Ugliest language

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Koko
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Re: Ugliest language

Postby Koko » 2016-04-20, 6:35

Sarabi wrote:and I find Korean tones soooooo annoying

You mean the lack thereof? Unlike most other East Asian languages, there is no tonal system (not even pitch accent) in Korean. Perhaps it's those tense consonants, which were very unappealing to me too at first (among others).

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby mōdgethanc » 2016-04-20, 8:17

Been learning about phonetics since I was about 17 and I still can't tell the difference between the tense consonants and the plain ones.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby Sarabi » 2016-04-20, 14:26

Koko wrote:
Sarabi wrote:and I find Korean tones soooooo annoying

You mean the lack thereof? Unlike most other East Asian languages, there is no tonal system (not even pitch accent) in Korean. Perhaps it's those tense consonants, which were very unappealing to me too at first (among others).


Well, I don't know anything about Korean but I can recognize it when I hear it spoken because of the annoying intonation, and I learned to recognize it from living with various Koreans incidentally over the years. Currently have a housemate who is Korean American and his girlfriend is also Korean and she even speaks English with a little bit of that same Korean intonation I recognize. Don't know what tense consonants are. In any case, it's mainly something about a falling intonation that gets on my nerves.
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Re: Ugliest language

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-04-20, 16:43

mōdgethanc wrote:Been learning about phonetics since I was about 17 and I still can't tell the difference between the tense consonants and the plain ones.

Nobody seems to know what exactly the difference is anyway. :P

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby Koko » 2016-04-21, 6:38

Isn't the key difference that the tense consonants never voice… ever? Otherwise I don't understand the distinction either.

There was something about the way certain consonants were pronounced that used to annoy me, and I've just associated that with the tense consonants since the other two types wouldn't (shouldn't) have been any different fromthose of English.
Last edited by Koko on 2016-04-21, 6:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-04-21, 6:41

Nope, that's only part of it.

And when I said nobody, I meant literally nobody. Even linguists don't know how exactly tense consonants in Korean are actually articulated.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby Koko » 2016-04-21, 6:44

vijayjohn wrote:Nope, that's only part of it.

Well, I did say "key." ;) IIRC the younger generations are losing the distinction (as in, whatever makes the tense consonants tense), right?

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby OldBoring » 2016-04-21, 12:31

To me, it seems like the tense consonants (you mean those written by doubling, right?) are always unaspirated voiceless. Unlike the single consonants that become slightly aspirated or voiced.

Also, to me they sound similar to Italian geminate consonants. And to Koreans, Italian geminate consonants sound like their tense consonants. So a Korean who asked me to count to ten in Italian transcribed sette and otto as 쎄떼 and 오또.

While s is aspirated s, and ss a "normal s".

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-04-21, 20:07

Koko wrote:IIRC the younger generations are losing the distinction (as in, whatever makes the tense consonants tense), right?

Dunno. I don't remember hearing that before. That would be an interesting development, though, since it's phonemic.
OldBoring wrote:you mean those written by doubling, right?

Yes.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby mōdgethanc » 2016-04-24, 23:04

I thought the tense consonants were like weak ejective/glottalized stops*, and that they probably came from older geminates since they're written that way. But maybe they didn't. They definitely aren't aspirated or voiced, that's all I know.

Korean stops are just fucked in general. "Oh, these sounds are like the voiced stops of English, except sometimes they're aspirated and voiceless. So let's transcribe them as unaspirated and voiceless." What.

*Is there even a difference?

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-04-25, 5:45

mōdgethanc wrote:*Is there even a difference?

Yes. Ejectives involve moving the larynx up, whereas glottalized stops involve closing the glottis.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby mōdgethanc » 2016-04-25, 6:36

vijayjohn wrote:Yes. Ejectives involve moving the larynx up, whereas glottalized stops involve closing the glottis.
So what the fuck is laryngealization then?

