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digitalmars.D - Walter's Famous German Language Essentials Guide

reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all you'll need to fit 
in, get around, and have a great time:

1. Ein Bier bitte!
2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
3. Wo ist der WC!
Apr 26 2016
next sibling parent deadalnix <deadalnix gmail.com> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
Some footage of Walter's last trip in Germany: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bYMAgM42pM
Apr 26 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Seb <seb wilzba.ch> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
nitpick: Wo ist _das_ WC? In German WC we have definite articles and as a WC can be used by both sexes, it is neutral (disclaimer: not a rule). However it's more common to say "Wo ist die nächste Toilette?"
Apr 26 2016
next sibling parent reply Marco Leise <Marco.Leise gmx.de> writes:
Am Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:59:04 +0000
schrieb Seb <seb wilzba.ch>:

 nitpick: Wo ist _das_ WC?
 In German WC we have definite articles and as a WC can be used by=20
 both sexes, it is neutral (disclaimer: not a rule).
There are some reasons why some words are feminine, masculine or neutral, but I never heard of that. (It is short form for English "watercloset" - which I didn't know before I looked it up now. :D)
 However it's more common to say "Wo ist die n=C3=A4chste Toilette?"
Note how it is "die Toilette" because it is used by women. But I didn't study German, so take it with a grain of salt. :p --=20 Marco
Apr 27 2016
next sibling parent Marco Leise <Marco.Leise gmx.de> writes:
It just came to my ears that Seb was just joking about that WC
rule.

-- 
Marco
Apr 27 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On 27 April 2016 at 13:25, Marco Leise via Digitalmars-d
<digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:
 Am Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:59:04 +0000
 schrieb Seb <seb wilzba.ch>:

 nitpick: Wo ist _das_ WC?
 In German WC we have definite articles and as a WC can be used by
 both sexes, it is neutral (disclaimer: not a rule).
There are some reasons why some words are feminine, masculine or neutral, but I never heard of that. (It is short form for English "watercloset" - which I didn't know before I looked it up now. :D)
Ha! There is no logical at all behind whether a word is masculine, feminine or neutral in German.
Apr 27 2016
next sibling parent Shachar Shemesh <shachar weka.io> writes:
On 28/04/16 09:43, Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d wrote:

 Ha!  There is no logical at all behind whether a word is masculine,
 feminine or neutral in German.
In Hebrew, there is no such thing as a neutral noun, (though there are nouns that can be either male of female). When you go from one such language to another, it gets even more confusing because, since it is arbitrary for both languages, many words are female in one language and male in the other. Shachar
Apr 28 2016
prev sibling parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 06:43:52 UTC, Iain Buclaw wrote:
 On 27 April 2016 at 13:25, Marco Leise via Digitalmars-d 
 <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:
 Am Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:59:04 +0000
 schrieb Seb <seb wilzba.ch>:

 nitpick: Wo ist _das_ WC?
 In German WC we have definite articles and as a WC can be 
 used by
 both sexes, it is neutral (disclaimer: not a rule).
There are some reasons why some words are feminine, masculine or neutral, but I never heard of that. (It is short form for English "watercloset" - which I didn't know before I looked it up now. :D)
Ha! There is no logical at all behind whether a word is masculine, feminine or neutral in German.
Except when it corresponds to the natural gender, i.e. der Mann, die Frau. It's interesting that the word for child is neuter (das Kind). Looks like children are not yet considered to be of any sex, which makes a lot of sense. Anyway, you can often deduce the grammatical gender from the ending (like in French, Spanish etc). E.g. -keit is feminine, while nouns ending in -er are masculine die Eitelkeit (vanity) der Fahrer (the driver) Once you understand this, you can focus on words that give you no clue, like der Tag (day). But in general there is no obvious logic as to why a word is masculine or feminine (or neuter). In German the sun is feminine, while in Latin languages it's masculine (el sol, o sol). In English it's neuter like most things. A neutered race :)
Apr 28 2016
next sibling parent ag0aep6g <anonymous example.com> writes:
On 28.04.2016 11:15, Chris wrote:
 Except when it corresponds to the natural gender, i.e. der Mann, die
 Frau. It's interesting that the word for child is neuter (das Kind).
 Looks like children are not yet considered to be of any sex, which makes
 a lot of sense.
Then again Mädchen (girl) is neuter, too. There's a reason for that, of course: Mädchen is a diminutive form of Magd (maid), i.e. it means little maid. Magd is feminine as expected, but -chen forms are always neuter.
Apr 28 2016
prev sibling parent reply Marco Leise <Marco.Leise gmx.de> writes:
Am Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:15:27 +0000
schrieb Chris <wendlec tcd.ie>:

 Except when it corresponds to the natural gender, i.e. der Mann,=20
 die Frau. It's interesting that the word for child is neuter (das=20
 Kind). Looks like children are not yet considered to be of any=20
 sex, which makes a lot of sense.
Child is the generic word to boy and girl. It's "das Kind" =E2=99=82 =E2=99=80 "der Junge" "das M=C3=A4dchen" where M=C3=A4dchen is neutrum, because it is a diminuitive form. These are used in some languages to denote something little/young/cute/lesser. A cute, little hare (der Hase) is "das H=C3=A4schen". Beware though that a not so cute M=C3=A4dchen is NOT "die Made" by reverse, because that would be a maggot. --=20 Marco
Apr 29 2016
parent Johan Engelen <j j.nl> writes:
On Friday, 29 April 2016 at 08:04:44 UTC, Marco Leise wrote:
 Beware though that a not so cute Mädchen is NOT
 "die Made" by reverse
This! Haha, genial, will try to remember and use ;-)
Apr 30 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Thu, 28 Apr 2016 08:43:52 +0200
 Ha!  There is no logical at all behind whether a word is masculine,
 feminine or neutral in German.
The same goes with French. e.g. body parts which one would think would be obviously masculine are feminine (and vice versa). The insight that one of my college professors gave on that is that it's the _word_ that has a gender, not what the word represents. Now, that's not particularly helpful in determining what gender a word is (you pretty much just have to memorize it, though in French, at least, the ending of the word can give it away), but if you think about it that way, it does help you to stop trying to figure out the gender based on what object or concept you're referring to. - Jonathan M Davis
May 01 2016
parent reply Claude <no no.no> writes:
 The same goes with French. e.g. body parts which one would 
 think would be obviously masculine are feminine (and vice 
 versa).
Funny, it's actually true. I've never figured that out... :) In french, there are 2 specials cases about gender. "orgue" (organ) and "amour" (love) are masculine on singular, and feminine on plural.
May 02 2016
next sibling parent Russel Winder via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Mon, 2016-05-02 at 12:18 +0000, Claude via Digitalmars-d wrote:
[=E2=80=A6]
=20
 In french, there are 2 specials cases about gender. "orgue"=C2=A0
 (organ) and "amour" (love) are masculine on singular, and=C2=A0
 feminine on plural.
Oh FFS. And they say English is a difficult language. --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel winder.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
May 02 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Mon, 02 May 2016 13:55:35 +0100
Russel Winder via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:

 On Mon, 2016-05-02 at 12:18 +0000, Claude via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 […]
 In french, there are 2 specials cases about gender. "orgue" 
 (organ) and "amour" (love) are masculine on singular, and 
 feminine on plural.
Oh FFS. And they say English is a difficult language.
LOL. Well, every language has its quirks - especially with the commonly used words (they probably get munged the most over time, because they get used the most), but I've found that French is far more consistent than English - especially when get a grammar book that actually explains things rather than just telling you what to do. English suffers from having a lot of different sources for its various words. It's consistent in a lot of ways, but it's a huge mess in others - though I for one think that the fact that English has no gender like languages such as French and German is a huge win. In any case, learning any new language is hard - especially the farther it is from your own (e.g. Asian languages are going to generally be pretty brutal to learn for someone speaking a European languages). - Jonathan M Davis
May 02 2016
next sibling parent Meta <jared771 gmail.com> writes:
On Monday, 2 May 2016 at 16:22:49 UTC, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 On Mon, 02 May 2016 13:55:35 +0100
 Russel Winder via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> 
 wrote:

