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  1. #16
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    I speak English and an American but I think that the Japanese have some really wicked(as in super cool) language. In fact,I want Japanese to be my second language...Again,I think usually it involves national pride that determines the language that you like but I personally want to learn Japanese because I just want to understand what those people are saying.


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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by MegamanDX View Post
    I speak English and an American but I think that the Japanese have some really wicked(as in super cool) language. In fact,I want Japanese to be my second language...Again,I think usually it involves national pride that determines the language that you like but I personally want to learn Japanese because I just want to understand what those people are saying.
    Lol I can't take Japanese seriously. I tried watching some eps in Jap but subbed in English. Why is everything so shouty and over the top? It was funny to listen to.

    I speak the Queen's English, and think the American version is a bastardised version made simply because they want it simple. Similar to Chinese there is Mandarin, then there is "simplified Chinese"

    I'd love to learn Italian though! It's not that useful apart from Italy, but I just really want to visit there and be part of the culture. Probably similar to your reasons for wanting to learn Jap.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MegamanDX View Post
    I speak English and an American but I think that the Japanese have some really wicked(as in super cool) language. In fact,I want Japanese to be my second language...Again,I think usually it involves national pride that determines the language that you like but I personally want to learn Japanese because I just want to understand what those people are saying.
    Lol I can't take Japanese seriously. I tried watching some eps in Jap but subbed in English. Why is everything so shouty and over the top? It was funny to listen to.

    I speak the Queen's English, and think the American version is a bastardised version made simply because they want it simple. Similar to Chinese there is Mandarin, then there is "simplified Chinese"

    I'd love to learn Italian though! It's not that useful apart from Italy, but I just really want to visit there and be part of the culture. Probably similar to your reasons for wanting to learn Jap.
    Yeap,my reasons for learning Japanese is I really love the culture and how simple they can make there life even tho they make the best stuff in the world
    I way agree with ya about our US English...Its wayy to hard to learn and it take years to get it right and still your saying your words wrong too after you think you get the main stuff down...Too much at once but I had to learn it because I was born in this US of A...
    I


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    Nemo me impune lacessit Dialgarules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    I speak the Queen's English, and think the American version is a bastardised version made simply because they want it simple. Similar to Chinese there is Mandarin, then there is "simplified Chinese"
    I agree, I think simplified Chinese is dumb, though its counterpart is called traditional, not Mandarin. Mandarin is a spoken dialect of Chinese and can be written in either simplified (as in Beijing) or traditional (as in Taiwan) characters. Other spoken dialects include Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, and Minnan, and are not mutually comprehensible when spoken but very easily comprehensible when written (in either simplified or traditional).

    By the American version, do you mean the written or the spoken form of U.S. English?

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by 捷克羅姆 View Post
    Languages evolve. Take plants as an example, there may be different species around the world, but no amount of variation can make one superior to the other. As such, there is no superior dialect. It just that the difference is what some people are not used to.
    Actually, compare a pine tree to a deciduous, leafy tree. Pine trees can grow pretty much everywhere and be coated in needles year round compared to deciduous trees which start dying off the further north (or south in the southern hemisphere) you get. I'd say pine trees are superior on the basis of survival and adaptation to harsh environments. I think they even give oxygen off year round compared to leafy trees, who stop that during the winter/early spring. The only thing leafy trees are really good at is providing fruit, as pine cones are not particularly pleasant to eat.

    In terms of languages, I'd say the simpler to understand one is superior, but the argument only feels applicable to dialects of languages, rather than languages competing against each other. Mandarin, compared to Hakka, is superior as it is much easier to understand and is basically recognised as the official dialect across much of China due to its easy of understanding and ease of use.

    Between Commonwealth English and American English, there is no superior version however. While I myself prefer Commonwealth English, it's not like either one is much easier to understand, grammar, sentence structure and all of that core language stuff is largely the same.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    The difference in language between the US and UK does have some comedic benefits.

    In the US "fanny" means your bum, in the UK "fanny" as another word for a lady's vagina. So it provides a big laugh to all Brits when we watch American tv and hear phrases like

    "I'll kick you in the fanny"
    "Get your fanny out of bed"
    "Pull your fanny out of the fire"

    Can't remember where each of these is from, the middle one is from Heroes.

