Does God/Jesus/Deity understand English?

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Does God/Jesus/Deity understand English?

Just a curious question, but given that modern day English is something man-made, i.e has evolved from Latin with influences from French when William the Conquerer invaded England etc etc, also taking into consideration that we had to translate the bible etc ourselves, does god even understand English? If he DOES, why then did he not provide use with an updated version of the holy book so that men wouldn't make so many mistakes in the translations and misinterpret what is supposedly his words?

 

I don't really know how many theists on this forum actually believe that the bible is the real of god, after reading some of the discussions on here I find it hard to believe there are any...

 

 

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Indeed, I've often wondered

Indeed, I've often wondered why so many consider the KJV the only right version.When last I looked, they weren't speaking it in Israel 5,000 years ago. I once say a fundy quote that said,' The KJV is the only right translation,even more so than the original hebrew.'

Quote:

I don't really know how many theists on this forum actually believe that the bible is the real of god, after reading some of the discussions on here I find it hard to believe there are any...

 

I'm sure there aren't any bible literalists here.I was one though.

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

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Luckhuda wrote:Just a

Luckhuda wrote:

Just a curious question, but given that modern day English is something man-made, i.e has evolved from Latin with influences from French when William the Conquerer invaded England etc etc, also taking into consideration that we had to translate the bible etc ourselves, does god even understand English? If he DOES, why then did he not provide use with an updated version of the holy book so that men wouldn't make so many mistakes in the translations and misinterpret what is supposedly his words?

 

I don't really know how many theists on this forum actually believe that the bible is the real of god, after reading some of the discussions on here I find it hard to believe there are any...

[lecture]

In fact, English is a distinctly Germanic language and if you wish every language is human made.  English did not evolve from Latin.  English had a huge influx of Latinate vocabulary twice in its formative years, due to the Norman Conquest and the effect of the Catholic Church, and its grammar shifted from the typical Germanic style (highly inflected and nearly free syntax) to a nearly unique, very noninflected and heavily fixed syntactical structure.  It is extremely different in form from any Latinate language.  Further, the most common words and the most important for communication in English are Germanic words.  I could not write this sentence if I wanted to without using a majority of Germanic words as I just have.

[/lecture]

I have a sore spot when people are just plain wrong when it comes to language.  I think everyone should know the history of their language at least basically.  Believing that English evolved from Latin is inexcusable.

Does god understand English?  I expect any believer would answer 'yes'.  Some of them even think the bible was penned in English... originally.  Unfortunately, you are sadly mistaken as many, many people believe the bible is actually the word of god.  They may not be regulars here, but they assuredly exist in droves.  As to why the Christian god had a book written (either penned himself or by someone possessed) that would then be subject to translation and copy errors the only good answer is that said god just doesn't exist.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Translation in my "rusty" German =

"I could not write this sentence if I wanted to without using a majority of Germanic words as I just have...."

Ich könnte diesen Satz nicht schreiben, wenn ich zu ohne Gebrauch eine Mehrheit Germanischer Wörter wollte, wahrend ich nur habe.

 

Thanks Thomathy, and I couldn't agree with you more, especially about people  knowing the basic history of their language.   Believing that English evolved primarily from Latin is indeed inexcusable.


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Exactly. French, Italian,

Exactly. French, Italian, Spanish and (I think) Romanian evolved primarily from Latin, but English is a Germanic language.

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Perhaps the question to ask

Perhaps the question to ask is, "Does god understand Esperanto?"


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This reminds me of a

This reminds me of a (supposedly true) story I heard about some ignorant Christian supporting the King James version by saying "If that English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

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*head-desks himself into

MattShizzle wrote:
"If that English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

*head-desks himself into oblivion*


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Jesus H. Parabola

Jesus H. Parabola wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:
"If that English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

*head-desks himself into oblivion*

That remark elicited audible laughter from me.  I've never seen 'head-desks' used as a verb before.  Awesome!

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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I do ahve a hard time

I do ahve a hard time believing one of them said something that stupid, but then again I don't.


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MattShizzle wrote: I do ahve

MattShizzle wrote:

I do ahve a hard time believing one of them said something that stupid, but then again I don't.

This IS a Christian we're talking about here...


