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arabic vs english and other languages

Artur
Posts: 723
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7/21/2016 3:04:33 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
I heard Arabic is very rich language both in its literature and the way it represent the thoughts of the speaker.

Is it true? do you know a scientific or academic comparison between the two? I met some arabs who speak english, they say compared to their native language, english remains rather poor for them when they try to express themselves in the best way.

I heard it has many times more vocabulary than english, its grammar is way more complex than english and thus it presents opportunity to express the human mind in a way better than english.

if you know such academic or scientific comparison, share please. and question to native arabic speakers, considering you are member of this site your english is of at least high level I assume, compare it to your native language.
"I'm not as soft or as generous a person as I would be if the world hadn't changed me" Bobby Fischer
Riwaaz_Ras
Posts: 1,046
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7/21/2016 8:55:38 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
All asian languages are richer in comparison to the rest of the world.

All Indian languages are richer in comparison to the rest of the world.

People who have English as their mother tongue are orally handicapped cunts.
(This is not a goodbye message. I may or may not come back after ten years.)
desmac
Posts: 5,078
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7/21/2016 9:28:03 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/21/2016 8:55:38 AM, Riwaaz_Ras wrote:
All asian languages are richer in comparison to the rest of the world.

All Indian languages are richer in comparison to the rest of the world.

People who have English as their mother tongue are orally handicapped cunts.

Vraiment?
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
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7/21/2016 10:14:04 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
I think it very likely that English at least one of most expressive languages, because it is so impure! For example, The English language might not have always had a word that matches with the Indian concent of Karma, but it does now - it's 'Karma'. Schadenfreude, ennui, goulash....

Many languages are far more conservative. In France the Academie francais oversees the language and has ruled again anglicisms such as week-end. So I doubt any language has anything much English hasn't got - because it already nicked/pinched/stole/purloined it, n'est pas, comrade?

In many cases there are several english word for the same thing, one from from Latin, one from greek, one from Norse or what ever. Fast, quick, rapid, celerous, speedy, accelerated etc all mean the same thing, but each has a subtlty in its use that a native speaker make unconscious use of in a way a non-native mght not pick up on. French on the other hand uses 'aimer' for 'to like' and 'to love' so I am not sure if Frenchmen like wine but love their wives or vice versa.

I'm not multi-lingual - have a smattering of French, and even some Swahili. I am certainly more comfortable in English and I can express myself much better in English than in Swahili, but that probably reflects my facility and familiarity with the languages concerned than their intrinsic merits, which (if I a honest) makes me think that all languages are pretty much the same and more depends on the the user, not the language used.
Riwaaz_Ras
Posts: 1,046
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7/21/2016 2:25:28 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/21/2016 10:14:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think it very likely that English at least one of most expressive languages, because it is so impure! For example, The English language might not have always had a word that matches with the Indian concent of Karma, but it does now - it's 'Karma'.

When you don't know anything, keep your mouth shut.

Schadenfreude, ennui, goulash....

Many languages are far more conservative. In France the Academie francais oversees the language and has ruled again anglicisms such as week-end. So I doubt any language has anything much English hasn't got - because it already nicked/pinched/stole/purloined it, n'est pas, comrade?

In many cases there are several english word for the same thing, one from from Latin, one from greek, one from Norse or what ever. Fast, quick, rapid, celerous, speedy, accelerated etc all mean the same thing, but each has a subtlty in its use that a native speaker make unconscious use of in a way a non-native mght not pick up on. French on the other hand uses 'aimer' for 'to like' and 'to love' so I am not sure if Frenchmen like wine but love their wives or vice versa.

I'm not multi-lingual - have a smattering of French, and even some Swahili. I am certainly more comfortable in English and I can express myself much better in English than in Swahili, but that probably reflects my facility and familiarity with the languages concerned than their intrinsic merits, which (if I a honest) makes me think that all languages are pretty much the same and more depends on the the user, not the language used.
(This is not a goodbye message. I may or may not come back after ten years.)
Aran55633
Posts: 110
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7/21/2016 3:39:25 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/21/2016 2:25:28 PM, Riwaaz_Ras wrote:
At 7/21/2016 10:14:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think it very likely that English at least one of most expressive languages, because it is so impure! For example, The English language might not have always had a word that matches with the Indian concent of Karma, but it does now - it's 'Karma'.

When you don't know anything, keep your mouth shut.


If you followed your own advice, we'd never hear from you again.
Schadenfreude, ennui, goulash....

Many languages are far more conservative. In France the Academie francais oversees the language and has ruled again anglicisms such as week-end. So I doubt any language has anything much English hasn't got - because it already nicked/pinched/stole/purloined it, n'est pas, comrade?