    Also in Robots, it's mentioned a few times how Aunt Fan has a big fanny! :P
    Last edited by Therian; 28th August 2012 at 03:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    "erb"

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialgarules View Post
    I agree, I think simplified Chinese is dumb, though its counterpart is called traditional, not Mandarin. Mandarin is a spoken dialect of Chinese and can be written in either simplified (as in Beijing) or traditional (as in Taiwan) characters. Other spoken dialects include Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, and Minnan, and are not mutually comprehensible when spoken but very easily comprehensible when written (in either simplified or traditional).
    The simplification is mostly due to political purposes. They want to increase literacy rate to promote Mao's ideas. But honestly, simplifying the characters just makes it harder to learn and loses is cultural value in my opinion. Of course, this would make it harder for most mainlanders to read ancient text, while it's much easier for those who know the traditional characters. Because of that, the government has been thinking of bringing it back, but only for academic purposes. Traditional characters are still allowed there, but either for academic or aesthetic purposes.

    The last part is quite true. I could barely understand Cantonese dubs unless there were subtitles. While I do understand a certain dialect of Minnan, I still find Cantonese unintelligible, despite the fact that the relative close distance of people speaking those dialects: Cantonese in Hong Kong and some parts of Guangdong, Minnan in Fujian, Hainan, and Taiwan. I'm still wondering why it's still referred to as dialect, even French, Italian, and Spanish are partially intelligible. I guess classification of language is a bit difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    In terms of languages, I'd say the simpler to understand one is superior, but the argument only feels applicable to dialects of languages, rather than languages competing against each other. Mandarin, compared to Hakka, is superior as it is much easier to understand and is basically recognised as the official dialect across much of China due to its easy of understanding and ease of use.
    Not quite true, Mandarin had only became official since the Ming/Qing Dynasty. At that time, the capital was at the north, so the officials mostly speak Mandarin or some other similar northern dialect. The people at the south speak their own dialect, such as Cantonese, Minnan, Hakka, etc. The officials tried to promote it as a prestigious dialect and has apparently succeeded in making it the official dialect. If the capital was in Hong Kong or Shanghai, the official dialect would have been different, although at that time those cities were just port towns. Also, there is no ease of learning. Mandarin is just more standardized. The other dialect aren't as standardized or standardized at all. It's not easy looking for dictionaries featuring other dialects (if there are any).


    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    Actually, compare a pine tree to a deciduous, leafy tree. Pine trees can grow pretty much everywhere and be coated in needles year round compared to deciduous trees which start dying off the further north (or south in the southern hemisphere) you get. I'd say pine trees are superior on the basis of survival and adaptation to harsh environments. I think they even give oxygen off year round compared to leafy trees, who stop that during the winter/early spring. The only thing leafy trees are really good at is providing fruit, as pine cones are not particularly pleasant to eat.
    I should have clarified what I said. The species are different dialects in one language. The genus (or if you want something bigger, the family) is the language. Comparing pine to a deciduous tree (e.g. maple) is like comparing different languages. They're not the same, but they still have their own merits.
    Last edited by 捷克羅姆; 28th August 2012 at 08:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    I speak the Queen's English, and think the American version is a bastardised version made simply because they want it simple. Similar to Chinese there is Mandarin, then there is "simplified Chinese"
    I don't know but the "Queen's" English is actually the bastardised version because it copied the most of French, and that's why it's different from how English was spoken in the 16th century. American English was more conservative, and that's why American English is the dialect that stays true to its core.
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    How about this: the differences between American English and British English are all but negligible, thanks to the constant, speedy exchange of ideas through the Internet and Television.

    Not to mention unchanging languages fall out of wide use.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by 捷克羅姆 View Post
    The last part is quite true. I could barely understand Cantonese dubs unless there were subtitles. While I do understand a certain dialect of Minnan, I still find Cantonese unintelligible, despite the fact that the relative close distance of people speaking those dialects: Cantonese in Hong Kong and some parts of Guangdong, Minnan in Fujian, Hainan, and Taiwan. I'm still wondering why it's still referred to as dialect, even French, Italian, and Spanish are partially intelligible. I guess classification of language is a bit difficult.
    I think the reasons that the various forms of Chinese are usually referred to as dialects instead of languages are that: 1.) Cantonese, Minnan, Hakka, Shanghainese, and Mandarin are all spoken in one country -- China, 2.) Even though people in China speak several languages, they still consider themselves one Chinese race/people, and 3.) the common written tradition. None of this is true to the same extent for French, Italian, and Spanish; or even for Northern Germanic languages like Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, which are even more similar than French/Italian/Spanish.