 On Mon, 2016-05-02 at 12:18 +0000, Claude via Digitalmars-d 
 wrote: […]
 [...]
Oh FFS. And they say English is a difficult language.
LOL. Well, every language has its quirks - especially with the commonly used words (they probably get munged the most over time, because they get used the most), but I've found that French is far more consistent than English - especially when get a grammar book that actually explains things rather than just telling you what to do. English suffers from having a lot of different sources for its various words. It's consistent in a lot of ways, but it's a huge mess in others - though I for one think that the fact that English has no gender like languages such as French and German is a huge win. In any case, learning any new language is hard - especially the farther it is from your own (e.g. Asian languages are going to generally be pretty brutal to learn for someone speaking a European languages). - Jonathan M Davis
Many Asian languages are much more straightforward then any of the romance languages. In Chinese verbs aren't even inflected for tense, voice, etc., much less this silly gendered noun stuff. It's extremely refreshing and quite simple grammatically.
May 02 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Claude <no no.no> writes:
 LOL. Well, every language has its quirks - especially with the 
 commonly used words (they probably get munged the most over 
 time, because they get used the most), but I've found that 
 French is far more consistent than English - especially when 
 get a grammar book that actually explains things rather than 
 just telling you what to do. English suffers from having a lot 
 of different sources for its various words. It's consistent in 
 a lot of ways, but it's a huge mess in others - ...
Several years ago, I read "Frankenstein" of Mary Shelley (in english), and I was surprised to see that the english used in that novel had a lot of french sounding words (like "to continue", "to traverse", "to detest", "the commencement" etc), which are now seldom used even in litterature. There was very few verb constructions like "get up", "come on", "carry out" etc...
 ... though I for one think that the fact that English has no 
 gender like languages such as French and German is a huge win.
Yes, I think the difficulty in english is mostly pronunciation, and irregular verbs (which actually many languages enjoy: french, german, spanish...).
May 03 2016
parent Laeeth Isharc <laeeth laeethnospam.com> writes:
On Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 08:53:49 UTC, Claude wrote:
 LOL. Well, every language has its quirks - especially with the 
 commonly used words (they probably get munged the most over 
 time, because they get used the most), but I've found that 
 French is far more consistent than English - especially when 
 get a grammar book that actually explains things rather than 
 just telling you what to do. English suffers from having a lot 
 of different sources for its various words. It's consistent in 
 a lot of ways, but it's a huge mess in others - ...
Several years ago, I read "Frankenstein" of Mary Shelley (in english), and I was surprised to see that the english used in that novel had a lot of french sounding words (like "to continue", "to traverse", "to detest", "the commencement" etc), which are now seldom used even in litterature. There was very few verb constructions like "get up", "come on", "carry out"
http://isteve.blogspot.de/2012/07/norman-v-saxon-after-946-years.html?m=1 The reverberations of 1066 have not yet extinguished themselves... We are in a mass democratic age and the language reflects that.
May 04 2016
prev sibling parent reply Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 05/02/2016 12:22 PM, Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 In any case, learning any new language is hard - especially the farther it
 is from your own (e.g. Asian languages are going to generally be pretty
 brutal to learn for someone speaking a European languages).
That sounds reasonable to expect, but I'm a native english speaker who's (attempted to) study both german and japanese, and I found german considerably more difficult than japanese. But maybe I'm just weird. I like to assume the reason was *because* german is so much more similar to english (and english makes no sense even to a native speaker!) The word genders didn't help, either. Japanese seemed a little simpler and more logical and consistent overall (ex: not only no word genders, but very little singular/plural, and answering a negative question is straightforward instead of completely backwards like in english[1]). But that perception could have simply been due to being a novice at it. I really do think I never would've been able to learn english if it wasn't native to me. [1] "Did you NOT go to the store?" If it's true that you didn't go, the expected answer is..."No". Really?!? Or you could answer either "Yes, that's correct" or "Yes, I went" which are *opposite* answers despite both being "yes". WTF?!? Even I often have to pause when answering a negative question in english. I chalk it up to too many native english speakers being stupid and not knowing how to answer questions sanely ;)
May 10 2016
parent "H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d" <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 01:01:25PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky via Digitalmars-d
wrote:
 On 05/02/2016 12:22 PM, Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d wrote:
In any case, learning any new language is hard - especially the
farther it is from your own (e.g. Asian languages are going to
generally be pretty brutal to learn for someone speaking a European
languages).
That sounds reasonable to expect, but I'm a native english speaker who's (attempted to) study both german and japanese, and I found german considerably more difficult than japanese. But maybe I'm just weird. I like to assume the reason was *because* german is so much more similar to english (and english makes no sense even to a native speaker!) The word genders didn't help, either.
Yeah, learning a related language has the pitfall of giving a false sense of familiarity, when the correct approach is to start from a clean slate, make no assumptions, and treat it like the foreign language that it is. My wife, for example, is a native Mandarin speaker, but when she started learning Cantonese, she eventually realized that she had to stop all attempts at generalizing from Mandarin, and treat it as a completely new foreign language. Otherwise she would end up like so many Mandarin speakers who *think* they can speak Cantonese just by warping their pronunciation a little, but actually end up butchering the pronunciation *and* the grammar (and yes, Cantonese grammar *is* different from Mandarin, in spite of similarities) and sounding like an idiot to a native Cantonese speaker. Even though Cantonese does share a lot of common words with Mandarin, they do *not* use them in the same contexts or in the same ways, and naive transliteration often sounds totally weird, or outright wrong. (Ob-ontopic) It's kinda like how you can write C/C++-like code in D, but to a "native" D coder, your code would look pretty weird and very un-idiomatic. (Or, as Larry Wall once said, you can write assembly code in any language. :-P) Fortunately, in the programming world, your code probably would still work, to some extent. But with natural languages that may not be true. :-P To truly learn a language well, programming or natural, you really have to treat it as a language in its own right, rather than just "C with classes" or "C++ with nice template syntax" or "Mandarin with warped vowels". T -- Help a man when he is in trouble and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.
May 10 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On 2 May 2016 at 14:55, Russel Winder via Digitalmars-d
<digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 2016-05-02 at 12:18 +0000, Claude via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 […]
 In french, there are 2 specials cases about gender. "orgue"
 (organ) and "amour" (love) are masculine on singular, and
 feminine on plural.
Oh FFS. And they say English is a difficult language.
For every rule, there are 101 exceptions. :-) http://shirah-goes-again.blogspot.de/2011/01/entire-english-language-is-big.html
May 02 2016
next sibling parent tsbockman <thomas.bockman gmail.com> writes:
On Monday, 2 May 2016 at 19:09:41 UTC, Iain Buclaw wrote:
 For every rule, there are 101 exceptions. :-)

 http://shirah-goes-again.blogspot.de/2011/01/entire-english-language-is-big.html
As an educated native English speaker, I must say that poem is horrifying. Clearly, spelling reform is urgently needed: http://www.ashvital.freeservers.com/ze_dream.htm
May 02 2016
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 5/2/2016 12:09 PM, Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 For every rule, there are 101 exceptions. :-)

 http://shirah-goes-again.blogspot.de/2011/01/entire-english-language-is-big.html
What's the problem? :-)
May 02 2016
parent Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On 3 May 2016 at 05:15, Walter Bright via Digitalmars-d
<digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:
 On 5/2/2016 12:09 PM, Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 For every rule, there are 101 exceptions. :-)


 http://shirah-goes-again.blogspot.de/2011/01/entire-english-language-is-big.html
What's the problem? :-)
You can colour me impressed if you were able to read it out loud without stuttering to sound out a word. :-P The last list had my partner (native Italian) throw her pen down and give up for the day on many occasions, consider the following rhyming couplets or same sounds. (bough, bow), (cough, quaff), (dough, doe), (enough, stuff), (hough, shock), (lough, lock), (plough, vow), (sough, brow), (though, know), (through, threw), (thorough, morrow) Though I've really noticed the difference since we first lived together - such as nowadays she says biscuit to rhyme with kit, rather than quit. :-) Then again, I discovered a few years ago that I was a retroflex speaker of English. Which when you are non-native, I've been frequently told is very difficult to understand, if compared to your typical North American (rhotic) or Oxford-English (non-rhotic) speakers that you get on news channels. My old neighbour and friend when I lived in the UK found that out the hard way when after three months of talking with me on a near daily basis, thought they could understand native English very well (they considered me a challenge). They discovered otherwise a few weeks later trying to communicate with locals on holiday in Norfolk. ;-)
May 02 2016
prev sibling parent Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Mon, 2 May 2016 21:09:41 +0200
Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:

 On 2 May 2016 at 14:55, Russel Winder via Digitalmars-d
 <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 2016-05-02 at 12:18 +0000, Claude via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 […]
 In french, there are 2 specials cases about gender. "orgue"
 (organ) and "amour" (love) are masculine on singular, and
 feminine on plural.
Oh FFS. And they say English is a difficult language.
For every rule, there are 101 exceptions. :-) http://shirah-goes-again.blogspot.de/2011/01/entire-english-language-is-big.html
LoL. That's hilarious - a tad long to read though, especially since it's practically just a long list of words. - Jonathan M Davis
May 02 2016
prev sibling parent reply "H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d" <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Mon, May 02, 2016 at 02:15:46AM +0200, Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d
wrote:
 On Thu, 28 Apr 2016 08:43:52 +0200
 Ha!  There is no logical at all behind whether a word is masculine,
 feminine or neutral in German.
The same goes with French.
[...] Actually, in just about every language that makes gender distinctions the choice of gender for any given noun is basically arbitrary. Even languages with a common ancestor may assign different genders to the same ancestral noun (IIRC in Portuguese vs. Spanish, though I can't recall the specific example off the top of my head). And while one may imagine that words of "obvious" gender like "man" or "woman" ought to have the obvious gender, this is not always true (e.g., Russian мужчина "man" is masculine in agreement with adjectives, but has the feminine -а ending and declines like a feminine noun). One linguistic theory about gender systems is that they arose as ancient rhyming schemes, where, e.g., words ending in a particular vowel would agree with adjectives ending in a similar vowel. Over time, of course, due to sound change and language change these ancient rhymes are forgotten, leaving behind a system of gender distinctions that apparently are based on biological genders, but are actually relics of long-forgotten, essentially arbitrary rhyming schemes. Arguably, noun class systems such as in Swahili also arose from such ancient rhyming schemes, but in Swahili noun class assignments don't even remotely resemble biological gender in any way. At the end of the day, such gender systems are essentially arbitrary and you just have to memorize which words belong to which class. T -- Prosperity breeds contempt, and poverty breeds consent. -- Suck.com
May 01 2016
parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Monday, 2 May 2016 at 01:13:50 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:

 [...]

