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  • nimrand
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • April 07, 2013, 07:40:28 am
    • Lawrence, KS
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2014, 09:40:02 pm »
Korea has a whole lot of different symbols that make the same sound when used at end while standing alone ㄷ,ㅅ,ㅌ,ㅊ,ㅈ,ㄸ,ㅉ,ㄾ (am I missing any?). Along with the double consonants, this is a serious pain for reading without context, like the English there and they're, but easily solvable if spelling memorized and said in a sentence with proper context.

The spelling reflect the underlying phonetic structure of the language, rather than how a syllable is pronounced in a specific instance, which changes depending upon what syllables proceed or follow it.  This is a feature of the spoken language itself, not the writing system.

For example, 집, by itself, is pronounced the same as 짚.  However, when some particles are added to these words (the latter one of which is not an actual word), the sound becomes distinct (i.e., 집이 is different from 짚이).  So, knowing whether 집 is spelled with a ㅂ or ㅍ is necessary whether your writing or just speaking, even though that might not be obvious at first.

I believe those final sounds are essentially limited to variations of k, p, and t. Supposedly Koreans claim they can tell the difference between a ㅆ, ㅅ, ㅊ,ㅈ and ㅌ endings and the others, but I sure can't figure it out.

I've never heard this claim.  The most comprehensive book I have on Korean pronunciation (which is based on the Seoul dialect) claims that the unreleased pronunciation of these consonants are identical.  It's not even clear what distinction one could make in either the sound or mechanics of pronouncing an unreleased ㅊ and ㅈ.

Hanguel has some really nice properties from a phonetic standpoint.  However, I think that owes mostly to its relatively recent invention.  The written and spoken languages haven't had enough time to diverge, yet.  However, inconsistencies are already cropping up.  A fair number of consonants have been dropped from the language.  Worse, the distinction between ㅔ and ㅐ has been mostly lost, and probably will be completely lost without my lifetime.  ㅚ, ㅞ, and ㅙ are also pronounced almost identically in most cases.  I've also encountered some words that just don't match their spellings, like the word for hobby, is spelling 취미, but is pronounced 치미 by all the Koreans I speak to (they didn't understand me when I pronounced it like it's spelled).  So, it's not without it's idiosyncrasies.  So, while Hangeul is a marvelous invention, it's design is not inherently superior from the writing systems of other languages.

Also, someone brought up Japanese, saying it's syllabary is simpler.  In a way, it is easier (for English speakers, at least), to pronounce and learn.  However, for all practical purposes, that's irrelevant, because Japanese don't use the syllabaries by themselves to read and write.  If you want to read and write in Japanese, you have to learn the Kanji, whereas when reading and writing in Korean, knowing Hanguel is almost always sufficient.


Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2014, 07:24:15 pm »
Maybe he was referring to punctuation.  It's true that Korean has no real punctuation rules because punctuation marks such as commas and periods are not native to Korean.  Korean punctuation is more or less borrowed from Western languages with no real rhyme or reason.  This why you'll often see a whole block of Hangul with no punctuation and few pauses. 

On the other hand, English punctuation is pretty standardized (with a few exceptions like Oxford commas).  It's truly remarkable that a language with 500 million native speakers spread across the globe has managed to maintain standardized punctuation. 

English verbs, articles, and prepositions, on the other hand, are extremely inconsistent.
Nah, I'm pretty sure he was referring to grammar. We'd been discussing grammar a bit at the time since I'm learning Korean (and because he was teaching the grammar part of our English classes).


  • pkjh
  • The Legend

    • 2068

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
    • Asia
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2014, 08:31:21 am »
I've never heard this claim.  The most comprehensive book I have on Korean pronunciation (which is based on the Seoul dialect) claims that the unreleased pronunciation of these consonants are identical.  It's not even clear what distinction one could make in either the sound or mechanics of pronouncing an unreleased ㅊ and ㅈ.
The ones I've talked to claims it depends on where you place the tongue. I just believed it.