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That and the utter ignorance

That and the utter ignorance I see in this country every day is what makes me not surprised.


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Thomathy wrote:Luckhuda

Thomathy wrote:

Luckhuda wrote:

Just a curious question, but given that modern day English is something man-made, i.e has evolved from Latin with influences from French when William the Conquerer invaded England etc etc, also taking into consideration that we had to translate the bible etc ourselves, does god even understand English? If he DOES, why then did he not provide use with an updated version of the holy book so that men wouldn't make so many mistakes in the translations and misinterpret what is supposedly his words?

 

I don't really know how many theists on this forum actually believe that the bible is the real of god, after reading some of the discussions on here I find it hard to believe there are any...

[lecture]

In fact, English is a distinctly Germanic language and if you wish every language is human made.  English did not evolve from Latin.  English had a huge influx of Latinate vocabulary twice in its formative years, due to the Norman Conquest and the effect of the Catholic Church, and its grammar shifted from the typical Germanic style (highly inflected and nearly free syntax) to a nearly unique, very noninflected and heavily fixed syntactical structure.  It is extremely different in form from any Latinate language.  Further, the most common words and the most important for communication in English are Germanic words.  I could not write this sentence if I wanted to without using a majority of Germanic words as I just have.

[/lecture]

I have a sore spot when people are just plain wrong when it comes to language.  I think everyone should know the history of their language at least basically.  Believing that English evolved from Latin is inexcusable.

Does god understand English?  I expect any believer would answer 'yes'.  Some of them even think the bible was penned in English... originally.  Unfortunately, you are sadly mistaken as many, many people believe the bible is actually the word of god.  They may not be regulars here, but they assuredly exist in droves.  As to why the Christian god had a book written (either penned himself or by someone possessed) that would then be subject to translation and copy errors the only good answer is that said god just doesn't exist.

well thank you for the lecture! I didn't really want to go to in-depth about history.. (hence the etc etc...) but indeed I did not know the extent to which English was a Germanic language so thank you for the lesson Smiling

 

He was one of those men who think that the world can be saved by writing a pamphlet. - Benjamin Disraeli


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Thomathy wrote:[lecture]In

Thomathy wrote:

[lecture]

In fact, English is a distinctly Germanic language and if you wish every language is human made.  English did not evolve from Latin.  English had a huge influx of Latinate vocabulary twice in its formative years, due to the Norman Conquest and the effect of the Catholic Church, and its grammar shifted from the typical Germanic style (highly inflected and nearly free syntax) to a nearly unique, very noninflected and heavily fixed syntactical structure.  It is extremely different in form from any Latinate language.  Further, the most common words and the most important for communication in English are Germanic words.  I could not write this sentence if I wanted to without using a majority of Germanic words as I just have.

[/lecture]

[TA]

This helps explain many linguistic quirks of English: Germanic languages are highly flexible in terms of descriptive power, much more so than some others.  E.g., we use different words for some animals depending on whether they are alive or dead (we raise cows and pigs, but eat beef and pork).  I suspect that this doesn't apply to poultry as food due to the rather late introduction of chickens into continental Europe from Asia.  Then again, "bird" is any of a class of animals, but "poultry" is generally a bird we're about to cook and eat.  Interesting.

[/TA]

Less formally, English is a very slattern language.  It has no problem taking words from any language it encounters; people routinely use greek, latin, arabic and german rooted words.  Like all good sluts, it is very flexible; much more so than romance languages or some Asian languages.  Germanic languages are great for describing new concepts (hell, if you need a word in modern German for a new thing, you stick old words together to approximate.  Bang, new word!); some other languages resort to using modified English words (such as with franglais: "l'Internet&quotEye-wink or transliterations (iirc, "the internet" in Spanish is "el red", literally "the net&quotEye-wink.  Yes, some of this can be attributed to the utility of English on the net, but not all of it.

Can any Chinese or Japanese speakers here tell me if there are instances you know of where those languages use the same word (meaning same ideogram combinations) for two different things, either objects or concepts?