In many cases there are several english word for the same thing, one from from Latin, one from greek, one from Norse or what ever. Fast, quick, rapid, celerous, speedy, accelerated etc all mean the same thing, but each has a subtlty in its use that a native speaker make unconscious use of in a way a non-native mght not pick up on. French on the other hand uses 'aimer' for 'to like' and 'to love' so I am not sure if Frenchmen like wine but love their wives or vice versa.

I'm not multi-lingual - have a smattering of French, and even some Swahili. I am certainly more comfortable in English and I can express myself much better in English than in Swahili, but that probably reflects my facility and familiarity with the languages concerned than their intrinsic merits, which (if I a honest) makes me think that all languages are pretty much the same and more depends on the the user, not the language used.
lightseeker
Posts: 1,026
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7/21/2016 5:40:08 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Yes it's true.
I'm not Arab but I know it for a fact that Arabic is the richest language out there and you can translate things from other language to Arabic with ease but translating Arabic text to other languages is very hard, because of their very comprehensive vocabulary and grammar.
NinaZarechnaya
Posts: 17
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7/21/2016 6:25:56 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
I don't think one can really compare the "richness" of languages. Firstly because of loanwords and the blurring of lines which they cause (could it be said that Russian's richness is diminished by its lack of an "original" word for makeup and the fact that the Russian word is borrowed from the French "maquillage"?) and the fluidity with which one language becomes another (see Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian/Montenegrin), but more importantly because every language can express some things better than others. One could argue that a lot of opportunity for nuance is removed by Russian's lack of articles, which does indeed make emphasis and specification less obvious in Russian, but the lack of verbal aspect in English also decreases such opportunity, and Russian does have verbal aspect. And then there are untranslatable words, which tend to even out across languages. Every non-native speaker is going to find it difficult to express certain sentiments in their non-native language: I know I do in English.

Moreover, this hypothetical scale of linguistic richness assumes that the emotional/artistic characteristics of languages can be plotted on a quantitative scale, which seems contradictory. The whole point of such characteristics is that they are subjective and based on personal and cultural expression.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
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7/21/2016 8:03:23 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
I wonder how 'That's not cricket' should be translated into,say, Arabic. A literal translation would probably work to get the idiomatic sense across in (eg) Hindi, but I think you'd have to express the idiomatic meaning and lose the metaphor in Arabic, and possibly even for US English!
Jry2001
Posts: 45
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7/22/2016 12:37:59 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/21/2016 2:25:28 PM, Riwaaz_Ras wrote:
At 7/21/2016 10:14:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think it very likely that English at least one of most expressive languages, because it is so impure! For example, The English language might not have always had a word that matches with the Indian concent of Karma, but it does now - it's 'Karma'.

When you don't know anything, keep your mouth shut.

Riwaaz, this is a debate website, in case you've missed it in the past few months. That means that if you disagree with someone else, you explain why they're wrong. By dismissing someone else's argument, in this case, the argument that English is versatile because it loans words from other languages, without explaining why it's wrong, you are not doing any debate. In fact, you're doing the opposite of debate, also known as making bare assertions.

I think that keithprosser's argument is perfectly valid. English has more expressiveness than most other languages because, as one of the world's most popular lingua franca, it absorbs the features and vocabulary of other languages.
Jry2001
Posts: 45
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7/22/2016 12:52:50 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/21/2016 3:04:33 AM, Artur wrote:
I heard Arabic is very rich language both in its literature and the way it represent the thoughts of the speaker.

Is it true? do you know a scientific or academic comparison between the two? I met some arabs who speak english, they say compared to their native language, english remains rather poor for them when they try to express themselves in the best way.

I heard it has many times more vocabulary than english, its grammar is way more complex than english and thus it presents opportunity to express the human mind in a way better than english.

if you know such academic or scientific comparison, share please. and question to native arabic speakers, considering you are member of this site your english is of at least high level I assume, compare it to your native language.

The question of which language is the most expressive is, in my opinion, unanswerable.

First of all, the criteria for expressiveness are hard to determine. Should we compare the number of concepts that can be expressed in different languages? Should we compare the ease in which you can express a concept in different languages? Neither criterion is satisfactory. The first criterion is hard to measure; how do you count all of the possible concepts that can be expressed in a language? How do you know if something you've dismissed as "unexpressible" actually could be expressed? The second criterion depends on subjective judgement on how "easy" something is. To a French speaker, the idea of conjugating verbs might seem more intuitive because they are familiar with French grammar, which uses copious amounts of conjugation. On the other hand, verb conjugations could seem like a needless burden to a speaker of a language which uses little conjugation, such as Chinese.