If you want to read and write in Japanese, you have to learn the Kanji, whereas when reading and writing in Korean, knowing Hanguel is almost always sufficient.
But you can read and write Japanese without Kanji, but it would be extremely unusual, and unexpected if you're older than an elementary student. Maybe in the future it might be different. It's just the norms of the culture/language.

Go back 40 years in Korea, and writing Hanja mixed in with Hanguel was common. But over time Hanguel has almost complete replaced any Hanja. The 'norms' changed.


Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2014, 11:49:36 am »

But you can read and write Japanese without Kanji, but it would be extremely unusual, and unexpected if you're older than an elementary student. Maybe in the future it might be different. It's just the norms of the culture/language.

Go back 40 years in Korea, and writing Hanja mixed in with Hanguel was common. But over time Hanguel has almost complete replaced any Hanja. The 'norms' changed.

From what my Japanese experts told me, reading Japanese in just hiragana/katakana is apparently a nightmare because Japanese limited sounds and word construction means alot of sentences read the exact same but have different meanings.  Alot of the old Japanese classics (Genji) were apparently only written in hiragana and changed because of it


  • aemann
  • Veteran

    • 75

    • March 01, 2011, 05:41:52 pm
    • Busan
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2014, 01:28:31 pm »
I like that Korean uses particles to distinguish things from the objective case and the subjective case while English uses word order. It just feels like a puzzle.

As someone stated before, Latin (and to some extent German) are also like this. Latin poetry is especially crazy, because an adjective can be separated from its noun by several lines, but the endings match, so you know they go together. And you can write a Latin sentence in any order and it will make perfect grammatical sense. SOV, SVO, OVS, VSO, VOS, OSV...whatever. It doesn't matter when writing, although they used a SOV standard when speaking to make the language understandable.

As you said, it feels like a puzzle.

When you start learning any foreign language, you learn to take a sentence apart to see how each word is used. Of course a language is going to seem "logical" or "scientific" if you are dissecting it like that. If you've seen how English grammar is taught in Korea, you'd see all sorts of complex sentence diagramming that native speakers might not even be able to do because there is no need to do that in your native tongue.

I wouldn't be surprised if the people writing those newspaper editorials had a foreign friend who was learning Korean and heard that friend say "oh, that makes sense!" a lot. Thus: Korean must be logical/scientific.

I'll give Korean some points, though, because most of its words were derived from a single language, Chinese, or are native Korean words. So the word "sun" (태양) and an adjective meaning "related to the sun" (i.e.: 태양 복사 - solar radiation) will look very similar. But, in English "sun" is derived from German, but "solar" is from Latin. Noun-adjective pairings are a nightmare in English:

moon-lunar
dog-canine
hand-manual
side-lateral
pig-porcine
horse-equine
ocean-marine

Even animal-food pairs are from different languages (German-French)

pig-pork (Korean: 돼지-돼지고기)
chicken-poultry (닭-닭고기)
sheep-mutton (양-양고기)
deer-venison (사슴-사슴고기)
cow-beef (소-쇠고기...a little different because the ㅣ got stripped off the end of the noun.)

I'm glad I'm not an ESL student. But as a native speaker, I like that it is easy to tell an adjective apart from a noun.


Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2014, 02:04:17 pm »
I like that Korean uses particles to distinguish things from the objective case and the subjective case while English uses word order. It just feels like a puzzle.

As someone stated before, Latin (and to some extent German) are also like this. Latin poetry is especially crazy, because an adjective can be separated from its noun by several lines, but the endings match, so you know they go together. And you can write a Latin sentence in any order and it will make perfect grammatical sense. SOV, SVO, OVS, VSO, VOS, OSV...whatever. It doesn't matter when writing, although they used a SOV standard when speaking to make the language understandable.

As you said, it feels like a puzzle.

When you start learning any foreign language, you learn to take a sentence apart to see how each word is used. Of course a language is going to seem "logical" or "scientific" if you are dissecting it like that. If you've seen how English grammar is taught in Korea, you'd see all sorts of complex sentence diagramming that native speakers might not even be able to do because there is no need to do that in your native tongue.

