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View Diary: Rice BUSTED. Dr. Fraud can't speak Russian after all. (280 comments)

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  •  Sorry, gotta gloat . . . (none)

     . . . although it can, indeed, be "the Devil's Tongue", and the writing . . . sheesh!, Japanese only has 2 irregular verbs.  Count 'em:  2.


    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:05:10 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  the verbs of motion alone (none)
      were almost enough to make me bag the whole enterprise of trying to learn the language.
      •  If I ever start a band. . . (none)

         . . . (oh, but we guys do dream...) I'm going to strongly consider "The Verbs of Motion" as a name for it.  Thanks.

         For Japanese, equivalent (cool-sounding and pesky parts of speech that might make good band names) might be:  "The 'Na' Adjectives", "The Particles", or "The 'Keigo' Challange".  Say... those are real cool band names, too!  


        . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

        by BenGoshi on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:26:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But Russian is spelled (4.00)
      the same way it's pronounced. Each letter has just one sound, IIRC, very few are ever silent. They fixed their alphabet that way back during the Revolution--something we should've done with English. Almost any printed word can easily be "sounded out". That part is quite a pleasure to learn!

      Consider how many American-born college-educated bloggers  confuse "their-there-they're," or "lose" and "loose."

      Russian has no apostrophes either. So one couldn't commit such hair-raising (to an editor)spelling gaffes as: "John Edward's love's his kid's". The likes of which I've seen on hundreds of posts, due to the Internet Apostrophe Virus.

      I've been called a "knit-picker". I guess that has something to do with looking for dropped stitches? I don't no...

      •  Same with Japanese (none)

         ...when written in hiragana or katakana.  "A" always sounds like "ah" in "father"; and "I" always sounds like the 'i' in "police" (that is, "ee").  That part's very easy about Japanese, compared to English.


        . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

        by BenGoshi on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:58:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A nitpick on the nitpick (none)
        Sorry, excuse the language nerdiness...

        There are several non-phonetic spellings/pronunciations in Russain, but nowhere near the number of those in English.

        And there are rare usages of apostrophes, as well--but only when spelling a word in latin characters (many russians write "email" in latin characters) and adding a case ending in slavic characters.

        Plus, re: pronunciation, it is true that Russian is nearly all phonetic.  But since almost every consonant has two different pronunciations (hard and soft), and these differences can signal different words (ugol=coal, ugol'=corner), learning Russian pronunciation can be a nightmare.

        "Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers." --Susan Sontag

        by spoooky on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:08:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Having a good ear (none)
          My Russian language professor would always get on me for pronouncing words like "Oleg" with a hard g, saying at the end of words it sounds more like a k.

          A couple of years prior to the fall of the Soviet Union I was on a bicycle trip down the Mississippi River with some Russian students, and one day we were taking a break in a park. One of the girls asked me to explain to her the difference in the English words "duck", "dog" and "dock". She kept pointing to the objects and I'd say the word and she'd wonder why I kept saying the same thing. To her Russian ears those words all sounded the same. I was able to explain it to her, emphasizing the variations of the vowel sounds.

          GOP: Party before Country

          by puppethead on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 01:58:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  An ESL teacher I know (none)
            said her Italian students could not distinguish between the words "hungry" and "angry". They pronounced both words the same, kind of in-between the two.

            Whatever sounds you learn in your language- formative years, I suppose, are hard-wired into your brain, making it difficult to recognize new sounds.

            I uess that's why it's hard for Japanese to hear the difference between R and L; their pronunciation is halfway betweeen the two. The Japanese employees at my local post office have a hard time getting their tongues around, "Delivery confirmation?" And I had to ask my Japanese costume customer to repeat a word several times before I figured out she meant "Velcro".

      •  the phrase is.... (none)
        nit-picker ( a type of flea)

        All in all, you Yankz need a Scoop spellchecker.

        But if you wish to speak Finnish, speak to me...kele

        If our brains were simple enough to understand, we'd be too stupid to know what a brain was.

        by sven triloqvist on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 04:56:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  to be more precise (none)
          : Etymology: Middle English nite, from Old English hnitu; akin to Old High German hniz nit, Greek konid-, konis
          : Date: before 12th century
          : : the egg of a louse or other parasitic insect; also : the insect itself when young

          : When the eggs are laid on hair (or fur) it is a tedious job to remove (pick) them off because they adhere to indivdual strands of hair. The term nitpick (below) probably came from the act of picking the nits off hair (or fur), strand by strand. A task which would take hours and require attention to small details

          If our brains were simple enough to understand, we'd be too stupid to know what a brain was.

          by sven triloqvist on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 05:00:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Counters (none)
      But what counter do you use when counting irregular Japanese verbs?
      •  Like, what? "I did it 3 times"? (none)

         No relationship between "counter" and "verb".  As a side note, however, there are a plethora of counters for diffent nouns, and that's sort of maddening.  

         For example, in English (God bless it!), I say "3 pigs," "3 pencils" or "3 ping pong balls".  3, 3, 3.  It's all the same.  In Japanese, the number gets a different suffix added on to designate if you're counting, say, people, glasses of beer, or sheets of paper.  I don't know 'em all (use it or lose it), but do know all the basic, common, important ones.


        . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

        by BenGoshi on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:58:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was too subtle (none)
          I guess my joke didn't work, those were the counters I was referring to- round, flat, etc.  I could always remember the one for bottle (hmmm) but few others.  
          •  Blast. Tripped-up by subtle humor. (none)

             Flat things:  mai

             Cylindrical things:  pon (bon)

             Books:  satsu (zatsu)

             Medium-size barnyard animals:  piki (biki)

             Bon-bons:  ko

             Glasses of Kirin beer:  pai (bai, hai)

             Two proctologists:  ni nin

             Three panhandlers:  san nin

             Days of the week:  nichi (except for the first ten, which are all different; and the 20th of every month, which is the same for every month -- hatsuka).

             There's just a few.  Ring any bells?  Now for our next lesson . . . in Turkish.


            . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

            by BenGoshi on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 03:19:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  a thought (none)
          the general counting words in japanese - hitotsu, futatsu, mitsu - are actually the more archaic indigenous words for counting things, while the abstract words for numerals - ichi, ni, san - are loan words from chinese, as well as most of the other counting words  like -hon, -mai, -hiki, etc. (other than the aforementioned objects and people). most likely, japanese had no concept of abstract numbers way back before the nara or late kofun period, but instead understood things in terms of numbers of concrete objects.
    •  pshaw. irregular shmirregular. (none)
      mandarin doesn't even conjugate 'em in the first place. tense is highly overrated. you can usually get it from context, anyway. and that's without even getting into classical chinese, where nouns can verb and verbs can adjective, and there's no punctuation, a little like ancient greek only bounded at the level of word and not phoneme. fun stuff...
      •  Conjugation (none)
        ... the way it's done in English IS really overrated. Studying American Sign Language (ASL) will teach you that.  Takes a little bit to get used to when your first language is English, but makes a lot of things easier.
      •  I like the way (none)
        you illustrate your point through rhetorical onomatopeia - letting English nouns verb, etc.

        A world where the everyday is inspirational, and the inspirational is everyday.

        by mkrell on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 03:26:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  english is actually not all that dissimilar (none)
          you can table a bill, mother a child, or fish for fish. classical chinese just takes it to an insane degree of flexibility.

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