British English or Southern American. No one except a fairly unsophisticated person would insist that a dialect other than his own is "wrong."

The way most people speak Latin is more like the way people butcher the names of foods on a foreign menu. They're not really trying because they have no idea what they're doing.
So if you pronounce Latin correctly, is it still 'wrong'?I don't know what you mean by "pronounce correctly." As I've pointed out, we don't know what "correctly pronounced" Latin sounded like, since they didn't have tape recorders.

Still, we could pronounce it as correctly as possible, given what we know about it, for example by saying EKKE instead of ECHE. That would make our Latin "right" enough that we would not be regarded as oafs in Ancient Rome. There were lots of foreigners there; a modern linguist might be able to pronounce Latin better than many of them, especially newcomers.

Orleander
01-13-10, 05:19 PM
How funny. Agnes is a perfectly unremarkable female name in any anglophone country. It's Angus that is so Scottish that you can hear the bagpipes playing. Nobody had to tell us that AC/DC's mooning guitarist Angus Young was born in Scotland!

Yeah, not a single grandchild was named after Dixie, but there were several Anguses.
What our ancestors were ashamed of, we researched the crap out of. Then we took what we found and slapped it all over ourselves.

Norsefire
01-13-10, 09:37 PM
Fraggle, what about Medieval and Classical Latin? What is the difference?

science man
01-18-10, 01:55 AM
Hi,
which language do you think sounds the best, is most beautiful and pleasant to the ear?
From what I've heard I like Latin most.

They even have a saying: Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur.
Or "Anything said in Latin sounds profound".

I would say it's son Italian. I enjoy it's daughter Spanish though.

Fraggle Rocker
01-18-10, 07:19 AM
Fraggle, what about Medieval and Classical Latin? What is the difference?To use the paradigm in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin) for the development of Latin:Old, Early or Archaic Latin was the language prior to the Classical period, a date set at 75BCE. Classical Latin evolved from Old Latin, with no clear demarcation. It was, in a sense, an artficial language like R.P. (Received Pronunciation or "Oxford/BBC English") devised by scholars, poets, orators and the upper class to deliberately establish a formal, stately, nuanced language for affairs of state, theater, etc. Bearing in mind that literacy was exceedingly rare before the invention of printing, Classical Latin might be regarded as a standardized written language that was only spoken by educated people, a conservative dialect retaining grammatical subtleties and eschewing developments evolving in the speech of the common folk, but nonetheless a rich and flexible living language used among friends, family and colleagues. This is the language that has been passed down to us in writing, so it is what most people think of as the Latin of Caesar's and Virgil's time, even though it is more properly the Latin of Caesar and Virgil. Late Latin is the written language of Rome after the Classical Period, from the 4th century CE to the fall of the empire. It is the standardized written form of a spoken language suitable for an Empire full of foreigners. It contains words and grammatical forms from Vulgar Latin, and it levels differences among the burgeoning regional dialects. Vulgar Latin is the vernacular spoken language of this period, the language of the common, illiterate people. Up until the 6th or 7th century they could still understand Classical Latin, but their speech was showing the changes that would be passed down into the Romance languages, such as caballus instead of equus for "horse" and parabolare instead of loquere for "speak." Medieval Latin is a written language, preserved by the scholars of the post-classical period (starting with the fall of the Empire) who no longer spoke Latin as their native language as French, Italian and the other Romance languages evolved. It borrowed words extensively from Greek, the Germanic languages and other sources. It was a conservative language, holding off the changes that defined Vulgar Latin and the Romance languages, but the downfall of the Empire left no authority in place to standardize it, so writers often injected grammatical and syntactical features from their native languages. It is most easily identified by orthographical changes, such as the U/V and I/J distinctions, replacement of T by C in endings like -tionis to reflect pronunciation, collapse of diphthongs like ecclesia for aecclesia and some switching of single for double letters and vice versa. Medieval Latin survived until about the 13th century. Since most of its writers were Christian monks and scholars, it the basis from which Church Latin was derived. Renaissance Latin was a corrected form of Medieval Latin, arising as literacy and secular scholarship were spread by the printing press and the availability of non-religious education. It was the language of scholarship in Europe until democratization and universal literacy supplanted it with formalized written national languages in the 19th and 20th century. Now that Latin is not only dead but obsolete except in the Catholic Church and among a shrinking community of scholars, this paradigm is losing its rigor. The term Church Latin is sometimes used for the language spoken in Vatican City and kept on life support by Papal decrees and other church documents. And New Latin is the language used by scholars after the church's influence on the language in secular life declined. Modern Latin is a term used in dictionary etymologies for words coined by scientists and other scholars using the elements of Latin supplemented by Greek roots. It is not really a language, just a goldmine of lexical contributions. But when we see Modern English words like "television," "plutonium" and "antiproton" that contain not a shred of Anglo-Saxon vocabulary or syntax, we can't help feeling like Latin is still alive. I don't mind. The Romance languages cannot be ignored in this paradigm, since it can be argued that they are the true "Modern Latin." A set of standardized, official languages is identified with the nations of Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Romania, each of which is clearly different from the others and bears little or no intercomprehensibility with them. Yet a closer look reveals a continuum of dialects that echo the speech of the subjects of the far reaches of the Roman Empire. Catalan bridges the gap between Portuguese and Spanish and can be understood with some struggle by both. Occitan (a whole family of dialects including Provençal) does the same for French and Italian. In the ancestral region of Latium where Latin first rose, an assortment of dialects such as Sardinian still exists, many of whose speakers prefer to call them languages. It is arguably no easier for a Venetian to understand Sicilian than it is for a Spaniard to understand Catalan. Yet at the same time all Sicilians speak fluent Italian and all Catalonians speak fluent Spanish.

nirakar
01-24-10, 09:52 PM
I think Catalan is the prettiest of Latin's surviving children. Catalan may not survive for long.

