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Old 08-21-2004, 01:02 AM   #26
saltlakeaiki
 
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Re: Vowel Pairs: 'ai', 'ei', etc

Quote:
Eric Spinelli wrote:
Am I being too logical about all this?
No, I think you just used common sense and the knowledge you already had!

Quote:
Anyway, my final answer is one.
Right of course, and you even picked the right one

Quote:
Well, there are lots of modern text books that have decided to "enhance" the readers comprehension of the language by adding a multitude of accents to passages of Latin.
I'm getting from your explanation that these modern texts try to express in writing facts about the real, original Latin pronunciation to help the reader get more of a gut feeling for the sound of spoken Latin and to help perhaps distinguish between (otherwise) similar sounding words. I would hope that this is based on some kind of real evidence, and isn't just made up to make it more fun! If it is based on real research and accepted theories of Latin phonology, then it could be a very good thing...

Quote:
It seems Romans simply weren't interested in conveying pronunciation in writing.
Sounds like they have something in common with the English and Japanese

Quote:
At least I've never seen it taken to the rediculous level the French took modern/Romanized written Vietnamese. That makes the Chinese ideograms of old look easy!
Yeah, that is quite a piece of work, isn't it. I think it's just the bad luck of the Vietnamese that they have never had (felt the need to invent?) a writing system that fits their language well - first they had kanji foisted on them, and that wasn't so bad, perhaps, but then they got the romanized system, which I agree is a disaster. But what can you do?

Dave

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Old 08-21-2004, 03:28 PM   #27
spin13
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Re: Vowel Pairs: 'ai', 'ei', etc

Quote:
Yeah, that is quite a piece of work, isn't it. I think it's just the bad luck of the Vietnamese that they have never had (felt the need to invent?) a writing system that fits their language well - first they had kanji foisted on them, and that wasn't so bad, perhaps, but then they got the romanized system, which I agree is a disaster. But what can you do?
They could have been like the Koreans who did create their own written language only to have it "not quite work." From what I understand, it works just fine for everyday applications but is a total mess when it comes to anything legal. I know nothing of the language (other than being able to identify it), but I've heard they have to use Chinese characters because their language provides far too much leeway in interpretation and it is difficult to set even the most straight forward of laws and contracts into stone with their own language.

And out of curiousity, is there a specific term for Chinese characters/ideograms? I know Japanese is Kanji, but do the Chinese have a name of their own, do they just borrow the Japanese word Kanji, or do they just refer to them blanketly by calling them "words" or "written words."

-Eric
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Old 08-21-2004, 08:58 PM   #28
saltlakeaiki
 
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Re: Vowel Pairs: 'ai', 'ei', etc

Quote:
Eric Spinelli wrote:
They could have been like the Koreans who did create their own written language only to have it "not quite work."
I sincerely hope there are no Chinese or Koreans reading this thread who know where you live

Quote:
From what I understand, it works just fine for everyday applications but is a total mess when it comes to anything legal.
Zat a fact? I know perhaps only a tad more about this writing system than you, but I have always heard (and believed) that the Koreans should be rightly proud to have one of the most intelligent, best designed, and most-well-suited-to-the-language orthographies (1) of any language in the world! I can believe that it is not quite up to the task of highly precise legal texts, though, because I know that they still use "hanja" (their cognate word for the Chinese characters - someone correct me if this is wrong) for certain limited purposes. But recall that you have to be able to talk about the law unambiguously, which I'm sure they can do, and so writing about it in their own system (which I believe is called "hangul", again SCMIIW) must be possible. I'm guessing it's simply traditional (2) and preferable for reasons of precision and compactness to use "hanja".

Quote:
And out of curiousity, is there a specific term for Chinese characters/ideograms?
It's "hanzi", where I think (again SCMIIW) both syllables are 4th tone, and this is PinYin orthography, which means you don't pronounce it as though it were English , but hafta sorta know what sounds the letters map to. I won't go out on a limb here, even though I have a fairly good idea Oh, and of course this is Beijing dialect Mandarin - the "standard" language (boy there's another whole can-o-worms...)

Quote:
do they just borrow the Japanese word Kanji
Chinese pride notwithstanding, I'll assume that you had a brief lapse of sanity at the moment you wrote that

Dave

(1) There I've done it - I've wielded jargon yet again. I've been holding back on this particular one so as not to overwhelm, as jargon has a tendency to do

(2) Sorta the way Japanese doctors write about medical stuff in German?

Last edited by saltlakeaiki : 08-21-2004 at 09:07 PM.

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Old 08-21-2004, 09:51 PM   #29
spin13
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Re: Vowel Pairs: 'ai', 'ei', etc

Eh, perhaps I mispoke about the Korean language. I was told this by a Vietnamese native, who spoke Chinese and English as his second and third language. I merely took his word for it, as he is more experienced in that general area of both the world and language. Perhaps he is just getting old

As for the "borrowing the word Kanji," yes, I'm sure it would make some Chinese blood boil (and quite possibly some Japanese), as I understand their mild dislike for each other . However, no matter how they like it, its a viable (yes, still possibly stupid) question even if the answer is a resounding "no". And yes, I am just babbling to defend myself! However, I have yet to see a Chinese person who acts indignant about the word 'Zen', though I believe the Chinese term is 'Chan', at least in relation to Buddhism. Perhaps this is only because nobody over here in America would understand what the hell 'Chan' is, but we widely recognize 'Zen', and I have yet to travel to China and put this theory to the test. I don't have any plans to either - neither my Aikido or self defense in general is that good yet

-Eric
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Old 08-23-2004, 10:19 AM   #30
saltlakeaiki
 
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Re: Vowel Pairs: 'ai', 'ei', etc

Quote:
Eric Spinelli wrote:
And yes, I am just babbling to defend myself!


Quote:
However, I have yet to see a Chinese person who acts indignant about the word 'Zen'
Yeah, well, there's not much you can do when people borrow your culture, and then make it more successful. I believe the J have done this many times to the West as well

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Old 08-23-2004, 10:58 PM   #31
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Vowel Pairs: 'ai', 'ei', etc

Chinese, Japanese, Koreans look at the same characters and write Hanzi, Kanji, and Hanja when using English. For pronunciation, you had better just learn those languages
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