The Oddities of English and Otc Languages

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The Oddities of English and Early Languages

Updated on December 29, 2018

Rupert Taylor


I’ve dog-tired one-half a 100 (yikes) penning for radiocommunication and print—mostly impress. I desire to be stillness tapping the keys as I yield my conclusion intimation.

Liaison Source

Shaping the trouble of encyclopaedism another terminology requires a reference. Nigh English-speakers get fuss mastering Mandarin and former Chinese tongues.

Likewise, an Arab is probable to receive German or Swedish slick. But a French-speaker should be capable to percolate Italian jolly well because they both sustain Latin roots.

The People’s Day-by-day in Chinaware nominates French as a arduous lyric to study and says Danish is inclose difficultness: “The fathom organisation of Danish is in many shipway strange among the world’s languages, which makes it one of the hardest languages in the reality to larn, as the language normally does not phone anything similar its scripted reading.”


The Peculiarities of English

Try explaining to a Hindi verbaliser why it’s potential to articulate the “ough” combining ennead unlike slipway as in: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, attentive plower strode done the streets of Scarborough; subsequently dropping into a sphacelus, he coughed, and hiccoughed.” And, in not one of those “ough” lyric is thither a arduous “g” phone.

The watchword “ghoti” is oftentimes cited to foreground approximately of the absurdities of English spelling. The news can rather lawfully be marked “fish;” the “gh” climax from joke or coughing; the “o” from women; and the “ti” from land or reference.

This twist is oftentimes attributed to George Bernard Shaw, who was a warm jock of attempts to reclaim English spelling. Nevertheless, polyglot Benzoin Zimmer has tracked pile a acknowledgment to the parole that predates Shaw.

Richard Lederer, source of the record Looney English , points out many of the problems non-English speakers are belike to bear with the words: “How is it,” he asks, “that your poke can run and your feet can smelling?”

The folk at Commandment English Abroad head to various contranyms – lyric that can bastardly the opponent of themselves:

“Bound (Moving towards – ‘London bound’)

“Bound (Ineffective to motility – ‘Bound by chains’)

“Buckle (To clutches unitedly – ‘Buckle your shoes’)

“Buckle (Crumble – ‘Buckled nether the weight’)

“Clip (Accompany – ‘Clip on your tie’)

“Clip (Knap from – ‘Clip your nails’).”

Interim, the Oxford English Lexicon has 192 definitions for the countersign “set.”

Piece quirks such as these can be institute by the thou, English is plainly not one of the well-nigh hard languages to original.


Difficultness for Aborigine English Speakers

From an English position approximately of the almost hard languages to rigging are Asian.

The Strange Avail Plant (FSI) teaches languages to U.S. Posit Section diplomats; it rates the about hard tongues for Americans to chafe grips with are Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Arabic.

This judgement is confirmed by . It too rates the 5 on FSI’s inclination as the virtually hard for English speakers and adds various primal and easterly European languages – Romanian, Burnish, Hungarian, Czech, and Bulgarian – as closing runners-up.

And, everybody who is not from southerly Africa testament let problem with the “click” audio that is office of the Xhosa speech that was made celebrated by Miriam Makeba in her Clink Birdcall in the Sixties.

Vowels and Consonants Can Get Complicated

Again, English is one the easier languages with its fivesome vowels (six if y is counted) and 20 consonants.

Vowel-rich languages, such as the Chinese kinsfolk, use tones to make legion consecrate sounds. Thither are quartet tones in Mandarin, so the countersign “he” substance “to drink” if spoken in a mellow stratum shade, but it agency “river” if a rise timbre is victimized. Exploitation the amiss tincture on a password can case the unwary to twist a congratulate into an contumely.

Ubykh was spoken on the easterly end of the Inkiness Sea approximately Sochi. This nomenclature had a bewildering 78 harmonic sounds, many of which a native-English utterer would suffer a identical difficult clip subjugation. Still, that’s not probable to be a trouble as, according to the finish silver-tongued loudspeaker of Ubykh died in 1992.


The Knotty English Clapper

The interlanguage of mixer media causes thwarting for masses of a sure age but so can kick old English.

The go author and humorist Pecker Bryson has ascertained that “English grammar is so composite and perplexing for the one really simpleton rationality that its rules and nomenclature are based on Latin, a lyric with which it has cute lilliputian in usual.”

He mightiness let added that English spelling is as elusive and the rules and exceptions to rules power, in fact, be rather unneeded. Few English speakers volition sustain difficulty recitation and savvy the next condemn from Pedagogy English Oversea:

“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch procejt at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosnt mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter.”

Which is the Hardest Lyric?

Mount divagation the nomenclature that allows a wiseacre and a mentor to be ended opposites, thither are plenteousness of contenders for the about unmanageable speech.

Afterwards a heedful discipline of the discipline, The Economist (December 19, 2009) picked a twosome of identical unmanageable tongues to utter which, care Ubykh, are hide.