I wouldn't be surprised if the people writing those newspaper editorials had a foreign friend who was learning Korean and heard that friend say "oh, that makes sense!" a lot. Thus: Korean must be logical/scientific.

I'll give Korean some points, though, because most of its words were derived from a single language, Chinese, or are native Korean words. So the word "sun" (태양) and an adjective meaning "related to the sun" (i.e.: 태양 복사 - solar radiation) will look very similar. But, in English "sun" is derived from German, but "solar" is from Latin. Noun-adjective pairings are a nightmare in English:

moon-lunar
dog-canine
hand-manual
side-lateral
pig-porcine
horse-equine
ocean-marine

Even animal-food pairs are from different languages (German-French)

pig-pork (Korean: 돼지-돼지고기)
chicken-poultry (닭-닭고기)
sheep-mutton (양-양고기)
deer-venison (사슴-사슴고기)
cow-beef (소-쇠고기...a little different because the ㅣ got stripped off the end of the noun.)

I'm glad I'm not an ESL student. But as a native speaker, I like that it is easy to tell an adjective apart from a noun.

some of the latin words have been warped over the years.

Like the prefix Inter, used in interior, intestines etc, means kind of the middle

but it changed for some words into enter, entrance entertain and so on

so we have the same latin prefix pronounced and spelled in a different way, which must be confusing to learners as it now appears illogical and to not follow the rule.

But really it has just been corrupted over the years.



  • XiaoYan
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • March 04, 2013, 10:44:06 am
    • South Korea
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2014, 02:50:27 pm »
I'm a linguist.

I haven't read any specific reports about this claim, but even I have heard it.

What Koreans mean (whether they know it or not.. because we all think we know or understand something (like language, we all speak something after all) and then go on to enlarge that claim) is that hangeul is scientific.

It's splitting hairs but - define scientific before you define language - and then try to fit any language to that criteria. You'll be hard pressed.
Logical - yes you can have logical or literal language but again - based on whose logic?

Anyway I digress.

Hangeul is scientific (minus the vowels!). King Sejong studied the shape of the mouth and placement of the tongue as he designed hangeul. (oh yeah ㄹ and ㅎ are questionable to this claim... ㅎ maybe the circle with two parallel lines represent unimpeded air flow? h sound is a voiceless glottal fricative) In King Sejong's defense - about vowels - we didn't know much about mouth placements for vowels until the invention of the x-ray. So he couldn't have begun to study that. But as for the consonants - yeah it makes sense.

But as to articles I have read - I've read that Chinese is actually one of the most logical languages. (and if you're a native English speaker, you'll find it is easy to pick up the grammar unlike most other Asian languages)


Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2014, 02:55:45 pm »
01100001 01100011 01110100 01110101 01100001 01101100 01101100 01111001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101101 01101111 01110011 01110100 00100000 01101100 01101111 01100111 01101001 01100011 01100001 01101100 00100000 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100111 01110101 01100001 01100111 01100101 00101110 00100000 00100000 01000010 01110101 01110100 00100000 01110111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100100 01101111 00100000 01001001 00100000 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01001001 01101101 00100000 01101010 01110101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110100 01101111 01100001 01110011 01110100 01100101 01110010 00101110


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2196

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2014, 03:16:04 pm »
01100001 01100011 01110100 01110101 01100001 01101100 01101100 01111001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101101 01101111 01110011 01110100 00100000 01101100 01101111 01100111 01101001 01100011 01100001 01101100 00100000 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100111 01110101 01100001 01100111 01100101 00101110 00100000 00100000 01000010 01110101 01110100 00100000 01110111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100100 01101111 00100000 01001001 00100000 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01001001 01101101 00100000 01101010 01110101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110100 01101111 01100001 01110011 01110100 01100101 01110010 00101110
:laugh: A toaster using a computer. Meta!

Actually, i don't think that binary counts as a language, as it's more a data input format than a language in and of itself. It should be seen more as a script than as a language.
Likewise with hexadecimal etc etc.