Secondly, the use of loan words complicates the situation. Loan words could allow a language to express more concepts than its native vocabulary could handle. Should we consider loan words when we evaluate the intuitiveness of a language, or should they be ignored, seeing that they are words that come from a different language? How would we be able to determine if we should ignore a loan word in our evaluation? Should we count the vast majority of English words as loan words, considering they were borrowed from Norman French? No? Then how long does a loan word need to be used for in order for us to consider it as a part of the loaning language?
Riwaaz_Ras
Posts: 1,046
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7/22/2016 2:30:30 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/22/2016 12:37:59 PM, Jry2001 wrote:
At 7/21/2016 2:25:28 PM, Riwaaz_Ras wrote:
At 7/21/2016 10:14:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think it very likely that English at least one of most expressive languages, because it is so impure! For example, The English language might not have always had a word that matches with the Indian concent of Karma, but it does now - it's 'Karma'.

When you don't know anything, keep your mouth shut.

Riwaaz, this is a debate website, in case you've missed it in the past few months. That means that if you disagree with someone else, you explain why they're wrong. By dismissing someone else's argument, in this case, the argument that English is versatile because it loans words from other languages, without explaining why it's wrong, you are not doing any debate. In fact, you're doing the opposite of debate, also known as making bare assertions.

I think that keithprosser's argument is perfectly valid. English has more expressiveness than most other languages because, as one of the world's most popular lingua franca, it absorbs the features and vocabulary of other languages.

How many languages do you speak?
(This is not a goodbye message. I may or may not come back after ten years.)
Jry2001
Posts: 45
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7/22/2016 11:54:39 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/22/2016 2:30:30 PM, Riwaaz_Ras wrote:
At 7/22/2016 12:37:59 PM, Jry2001 wrote:
At 7/21/2016 2:25:28 PM, Riwaaz_Ras wrote:
At 7/21/2016 10:14:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think it very likely that English at least one of most expressive languages, because it is so impure! For example, The English language might not have always had a word that matches with the Indian concent of Karma, but it does now - it's 'Karma'.

When you don't know anything, keep your mouth shut.

Riwaaz, this is a debate website, in case you've missed it in the past few months. That means that if you disagree with someone else, you explain why they're wrong. By dismissing someone else's argument, in this case, the argument that English is versatile because it loans words from other languages, without explaining why it's wrong, you are not doing any debate. In fact, you're doing the opposite of debate, also known as making bare assertions.

I think that keithprosser's argument is perfectly valid. English has more expressiveness than most other languages because, as one of the world's most popular lingua franca, it absorbs the features and vocabulary of other languages.

How many languages do you speak?

Chinese, English, a little bit of French.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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7/24/2016 3:13:12 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/22/2016 12:52:50 PM, Jry2001 wrote:
At 7/21/2016 3:04:33 AM, Artur wrote:
I heard Arabic is very rich language both in its literature and the way it represent the thoughts of the speaker.

Is it true? do you know a scientific or academic comparison between the two? I met some arabs who speak english, they say compared to their native language, english remains rather poor for them when they try to express themselves in the best way.

I heard it has many times more vocabulary than english, its grammar is way more complex than english and thus it presents opportunity to express the human mind in a way better than english.

if you know such academic or scientific comparison, share please. and question to native arabic speakers, considering you are member of this site your english is of at least high level I assume, compare it to your native language.

The question of which language is the most expressive is, in my opinion, unanswerable.

First of all, the criteria for expressiveness are hard to determine. Should we compare the number of concepts that can be expressed in different languages? Should we compare the ease in which you can express a concept in different languages? Neither criterion is satisfactory. The first criterion is hard to measure; how do you count all of the possible concepts that can be expressed in a language? How do you know if something you've dismissed as "unexpressible" actually could be expressed? The second criterion depends on subjective judgement on how "easy" something is. To a French speaker, the idea of conjugating verbs might seem more intuitive because they are familiar with French grammar, which uses copious amounts of conjugation. On the other hand, verb conjugations could seem like a needless burden to a speaker of a language which uses little conjugation, such as Chinese.

Secondly, the use of loan words complicates the situation. Loan words could allow a language to express more concepts than its native vocabulary could handle. Should we consider loan words when we evaluate the intuitiveness of a language, or should they be ignored, seeing that they are words that come from a different language? How would we be able to determine if we should ignore a loan word in our evaluation? Should we count the vast majority of English words as loan words, considering they were borrowed from Norman French? No? Then how long does a loan word need to be used for in order for us to consider it as a part of the loaning language?

^This.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
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Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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7/24/2016 3:22:20 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/21/2016 10:14:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think it very likely that English at least one of most expressive languages, because it is so impure! For example, The English language might not have always had a word that matches with the Indian concent of Karma, but it does now - it's 'Karma'. Schadenfreude, ennui, goulash....