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shikko wrote:[TA]This helps

shikko wrote:

[TA]

This helps explain many linguistic quirks of English: Germanic languages are highly flexible in terms of descriptive power, much more so than some others.  E.g., we use different words for some animals depending on whether they are alive or dead (we raise cows and pigs, but eat beef and pork).  I suspect that this doesn't apply to poultry as food due to the rather late introduction of chickens into continental Europe from Asia.  Then again, "bird" is any of a class of animals, but "poultry" is generally a bird we're about to cook and eat.  Interesting.

[/TA]

Part of the dual names for animals (animal names are from the Germanic root) is because of the French.  Beef is derived from French.  Cow is distinctly Germanic.

Quote:

Less formally, English is a very slattern language.  It has no problem taking words from any language it encounters; people routinely use greek, latin, arabic and german rooted words.  Like all good sluts, it is very flexible; much more so than romance languages or some Asian languages.  Germanic languages are great for describing new concepts (hell, if you need a word in modern German for a new thing, you stick old words together to approximate.  Bang, new word!); some other languages resort to using modified English words (such as with franglais: "l'Internet&quotEye-wink or transliterations (iirc, "the internet" in Spanish is "el red", literally "the net&quotEye-wink.  Yes, some of this can be attributed to the utility of English on the net, but not all of it.

Can any Chinese or Japanese speakers here tell me if there are instances you know of where those languages use the same word (meaning same ideogram combinations) for two different things, either objects or concepts?

English, like all living languages, needs new words.  Every language either turns to itself, invents or borrows.  English as a lingua franca gets borrowed a lot, especially online, but English is the ultimate borrower.  Where other languages first look to their own for new words (see Germanic), English almost always borrows an extant one from another language.

In fact, Chinese is logographic not ideographic.  Apparently 3,000 characters must be memorized to do basic reading so I will submit that the characters (Chinese has what is likely the second largest lexicon after English) cannot mean the same thing, just as pig and dig cannot mean the same thing in English (mutually exclusive discrete phonetic units, a.k.a. phonemes).

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:Part of the

Thomathy wrote:

Part of the dual names for animals (animal names are from the Germanic root) is because of the French.  Beef is derived from French.  Cow is distinctly Germanic.

Ahh, I get that.  Thank you.  It looks like it applies to pork/pig as well.

Quote:
Quote:

Can any Chinese or Japanese speakers here tell me if there are instances you know of where those languages use the same word (meaning same ideogram combinations) for two different things, either objects or concepts?

English, like all living languages, needs new words.  Every language either turns to itself, invents or borrows.  English as a lingua franca gets borrowed a lot, especially online, but English is the ultimate borrower.  Where other languages first look to their own for new words (see Germanic), English almost always borrows an extant one from another language.

In fact, Chinese is logographic not ideographic.  Apparently 3,000 characters must be memorized to do basic reading so I will submit that the characters (Chinese has what is likely the second largest lexicon after English) cannot mean the same thing, just as pig and dig cannot mean the same thing in English (mutually exclusive discrete phonetic units, a.k.a. phonemes).

Thank you for the terminology correction (I can never remember the term logograph).

What I meant was, the word "bank" has three distinct meanings; two nouns ("of a river" and "of Nova Scotia" ) and a verb/adjective ("bank a billiard ball"/"bank shot" ).  I know French has words that differ in meaning depending on gender (le/la livre), but not always (l'avocat).  My question was if this is ever the case in languages that do not use letters.

(edit: fixed hosed quotes)

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shikko wrote:Thomathy

shikko wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

Part of the dual names for animals (animal names are from the Germanic root) is because of the French.  Beef is derived from French.  Cow is distinctly Germanic.

Ahh, I get that.  Thank you.  It looks like it applies to pork/pig as well.

Quote:
Quote:

Can any Chinese or Japanese speakers here tell me if there are instances you know of where those languages use the same word (meaning same ideogram combinations) for two different things, either objects or concepts?

English, like all living languages, needs new words.  Every language either turns to itself, invents or borrows.  English as a lingua franca gets borrowed a lot, especially online, but English is the ultimate borrower.  Where other languages first look to their own for new words (see Germanic), English almost always borrows an extant one from another language.

In fact, Chinese is logographic not ideographic.  Apparently 3,000 characters must be memorized to do basic reading so I will submit that the characters (Chinese has what is likely the second largest lexicon after English) cannot mean the same thing, just as pig and dig cannot mean the same thing in English (mutually exclusive discrete phonetic units, a.k.a. phonemes).