 Actually, in just about every language that makes gender 
 distinctions
 the choice of gender for any given noun is basically arbitrary. 
 Even
 languages with a common ancestor may assign different genders 
 to the
 same ancestral noun (IIRC in Portuguese vs. Spanish, though I 
 can't
 recall the specific example off the top of my head).
In Galician and Portuguese the word for `message` is feminine while it is masculine in Spanish (and French I guess). a mensaxe (Gal.) a mensagem (Pt.) el mensaje (Sp.) which applies to all words ending in -axe/-aje I think. In Irish, there are words that have different genders in different dialects which is due to the fact that Irish used to have three genders masculine, feminine and neuter. Neuter died out and the words had to "choose" which gender they wanted to belong to. Hence the "gender difference" between dialects. There are even some words that change gender when in a different case: talamh (m, Nominative singular) `land` na talún (f, Genitive singular) `of the land`, `the land's` although `tailimh` (m, Genitive singular exists too). In Bavarian some words have a different gender than in Standard German, e.g: der Butter (standard: die Butter) der Radio (standard: das Radio)
May 03 2016
parent reply Laeeth Isharc <laeeth laeethnospam.com> writes:
Chris,

If you happen to be at dconf, it would be great to have a chat 
about NLP and D.

Sorry to post to forum, but I don't have your email.


Laeeth
May 04 2016
parent Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 17:26:10 UTC, Laeeth Isharc wrote:
 Chris,

 If you happen to be at dconf, it would be great to have a chat 
 about NLP and D.

 Sorry to post to forum, but I don't have your email.


 Laeeth
Laeeth, I'm not at DConf, unfortunately. I couldn't go, cos DConf overlapped with something else.
May 04 2016
prev sibling parent Q. Schroll <qs.il.paperinik gmail.com> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 03:59:04 UTC, Seb wrote:
 On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright 
 wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
nitpick: Wo ist _das_ WC? In German WC we have definite articles and as a WC can be used by both sexes, it is neutral (disclaimer: not a rule). However it's more common to say "Wo ist die nächste Toilette?"
Sorry, WC is neutral, but this has nothing to do with usage of both sexes. If you want a short explanation of where different (linguistic) gender come from, have a look on http://www.belleslettres.eu/print/genus-gendersprech-v1.pdf (German) p. 3 In a nutshell: Connecting gender with sex is wrong. Correlation is not causality. Sorry for being a smartass. I just have to.
May 06 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
After 10 beers: Wo ist hier das Scheißhaus? No! Don't say that, it's the equivalent of "Where's the shitter?"
Apr 27 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Tobias Pankrath <tobias pankrath.net> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
That makes cologne so tourist friendly. The waitress will refill your beer until you put a beermat on your glass. So only #3 is necessary.
Apr 27 2016
parent Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 12:26:29 UTC, Tobias Pankrath 
wrote:
 That makes cologne so tourist friendly. The waitress will 
 refill your beer until you put a beermat on your glass. So only 
 #3 is necessary.
You will still need #1 ;)
Apr 27 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
By the way, some people in Berlin may speak with the local accent (most people would speak some sort of standard German though, unfortunately). Some things I know of (please correct me, if I'm wrong): ich = ick(e) "s" is often "t" as in das = det was = wat The dative case is used where you'd expect the accusative case: Ick liebe dir (standard German: Ich liebe dich). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlinerisch_dialect In German https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner_Dialekt
Apr 27 2016
parent Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 19:43:39 UTC, Chris wrote:

 By the way, some people in Berlin may speak with the local 
 accent (most people would speak some sort of standard German 
 though, unfortunately). Some things I know of (please correct 
 me, if I'm wrong):

 ich = ick(e)
 "s" is often "t" as in

 das = det
 was = wat

 The dative case is used where you'd expect the accusative case:

 Ick liebe dir (standard German: Ich liebe dich).

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlinerisch_dialect

 In German
 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner_Dialekt
s/with the local accent/in the local dialect
Apr 27 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Joseph Rushton Wakeling <joseph.wakeling webdrake.net> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
Kein Bier vor vier ;-)
Apr 27 2016
parent Andrej Mitrovic via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
Back two years ago when I moved to Berlin and began my German lessons
I came up with a little haiku or singalong:

Ich möchte ein Bier!

Ein Bier für mich,
und ein Bier für meinen Freund!

Ich bin meiner bester Freund,
noch ein Bier für meinen Freund!!

On 4/27/16, Joseph Rushton Wakeling via Digitalmars-d
<digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:
 On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
Kein Bier vor vier ;-)
Apr 27 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent Iain Buclaw via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On 27 April 2016 at 04:57, Walter Bright via Digitalmars-d
<digitalmars-d puremagic.com> wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all you'll need to
 fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
4. Zahlen bitte! Unless you plan on making a getaway before paying. :-)
Apr 27 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply =?UTF-8?Q?Ali_=c3=87ehreli?= <acehreli yahoo.com> writes:
On 04/26/2016 07:57 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all you'll need
 to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
The other language that helps in Berlin is Turkish. :) Ali
Apr 27 2016
next sibling parent reply jack <jack d.com> writes:
On Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 06:51:04 UTC, Ali Çehreli wrote:
 On 04/26/2016 07:57 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need
 to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
The other language that helps in Berlin is Turkish. :) Ali
unfortunately - too many islam and erdogan people
Apr 28 2016
next sibling parent Nemanja Boric <4burgos gmail.com> writes:
On Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 13:49:15 UTC, jack wrote:
 On Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 06:51:04 UTC, Ali Çehreli wrote:
 On 04/26/2016 07:57 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need
 to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
The other language that helps in Berlin is Turkish. :) Ali
unfortunately - too many islam and erdogan people
Please be civil.
Apr 28 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Marco Leise <Marco.Leise gmx.de> writes:
Am Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:49:15 +0000
schrieb jack <jack d.com>:

 unfortunately - too many islam and erdogan people
Great anonymous comment directed at a Turk for him to take offense. How about you respect the constitution and ask others to respect it, leaving religion and ethnics aside? You'll find Erdogan supporters in every major city, just like people supporting PEGIDA and nationalist party voters. Their frustration with the establishment leads to the rise of people who favor a single opinion, prejudice, distrust, controlled press and weak courts. It might be difficult with your daily experience in Berlin to look at the world from above, but if you do it should become obvious looking at Turkey, Russia, Poland, Austria and Germany's own past or Donald Trump, that if we let these people take over, everyone loses. So what's your way forward without becoming a nationalist, narrow-minded society like the one you criticize? -- Marco
Apr 29 2016
next sibling parent reply QAston <qaston gmail.com> writes:
On Friday, 29 April 2016 at 09:07:47 UTC, Marco Leise wrote:
 It might be difficult with your daily
 experience in Berlin to look at the world from above, but if
 you do it should become obvious looking at Turkey, Russia,
 Poland, Austria and Germany's own past or Donald Trump, that
 if we let these people take over, everyone loses.
 So what's your way forward without becoming a nationalist,
 narrow-minded society like the one you criticize?
What a lovely broad brush you have here. It's not like anything else is going on in any of those countries - it's all nationalism and narrow-mindedness and you're so virtuous and enlightened to point it all out. I'm going to speak for Poland because I live here and I've spent significant amount of time to try and figure out what the hell is going on in our politics. You know, because I actually vote here. The goverment was changed because the last one did not deliver on it's promises and there were many scandals involving it. Just this week there was a leak with recording of past govt representative asking one of the richest buisnessmen in the country to intervene in an independent newspaper to make it more govt friendly. And mysteriously the head of the newspaper was fired after the chat took place. Hopefully with the new govt these things won't happen anymore, when they do it's likely we'll have another govt change. The party which lost last elections still has a strong position in EU parlament (their representative is the president of EU council) and from there they make campaign about the new goverment to delegitimize it. Yeah, it's a shitty move, but out politicians can't see past next 4 years so they don't care for ruining reputation of the country. Ironically, this tactic was also used by party currently in power in Poland, but it was much less effective. We have really shitty politicians. Last elections were not a result of sudden "nationalism" and "narrow-mindedness" emerging. The winning party didn't emphasize migration crisis much, they were much more focused on social issues. Their sollution is to redistribute money more, I personally disagree with that, so I hope they'll lose power in next elections. Still, there were parties which emphasized stopping migration much more, they didn't even make it to the parliament. Poland took refugees from Ukraine and Caucassus while EU didn't give a shit. Nationalism my ass.
Apr 30 2016
parent reply Marco Leise <Marco.Leise gmx.de> writes:
Am Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:08:28 +0000
schrieb QAston <qaston gmail.com>:

 On Friday, 29 April 2016 at 09:07:47 UTC, Marco Leise wrote:
 It might be difficult with your daily
 experience in Berlin to look at the world from above, but if
 you do it should become obvious looking at Turkey, Russia,
 Poland, Austria and Germany's own past or Donald Trump, that
 if we let these people take over, everyone loses.
 So what's your way forward without becoming a nationalist,
 narrow-minded society like the one you criticize? =20
=20 What a lovely broad brush you have here. It's not like anything=20 else is going on in any of those countries - it's all nationalism=20 and narrow-mindedness and you're so virtuous and enlightened to=20 point it all out. I'm going to speak for Poland because I live here and I've spent=20 significant amount of time to try and figure out what the hell is=20 going on in our politics. You know, because I actually vote here.
I'm sorry that I offended you. I didn't go into details, because I didn't want to write an essay. Of course there is always something else going on. In many cases a rising unemployment rate and dwindling identification with the political elites for different reasons is involved. The sentence right before where you cut the citation captured what I was thinking of: [=E2=80=A6] frustration with the establishment leads to the rise of people who favor a single opinion, prejudice, distrust, controlled press and weak courts. You'll agree with me that parts of the media reform and the changes to the constitutional court in December were heavily criticized by people inside and outside the country for touching the last two points. On top of that, the party took control of the secret service from the parliament.
 The goverment was changed because the last one did not deliver on=20
 it's promises and there were many scandals involving it. Just=20
 this week there was a leak with recording of past govt=20
 representative asking one of the richest buisnessmen in the=20
 country to intervene in an independent newspaper to make it more=20
 govt friendly. And mysteriously the head of the newspaper was=20
 fired after the chat took place. Hopefully with the new govt=20
 these things won't happen anymore, when they do it's likely we'll=20
 have another govt change.
=20
 The party which lost last elections still has a strong position=20
 in EU parlament (their representative is the president of EU=20
 council) and from there they make campaign about the new=20
 goverment to delegitimize it. Yeah, it's a shitty move, but out=20
 politicians can't see past next 4 years so they don't care for=20
 ruining reputation of the country. Ironically, this tactic was=20
 also used by party currently in power in Poland, but it was much=20
 less effective. We have really shitty politicians.
=20
 Last elections were not a result of sudden "nationalism" and=20
 "narrow-mindedness" emerging.
That was meant to be directed at the anonymous poster's projected picture. But I confess that the local media portrayed PiS as nationalist/conservative and the December changes seemed typical for parties that try to silence opposition to their views. The same media also interviewed pedestrians that objected the EU's planned sanctions as unfounded. Now if you say that the sanctions were pushed by the opposition, that gives the whole thing a bad taste. But the points above remain.
 The winning party didn't emphasize migration crisis much,
 they were much more focused on social issues. Their
 sollution is to redistribute money more, I personally
 disagree with that, so I hope they'll lose power in next
 elections.
I don't know about Poland, but in Germany the money distribution is getting worse. Leaving fairness questions aside and exempting money invested in companies, it is an economical problem, since a few million =E2=82=AC in one person's private property don't buy as much as the same money spread on more people.
 Still, there were parties which emphasized
 stopping migration much more, they didn't even make it to
 the parliament. Poland took refugees from Ukraine and
 Caucassus while EU didn't give a shit. Nationalism my ass.
I agree, that the EU ignored the situation for too long and left it up to Poland and Hungary to handle the refugees. It was a pretty shitty crisis management. The government numbers on refugees are heavily skewed though. One source reports 5328 Ukrainians were granted asylum up to March this year while another said only 4 people got refugee status in the last two years (according to Euromajdan Warszawa). The numbers were filled up to ~1 million with Ukrainian guest workers and students. --=20 Marco
Apr 30 2016
parent QAston <qaston gmail.com> writes:
On Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 16:14:10 UTC, Marco Leise wrote:
 The sentence right before where you cut the citation captured 
 what I was thinking of:

   […] frustration with the establishment leads to the rise of
   people who favor a single opinion, prejudice, distrust,
   controlled press and weak courts.

 You'll agree with me that parts of the media reform and the 
 changes to the constitutional court in December were heavily 
 criticized by people inside and outside the country for 
 touching the last two points. On top of that, the party took 
 control of the secret service from the parliament.
Media reform was just a public (i.e. govt paid) media controll change from prev govt friendly people to new govt friendly people. Done by almost every govt before as soon as it got presidential support. We have lots of private media (vast majority is private) who are free to do whatever they want. Most of them choose to attack new govt by all means possible including "Party leader has mental problems because he doesn't have anybody to fuck" (that's actuall quotation from a newspaper likely to be cited abroad) or freudian analysis of his childhood. Yep, that's how govt controlled media looks like. Constitutional court crisis is a series of law violations by: prev govt, current govt, president, the constitutional judges themselves, starting in june 2015. The institution didn't function properly even before that but nobody cared. We not only have shitty politicians, we also have shitty judges. It's a political dispute, nobody really tries to solve it because both sides think they'll gain from polarizing society. Chief of parliament commission about secret services (whose job is to create the reports and analysis of the work done, not to govern) is going to be from govt party for 4 years instead of usual round robin between all parties. Parties are still involved in the comission as usual. Bad, but far far from Russia.
 I'm sorry that I offended you. I didn't go into details, 
 because I didn't want to write an essay. Of course there is 
 always something else going on. In many cases a rising 
 unemployment rate and dwindling identification with the 
 political elites for different reasons is involved.
No problem. I get you got this simplistic narrative from the media, I've heard something similar in the media too. The problem is that media are not doing their job properly anymore and create such convenient, clickbaity narratives. Words loose their meaning and now fascist/nationalist/sexist/racist no longer mean anything, they are just convenient emotional smoke granades used to slander political opponents or to make accusers feel good about themselves.
Apr 30 2016
prev sibling parent reply jack <jack death.com> writes:
well you seem to run around and chose to close your eyes to whats 
going on - just another "gutmensch" who knows whats good.

got a sister or a little brother? send have her go out these days 
alone - if you dare. moslem rapefugees and turks might get to 
know her/him very well. this is unfortunately not only happening 
in germany but also in austria "http://www.rapefugees.net/".
well, i guess there is no such thing as as a bad islam and there 
isn't. islam is the worst of all things that can happen to any 
country. not all moslems are bad, but all terrorist are moslems 
"http://www.rapefugees.net/". take a look at the quran and be 
disgusted about what they think of you 
"http://derprophet.info/inhalt/".





On Friday, 29 April 2016 at 09:07:47 UTC, Marco Leise wrote:
 Am Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:49:15 +0000
 schrieb jack <jack d.com>:

 unfortunately - too many islam and erdogan people
Great anonymous comment directed at a Turk for him to take offense. How about you respect the constitution and ask others to respect it, leaving religion and ethnics aside? You'll find Erdogan supporters in every major city, just like people supporting PEGIDA and nationalist party voters. Their frustration with the establishment leads to the rise of people who favor a single opinion, prejudice, distrust, controlled press and weak courts. It might be difficult with your daily experience in Berlin to look at the world from above, but if you do it should become obvious looking at Turkey, Russia, Poland, Austria and Germany's own past or Donald Trump, that if we let these people take over, everyone loses. So what's your way forward without becoming a nationalist, narrow-minded society like the one you criticize?
Apr 30 2016
parent Liam McSherry <mcsherry.liam gmail.com> writes:
Dies ist warum, wir können kein nettes Zeug haben.
Apr 30 2016
prev sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 4/28/2016 6:49 AM, jack wrote:
 [...]
Such comments are not welcome here. Please stop.
Apr 30 2016
prev sibling parent reply Bill Hicks <billhicks reality.com> writes:
On Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 06:51:04 UTC, Ali Çehreli wrote:
 The other language that helps in Berlin is Turkish. :)

 Ali
Probably because Germans and Turks have been allies for over a century, learning from each other and perfecting their crafts, such as committing genocide, stealing land and subjugating their victims.
Apr 30 2016
parent reply jack <jack death.com> writes:
On Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 06:24:53 UTC, Bill Hicks wrote:
 On Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 06:51:04 UTC, Ali Çehreli wrote:
 The other language that helps in Berlin is Turkish. :)

