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Essay talk:Linguistic superiority

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Several questions I'd like to pose to Dandy Andy, but which he will never answer. 1)What is the list of superior languages, and 2)upon what criteria do you base that. On point two, he has said "English has more words" (which arguably, it does) and something about "If it weren't better why would so many people speak it". That's two reasons, both of which can be addressed instantly. "Latin" was better cause "in just two words, you can say what it takes English to say in a whole sentence". um, right, but those two words didn't mean what they mean when adopted into English.

Anyhow, as for Navajo, I love how all of what we call "adjectives" function as verbs. Something so alive to that. "the stone colorsitselfblue" the tree "isinastateoftallness". :D Also, their their classification of nouns blow me away, too. "round things", "long, stick like things", Green things. Keeps me on my toes.

I don't remember which African languages I'm going to be talking about (linguistics 101, though not as far away as my math classes, was still years ago), but one or more West African languages have a verb tense called the "Habitual" meaning "usually / always/ daily" i do this. It worked its way into Black English Vernacular to be expressed as "Be Xing". "I be going to the store" means something significantly different than "I am going to the store" and "I go to the store". Course, most Americans just think it means "I be a lol cat lazy ill-educated black person".--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 11:28, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

That Latin one of Schlafly's was always iffy. Particularly as my financee (BTW a single french word, which also expresses gender in it) speaks very good Latin and can call BS on it. Veni vidi vici for instance is three words while English is 6, but that's because the endings of the Latin basically are the equiverlent of "I", it just compresses them into the word rather than having two. It's not more efficient, it's not better or worse it's just different. Basically, Shlafly's arguement on that is like saying that French and most other European languages are superior to English because they can express their verb infinitives in fewer words, only English has the "to..." bit which is what leads to confusion over splitting infinitives. So, in conclusion, here's five very effective words: Schlafly is a fucking idiot. ArmondikoVgnostic 11:45, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Here's what's cool about language efficiency. I can get ride of 2 of those words in spoken English. something like: "Schlafly?-Fucking Idiot!" Languages are languages. English is more precise, as a rule, highly codified, low context. Makes for great technical writing. But, it's not nearly as expressive in written poetry as Japanese or Chinese where a single character turned a particular way is an entire poetic expression unto itself. shrugs. languages are languages.
Written English is a much more compact language. Compare multi-lingual instructions/descriptions on consumer products and in general the English text occupies less space than any of the other Western languages. However, Chinese pictograms can encapsulate the same information in even less space. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 14:40, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Bollocks with efficiency or beauty :p . So long as when I'm finished speaking, the other person knows what I want them to know (which is what language is there to do) it's fine. Also, you have to note that outside RW no-one knows who Schlafly is, so you're three words would be severely increased by "Andrew Schlafly, owner and chief editor of Conservapedia..." in order to remove any context specific jargon. ArmondikoVgnostic 11:59, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
You've just proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that andy is right. English is *the* superior language. Bollocks has to be the single best word I've heard. It sounds crass but not offensive, funny yet not silly, and just has the right tone of "oh for christ's sake". :-D--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 12:04, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
And it has multiple meanings, as "the dog's bollocks" is a positive thing :p And you can't beat the way that Thunderf00t says it. ArmondikoVgnostic 12:21, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
I still hold that the British Empire was built upon silliness. They march into some spot in India/Africa/where have you, whistling silly songs, eating silly food, and saying things like "bollocks" and "cheerio." The natives first assume they are a harmless, weird little people, but are caught completely off guard, realizing too late that they are perfectly serious, and utterly crazy. PubliusTalk 12:55, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
MDAEGOITMS. QED.  Lily Ta, wack! 13:30, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
"Financee"; a girlfriend with money? What Schlafly has completely overlooked of course is the superiority of English swearing, single English words can generate much more opprobrium than other "lesser" languages. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 14:33, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

A thought[edit]

It occurred to me this morning, and I'm not sure why it hadn't before: in what way is linguistic superiority not subtle racism? It smacks of the 19th-early 20th century imperialist mentality, where European language and culture were deemed inherently superior. PubliusTalk 12:08, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

Not inherently racism, but cultural elitism, of course. Then again, the writes of the qu'ran state explicitly that there is no more beautiful language than the royal (by which they mean, god given) language of Arabic... and I'm sure if you asked a Chinese poet, no other language could so beautifully capture the subtality of communication and on and on. My point, I guess, is that probably every speaker thinks his is the best, cause well.... it's his. --Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 12:11, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
(ec)I suppose that is a point I was attempting to poke at. The attitude towards the superiority of English led to the destruction of a myriad of languages spoken by Native Americans, to the point where only 200 remain today, most of which are moribound (going extinct). Even untill 1996, some schools still punished Native American children for speaking their language in school. Another entire essay could be written on Black English Venecular, and the conservative reaction to it being a "perversion" of English, despite retaining its own syntatical rules, and being similar in the areas it is spoken. JĀvąṢ₡ä₰ hi thereBunny.gif BUNNY! 12:14, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Now, to Godot, a small point. As you grow up in any culture, you become encultured into it. The culture you grow up in teaches you how to act, what standards of behavior are expected from you, and even what language you use. Your culture teaches you how to live, but it also makes you more provincial as a result, even to the point where invariably, other cultures are considered "odd" or even "terrifying" in how they are different. However, looking emically at a culture will indicate that within that group of people, that language really makes a lot of sense, and it is your culture that seems odd. Letting a newborn child starve to death may seem disgusting in our culture, but to the Yanamo (sp?) of South America, it makes complete sense. Culture teaches you how to live, but it also limits how you live. JĀvąṢ₡ä₰ hi thereBunny.gif BUNNY! 12:25, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
As a related point, leaving unwanted babies outside in the winter was practiced in Iceland in pagan times, but that did not make too much sense even to the Icelanders, as the babies were often stealthily taken out of the cold and adopted by other people. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 12:30, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Trust them Scandynavy types to recycle everything.  Lily Ta, wack! 13:38, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

Superiority of languages, writing systems[edit]

Some remarks with regard to the superiority of languages, or of writing systems.