Thank you for the terminology correction (I can never remember the term logograph).

What I meant was, the word "bank" has three distinct meanings; two nouns ("of a river" and "of Nova Scotia" ) and a verb/adjective ("bank a billiard ball"/"bank shot" ).  I know French has words that differ in meaning depending on gender (le/la livre), but not always (l'avocat).  My question was if this is ever the case in languages that do not use letters.

(edit: fixed hosed quotes)

I see. Without getting too techincal about distinctions all languages can and do have homonyms.  Apparently Asian languages (Sinitic, Sino-Tibetan, Burmese-Tibetan, etc) have a great deal of these.  Chinese especially has a large number compared to English.  I cannot imagine a language could have enough phonemes or morphemes or graphemes to avoid homonymy.

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your post got me curiously

your post got me curiously reading the preface in my house's bible:

"The English translation accompanying the Hebrew text is the Authorized Version, otherwise known as King James' Bible. The publishers have deemed this Version a fit companion to the original text because its language is regarded as classic English and because it is held in great esteem throughout the English-speaking world.

It is not in its entire original form, however, that the English version is presented here. It has been revised and a considerable number of necessary emendations has been made. Among the passages emended are all those which have been mistranslated or colored to suit Christian dogma. The reviser's view is that a translation of the Bible has not to be dogmatic, but conformable with the rational meaning of the text.

In changing phrases or sentences the reviser has followed the general style of the language of the Authorized Version."

so you see, there's no need to worry about whether or not god speaks or understands english. it's the popularity of the edition in combination with the revisor's views that matter.


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MattShizzle wrote:This

MattShizzle wrote:

This reminds me of a (supposedly true) story I heard about some ignorant Christian supporting the King James version by saying "If that English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

 


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Wonko wrote:"I could not

Wonko wrote:

"I could not write this sentence if I wanted to without using a majority of Germanic words as I just have...."

Ich könnte diesen Satz nicht schreiben, wenn ich zu ohne Gebrauch eine Mehrheit Germanischer Wörter wollte, wahrend ich nur habe.

 

Thanks Thomathy, and I couldn't agree with you more, especially about people  knowing the basic history of their language.   Believing that English evolved primarily from Latin is indeed inexcusable.

 

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Quote:Can any Chinese or

Quote:

Can any Chinese or Japanese speakers here tell me if there are instances you know of where those languages use the same word (meaning same ideogram combinations) for two different things, either objects or concepts?

Yinwei wo shou zhongwen suoyi wo neng gaosu ni zai zhongwen shou you hen duo de tongyici, danshi, yinwei zhongwen shi danyinjie de yuyan, suoyi ni de wenti meiyou yise.

Although linguistics is not my forte, since I speak Mandarin, I can tell you the answer to this is yes. Strictly speaking, the question is not really meaningful. Mandarin doesn't have words. It is monosyllabic. What we call "words", they would call "phrases", because they are formed by the combination of different root characters, or hanzi. Also, since the language is tonal, the pool of available monosyllables with which to make phrases is quite large, even though the range of sounds is more restricted than in English. There is no th or v. Everything else is there, though. So if you want to create a new concept or coin a new word, you just stick monosyllables together in a manner which describes the concept being coined. The word shangwang means "internet" where "wang" literally means "net", as in, the sort of net with which you play tennis (wangqiu).

And for those reading, this should be pronounced with an inflected a, as in "ah", not "ay". One advantage to mandarin is that the pronounciation of each letter is fixed.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote:Quote:Can

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

Can any Chinese or Japanese speakers here tell me if there are instances you know of where those languages use the same word (meaning same ideogram combinations) for two different things, either objects or concepts?

Yinwei wo shou zhongwen suoyi wo neng gaosu ni zai zhongwen shou you hen duo de tongyici, danshi, yinwei zhongwen shi danyinjie de yuyan, suoyi ni de wenti meiyou yise.