 Ali
Probably because Germans and Turks have been allies for over a century, learning from each other and perfecting their crafts, such as committing genocide, stealing land and subjugating their victims.
you keep forgetting about the english who were with the netherlands the largest slave traders of the world up to the first world war. additionally the english plundered most of the world f. ex. india etc. the americans who butchered the native people and sterilized them until 1956. they bring us democracy and forced trade with wars to everyone and create along the way the islamic states. as for the turks and arabs - nobody wants them in europe. as the english found out (guardian), they are a continual problem because of their incest marriages and therefore rapidly sinking iq`s. most people would love it, if the american war mongers would leave europe with the turks and arabs together.
May 01 2016
parent Piotrek <piotrek unknownuniverse.net> writes:
On Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 08:30:16 UTC, jack wrote:
 you keep forgetting about the english who were with the 
 netherlands the largest slave traders of the world up to the 
 first world war. additionally the english plundered most of the 
 world f. ex. india etc.
 the americans who butchered the native people and sterilized 
 them until 1956. they bring us democracy and forced trade with 
 wars to everyone and create along the way the islamic states.
 as for the turks and arabs - nobody wants them in europe. as 
 the english found out (guardian), they are a continual problem 
 because of their incest marriages and therefore rapidly sinking 
 iq`s.
 most people would love it, if the american war mongers would 
 leave europe with the turks and arabs together.
Please consider that you won't defeat evil writing such posts on this forum. The point is there bad and good people in all countries. And as I can see you indirectly insulted Ali who seems to be a good person. I know what you are talking about, and believe me, I can agree with you in some points. But this forum is not a good place to start a fight on this matter, especially by accusing all members of a country for its history. There are more proper ways of making this world a better place. For example you can give a positive example of being a good person. I don't mean you should be naive, but I guess you know that already. Piotrek
May 01 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent Claude <no no.no> writes:
On Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 02:57:47 UTC, Walter Bright wrote:
 To prepare for a week in Berlin, a few German phrases is all 
 you'll need to fit in, get around, and have a great time:

 1. Ein Bier bitte!
 2. Noch ein Bier bitte!
 3. Wo ist der WC!
4. Ich bin ein Berliner! That may you get free beers, if you're an american citizen and you manage to build a time-machine to get back to 1963 (I suggest using bidirectional ranges in order to return to the present, or a glass of fresh water).
Apr 28 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d" <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Mon, May 02, 2016 at 06:22:49PM +0200, Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d
wrote:
[...]
 In any case, learning any new language is hard - especially the
 farther it is from your own (e.g. Asian languages are going to
 generally be pretty brutal to learn for someone speaking a European
 languages).
Every language is trivial to a native speaker. As for which languages are brutal or trivial to an L2 learner, that depends on whether the target language makes distinctions that aren't present in one's native tongue. Now, "Asian languages" as a category doesn't make very much sense, because it encompasses far too wide a scope to be a useful category. You have language isolates like Japanese and Korean, with rather distinctive grammars, then the numerous Chinese "dialects" (which are properly languages in their own right), which are part of the wider Sino-Tibetan languages (including things like Vietnamese, Burmese, possibly Thai, among others), the Austronesian languages, and a whole variety of others, that have basically no resemblance with each other. As far as the Chinese languages are concerned, one common difficulty for foreign language learners is the tonal distinctions, which are basically absent from European languages. Hence, a word like "ma" can mean a whole variety of different things depending on its pitch contour, but the problem is your typical European language speaker can't even *hear* the difference to begin with, so it sounds almost like pulling magical bunnies out of the air. (Some of the Chinese "dialects" sport up to 9 distinct tones -- L2 learners have enough trouble telling the 4 tones of standard Mandarin apart, let alone the fine distinctions between 9!) However, grammar-wise, the Chinese languages are far simpler than the European languages; so once you get over the tonal hump, it's actually a lot easier to learn than, say, English or French. Or Russian. Of course, the other great difficulty is the writing system, which requires the memorization of between 1000-2000 different glyphs just to be able to read with some fluency. But hey, that beats learning Japanese, which has *three* different writing systems, all of which you must master in order to be able to read at all! Austronesian languages, by contrast, are almost trivial in terms of pronunciation, and for the most part have adopted the Latin alphabet, so reading and writing isn't hampered by the need to learn a whole new writing system. However, the grammar, while not exactly as complex as, say, Russian or Greek, significantly diverges from the way grammar usually works in European languages, so some amount of effort is required in order to get it right. Japanese and Korean appear to be language isolates, and their respective grammars are quite unique. Korean writing is relatively easy to master -- it's phonetic, like the Latin alphabet, just composed differently -- but Japanese requires mastery of 3 different writing systems. Both languages also sport a system of honorifics that mostly doesn't exist in European languages, and may be difficult for an L2 learner to pick up -- addressing somebody with the wrong honorifics can sound extremely insulting or needlessly polite. On Mon, May 02, 2016 at 07:40:29PM +0000, Meta via Digitalmars-d wrote: [...]
 Many Asian languages are much more straightforward then any of the
 romance languages. In Chinese verbs aren't even inflected for tense,
 voice, etc., much less this silly gendered noun stuff. It's extremely
 refreshing and quite simple grammatically.
Yes, though the tonal system and the writing system are two things that usually discourage many foreign learners from even trying. On Mon, May 02, 2016 at 08:33:47PM +0000, tsbockman via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Monday, 2 May 2016 at 19:09:41 UTC, Iain Buclaw wrote:
For every rule, there are 101 exceptions. :-)

http://shirah-goes-again.blogspot.de/2011/01/entire-english-language-is-big.html
As an educated native English speaker, I must say that poem is horrifying. Clearly, spelling reform is urgently needed: http://www.ashvital.freeservers.com/ze_dream.htm
Spelling reforms have a spotty history... Spanish had one relatively recently (i.e., within the last few hundred years), and is therefore much easier to read today than back then. Russian had a major overhaul in 1917, which dropped a large number of silent vowels and redundant consonants, so today Russian is also relatively easy to read once you master the Cyrillic alphabet. (And so the story goes, this reform saved millions of dollars (rubles?) in printing and paper costs, due to the elimination of said silent vowels which were present at the end of almost every word in the old spelling.) French and English are both overdue for reform, though, their respective spelling rules having been codified about a half millenium ago, and between then and now pronunciation has changed so drastically that, as the above poem shows, the current spelling conventions are verging on being completely arbitrary. (The joke goes that "ghoti" is a valid spelling for "fish", if you take "gh" from "enough", "o" from "women", and "ti" from "nation".) Basically, learning English spelling is essentially learning to reproduce about 500-600 years' worth of gradual sound change since the codification of English spelling in the 1400-1500's, which is no trivial feat indeed. However, various recent attempts to reform English spelling have for the most part failed, mostly due to inertia and the presence of a substantial (and very fast growing!) body of literature in current spelling, which would require a monumental effort to respell. It's difficult to convince the myriad writers and publishers to adopt a new spelling system when the current one has been ingrained for so many centuries. But hey, if Chinese could simplify the original characters (at much protest, I must say), and if the Russians could pull it off in 1917, who's to say we can't do it in English too? T -- They say that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Well I think the gun helps. If you just stood there and yelled BANG, I don't think you'd kill too many people. -- Eddie Izzard, Dressed to Kill
May 02 2016
next sibling parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Monday, 2 May 2016 at 21:49:21 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 However, various recent attempts to reform English spelling 
 have for the most part failed, mostly due to inertia and the 
 presence of a substantial (and very fast growing!) body of 
 literature in current spelling, which would require a 
 monumental effort to respell. It's difficult to convince the 
 myriad writers and publishers to adopt a new spelling system 
 when the current one has been ingrained for so many centuries.  
 But hey, if Chinese could simplify the original characters (at 
 much protest, I must say), and if the Russians could pull it 
 off in 1917, who's to say we can't do it in English too?


