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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:08 pm 
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Esperanto wins!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:31 pm 
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When I finally get around to the listing on my schedule that says "Show them, show them all!" we'll all have to switch to English. I was sympathetic to those who talk about how complex and silly English was until I had to deal with Serbo-Croatian.

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Graves <Orieni>


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:48 pm 
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English spelling is a pain, but, according to a language prof of mine, "English is the hardest language in the world to speak correctly - most native speakers cannot do it. However, it is the easiest language in the world to speak well enough to be understood!" -- because meaning in English derives almost exclusively from position in the sentence, and thus "man bites dog" parses in one way only, unlike languages where modifications to the words dictate meaning, where garbling the endings in the prior example leads to uncertainty about who bit whom (and in "whom", there's a leftover bit of altering words in English....) )

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James Sterrett


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:00 am 
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James Sterrett wrote:
English spelling is a pain, but, according to a language prof of mine, "English is the hardest language in the world to speak correctly - most native speakers cannot do it. However, it is the easiest language in the world to speak well enough to be understood!" -- because meaning in English derives almost exclusively from position in the sentence, and thus "man bites dog" parses in one way only, unlike languages where modifications to the words dictate meaning, where garbling the endings in the prior example leads to uncertainty about who bit whom (and in "whom", there's a leftover bit of altering words in English....) )


Actually, in the linguistic world, "to speak a language correctly" means speaking well enough that a native speaker will take you for a normal native speaker.

Also, I can pretty much guarantee you that learning English's comparitively harsh word order rules is as frustrating for a native speaker of a language with free word order and a couple dozen grammatical word endings as memorizing all those word endings would be for an English speaker.

The difficulty of learning to speak another language depends more on how close it is to your native language than any other factor.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:10 am 
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Jonathan Brase wrote:
Jonathan Brase doesn't think Richard Bell really wants a context free language, because Richard Bell will find a context free language to be fairly cumbersome to speak.


Maybe not, but Bob Dole does. Bob Dole should have made Sanskrit a plank in Bob Dole's campaign platform.
-Kle.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:15 pm 
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Klebert L. Hall wrote:
Jonathan Brase wrote:
Jonathan Brase doesn't think Richard Bell really wants a context free language, because Richard Bell will find a context free language to be fairly cumbersome to speak.


Maybe not, but Bob Dole does. Bob Dole should have made Sanskrit a plank in Bob Dole's campaign platform.
-Kle.


Jon Brase was simply demonstrating how ridiculous things get when pronouns and other context-dependent items are ommited from speech.
:-)

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