    Going back to the English debate, I think there is a perception that Mandarin is a prestige version of Chinese, though I've never actually been to China. I would agree that if Shanghai or Hong Kong ended up as the capital of China, Wu or Cantonese would probably have ended up as China's prestige dialect.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialgarules View Post
    I think the reasons that the various forms of Chinese are usually referred to as dialects instead of languages are that: 1.) Cantonese, Minnan, Hakka, Shanghainese, and Mandarin are all spoken in one country -- China, 2.) Even though people in China speak several languages, they still consider themselves one Chinese race/people, and 3.) the common written tradition. None of this is true to the same extent for French, Italian, and Spanish; or even for Northern Germanic languages like Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, which are even more similar than French/Italian/Spanish.
    True, linguists are still scratching their head on this part. The classification of language is mostly done on the basis on political reason and not on intelligibility (although classifying this is also difficult). The Northern Germanic language do have around 70% intelligibility, but are considered separate because they're being nationalistic about it. Same thing goes for the Romance language. For that kind of intelligibility in Chinese, there's the Hokkien and Amoy dialect, and they're just variations of Minnan.

    Going back to the English debate, I think there is a perception that Mandarin is a prestige version of Chinese, though I've never actually been to China. I would agree that if Shanghai or Hong Kong ended up as the capital of China, Wu or Cantonese would probably have ended up as China's prestige dialect.
    There is. It is the official dialect, even one of its name translate to "speech of the officials". It's perceived to be prestigious, because it was chosen to be one. Even one of the four great novels is written in that dialect (Dreams of the Red Chamber). However, the "prestige" also varies as there are also variations of Mandarin. There is even noticeable difference between the Beijing Mandarin and Taiwanese Mandarin. (The most notable example would be the erhua).

    Similarly, there would also be some sort of prestigious dialect (which would vary between regions). USA may have the dialect spoken in New York and UK's could be the one spoken in London. (I haven't done any research on this part, so I may be wrong).

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    Nemo me impune lacessit Dialgarules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by 捷克羅姆 View Post
    Similarly, there would also be some sort of prestigious dialect (which would vary between regions). USA may have the dialect spoken in New York and UK's could be the one spoken in London. (I haven't done any research on this part, so I may be wrong).
    In the U.S.A., the "standard" dialect is called General American, which is sometimes described as the version of English spoken in the Midwest, though I don't believe that's completely accurate. Really, I think GA is not spoken anywhere other than on television. The Long Island or "Brooklyn" dialect of English famously spoken in New York City (the non-rhotic, "WHATSITTOOYA" one) is not the same as General American. I've found that many young speakers in New York and Boston have a rhotic, more standard accent nowadays and seem to avoid the regional accents. I live in California, but other than certain California slang words, I can't perceive a difference between my speech and General American.

    In the United Kingdom, the most visible accent is called Received Pronunciation (RP), and is based on middle/upper-class London speech.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialgarules View Post
    In the U.S.A., the "standard" dialect is called General American, which is sometimes described as the version of English spoken in the Midwest, though I don't believe that's completely accurate. Really, I think GA is not spoken anywhere other than on television. The Long Island or "Brooklyn" dialect of English famously spoken in New York City (the non-rhotic, "WHATSITTOOYA" one) is not the same as General American. I've found that many young speakers in New York and Boston have a rhotic, more standard accent nowadays and seem to avoid the regional accents. I live in California, but other than certain California slang words, I can't perceive a difference between my speech and General American.

    In the United Kingdom, the most visible accent is called Received Pronunciation (RP), and is based on middle/upper-class London speech.
    I'll take note of that. I was under the assumption that the non-rhotic one ('r' not pronounced on some words) is considered to be prestigious, though I never actually mean the prestigious means that it's a standard. Moving on, I also do have some difficulty in differentiating English dialects with the exception of its portrayal in media.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by 捷克羅姆 View Post
    I'll take note of that. I was under the assumption that the non-rhotic one ('r' not pronounced on some words) is considered to be prestigious, though I never actually mean the prestigious means that it's a standard. Moving on, I also do have some difficulty in differentiating English dialects with the exception of its portrayal in media.
    Yeah, generally in the U.S.A. and Canada a rhotic pronunciation is considered standard, and non-rhotic pronunciations tend to be regional. If you watch national U.S. broadcasts (such as CNN, NBC, CBC, etc.), reporters will almost always have a rhotic accent. In the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and many other Commonwealth countries, a non-rhotic pronunciation is considered standard. Likewise, there are rhotic speakers in the U.K., such as the Scottish.

    If you're from Asia and you hear English from Hong Kong or Singapore broadcasts, the speech is likely to be primarily influenced by British English. Canadian and U.S. spoken accents are difficult to distinguish even to Americans and Canadians. Canadian English uses mostly British spelling, such as colour (not color), favourite (not favorite), and centre (not center); but mostly American vocabulary like truck (instead of lorry), gas (not petrol), elevator (not lift), etc. Australian and New Zealand English are pretty easily distinguishable from British; they use British spellings and vocabulary but have many pronunciation differences. It's probably easier to distinguish the different native English accents if you yourself are a native speaker.

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