Although linguistics is not my forte, since I speak Mandarin, I can tell you the answer to this is yes. Strictly speaking, the question is not really meaningful. Mandarin doesn't have words. It is monosyllabic. What we call "words", they would call "phrases", because they are formed by the combination of different root characters, or hanzi. Also, since the language is tonal, the pool of available monosyllables with which to make phrases is quite large, even though the range of sounds is more restricted than in English. There is no th or v. Everything else is there, though. So if you want to create a new concept or coin a new word, you just stick monosyllables together in a manner which describes the concept being coined. The word shangwang means "internet" where "wang" literally means "net", as in, the sort of net with which you play tennis (wangqiu).

And for those reading, this should be pronounced with an inflected a, as in "ah", not "ay". One advantage to mandarin is that the pronounciation of each letter is fixed.

Actually:

Quote:

There is a popular notion that the words of Chinese are made up of single-syllable units. This belief owes its currency to three factors: (1) The classical style of writing, which still predominated earlier in this century when western scholars first became interested in Chinese, was until recently given more weight in the training of China specialists than the colloquial language itself. In classical Chinese (a written language that has no spoken counterpart), a one-syllable-one-word paradigm really was approximated. (2) Chinese dictionaries are for the most part still arranged by characters, leading users to assume that these single-syllable graphic forms correspond to what one normally finds in dictionaries, namely, words. (3) There is a lay misconception that if characters are more than letters and have meaning, then they must represent words, and that these "words" are all one syllable long. Noting that Mandarin has fewer than 1,300 distinct syllables, various authors have gone on to associate these two "facts" about the language and have concluded erroneously that Chinese have restricted vocabularies, cannot understand each other in speech, and have trouble with abstractions (Gleitman and Rozin 1973b:497; Bloom 1981; Logan 1986; Tezuka 1987).

Thus the allegation that Chinese is monosyllabic is based not on the language as it is spoken (and, presumably, internalized by its speakers), but rather on the way the language was and is conventionally written. By identifying the syllable-sized units of written Chinese with words instead of with morphemes, people began to believe mistakenly that the language itself is monosyllabic. According to Zhou, monosyllabic words account for just 12 percent of the contemporary Chinese lexicon (1987b:13). DeFrancis reckons about 5 percent of the two hundred thousand words in a modern dictionary are monosyllabic (1984a:187). These figures apply to the lexicon as a whole. For running text, DeFrancis estimates Chinese ''as only 30 percent monosyllabic as against 50 percent for English material written in a style comparable to that of the Chinese" (1943:235). Zheng gives a higher figure of 40 percent monosyllabicity for Chinese texts (1957:50), while I find English text nearly 60 percent monosyllabic. Clearly, the notion that Chinese, absolutely or even relative to other languages, is made up of monosyllabic words is untenable.

(From: pinyin.info)

Thus we see that the majority of Chinese words (they are words and not phrases, linguistically referred to as lexical items or lexemes) are bound and semi-bound morphemes and most certainly are not monosyllabic ((that is, as with deludedgod's example [shangwang] (internet) the majority of Chinese words are in fact not monosyllabic, while their constituent pieces may be)) and that the spoken language, while reducible in text to monosyllabic characters (which can be both morphemes as well as phonemes -see English word [I] and letter /I/) would literally be non-functioning if every single word was monosyllabic, which is obviously not the case.  The thing that confuses people most, I think, is that the Chinese phonemes can be longer than phonemes in other languages.  That is, a Chinese phoneme can have one syllable (or more) where an English phoneme always has no syllable (with the notable exception of some vowel sounds).

 

Ugh... sorry for how convoluted that is.  I'll try cleaning it up.

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That's similar to Esperanto,

That's similar to Esperanto, which I've been trying to learn recently.

You combine morphemes to make new words. If you combine sam (same), seks (sex), am (love), ant (one who), and the suffix -o to mark the word as a noun, you end up with samseksamanto, which is the equivalent of the English word "homosexual." If you replace sam (same) with ali (other), resulting in aliseksamanto, you get the equivalent of heterosexual.

To make a word plural, you simply add "j" at the end. Samseksamantoj, aliseksamantoj, birdoj (birds), etc. English is convoluted in this respect. In English you cannot simply add "s" to the end. You have weird constructions like tooth to teeth, foot to feet, goose to geese, deer to deer, die to dice, mouse to mice, etc. In Esperanto, you can never be wrong about the plural form of a word, you simply add a j.

