[ExI] chinese synthesis
spike at rainier66.com
Mon Jun 3 22:50:21 UTC 2013
>... On Behalf Of BillK
Subject: Re: [ExI] chinese synthesis
>...The BBC has an item saying that Germany has just deleted their longest
>...German is famous - or notorious - for making compound words, often to
describe something legal or scientific.
They are known in Germany as "tapeworm" words.----BillK
Ja I see that as a flaw in the language, equivalent to some of the more
severe flaws in English. It works against reading comprehension, since we
read to some extent by measuring the length of a word and noting its first
and last letters. Most of us here have seen that exercise where the first
and last letters are correct, but the rest of the word is scrambled.
Somehow you can still read the passage. In case you haven't seen it, here
I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg
the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the
olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit
pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a
pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by
istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot
slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.
I could read it with no trouble at all. The German tapeworm word
characteristic would defeat this feature of English.
I thought of teaching my son Chinese, but that has a characteristic which
caused me to reconsider: the fact that it is tonal. As it was explained to
me, a homophone can be pronounced in different ways. For instance, the
upward inflection almost makes it sound like a question, so that the phrase
lawng choi? means "more rice please," but the term lawng choi? means "DIE,
filthy wretch!" and the term lawng choi? means "aardvarks are devouring the
canoe." All three pronunciations sounded identical to me, a trained
musician. So. No Chinese for my son.
The flaw in Spanish is that the young senoritas love it, and they are too
beautiful for any teenage boy to resist, so the high school years are
devoured by copulation.
So I am back to square 1 in choosing a language, and once again questioning
whether or not it is worth the time investment, when the time is otherwise
profitably spent learning math and such.
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