 T
There was a spelling reform in Germany in the 1990ies. Portuguese spelling has been reformed several times (and there are two major spelling systems Brazilian and Portuguese Portuguese)[1], and in Spanish it has also been a to and fro (Latin America vs. Spain). All these languages have produced a vast body of literature too and still spelling reforms have been pushed successfully. So quantity is not an argument. First, most people don't have problems reading texts in older spellings, and second, it only takes one or only half a generation of school children to make the new spelling feel "natural". The main reason why English spelling has not been reformed is the nasty class system that is still prevalent in GB and, albeit better concealed, in the USA, or in fact in any English speaking country. The mastering of English spelling has always been a social shibboleth (and continues to be), and any serious attempts at simplifying it are met with fierce opposition in educated circles. Even the few simplifications that have been introduced into American English, like color (instead of colour), program (instead of programme), or thru (instead of through) etc. are frowned upon and belittled by European (native) English speakers. The conservative spelling preserves the etymology of the word, they claim. This means you have to know Latin, French and some basic Greek to master English spelling. This clearly shows their bias. It is the educated elites that could bring about a reform of English spelling, but since they're not willing to give in an inch an lose some of their (imagined) superiority, this ain't gonna happen. People often adopt the elites' views and oppose to spelling reforms, because they feel they'll "lose" what they've learned ("it was all in vain"), and of course, what they are used to. But hey, it's just a coding convention. We shouldn't be too attached to spellings, especially if reforms make it easier to spell (i.e. to spell out a word as you hear it in your head) and parse text. It's a code to communicate, not a religion. PS If you think that discussions about D language features on this forum are sometimes mad and nit-picky, you should attend a meeting of a spelling committee! [1] https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ortografia_da_l%C3%ADngua_portuguesa#Cronologia_das_reformas_ortogr.C3.A1ficas_na_l.C3.ADngua_portuguesa
May 05 2016
parent reply "H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d" <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Thu, May 05, 2016 at 09:28:01AM +0000, Chris via Digitalmars-d wrote:
[...]
 There was a spelling reform in Germany in the 1990ies. Portuguese
 spelling has been reformed several times (and there are two major
 spelling systems Brazilian and Portuguese Portuguese)[1], and in
 Spanish it has also been a to and fro (Latin America vs. Spain). All
 these languages have produced a vast body of literature too and still
 spelling reforms have been pushed successfully. So quantity is not an
 argument. First, most people don't have problems reading texts in
 older spellings, and second, it only takes one or only half a
 generation of school children to make the new spelling feel "natural".
You're quite right, of course. A lot of it has to do with inertia. People just prefer what they're used to, rather than what's objectively better. And children will just grow up liking whatever they were taught, so the key to success really just lies with education. :-) In the early days of the introduction of Simplified Chinese writing, there was a lot of resistance from older educated folk, especially Chinese immigrants overseas (such as the significant population in Southeast Asia) who perceived it as a "denigration" of the old writing system. The older, more complex system preserves some of the arguably flagrant shenanigans by ancient Chinese scribes who went overboard with the whole derivation from radicals idea and invented some of the most ridiculously complex characters that nobody uses. This was perceived to be superior because, well, it was more "literary" (whatever that means!), and it shows the clear derivation of the character from ancient constructs -- you could guess at the meaning of an unknown character just by extrapolation from its various intricate components, obviously very useful when you encounter an unknown obscure overly-complex character that nobody actually uses (much less pronounce!). Plus, it just *looked* more artistic, nevermind the fact that the sheer number of strokes made the writing laughably inefficient in today's impatient world. Well, fast-forward a couple o' decades, and now almost all overseas Chinese populations have adopted the new system, and the present situation is well illustrated by one instance when a child piped up one day in class, saying that the teacher had made a mistake in her writing. Afterwards, the teacher had to explain that it was actually not a mistake, but an older way of writing the same character. The youngster, of course, knows nothing but the new system, and has no reason to regard the old system as anything other than a "mistake". Which, perhaps, it is. :-D [...]
 But hey, it's just a coding convention. We shouldn't be too attached
 to spellings, especially if reforms make it easier to spell (i.e. to
 spell out a word as you hear it in your head) and parse text. It's a
 code to communicate, not a religion.
[...] It's a falsehood that you can just spell out a word "as you hear it in your head". No writing system actually does that, even though some come pretty close. Almost all writing systems are compromises, balancing etymology, grammatical marking, ease of use, and closeness to actual pronunciation -- the latter of which is actually an extremely thorny issue due to the existence of myriads of dialects and personal pronunciation peculiarities. If you're merely talking about what's spoken in the Queen's court, then there's no issue, but it's a big problem when applied to the diverse regional English dialects across the globe. The way a Texan spells will be incomprehensible to a Briton, for example. (But perhaps that would actually be an advantage of sorts, in recognizing that Texan is actually a different language, contrary to popular belief. :-P) Or, for that matter, American vs. Australian. It would cause a splintering of dialects. Even across different persons within the same dialectal community, there are bound to be subtle differences that would make a difference in a pure spell-it-as-you-say-it system. Chinese writing is actually an ironic illustration of the last point, in fact. Thousands of years ago everybody spoke the same ancestral tongue, but since then, the original ancient Chinese language has splintered into what's commonly called "dialects" today, but in actuality are completely different languages on their own. The distance between, say, Mandarin and Cantonese is far greater than between Spanish and Portuguese, for example, yet for some unfathomable reason we regard the latter as separate languages whereas the former are somehow still mere "dialects". But in spite of that, the one thing they all have in common is a writing system understood by all -- thanks to the writing *not* being phonetic, which is something usually regarded as a bad thing. Since the writing isn't phonetic, it has survived as a common system of communication in spite of thousands of years of sound change and language drift, which in any other community would have caused complete breakdown in communication. (Of course, it's not a *perfect* common system of communication, because "dialectal" differences are in some cases big enough that one "dialect" would use characters that don't exist in other dialects, or some words can't be represented at all. But still, you can at least understand each other to a workable extent just by having pen and paper handy, which is a lot more than can be said for, say, an Englishman trying to communicate with a Russian, having no common writing system at all, even though thousands of years ago their respective ancestors spoke the same proto-Indo-European tongue.) So you see, "write as you say it" isn't quite the panacea as it may first appear to be. Neither is "keep the ancestral spelling even though nobody actually talks that way anymore, just so we can communicate with the Russians in writing in spite of having completely mutually unintelligible pronunciation". All real-life writing systems are compromises between conflicting goals. (Reminds one of programming language design, doesn't it? :-P) T -- May you live all the days of your life. -- Jonathan Swift
May 05 2016
next sibling parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 14:52:00 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:

 [...]
 But hey, it's just a coding convention. We shouldn't be too 
 attached to spellings, especially if reforms make it easier to 
 spell (i.e. to spell out a word as you hear it in your head) 
 and parse text. It's a code to communicate, not a religion.
[...] It's a falsehood that you can just spell out a word "as you hear it in your head". No writing system actually does that, even though some come pretty close. Almost all writing systems are compromises, balancing etymology, grammatical marking, ease of use, and closeness to actual pronunciation -- the latter of which is actually an extremely thorny issue due to the existence of myriads of dialects and personal pronunciation peculiarities. If you're merely talking about what's spoken in the Queen's court, then there's no issue, but it's a big problem when applied to the diverse regional English dialects across the globe. The way a Texan spells will be incomprehensible to a Briton, for example. (But perhaps that would actually be an advantage of sorts, in recognizing that Texan is actually a different language, contrary to popular belief. :-P) Or, for that matter, American vs. Australian. It would cause a splintering of dialects. Even across different persons within the same dialectal community, there are bound to be subtle differences that would make a difference in a pure spell-it-as-you-say-it system. Chinese writing is actually an ironic illustration of the last point, in fact. Thousands of years ago everybody spoke the same ancestral tongue, but since then, the original ancient Chinese language has splintered into what's commonly called "dialects" today, but in actuality are completely different languages on their own. The distance between, say, Mandarin and Cantonese is far greater than between Spanish and Portuguese, for example, yet for some unfathomable reason we regard the latter as separate languages whereas the former are somehow still mere "dialects". But in spite of that, the one thing they all have in common is a writing system understood by all -- thanks to the writing *not* being phonetic, which is something usually regarded as a bad thing. Since the writing isn't phonetic, it has survived as a common system of communication in spite of thousands of years of sound change and language drift, which in any other community would have caused complete breakdown in communication. (Of course, it's not a *perfect* common system of communication, because "dialectal" differences are in some cases big enough that one "dialect" would use characters that don't exist in other dialects, or some words can't be represented at all. But still, you can at least understand each other to a workable extent just by having pen and paper handy, which is a lot more than can be said for, say, an Englishman trying to communicate with a Russian, having no common writing system at all, even though thousands of years ago their respective ancestors spoke the same proto-Indo-European tongue.) So you see, "write as you say it" isn't quite the panacea as it may first appear to be. Neither is "keep the ancestral spelling even though nobody actually talks that way anymore, just so we can communicate with the Russians in writing in spite of having completely mutually unintelligible pronunciation". All real-life writing systems are compromises between conflicting goals. (Reminds one of programming language design, doesn't it? :-P) T
I knew I'd regret it, when I wrote "as you hear it in your head". :) The ideal is phonetic spelling (Spanish comes quite close to it). This does not mean that you have a letter for each sound, or that you write allophones or every little local nuance. However, it is important to be consistent, even if the spelling system does not 100% reflect the spoken reality (which is the next best thing to phonetic spelling). If in English you wrote "nite" (instead of night), the grapheme <ite> would be identifiable as the phonemes /ait/, bite, fite, lite, tite, although the -e is silent. In Irish, due to the differences between local dialects the spelling is somewhat conservative and doesn't reflect the phonetic reality of each dialect, however, it is quite consistent and everybody can read it using their respective pronunciation.
May 05 2016
parent reply "H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d" <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Thu, May 05, 2016 at 04:03:46PM +0000, Chris via Digitalmars-d wrote:
[...]
 I knew I'd regret it, when I wrote "as you hear it in your head". :)
:-)
 The ideal is phonetic spelling (Spanish comes quite close to it). This
 does not mean that you have a letter for each sound, or that you write
 allophones or every little local nuance. However, it is important to
 be consistent, even if the spelling system does not 100% reflect the
 spoken reality (which is the next best thing to phonetic spelling). If
 in English you wrote "nite" (instead of night), the grapheme <ite>
 would be identifiable as the phonemes /ait/, bite, fite, lite, tite,
 although the -e is silent.
Point taken, though I think the correct term is "phonemic spelling". ;-) Even then, there are still compromises, because not all dialects share the same phonemes, and some dialects may consider certain words as having different phonemes from another dialect (and not all dialects share the same set of phonemes -- though they are close, at least as far as English is concerned). Another issue is that the Latin alphabet, with its dearth of vowel letters, is really inadequate for representing the extensive English vowel system. Modern English has far more vowels than there are letters to represent them, and in an ideal writing system you'd have a distinct symbol for each of them. In current writing these vowels are contextually represented, mostly in their historic forms, hence the proliferation of silent e's everywhere. These were actually pronounced as separate vowels way back when, but since then they have been dropped, leaving behind their trace of modifying the quality of the previous vowel. Hence in writing, these silent e's have come to represent that modification of preceding vowel quality, rather than an actual vowel. (A similar thing happens in old Russian orthography, with those ъ's and ь's everywhere, coloring the previous consonant, and, by modern times, also the preceding vowel.) This contextual representation is one of the reasons why English spelling is so atrocious -- you're basically replicating about 400-500 years' worth of sound change when you write /ate/ to represent [eːt] (or [ejt], depending on dialect) as opposed to /at/ [æt]. But, as any historic linguist knows, many sound changes tend to be contextual, so not all final e's are silent, and not all silent e's have the same effect on the preceding vowel. Hence the inscrutable list of unending exceptions to English spelling "rules".
 In Irish, due to the differences between local dialects the spelling
 is somewhat conservative and doesn't reflect the phonetic reality of
 each dialect, however, it is quite consistent and everybody can read
 it using their respective pronunciation.
Present-day English dialects are probably still close enough that a common representation of phonemes is possible, barring some minor exceptions. Of course, good luck convincing people to adopt whatever system you come up with. :-P I think there has been no shortage of good ideas in spelling reform proposals; the main obstacle is the inertia of the status quo. T -- What are you when you run out of Monet? Baroque.
May 05 2016
parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 16:28:58 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:

 Point taken, though I think the correct term is "phonemic 
 spelling". ;-)
Yep. "phonemic spelling", you're right.
 Another issue is that the Latin alphabet, with its dearth of 
 vowel
 letters, is really inadequate for representing the extensive 
 English
 vowel system.  Modern English has far more vowels than there 
 are letters
 to represent them, and in an ideal writing system you'd have a 
 distinct
 symbol for each of them.
What about combining existing vowel graphemes? In German you write <au> for the diphthong /au/, and <ai> or <ei> for /ai/, why wouldn't you be able to do the same thing in English? Mai father was aut and abaut. There would be nothing wrong with keeping <ou> as long as it represents only /au/ and not /u:/ "through" among other sounds. Consistency is important. Spelling should at least serve as a template: Sound convertGrapheme(T)(grapheme gr) { static if (T == RP) return map!T(gr); else static if (T == HibernoEnglish) return map!T(gr); else return to!Sound("Bahhh!"); } convertGrapheme!RP(ate); // returns /eit/ convertGrapheme!HibernoEnglish(ate) // returns /e:t/
May 05 2016
parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
As a not on the side, there are those who say that 
letter-to-sound systems should never be rule based, they should 
purely be based on machine learning. The proponents of this are 
usually native English speakers. For English you do need machine 
learning. For Spanish not so much. If you can feed the computer 
the rule "ch" = /tʃ/, why would you want to train it :)
May 05 2016
parent reply "H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d" <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Thu, May 05, 2016 at 05:20:00PM +0000, Chris via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 As a not on the side, there are those who say that letter-to-sound
 systems should never be rule based, they should purely be based on
 machine learning.  The proponents of this are usually native English
 speakers. For English you do need machine learning. For Spanish not so
 much. If you can feed the computer the rule "ch" = /tʃ/, why would you
 want to train it :)
Rule-based letter-to-sound systems don't work too well for English precisely because you have to basically reproduce 500 years' worth of sound change plus all the exceptions introduced by words borrowed from other contemporous languages across the centuries. A rule-based system possibly could work, provided the rules were extensive enough (and multi-layered, to account for borrowed exceptions and other oddities). But there comes a point where even the most industrious programmer would throw up his hands and say, forget this exercise in futility, let's just have the machine teach itself instead. Rule-based systems work better for Spanish because the orthography is much closer to actual pronunciation, and other parameters such as stress is more predictable. I'd venture to guess that rule-based systems might not work as well for Russian, in spite of the orthography being almost 1-to-1 with actual pronunciation, because of unpreditable stress positions which can fundamentally alter vowel values. At best, you'd need a database of stress patterns for various words so that the accent would fall in the correct places. Plus a set of exceptions for certain archaic word combinations that have unusual stress. If you had a database of English stress positions, I think half the battle is already won. French would have the same problem as English, except that you could just do as a first approximation: if (rand() > someFactor) word = word[0 .. $/2]; and then touch it up with a small set of exceptions. :-P T -- English is useful because it is a mess. Since English is a mess, it maps well onto the problem space, which is also a mess, which we call reality. Similarly, Perl was designed to be a mess, though in the nicest of all possible ways. -- Larry Wall
May 05 2016
parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 23:47:15 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 Rule-based letter-to-sound systems don't work too well for 
 English precisely because you have to basically reproduce 500 
 years' worth of sound change plus all the exceptions introduced 
 by words borrowed from other contemporous languages across the 
 centuries. A rule-based system possibly could work, provided 
 the rules were extensive enough (and multi-layered, to account 
 for borrowed exceptions and other oddities). But there comes a 
 point where even the most industrious programmer would throw up 
 his hands and say, forget this exercise in futility, let's just 
 have the machine teach itself instead.
It's not just sound changes, English is just weird from a non-native speaker's point of view. As Kurt Tucholsky, one of the best German writers ever, once said, English is a simple and a difficult language at the same time. It consists of foreign words that are pronounced wrongly. English pronunciation makes any speaker of a Latin language cringe. In many European languages, and certainly in Latin languages, the letter-to-sound correspondence is more or less one-to-one: <a> is /a/, <e> is /e/ etc. In English it's often /ei/ and /i:/. <i> is often /ai/ (of for f**k's sake!): "emeritus", a Latin word, is pronounced /e.'me(:).ri.tus/, in English it's /em .'rai.d s/. This just makes you cringe. Native speakers of English often don't realize how weird their pronunciation sounds to those who natively speak the language they borrowed the words from (around 60% of the words). Makes me laugh when I hear English speakers who say "Oh, there is no Irish word for 'afterhours'!?" - Well, what's the English for "restaurant", "evict", "condone", "depot", "deposit" ... and what's the English for "language"?
 Rule-based systems work better for Spanish because the 
 orthography is much closer to actual pronunciation, and other 
 parameters such as stress is more predictable.  I'd venture to 
 guess that rule-based systems might not work as well for 
 Russian, in spite of the orthography being almost 1-to-1 with 
 actual pronunciation, because of unpreditable stress positions 
 which can fundamentally alter vowel values. At best, you'd need 
 a database of stress patterns for various words so that the 
 accent would fall in the correct places. Plus a set of 
 exceptions for certain archaic word combinations that have 
 unusual stress.  If you had a database of English stress 
 positions, I think half the battle is already won.

 French would have the same problem as English, except that you 
 could just do as a first approximation:

 	if (rand() > someFactor)
 		word = word[0 .. $/2];

 and then touch it up with a small set of exceptions.  :-P


 T
Are Russian stress-rules based on context? Long vs. short vowels, palatalized vs. velarized consonants etc.? If yes, you can program rules.
May 06 2016
next sibling parent reply Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> writes:
We've had several remarks at DConf that the traffic on this forum makes 
it intractable. There's good information, but it's drowned by the 
immense off-topic discussions.

We plan to create one more forum to address that, but one thing we could 
all do to contribute is to refrain from continuing off-topic comments, 
or at least mark them with [OT] in the title.


Thanks,

Andrei
May 06 2016
parent reply Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Friday, 6 May 2016 at 10:46:22 UTC, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
 We've had several remarks at DConf that the traffic on this 
 forum makes it intractable. There's good information, but it's 
 drowned by the immense off-topic discussions.

 We plan to create one more forum to address that, but one thing 
 we could all do to contribute is to refrain from continuing 
 off-topic comments, or at least mark them with [OT] in the 
 title.