Those who understand many of the basic morphemes will have no problem learning new words. In fact, if you teach someone a single morpheme they can make twenty or more words all on their own and understand all of them. The language is very logical in its construction. It seems that Mandarin has a similar structure to its language too.

The more I learn Esperanto, the more I realize just how difficult it would be for someone of another country to learn English. I used to think Mexicans should learn English if they decide to move here, but Esperanto has made me appreciate the true complexity of the English language, which I hadn't truly recognized before. It also makes me wonder just how many thousands of hours are spent teaching kids vocabulary that could be used for teaching them math and science.

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Er, this is not what I

Er, this is not what I meant. Each word, or ci, is composed of monosyllabic units or zi. This is not the case in English, but is always the case in Mandarin. For example, "Internet" is simply a word. "Inter" and "net" not necessarily reflecting certain subunits that would form individual constituents of the word. This is not to be confused with the radicals, or pianpang which make up each hanzi. Every concievable word can be reduced in this manner. Thus, while, in English, the word "modernization" cannot be meaningfully broken up into "mo" "derm" "i" "zation", the Chinese equivalent "xiandaihua" can be broken up into xian, dai and hua. Each module is associated with a single hanzi, which in turn, forms the basis of a word, or phrase.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote: Er, this

deludedgod wrote:

Er, this is not what I meant. Each word, or ci, is composed of monosyllabic units or zi. This is not the case in English, but is always the case in Mandarin. For example, "Internet" is simply a word. "Inter" and "net" not necessarily reflecting certain subunits that would form individual constituents of the word. This is not to be confused with the radicals, or pianpang which make up each hanzi. Every concievable word can be reduced in this manner. Thus, while, in English, the word "modernization" cannot be meaningfully broken up into "mo" "dern" "i" "zation", the Chinese equivalent "xiandaihua" can be broken up into xian, dai and hua. Each module is associated with a single hanzi, which in turn, forms the basis of a word, or phrase.

First a morpheme is the smallest unit of semantic meaning in a language, it is not equivalent to a syllable though a morpheme may be just one syllable.  A morpheme can be free if it can be used on its own (guard) or bound if it cannot (unguard).  It can also be derivational (guarded), inflectional (guards) or be an allomorph (a variant of a morpheme, as in the plural marker in Chinese).  Further, every lexeme is a morpheme (or contains morphemes), but not all morphemes are lexemes.

The English world modernisation can be broken up morphologically.  You have broken it up almost syllabically, which is meaningless.  Modern+ise+(a)tion.  Internet is the same and consists of one bound and one free morpheme.  In Chinese each morpheme happens to be a syllable, however, almost every morpheme in Chinese is bound or semi-bound, as any study of a Chinese dictionary will prove.

You have written that exactly, only using terminology that is based in Chinese grammar.  I have used Linguistic terminology which is applicable to every language and, arguably, easier to understand.  I understand that there is special terminology in Chinese grammar for the morphological units (zi) constituent to lexemes (ci) and that they are represented in writting by the characters (hanzi), but it is very mistaken to use such terminology in comparison to other languages as it is consistent with only the language it comes from.  You are correct that English words cannot be meaningfully broken up into syllabic units as they can in Chinese, but only because the morphological constituents of the lexemes of the two langauges are not equal (Chinese morphemes are monsyllabic while English morphemes come in many forms).

Interestingly, and beside the point, Chinese features no inflectional morphemes.

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Visual_Paradox wrote:That's

Visual_Paradox wrote:

That's similar to Esperanto, which I've been trying to learn recently.

You combine morphemes to make new words. If you combine sam (same), seks (sex), am (love), ant (one who), and the suffix -o to mark the word as a noun, you end up with samseksamanto, which is the equivalent of the English word "homosexual." If you replace sam (same) with ali (other), resulting in aliseksamanto, you get the equivalent of heterosexual.

To make a word plural, you simply add "j" at the end. Samseksamantoj, aliseksamantoj, birdoj (birds), etc. English is convoluted in this respect. In English you cannot simply add "s" to the end. You have weird constructions like tooth to teeth, foot to feet, goose to geese, deer to deer, die to dice, mouse to mice, etc. In Esperanto, you can never be wrong about the plural form of a word, you simply add a j.

