Phonetic languages?

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zeme
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Phonetic languages?

Postby zeme » 2009-09-10, 2:07

I know that Spanish is, Esperanto and Polish too, and that English, French, and German definitely aren't. What other languages are spelled the way they are written?
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Formiko » 2009-09-10, 2:29

zeme wrote:I know that Spanish is, Esperanto and Polish too, and that English, French, and German definitely aren't. What other languages are spelled the way they are written?


Well, German is pretty phonetic. But I would also say Indonesian, Finnish, Hungarian,Swahili, Hawaiian and the other Pacific languages and African languages. Also Russian is pretty phonetic. 99% of words are pronounced exactly as spelled. One irregularity is его (pronounced yevo). Greek is also regular. Words even have the accents! How great is that? Khmer (Cambodian) is the most irregular language as well as Burmese (languages with alphabets). Hindi and Bengali are 95% regular. Arabic is definitely not, but Persian is.
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby hashi » 2009-09-10, 2:32

Formiko wrote:
zeme wrote:I know that Spanish is, Esperanto and Polish too, and that English, French, and German definitely aren't. What other languages are spelled the way they are written?


Well, German is pretty phonetic. But I would also say Indonesian, Finnish, Hungarian,Swahili, Hawaiian and the other Pacific languages and African languages. Also Russian is pretty phonetic. 99% of words are pronounced exactly as spelled. One irregularity is его (pronounced yevo). Greek is also regular. Words even have the accents! How great is that? Khmer (Cambodian) is the most irregular language as well as Burmese (languages with alphabets). Hindi and Bengali are 95% regular. Arabic is definitely not, but Persian is.


Japanese, assuming you're reading it in kana is completely regular too.

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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Formiko » 2009-09-10, 2:35

mrhashimoto wrote:
Japanese, assuming you're reading it in kana is completely regular too.


Which is maybe only 3% of any Japanese written document. I'd say Ainu then :)
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Kasuya » 2009-09-10, 2:40

mrhashimoto wrote:Awaits the day the dabblers (you know who you are) stop fucking with every language they hear and finally settle down and do something amazing with those they've chosen (挑戦).

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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-09-10, 2:48

I think that German is actually pretty phonetic, once you learn the rules. There's just more rules than say, Esperanto. Once you learn all the rules, you can pronounce pretty much any word you see, and stress is regular.

And Hashi, Japanese isn't totally regular. What about the particles は or へ, or the obscure words I see in the dictionary that says "irregular kana usage."
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby svld » 2009-09-10, 2:49

mrhashimoto wrote:Japanese, assuming you're reading it in kana is completely regular too.

は?

and ゐ

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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Kasuya » 2009-09-10, 2:54

ILuvEire wrote:And Hashi, Japanese isn't totally regular. What about the particles は or へ, or the obscure words I see in the dictionary that says "irregular kana usage."


歴史的仮名遣 is less phonetic but it has the advantage of containing more information about the etymology of words.

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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2009-09-10, 12:51

zeme wrote:I know that Spanish is, Esperanto and Polish too, and that English, French, and German definitely aren't. What other languages are spelled the way they are written?


Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian. Maybe even Bulgarian.. not sure.

But Polish has lots of digraphs, while in Serbian Cyrillic every phoneme is represented by one and only one letter.

I think Finnish is also phonetic.

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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Narbleh » 2009-09-10, 14:53

Finnish has some oddities, I thought. Glottal stops are unmarked, as are many sandhi phenomena that occur in the spoken language such as gemination.

Likewise Esperanto isn't completely phonetic. Some clusters with mixed voicing like kz and bs are pronounced gz/ks and ps. Likewise nk often becomes ngk and the way people handle double consonants is all over the map... tt can be heard as /tː/ or /t/ and the supposedly correct pronunciation is the ridiculous /tʰ tʰ/ and Zamenhof didn't leave any notes that specific about double plosives and the like.

And I think French is fairly phonetic for pronouncing words from the written language. Once you learn the rules, there are only a few small irregularities that will trip you up when reading words in isolation. But if you're talking about one-phoneme-one-sound, then French definitely doesn't have that :o
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby hashi » 2009-09-10, 22:40

lichtrausch wrote:
mrhashimoto wrote:Awaits the day the dabblers (you know who you are) stop fucking with every language they hear and finally settle down and do something amazing with those they've chosen (挑戦).


?

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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby kibo » 2009-09-10, 23:14

Formiko wrote:Also Russian is pretty phonetic. 99% of words are pronounced exactly as spelled. One irregularity is его (pronounced yevo).


Well, I wouldn't go that far.

Formiko wrote:Greek is also regular. Words even have the accents! How great is that?


Not as great as having 5 ways to spell /i/. :mrgreen: Or are you talking about Ancient Greek?
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby BezierCurve » 2009-09-10, 23:38

Hebrew - in the full spelling (with vowels).
Czech and Slovak are a bit more phonetic than Polish (as someone has mentioned the many digraphs).

EDIT: Korean. Hangul is a nice invention, I could imagine it work for other languages well.
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Formiko » 2009-09-11, 3:09

kibo wrote:Not as great as having 5 ways to spell /i/. :mrgreen: Or are you talking about Ancient Greek?


Well, I meant it is phonetic in reading. And I still pronounce Ancient Greek as modern Greek. :|
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby sennacherib » 2009-09-11, 3:45

ILuvEire wrote:I think that German is actually pretty phonetic, once you learn the rules.

I agree.

I think Estonian and Turkish are also pretty phonetic.
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby linguoboy » 2009-09-11, 4:52

So far, all the languages people have been describing as "phonetic" in their spelling I would call "phonemic". The only orthographies I would describe as "phonetic" offhand are Irish and Sanskrit, since they both include significant amounts of phonetic detail that a more purely phonemic writing system would omit.
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby Formiko » 2009-09-11, 5:01

linguoboy wrote:So far, all the languages people have been describing as "phonetic" in their spelling I would call "phonemic". The only orthographies I would describe as "phonetic" offhand are Irish and Sanskrit, since they both include significant amounts of phonetic detail that a more purely phonemic writing system would omit.


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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby hashi » 2009-09-11, 7:02

sennacherib wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:I think that German is actually pretty phonetic, once you learn the rules.

I agree.

I think Estonian and Turkish are also pretty phonetic.


Estonian is not.

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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby sennacherib » 2009-09-11, 8:02

mrhashimoto wrote:
sennacherib wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:I think that German is actually pretty phonetic, once you learn the rules.

I agree.

I think Estonian and Turkish are also pretty phonetic.


Estonian is not.


Well, I think Estonian is as phonetic as German so I count it into the ''phonetic'' group. :blush:
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Re: Phonetic languages?

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-09-12, 0:36

linguoboy wrote:So far, all the languages people have been describing as "phonetic" in their spelling I would call "phonemic". The only orthographies I would describe as "phonetic" offhand are Irish and Sanskrit, since they both include significant amounts of phonetic detail that a more purely phonemic writing system would omit.

Gah, I can never keep the difference between those two straight in my head. :oops:

sennacherib wrote:
mrhashimoto wrote:I think Estonian and Turkish are also pretty phonetic.


Estonian is not.


Well, I think Estonian is as phonetic as German so I count it into the ''phonetic'' group. :blush:[/quote]
What makes Estonian less phonemic/phonetic than Finnish? I thought it was relatively phonetic/phonemic as well.
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