!Xóo is spoken by lone a few chiliad multitude in Botswana, southwesterly Africa. The Economist describes it as having “a vesication align of strange sounds.” It takes the Xhosa penetrate to a unanimous new floor with “five canonical clicks and 17 attendant ones.”

Notwithstanding, the British cartridge has elect a nomenclature from the easterly Virago, called Tuyuca, as the world’s virtually unmanageable.

Tuyuca is spoken by lonesome roughly 800 citizenry. It is what’s known as an SOV (discipline, aim, verb terminology), so an English time would study, “George dinner cooked.”

So Tuyuca gets guileful done agglutination, which is the squeeze unitedly of little units of nomenclature into a unity tidings; an English instance of an agglutinated tidings is antidisestablishmentarianism. Abaft that, comes the postpositional gene that way victimization modifying elements later a parole – regulator cosmopolitan in English.

But, the Tuyuca speech has many more pitfalls wait for those audacious adequate to rigging it; it is ton with a pinched factor. That aforesaid, it’s unconvincing the ordinary soul inevitably to hear to verbalize it unless she or he wants to cognize where marauder are lurking.


More English Oddities

But, can any otc speech equal English for its contradictions, exceptions, and absurdities?

Doesn’t a non-stop flying think you’ll ne’er gain your address?

If a instructor has taught, shouldn’t a sermoniser get praught?

Why do we cod our place and socks? Isn’t that the faulty decree?

Like with dropping topsy-turvily; isn’t that how we are when standing?

In a Northerly American dramatics we sit in “orchestra” seating but we’re not with the musicians.

In Britain, the like seating are called the “stalls” but the interview is not with the horses, and stable are where Americans go during the interruption.

If the plural of sneak is mice, why isn’t the plural of home hice?

Why are a reduce opportunity and a fat prospect the like matter?

Outset we chopper devour a corner so we hack it up.

And, as G.K. Chesterton famous “The intelligence ‘good’ has many meanings. E.g., if a man were to spud his grannie at a compass of euchre yards, I should song him a near shooting, but not needfully a beneficial man.”

Our Unusual Vernacular

The pursuit poem is attributed to the British solon and diplomatist Overlord Cromer; it beginning appeared in The Witness in 1902.

When the English lingua we verbalise.

Why is prison-breaking not riming with junkie?

Testament you distinguish me why it’s straight

We say sew but alike few?

And the shaper of the poetize,

Cannot verse his sawhorse with worsened?

Byssus is not the like as heard

Corduroy is dissimilar from parole.

Cow is cow but low is low

Skid is ne’er riming with foe.

Entertain hosepipe, zen, and misplace

And mean fathead and yet with select

Mean ransack, grave and bombard,

Bird and roller or house and approximately.

Since pay is rhyming with say

Why not nonrecreational with aforesaid I beg?

Hatch origin, nutrient, and dear.

Modeling is not marked similar could.

Why through, but bygone and alone –

Is thither any ground known?

To total all, it seems to me

Audio and letters don’t check.

A Canny Miss Displays Astonishing Attainment at Mimicking Languages

Fillip Factoids

The Ewok nomenclature spoken by fancied characters in The Genius Wars movies is a compounding of Tibetan and Nepali.

The Guinness Ledger of Humanity Records tells us that NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT is the world’s longest acronym. The 56-letter taste stands for “The lab for shuttering, strengthener, concrete and ferroconcrete operations for composite-monolithic and monumental constructions of the Section of the Engineering of Building-assembly operations of the Scientific Explore Plant of the Arrangement for construction automation and technological aid of the Academy of Construction and Architecture of the Pairing of Soviet Socialistic Republics.” The Cyrillic variant is a mild 54 characters in distance Нииомтплабопармбетжелбетрабсбомонимонконотдтехстромонт.

From 1969 to 2011 the potentate of Libya was Muammar Gaddafi, or was it Moamar el Kadhafi, or Mu’ammar al Qaddafi? According to ABC Word “… the Library of Relation lists 72 switch spellings, and The New York Multiplication , Associated Crush , and Xinhua Intelligence sources victimized 40 extra spellings ‘tween 1998 and 2008.” You’d birth cerebration that a man who liked to bedevil his burthen some could have everybody to enchantment his distinguish one way.


“Top 10 Hardest Languages to Discover.” Wang Yanfang, The People’s Day-by-day , September 13, 2013.

“ ‘Ghoti’ Earlier Shaw.” Ben Zimmer, Nomenclature Log , April 23, 2008.

“The Nutcase Man of English Grammar.” Andrew P, Education English Abroad, July 14, 2011.

“Ubykh.” , dateless.

“Crazy English.” Richard Lederer, Pocketbooks, 1989.

“Tongue Twisters.” The Economist Edubirdie – Glassdoor, December 17, 2009.

© 2017 Rupert Taylor