 Thanks,

 Andrei
Ok, guilty as charged, but a lot of threads turn into [OT] threads even if they start out as being on topic. This particular thread was never on topic, though. That said, [OT] comments are also important in a community as they bring people together in a more casual way. What I've learned is that people who are into D are a bit hard to tame anyway. Is it possible to mark a single post as [OT] without turning the whole thread into [OT]?
May 06 2016
next sibling parent reply deadalnix <deadalnix gmail.com> writes:
On Friday, 6 May 2016 at 11:04:52 UTC, Chris wrote:
 Ok, guilty as charged, but a lot of threads turn into [OT] 
 threads even if they start out as being on topic. This 
 particular thread was never on topic, though.
This needs to stop.
 That said, [OT] comments are also important in a community as 
 they bring people together in a more casual way. What I've 
 learned is that people who are into D are a bit hard to tame 
 anyway.
There is way too much of it.
 Is it possible to mark a single post as [OT] without turning 
 the whole thread into [OT]?
No. Once it goes off rail, it's gone.
May 06 2016
parent Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
On Friday, 6 May 2016 at 11:22:41 UTC, deadalnix wrote:
 On Friday, 6 May 2016 at 11:04:52 UTC, Chris wrote:
 Ok, guilty as charged, but a lot of threads turn into [OT] 
 threads even if they start out as being on topic. This 
 particular thread was never on topic, though.
This needs to stop.
Sure, only it's hard to tell when exactly it goes off topic.
 That said, [OT] comments are also important in a community as 
 they bring people together in a more casual way. What I've 
 learned is that people who are into D are a bit hard to tame 
 anyway.
There is way too much of it.
At least we know that we have real people here.
 Is it possible to mark a single post as [OT] without turning 
 the whole thread into [OT]?
No. Once it goes off rail, it's gone.
Would tags help a search engine? Like so: I'm on topic here. [OT] Completely off topic now! [/OT] Again on topic. It's unrealistic to demand nobody post anything [OT] within a thread, and it's not the worst thing either. Small talk sometimes leads to big talk. Rules (like mark up) would help though. Or maybe have a section called "D Only" (or something) instead of "General". The term "General" is too general :) Question: Is this thread on topic or [OT] now? It started as an [OT] thread and is on topic now, the topic being "to refrain from writing anything [OT]".
May 06 2016
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> writes:
On 5/6/16 1:04 PM, Chris wrote:
 Ok, guilty as charged
No need to feel singled out, most of us do this once in a while. We're exploring either the creation of an "internal" forum (more focused) or an "offtopic" forum where such discussions can go. -- Andrei
May 06 2016
parent Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d <digitalmars-d puremagic.com> writes:
On Friday, May 06, 2016 13:34:08 Andrei Alexandrescu via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/6/16 1:04 PM, Chris wrote:
 Ok, guilty as charged
No need to feel singled out, most of us do this once in a while. We're exploring either the creation of an "internal" forum (more focused) or an "offtopic" forum where such discussions can go. -- Andrei
The main problem with the "offtopic" forum idea is that most of the time when we end up with an off-topic discussion, it's because a perfectly on-topic discussion devolves into an off-topic one. It may very well be a good idea to create an off-topic forum, but I doubt that it'll get a lot of traffic or that it will really fix the OT problems here aside from making it possible to tell folks to take it to the OT forum if they want to continue to discuss whatever OT thing they started discussing. It's actually one area where more traditional forum software might do better, because then threads (or portions of them) could be moved to different forums so that OT discussions could theoretically be moved out of on-topic threads. But that would also required increased moderation, which isn't something that we're really looking for either. As for a more focused forum, that probably depends at least somewhat on what it's focused on (though any forum will likely risk some topics devolving into OT discussions) - and we already created dlang-study for at least some of the more directed discussions, and that hasn't really gone much of anywhere. I think that part of the problem is that we seem to have had fewer useful discussions of late (for whatever reason), so the OT discussions have stood out more, and we've gotten at least a couple that have gotten pretty far out of hand with discussions on gender and whatnot. So, it seems like the recent situation is worse than it's been historically. Historically, I don't think that OT discussions have been that big of a problem, whereas recently, it's been pretty bad. - Jonathan M Davis
May 09 2016
prev sibling parent Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 05/06/2016 07:04 AM, Chris wrote:
 On Friday, 6 May 2016 at 10:46:22 UTC, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
 We've had several remarks at DConf that the traffic on this forum
 makes it intractable. There's good information, but it's drowned by
 the immense off-topic discussions.

 We plan to create one more forum to address that, but one thing we
 could all do to contribute is to refrain from continuing off-topic
 comments, or at least mark them with [OT] in the title.
That said, [OT] comments are also important in a community as they bring people together in a more casual way.
People may object to them, but really, I've BEEN involved in forums that tried hard to curb offtopic discussion because the higher-ups were so opposed to it, and what inevitably winds up happening is the entire forum/community as a whole just implodes and disappears entirely. I do NOT want to see D go down that route. Trust me, I've been there, I know, it's a mistake. It's a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease.
May 10 2016
prev sibling parent Chris <wendlec tcd.ie> writes:
A beautiful example of how loanwords are twisted around and how 
natural languages work:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/crayfish
May 06 2016
prev sibling parent Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 05/05/2016 10:52 AM, H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 The older, more complex system preserves some of the arguably
 flagrant shenanigans by ancient Chinese scribes who went overboard with
 the whole derivation from radicals idea and invented some of the most
 ridiculously complex characters that nobody uses. This was perceived to
 be superior because, well, it was more "literary" (whatever that
 means!),
Sounds like "literary" means "enterprisey".
May 10 2016
prev sibling parent Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 05/02/2016 05:49 PM, H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 Of course, the other great difficulty is the [Chinese] writing system, which
 requires the memorization of between 1000-2000 different glyphs just to
 be able to read with some fluency.
I'd argue that's really about the same as English: It is, of course, mostly a myth that English is phonetic (it's what I would call "psuedo-phoenetic"). Partly because of that (and contrary to popular belief) reading/writing English is done per-word, not per-letter (much like Chinese) and requires memorization of thousands of "words", each one of which realistically amounts to a complex combination of several basic component glyphs (much like Chinese, see next paragraph below). And in English (unlike Chinese, to my knowledge) there can be up to six different versions of each word, depending on the combination of cursive-vs-print and lower-vs-capitalized-vs-all-caps (and that's ignoring the fact that there are two different versions of non-cursive lower-case 'g', which is a matter of font, not specific to the word itself). What many westerners who haven't studied Chinese (or Japanese, which also uses the Chinese glyphs) don't realize is that all those thousands of Chinese glyphs are primarily built as combinations of basic "radicals". And there are only around 100 common radicals. That still sounds like a lot, but it's really about on par with English: While English is said to have 26 "letters", there can be up to four different versions of each one (uppercase, lowercase, and print/cursive versions of each). So what we have between English and Chinese writing systems is: - Both construct words as combinations of component parts. - Both have around 100 symbols used as component parts. - Both require heavy memorization of what components are used to construct each word. - Both have alternate ways to write many words (Chinese: Simplified vs Traditional. English: Lower/Capital/AllCaps/Cursive/Print) I say English and Chinese writing systems have roughly equivalent difficulty.
 But hey, that beats learning
 Japanese, which has *three* different writing systems, all of which you
 must master in order to be able to read at all!
That's not entirely true if you count English as having one writing system. Two of the Japanese alphabets (Hiragana and Katakana) are phoenetic (much more phonetic than English, in fact), and while they're commonly called separate alphabets, it's more accurate to compare them to uppercase-vs-lowercase. They're exactly the same set of ~46 letters (not counting the ones like "d"/"p"/"b" etc that are treated more as mere variations on other letters), each one just comes in both a "Hiragana" version and a "Katakana" version. Much like how English letters come in an "Uppercase" version and "Lowercase" version (AND, "Cursive" and "Print" versions of each of those). Granted, an alphabet of around 46 seems like a lot, but unlike English it has a grid-style organization (vertically: five vowels, then horizontally: each consonant combined with each vowel: http://www.textfugu.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/hiragana-st oke-order-chart.pdf ). The organization makes it a lighter cognitive load than if you were to take English and simply toss in 20 more letters. The only big difference here between English (upper/lower/cursive/print) and Japanese (hiragana/katakana) is *when* each character set is selected: For English, it's a matter a grammar (upper/lower) and font (cursive/print), for Japanese it's mainly whether the word is native or foreign. Note that, if anything, this makes English arguably more complicated, in that there's more variety in how each individual word might be written. So if you want to compare to English, Japanese really comes down to two writing systems, not three: The phonetic "-kana"s and the Chinese set (And even then, depending on target audience, such as for kids, they may go easy on using the Chinese set or include the phonetic pronunciation right next to the Chinese character).
 Japanese and Korean appear to be language isolates, and their respective
 grammars are quite unique.
While I know nothing of Korean grammar, what I do find interesting is that the system of vocal sounds are very similar for those languages (also with Hawaiian, too): Both based largely on vowels and "consonant-then-vowel" combinations. I don't see that much in most other languages, but it appears to be a trait shared among Japanese, Korean and Hawaiian. The geography suggests to me that Indonesian languages might also be like that, but as I have zero awareness of those, I wouldn't know.
 Both [Japanese and Korean]
 languages also sport a system of honorifics that mostly doesn't exist in
 European languages, and may be difficult for an L2 learner to pick up --
 addressing somebody with the wrong honorifics can sound extremely
 insulting or needlessly polite.
True, but those are pretty simple though, at least for Japanese (don't know about Korean). WAY simpler than (for example) word gender systems. There's really only a handful of common ones, and that's one thing you actually can pick up pretty easily just reading some English localized manga (pretty much all of them now even include a simple chart). And anyone who's ever watched "The Karate Kid" already knows like 95% of what you need: Just always say "-san" (and don't omit it!) unless you know what you're doing. Hard to go too terribly wrong with that ;)
May 10 2016
prev sibling parent http://royalediting.com/possessive-nouns-essential-points writes:
Germany is a wonderful country. To travel there one should speak 
the German language at least a little. Using this 
http://royalediting.com/possessive-nouns-essential-points
you can use numerous tips and pieces of advices of German 
specialists.
Jul 11 2016