best language to you when written or heard

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by science man, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    Some Classical Mongolian

    Guyuk Khan's stamp 1246:

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    Written "Welcome to Mongolia":

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    Some random text, both printed and caligraphed:

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  3. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    [To back up my claim that Classical Mongolian and Cyrillic are the most beautiful scripts]

    Sample Russian text:

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    This seems to be Ukrainian:

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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I think it's Bulgarian. There are so many occurrences of Ъ, the tvyordyy znak, or its Bulgarian name er golyam. Bulgarian uses it as a vowel, so it occurs rather frequently in text, as it does in this sample. Ukrainian does not use it at all. Some of the grammatical inflections look Bulgarian too, such as the suffix -oto.
     
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  7. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

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    .

    is it really in mangolian? it looks kind like arabic.
     
  8. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    Yes it is. I think Classical Mongolian is closely related to the Arabic script. If you rotate it 90 degrees clockwise..
     
  9. IamJoseph Banned Banned

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    Both are new languages.


    If one wants to know how we spoke 2000 years ago, the Hebrew is a time machine - because it was dorment for all that time, escaping the normal refinement process of other languages. Even english was a heavy gutheral language 300 years ago - the reason we spell night with a gutheral 'gh', which was pronounced as nicht.
     
  10. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

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    hebrew is the not the oldest languages

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  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The same is true of Latin and Sanskrit. And we have far more written material in those languages to work with than we have in Classical Hebrew.
    No, not that recently. Shakespeare didn't talk that way, much less the American colonists. Most of the evolution of English pronunciation in the past few centuries has been in the vowels. Most of the consonants have been quite stable for a thousand years or more. The silencing of the velar fricative GH occurred 600-800 years ago, in the transition from Middle English to Modern English. And it is still not complete: in some Scots dialects of English you'll still hear that KH phoneme.
     
  12. Arachnakid Linguist-In-Training Registered Senior Member

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    Spoken: French, almost anything Germanic other than modern English and German.
    Written: Thai, maybe not the "most beautiful" but definitely the cutest!

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  13. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

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    there's no best
     
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    The one I understand is the one I'd choose. All others have no meaning to me if I don't understand what they are saying. What good is a language that "looks nice" if you can't undeerstand it? :shrug:
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Both sights and sounds can have an effect on us, whether or not they constitute communication. We can't "understand" instrumental music or some of the more abstract art, the way we can understand speech and writing. But they can still be interesting, entertaining or inspiring.

    I find it very pleasant and soothing to hear people speak Farsi, even though I can't understand a word. I have always found the intricacy of Chinese writing interesting, long before I learned to read one-tenth of one percent of the characters.

    But as for the sound of a language, you have to take accents and dialects into account. The English of Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, West Midlands, must surely sound like two different languages to someone who doesn't understand it (and even to many of us who do

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    ). It would be reasonable to assume that he would not have the same reaction to both of them.
     
  16. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Since where I live I really do not get to hear much of other languages it is hard for me to really give much thought about which "sounds" better since I am only hearing English and a little Spanish most of the time. Although I travel and do hear other languages from time to time, I usually hear foreigners speak a form of English wherever I might travel for the most part.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    One of the nice things about Washington DC, at least for a linguist, is that every day you might hear a new language.
     
  18. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

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    yeah farsi, or, persian, sounds nice, there's mbc persia, from the mbc channel chain, it shows movies subtitled in persian, and talks in persian, and the language sounds very nice
     
  19. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    You are lucky then but many people never hear other languages spoken their whole lives. I guess New York would also have many languages spoken as well.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Washington is unique because all the foreign embassies are here and we run into their staff, as well as diplomats and businesspeople traveling back and forth. But every major American city has a cosmopolitan community. America is becoming the dynamic multicultural Melting Pot it used to be, thanks to a new wave of immigration. A large number of our citizens are first-generation immigrants and there is a large population of "resident aliens." You might hear Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Twi (the dominant language of Ghana), or any of the languages of India just about anywhere.
     
  21. Someone'sBrother Registered Senior Member

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    I like the way the native arctic languages of Canada and Greenland sound. Some of them have writing systems developed for them which look interesting but seem kinda fake since it was invented by a missionary semi-recently.
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Are you saying that they don't use the Latin alphabet, or at least a modified version of it? That's very unusual. Linguists generally use Latin, Arabic, Cyrillic (Russian) or one of the offshoots of Devanagari (Sanskrit), depending on where they're from.

    Chief Sequoyah invented the Cherokee writing system, completing it in 1821. It was his own creation and not based on any existing system. This is one of very few times in all human history when a people with no writing system invented one for themselves. That would be a very short list, including primarily the very first ones: Egyptian, Chinese and Olmec, and Korean, which was invented by scholars but the arrangement of the letters in a square to form words was borrowed.

    He used a few Latin and Greek letters but gave them arbitrary sounds, for example "D" is pronounced "ah". It's a syllabary rather than an alphabet. There are 85 symbols and each one represents an entire syllable. You can do that in a language like Cherokee or Japanese, in which each syllable consists of one vowel and, at most, one consonant, so the number of possible syllables is relatively small. It can't be done in English, where "glimpsed" and "trusts" are one syllable.

    The Cherokee nation immediately recognized the advantage of literacy and officially adopted the syllabary in 1825. Their literacy rate rapidly rose to exceed that of the Euro-American settlers around them in the frontier region.
    Sequoyah is also spelled "Sequoia." The trees are named after him even though there are none in Oklahoma. It's written ᏍᏏᏉᏯ in Cherokee.
     
  23. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    heard: Spanish (fuck french) is the most beautiful language to me. Certainly though Esperanto or Lojban and the most advanced and efficient languages, but are so because they are unnatural.

    Writen: Korean always comes off to me as very organized and efficient. Its a phonetic writing systems with each syllable of 1-3 phonemes forming an icon.

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