Many languages are far more conservative. In France the Academie francais oversees the language and has ruled again anglicisms such as week-end. So I doubt any language has anything much English hasn't got - because it already nicked/pinched/stole/purloined it, n'est pas, comrade?
I have to disagree with this. Throughout its history, French, since its germination in Vulgar Latin, has also been very keen to absorb vocabulary from an astonishingly huge number of sources. That's why, in addition to the original Latinate (and Germanic) words, we see vocabulary from Italian and Arabic, Greek and Latin words which have fallen out of favour before, coinages, etc. I think you have overestimated the ability of the Academie francaise. They have not been very effective in actually controlling people's use of language. French people still use 'le week-end' liberally.
In many cases there are several english word for the same thing, one from from Latin, one from greek, one from Norse or what ever. Fast, quick, rapid, celerous, speedy, accelerated etc all mean the same thing, but each has a subtlty in its use that a native speaker make unconscious use of in a way a non-native mght not pick up on. French on the other hand uses 'aimer' for 'to like' and 'to love' so I am not sure if Frenchmen like wine but love their wives or vice versa.
That's not true though: French also has a wealth of vocabulary for liking: http://www.crisco.unicaen.fr...

French has a huge number of words for 'return' while 'return' is the dominant word in English: http://french.about.com...

And remember that French tends to use different words where English would prefer a phrasal verb in normal speech.

The thing about subtlety you mentioned is common to English and French. In English it's because the language absorbed a significant amount of vocabulary from French, whereas in French, it was because of the language has been influenced by Gaulish and Frankish. This led to the co-existence of words like 'champ' and 'agriculture', which originate from words with the same meaning.
I'm not multi-lingual - have a smattering of French, and even some Swahili. I am certainly more comfortable in English and I can express myself much better in English than in Swahili, but that probably reflects my facility and familiarity with the languages concerned than their intrinsic merits, which (if I a honest) makes me think that all languages are pretty much the same and more depends on the the user, not the language used.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
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7/24/2016 10:15:04 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
I think everyone is a bit guilty of patriotic bias in regard of their language! I think the English language is marvellous - almost as good as English weather and English cooking.

Seriously I don't think there is any real difference between languages in terms expressiveness - it all depends on the skill of the speaker or writer. I'd need to see a few examples of the extra power of Arabic or Asian/Indian languages to shift from that opinion.
Riwaaz_Ras
Posts: 1,046
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7/24/2016 10:56:46 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/24/2016 10:15:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think everyone is a bit guilty of patriotic bias in regard of their language! I think the English language is marvellous - almost as good as English weather and English cooking.

Seriously I don't think there is any real difference between languages in terms expressiveness - it all depends on the skill of the speaker or writer. I'd need to see a few examples of the extra power of Arabic or Asian/Indian languages to shift from that opinion.

You left out - English Accent.

Manly voice of english women.. Yuck!
(This is not a goodbye message. I may or may not come back after ten years.)
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
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7/24/2016 4:36:54 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
There is no such thing as an English accent. The accent of a Londoner is very different from the accent of person from Bristol or Birmingham. I suppose that regional accents are less obvious to non-natives. To most Brits, there is a stock American accent and few Brits can tell a Yank from a Canadian, or an Aussie from a New Zealander.
I am sure an Indian could tell at once which part of India someone came from, but I would guess few non-Indians can do that.

IMO, one of the sexiest English voices belongs to Charlotte Green, ex BBC announcer -
https://www.youtube.com...
and the least sexy is 'Essex girl' https://www.youtube.com...
foxxhajti
Posts: 479
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7/24/2016 10:01:40 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/21/2016 3:04:33 AM, Artur wrote:
I heard Arabic is very rich language both in its literature and the way it represent the thoughts of the speaker.

Is it true? do you know a scientific or academic comparison between the two? I met some arabs who speak english, they say compared to their native language, english remains rather poor for them when they try to express themselves in the best way.

I heard it has many times more vocabulary than english, its grammar is way more complex than english and thus it presents opportunity to express the human mind in a way better than english.

if you know such academic or scientific comparison, share please. and question to native arabic speakers, considering you are member of this site your english is of at least high level I assume, compare it to your native language.

I speak a semitic language which has some romance influences to it. I don't speak pure Arabic, but my language is heavily influenced by it. I generally just use a mixture of both English and my own language, for everyday life, when it comes to colloquial conversations. English can be a bit poor sometimes...like there isn't anything that can describe something like "Qtugh ta' laham" which means something like muscle-cramps but also not quite like that (if that makes any sense at all?), maybe something like "Bewwiel" which is someone who basically pisses a lot (but it can also differ in definition according to context)...stuff like that.
I also agree with the statement previously stated by Jry2001 regarding the expressiveness of languages.
"It's interesting to observe that almost all truly worthy men have simple manners, and that simple manners are almost always taken as a sign of little worth" - Giacomo Leopardi

"It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other." - Francesco Petrarca

"You too must not count too much on your reality as you feel it today, since like yesterday, it may prove an illusion for you tomorrow." - Luigi Pirandello