What if English were phonetically consistent?

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Marigold
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What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by Marigold » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:45 pm

This one makes you realise that we native English speakers have learned a brilliant number of linguistic skills without even thinking about it.
https://youtu.be/A8zWWp0akUU
Margaid
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by Margaid » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:30 pm

What is even more amazing is that we can understand people when they get it wrong!
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Tweetypie
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:28 am

Wow, that's so true Marigold. When you think about it, most of these words could not be taught. It would be a case of learning them "parrot fashion", as and when they are used. Cough, dough, bough.....

My OH is Dutch, although he not lived there for 50 odd years. In some words with a "th" he pronounces the "t". An example would be the word Methodist, which he says Metodist....

Then there's the French, who seem to speak back to front....
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Marigold
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by Marigold » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:42 am

Yes, word order varies a lot between languages and adds more complications. And when you add in borrowings from other languages, it gets even more interesting. When we go to Wales I enjoy phonetic transpositions such as 'Siop Chip' and no doubt Margaid has many other examples, being a Welsh speaker.
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chrismahon
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by chrismahon » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:39 am

I suppose that's how my French sounds to a French person- no wonder I get some puzzled looks!
Margaid
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by Margaid » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:10 am

I have to be pedantic here and explain I'm not a Welsh speaker but I can speak Welsh. A Welsh speaker is a person whose first language is Welsh; my first language is English. But yes, Marigold is right because in Welsh the adjective comes before the noun. This means that you will see things like "Gwesty Wellington Hotel" which is the Welsh name "Gwesty Wellington" immediately followed by the English so the word "Wellington" is used only once on the hotel sign. Another one is of course "Bywyd Gwyllt Glasyn Wildlife", the osprey protection site near Porthmadog, and we have none of this Latin/German nonsense of the verb being at the end of the sentence. :D
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rick
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by rick » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:40 pm

Our lad, teaching English in Japan said that he reduced the class to fits of laughter when he asked them to consider the phrase "How do you like your coffee?"
I think Welsh is Subject, Object, Verb like Japanese (I don't know, just guessing) - most languages in the world are, apparently - its just us that insist on being different!
I often think, though, what did they do with the overdub of Yoda for the Japanese version of the film to make him sound like a wise old master?
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Marigold
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by Marigold » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:23 pm

What's funny about 'How do you like your coffee?"
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rick
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by rick » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:16 pm

I'm not sure, but I think it was coming across as;
"What do you do to appreciate your coffee?" or
"How do you express your feelings to your coffee?"
But not,
"Do you want milk and sugar in your coffee?/" or
"Do you like your coffee?/"
Probably it was the "How/" that was that was the curved ball.
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Re: What if English were phonetically consistent?

Post by Margaid » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:37 pm

Sorry Rick, your guess is wrong. I'm a bit rusty not having studied any grammar for many years, or had much opportunity to use the language, so apologies to any Welsh speakers on the forum. Generally speaking the sentence construction is very similar to English, except for the position of the adjective. To continue with the coffee theme "I like coffee" translates as "'Rydw i'n hoffi coffi" - hoffi being the verb "to like". "I like black coffee " would be "'Rydw i'n hoffi coffi du". Adverbs and indicative pronouns such as "this" also come after the noun. There are some other little tweaks and traps for the unwary but the language is totally phonetic.
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