I felt Catalan was closer to Italian than it was to Spanish French or Portuguese. I did hear the sound of all four Languages in Catalan and felt that Catalan was in between them all. It has been 20 years since I have been to Catalonia so I can't be sure I am remembering correctly. I found some web site where Catalan speakers also backed the viewpoint that Catalan was closer to Italian than it was to the other major languages. For me I just meant the sound of the language not the vocabulary or grammar.

The people at the web site were basing their opinion on being able to understand each other. Some Italian guy said understanding bits of Catalan is easier than understanding bits of Spanish for him.


Occitano-Romance languages
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Occitano-Romance branch of Romance languages encompasses the dialects pertaining to the Occitan and the Catalan languages situated in France (Occitania, Northern Catalonia), Spain (Catalonia, Valencian Community, Balearic Islands, La Franja, Carche), Andorra, Monaco, parts of Italy (Occitan Valleys, Alghero, Guardia Piemontese), and historically in the County of Tripoli and the possessions of the Crown of Aragon. The existence of this group of languages is discussed both in linguistic and political basis.

According to certain linguists Occitan should be included in Gallo-Romance, and according to others both Occitan and the Catalan should be considered Gallo-Romance. However, other linguists consider Catalan as part of the Ibero-Romance languages.

sarafi
01-31-10, 11:12 AM
I would say the most beautiful language is Bengali.
It just sounds more homely and somewhat haunting:
example:
"tomar holo shuru, amar holo shara....emni bhabe bohe jibonero dhara"

Plus some of the words in Bengali are simply musical: upoma, mohona, jochona, oshrootipoorbo borshopoorti

(Q)
01-31-10, 12:18 PM
Hi,
which language do you think sounds the best, is most beautiful and pleasant to the ear?
From what I've heard I like Latin most.

They even have a saying: Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur.
Or "Anything said in Latin sounds profound".

Hard to say. I have heard Parisians and Quebecois speaking french. The former was music to my ears while the latter sounded worse than cats in a bag.

Fraggle Rocker
01-31-10, 04:55 PM
I think Catalan is the prettiest of Latin's surviving children. Catalan may not survive for long.There's a new wave of cultural conservation sweeping the world. So it's probably safe for a while, considering that millions of people speak it at home.
I felt Catalan was closer to Italian than it was to Spanish French or Portuguese. I did hear the sound of all four Languages in Catalan and felt that Catalan was in between them all.I agree that it is somewhere between them, but having some familiarity with all four my impression is that it's very close to Spanish and Portuguese and farther from French and Italian. I don't know any Occitan but it's said to be closely related, which makes sense. With my moderate fluency in Spanish and passing familiarity with Portuguese I was able to understand everything everyone said in Catalan. And my Catalonian friends said that when they went to Portugal they found that they and the Portuguese could understand each other rather easily.
I found some web site where Catalan speakers also backed the viewpoint that Catalan was closer to Italian than it was to the other major languages.The Catalonians have a history of bitterness with the Spaniards, so it's a reflex to distance themselves from everything Spanish.
For me I just meant the sound of the language not the vocabulary or grammar.Phonetics are not a good measure because they can change so rapidly. You would have a very hard time understanding someone speaking Elizabethan English (assuming you're American), but you can read Shakespeare with little difficulty. For that matter, you'd probably be even more bewildered by some of the modern regional dialects of England or Scotland.

The phonetics of Spanish and Portuguese--especially Brazilian Portuguese--have diverged to the extent that a foreigner would probably not guess that they're closely related. On paper the similarity is obvious, but not in speech. Spanish siete, ocho, nueve are sete, oito, nove in print. But in Lisbon they're pronounced set, oit, nov and in Rio they're setchi, oitu, novi.
The people at the web site were basing their opinion on being able to understand each other. Some Italian guy said understanding bits of Catalan is easier than understanding bits of Spanish for him.The phonemes are more familiar. Catalan does not have the TH and KH sounds of Castilian.
According to certain linguists Occitan should be included in Gallo-Romance, and according to others both Occitan and the Catalan should be considered Gallo-Romance. However, other linguists consider Catalan as part of the Ibero-Romance languages.I lose my patience with linguists who labor so furiously over taxonomy at any level below the family. Of course it would be millennial news if we discovered that, say, the Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic families have a common ancestor. But to argue over whether Catalan is closer to Occitan, French or Spanish may simply be judging the relative influence on the language of three powerful medieval families whose lords emigrated from three different places due to war or patronage.

Take Modern English. A Hungarian friend looked at a page of an English dictionary and said, "It's obvious that your language was once a dialect of French."

nirakar
02-01-10, 08:21 PM
Very interesting Fraggle Rocker.

princelove
02-08-10, 10:54 PM
The sweetest language of the world is Dari and pashto

The most regular language of the world is Turkish.
The most completeed language of the world is Arabic.