  • nimrand
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • April 07, 2013, 07:40:28 am
    • Lawrence, KS
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2014, 03:22:14 pm »
From what my Japanese experts told me, reading Japanese in just hiragana/katakana is apparently a nightmare because Japanese limited sounds and word construction means alot of sentences read the exact same but have different meanings.  Alot of the old Japanese classics (Genji) were apparently only written in hiragana and changed because of it

I've heard something similar about the spoken language.  "Phonetically weak" is what he called it.  It's useful for making puns, though.

They also don't use spaces between words, usually, adding to the complexity of deciphering text that's written in just Hiragana or Katakana.

You won't find much that's written in Japanese written without kanji.  This is kinda annoying traveling in Japan, because I couldn't even pronounce words on a menu (even with knowing all the Hiragana and Katakana and pronunciation for Japanese), since there's no way to infer pronunciation if you don't know the specific Kanji in question.

I was dumbfounded when some Japanese acquaintances I met told me that they couldn't tell me what station their trains were stuck at (buried in snow) because they weren't familiar with the Kanji shown on the page next to their train.  Even if they knew all the small towns nearby, there was no way to even guess which small town that Kanji stood for, and they said this kind of problem wasn't terribly uncommon.  And, these were adult native speakers!

You could possibly write in Japanese without kanji and be understood.  But, native speakers might find it annoying (like talking with a thick accent).  So, for all practical purposes, you need to know kanji to read (and probably to write) Japanese.


  • CDW
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1782

    • June 15, 2011, 01:22:09 pm
    • Banned
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2016, 12:07:52 pm »
Scientific? I'm not sure what is meant by that. It definitely is a very hierarchical language compared to English. Nouns, verbs, pronouns, and verb endings often vary depending on who you're talking to and who you're talking about.


  • maximmm
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1447

    • September 05, 2013, 11:02:44 am
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2016, 08:47:35 pm »
Korea Times - and the always brilliant Jon Huer comes to the rescue!

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2015/12/272_48728.html

Needless to say, the article doesn't answer much.

Speaking of Korean - like people said - you need to define 'scientific' first.

Anyways, wouldn't a language like esperanto be more 'scientific'?  I mean, it's a language developed by actual scientists!

In any case, I have a problem with Korean written system - because as much as Koreans say that it is logical, what about the freaking ㅋㄱㄲ ??  There are plenty of instances where they all sound the same, without any explanation.  I get G letter, but why do you need so many K letters?

Or how about ㅐ ㅔ ?  Sound the same.  Why? 

Am I the only one seeing flaws with these vowels/consonants? 


Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2016, 09:51:24 pm »
Is the language itself that's supposed to be scientific, or just the writing system? I have been given justification for either, but never both at once.

The point most Korean have brought up to me is that the character for an "m" sound (don't have Korean fonts on my computer) looks like a mouth; therefore, Korean is scientific. Never mind that it doesn't look like the shape your mouth makes when you make that sound! Never mind that an almost identical character appears in hiragana and makes a completely unrelated sound- I've never had a Japanese person tell me that Japanese is scientific based on that fact. (I've been told plenty of other crazy shit, but this isn't gaikokujin.org)

Either way, this belief is one of the stupidest woorinara w a n k* stains, in my opinion. Korean is no more or less scientific than any other language.

*lol nice try
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 09:55:25 pm by meepmoopimmarobots »


  • maximmm
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1447

    • September 05, 2013, 11:02:44 am
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2016, 11:14:29 pm »
Is the language itself that's supposed to be scientific, or just the writing system? I have been given justification for either, but never both at once.

The point most Korean have brought up to me is that the character for an "m" sound (don't have Korean fonts on my computer) looks like a mouth; therefore, Korean is scientific. Never mind that it doesn't look like the shape your mouth makes when you make that sound! Never mind that an almost identical character appears in hiragana and makes a completely unrelated sound- I've never had a Japanese person tell me that Japanese is scientific based on that fact. (I've been told plenty of other crazy shit, but this isn't gaikokujin.org)

Either way, this belief is one of the stupidest woorinara w a n k* stains, in my opinion. Korean is no more or less scientific than any other language.