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-04-25, 6:45

That's when your glottis is not actually closed but rather the vocal folds are tightly compressed due to the arytenoid cartilages in the larynx being drawn together, as a result of which air flows through the glottis only very slowly and the vocal folds vibrate irregularly (20-50 pulses per second).

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby johnklepac » 2016-04-25, 20:55

My usual inclination is to be a contrarian on threads like these and answer Italian or French or something, so I'll try to be more systematic and run through features I generally don't like.

Those would include:
- High-ish back-ish unrounded vowels (like the double-u or lowercase i with a bar through it)
- Ejectives and/or implosives
- Nasality
- Few consonant clusters plus a small vowel inventory (either of those by themselves I'm fine with)
- Length contrasts that frequently involve two or more consecutive long syllables (this is probably the biggest ugly one for me)

That's all I can think of. Can't think of a single language with all of these, except maybe some Mayan and North Caucasian ones.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-05-29, 22:36

I dont find any language outright ugly.

I guess I hate Slavic languages when it comes to writing. "Why the f*** is there a 3 in there with a P?!?!" I like their accents though.

Japanese can sound pleasant or annoying depending on who speaks it and how they speak it.

I like Dutch even though I don't like some of the letters they use for their phonemes. Like j representing [j]. I know it makes sense, but I like y, since it is more visually appealing.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby mōdgethanc » 2016-05-30, 0:25

johnklepac wrote:My usual inclination is to be a contrarian on threads like these and answer Italian or French or something, so I'll try to be more systematic and run through features I generally don't like.

Those would include:
- High-ish back-ish unrounded vowels (like the double-u or lowercase i with a bar through it)
- Ejectives and/or implosives
- Nasality
- Few consonant clusters plus a small vowel inventory (either of those by themselves I'm fine with)
- Length contrasts that frequently involve two or more consecutive long syllables (this is probably the biggest ugly one for me)

That's all I can think of. Can't think of a single language with all of these, except maybe some Mayan and North Caucasian ones.
Japanese has all of those except non-pulmonic stops.

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Re: Ugliest language

Postby харийн хүн » 2016-06-04, 18:01

Certainly Mongolian is the ugliest. I believe many people do not realize how ugly it sounds because linguists want to express it as a special language with special phonology and special grammar, in reality it is not so strict. The less formal it is spoken, the uglier it sounds. Casually spoken in the western Mongolia, it can be very ugly even if formal structure of speech is kept.

Mongolian (mn) надад үзэг өгөгтүн [nɑdɑd uzeɢ ɵɢɵgtʰuŋ] - give me a pen (most formal)
Mongolian (mn) надад үзэг өгөөч [nɐdɐt ʉzɛɢ ɵgɵːt͡ʃʰ] - give me a pen (more formal)
Mongolian (mn) надад үзэг өгөөч [nɐdɐ̆t ʉzɘg ɵɣɵt͡ʃ] - give me a pen (more casual)
Mongolian (mn) надад үзэг өгөх [næð̠æ̆t yzɘx øʁø̆χ] - give me a pen (most casual)

Necessarily ugly is not bad because then no one would want to speak at all less casually.
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Re: Ugliest language

Postby suruvaippa » 2016-06-25, 16:35

I don't think Mongolian sounds ugly. Not exactly pretty either, by any means, but at least tolerable. However Cyrillic does make written Mongolian look like ass...
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Re: Ugliest language

Postby Levike » 2016-06-25, 16:56

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkU9Zd0LQjg

Just listened to this and I wouldn't put it in the nice-sounding-languages basket.

On the other hand I really like the Cyrillic script. It looks really cool with those double letters.
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Re: Ugliest language

Postby suruvaippa » 2016-06-25, 23:55

Cyrillic (non-cursive) looks fine when used for Slavic languages. It makes Mongolian look awful, though, and for Turkic languages I'd need a harsher superlative of "ugly" to describe it.
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