Those who understand many of the basic morphemes will have no problem learning new words. In fact, if you teach someone a single morpheme they can make twenty or more words all on their own and understand all of them. The language is very logical in its construction. It seems that Mandarin has a similar structure to its language too.

The more I learn Esperanto, the more I realize just how difficult it would be for someone of another country to learn English. I used to think Mexicans should learn English if they decide to move here, but Esperanto has made me appreciate the true complexity of the English language, which I hadn't truly recognized before. It also makes me wonder just how many thousands of hours are spent teaching kids vocabulary that could be used for teaching them math and science.

Why are you bothering to learn Esperanto?

Second, English isn't too difficult to learn depending on the first language of the learner.  You're correct in pointing out that Mexicans can have a hard time at English.  Most speakers of a romance language do.  The Chinese do not have too hard a time by comparison and vise versa.  German and English are related, but a German speaker will find English virtually devoid of inflection and can be held up by the reversed and fixed syntax and so will find certain aspects of the language difficult.  An English speaker will typically find Japanese virtually impenetrible and will have some difficultly mastering the highly inflected German while adapting well to the syntax.

Chinese is an analtyic language, like English.  Unlike English, most new words in Chinese are formed by agglutination and the writing system does not make use of punctuation like spaces.  The similarity to Esperanto in Chinese is the formation of words by agglutination.  That's about where it ends except for the fact that, like English, both are highly uninflected.  Esperanto can have a free syntax (it is not analytic), which is dissimilar to Chinese and English.  Also dissimilar is that Esperanto can be considered an agglutinative language like Finnish or Hungarian.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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I found Chinese easy because

I found Chinese easy because a) It has no inflection. Then again, neither does English, but mostly because b) It has no conjugations or declensions, not even for plurals. Tense and aspect are indicated by particles, usually attached at the end of the sentence. The only tricky thing was not confusing aspect and tense, as they are virtually indistinguishable in English, but perfectly seperate in Mandarin. And the sentence structure is more rigid in Mandarin, although in certain cases the speaker can change the order by using the particles ba or bei in accusative sentences. But I got used to that after a while.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod wrote:I found

deludedgod wrote:

I found Chinese easy because a) It has no inflection. Then again, neither does English, but mostly because b) It has no conjugations or declensions, not even for plurals. Tense and aspect are indicated by particles, usually attached at the end of the sentence. The only tricky thing was not confusing aspect and tense, as they are virtually indistinguishable in English, but perfectly seperate in Mandarin. And the sentence structure is more rigid in Mandarin, although in certain cases the speaker can change the order by using the particles ba or bei in accusative sentences. But I got used to that after a while.

Chinese is a great language.  I've always liked it.  My partner's parents are from Hong Kong and he speaks Hakka.  Unfortunately, I am virtually tone deaf and am effectively unable to speak Chinese because of that.  My ponunciation sucks too, I'm told and whenever I try to learn words I get laughed at because I can't say any of them properly.  It would take lots of training and trial and error for me to fosilise the correct tones and pronounciation, other than that, the language is so easy and I find it easy to learn (even if I can't speak it) exactly because it has no inflection... languages that are similar to English are so easy to learn.  Smiling


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Posting to fix forum

Posting to fix forum formatting problem. Thomothy, the name you posted under was far too long! Sticking out tongue

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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I live in Hong Kong, and my

I live in Hong Kong, and my ability to speak Mandarin is effectively useless here. Most people speak at least passable English, and all the locals speak Guandonghua, which I cannot speak, or even read, since it employs fantizi (traditional characters) while Mandarin employs shentizi (simplified characters). I'm told I should learn it but I am reluctant. Tonally, it is much harder than Mandarin, with nine tones versus four, and it sounds...terrible. Mandarin sounds beautiful. Cantonese sounds sort of guttural. Anyway, the problem with tones is difficult to overcome, I agree. I was very fortunate, since I started learning Mandarin at age 10, which made it much, much easier, believe me. My advice is to never memorize tones. Over time, the tones will become automatically incorporated into your speaking. To this day, I don't memorize tones. So, for example, when writing in pinyin, one usually indicates the tones by writing, for example, jue3de2 (think) instead of just juede. For me to do that, I have to say the word out loud to confirm which tones to put in, because the tones have become a thing of habit only in speaking.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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