  1. I put that the lack of alphabets for a number of Eastern languages held their speakers back considerably in terms of literacy, as the movable-type printing press was not usable with such systems.
  2. I put that the Germanic languages are much more "efficient" in their expressivity than the Romance languages, similar to the example you cited with the Navajo language. This explains the cow refuse that passes for "English-language opera" today.

Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 12:17, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

While I understand the point on writing systems of character based languages (which does not include most eastern languages, by the way) I don't understand your point of german being more "efficient". would you care to use examples to elaborate? --Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 14:08, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
I am a monoglot (unless you count a barely-working knowledge of Latin); this information was mostly communicated to me in a talk about opera. An acquaintance mentioned that one has to talk about twice as fast in Italian as in English, as it takes more syllables to express a given sentence, which might explain some stylistic differences in the sorts of opera written for those two languages. In particular, Italian-language operas feel much slower-paced than English-language ones. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:36, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
Ooohhkay, but that doesn't make it a more "efficient" language. I know only a smattering of Italian, but from my experience with translation of french lyrics, it's all about what words you choose. German is strange to our ears, in that you stick allthewordsintooneword to make a new word. which might have an effect on operatic translation? Don't really know. But as for the number of syllables in general, I don't think that would hold. Let me research, though.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 15:18, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
So, just for fun (and cause i am avoiding produtive work" From Altavistabablefish.
  • Happy Birthday German: Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Italian: Buon Compleanno!
  • I love you. German: Ich liebe dich Italian: Ti amo
  • You are the sunshine of my (Like this will be grammatically correct, hahah)
German: Sie sind der Sonnenschein meines Lebens. Baby. Italian: Siete il sole della mia vita. Bambino.
  • Every sperm is sacred, Every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.
German:Jede Samenzellen sind heilig, jede Samenzellen sind groß. Wenn Samenzellen vergeudet werden, erhält Gott ziemlich zornig.
Italian: Ogni sperma è sacro, ogni sperma è grande. Se uno sperma è sprecato, il dio ottiene abbastanza irato.

Have a great day, all. (enjoy the rest of the day).

Please to add me to your article?[edit]

"Im un ur house, teeching ur kidz about languij"

Begging the question[edit]

I'm sorry, this is silly. You start with the assumption that all languages are equal, so how can you claim that as the conclusion? Also, half the 'essay' is bashing the US for not speaking foreign languages, which if anything is an argument for the superiority of English. The words superior and inferior are not abstract concepts, they are understood with reference to some scale of value. By any concrete scale I can think of, English really is the superior language at this time in history. Fall down

You are such an idiot Fall Down. And so predictable, if I bothered to predict your comments. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:15, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
The problem is English is not a superior language, because like all other languages, it accomplishes what a language has to accomplish. It expresses ideas, just like every other language, it provides a system of communication, like every other language... et all. JĀvąṢ₡ä₰ hi thereBunny.gif BUNNY! 22:25, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
That's a tautology, of course. Every language evolves for the purposes to which it is put - but those purposes are not the same for every language. English today is the tongue of educated people, that which more than any other is used to express worthwhile ideas. Of course this is not necessarily so, it just happens to be, and someday English might be replaced in this role (I do not think so as long as Western civilisation lasts). From the practical side, no one would doubt that English is the best language for communication; it is spoken by almost all the important people in the world. Fall down
It is an essay, not a logical progression. He states his opinion, uses research to explain his position and the reiterated it in the conclusion; it is called writing. Your argument seems to be that a lots of academics, business people and politicians speak English, ergo it is superior. You have written a lot to say so little. - User 10:41, 9 April 2009 (EDT)
Isn't that little more than argumentum ad populum as we say in English? Taytopacket 10:44, 9 April 2009 (EDT)
(ec)But *that* is what's begging the question. "Let's accept for a moment that popularity proves a language is the best language. English is used everywhere around the world, therefore, English is the best language". Our contention is that no language is better than any other, nor that any language is universally the better choice in any situation, or that the way a language develops makes it better. Our platform is that "language in every culture does what the language must: communicate each and every idea needed from one speaker to the next". The fact that English is a better language *to learn* does not make it an inherently better language. It merely makes it a politically motivated choice. Learning computer science is not a better degree than learning art, but it will likely net the average person much more money.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 10:45, 9 April 2009 (EDT)

Quotation marks[edit]

Could you use ASCII doublequotes? Having the fancy ones makes linking hard. [Essay:"Linguistic superiority"] doesn't lead anywhere, and typing the fancy ones is hard. Stupid cubic Hoover! 10:53, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I moved it per your request. I hate those quotes, too. When people use them in articles I have to copy/paste or replace them to stay "consistent"... ħumanUser talk:Human 18:06, 1 August 2009 (UTC)