*lol nice try

Keep in mind that in English, there is a letter O, which is exactly the formation your lips make when making that sound!  Holy cow!  English language is the most scientific language in the world!  haha

It's all bull


Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2016, 08:07:38 am »
Is the language itself that's supposed to be scientific, or just the writing system? I have been given justification for either, but never both at once.

The point most Korean have brought up to me is that the character for an "m" sound (don't have Korean fonts on my computer) looks like a mouth; therefore, Korean is scientific. Never mind that it doesn't look like the shape your mouth makes when you make that sound! Never mind that an almost identical character appears in hiragana and makes a completely unrelated sound- I've never had a Japanese person tell me that Japanese is scientific based on that fact. (I've been told plenty of other crazy shit, but this isn't gaikokujin.org)

Either way, this belief is one of the stupidest woorinara w a n k* stains, in my opinion. Korean is no more or less scientific than any other language.

*lol nice try

Keep in mind that in English, there is a letter O, which is exactly the formation your lips make when making that sound!  Holy cow!  English language is the most scientific language in the world!  haha

It's all bull

Hahaha, I did say that to someone once and her face was like D:   D:   D:


  • Chester Jim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1090

    • March 05, 2015, 02:17:12 pm
    • Arkansas
    more
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2016, 08:59:10 am »
Yeah they have been trying to sell that for a long time.  I feel so cheap when someone tries selling me Korea.    When I first got here, my coworker would say that Korea has more words than the English language.    Great then your Nobel prize winners will come flooding through any moment.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 09:08:54 am by Chester Jim »
Bonzai!


  • Chester Jim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1090

    • March 05, 2015, 02:17:12 pm
    • Arkansas
    more
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2016, 09:12:01 am »
Korea Times - and the always brilliant Jon Huer comes to the rescue!

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2015/12/272_48728.html

Needless to say, the article doesn't answer much.

Speaking of Korean - like people said - you need to define 'scientific' first.

Anyways, wouldn't a language like esperanto be more 'scientific'?  I mean, it's a language developed by actual scientists!

In any case, I have a problem with Korean written system - because as much as Koreans say that it is logical, what about the freaking ㅋㄱㄲ ??  There are plenty of instances where they all sound the same, without any explanation.  I get G letter, but why do you need so many K letters?

Or how about ㅐ ㅔ ?  Sound the same.  Why? 

Am I the only one seeing flaws with these vowels/consonants?

Those differences must go back to a time when Koreans actually pronounced things clearly. 
Bonzai!


  • shostager
  • Super Waygook

    • 364

    • November 06, 2012, 06:08:10 am
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2016, 09:17:09 am »
In any case, I have a problem with Korean written system - because as much as Koreans say that it is logical, what about the freaking ㅋㄱㄲ ??  There are plenty of instances where they all sound the same, without any explanation.  I get G letter, but why do you need so many K letters?

Or how about ㅐ ㅔ ?  Sound the same.  Why? 

Am I the only one seeing flaws with these vowels/consonants?

Those differences must go back to a time when Koreans actually pronounced things clearly. 

Actually, I've heard that's pretty much the case for those vowels - they used to be pronounced differently, I think.

The problem with ㄱ ㄲ and ㅋ are that they're the average, tensed, and aspirated (made with a puff of air, as in the "t" in "pot") versions of the same consonant sound. English speakers make all these different sounds (and they are different, in some way), but since our language doesn't distinguish them, we have a hard time telling them apart. Korean does have minimal pairs, though - 불, 뿔 and 풀 all have different meanings.

...sorry, a linguist here. Continue...


  • nermal
  • Veteran

    • 228

    • September 26, 2012, 08:07:32 am
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2016, 09:53:29 am »
In any case, I have a problem with Korean written system - because as much as Koreans say that it is logical, what about the freaking ㅋㄱㄲ ??  There are plenty of instances where they all sound the same, without any explanation.  I get G letter, but why do you need so many K letters?

Or how about ㅐ ㅔ ?  Sound the same.  Why? 

Am I the only one seeing flaws with these vowels/consonants?

Those differences must go back to a time when Koreans actually pronounced things clearly. 

Actually, I've heard that's pretty much the case for those vowels - they used to be pronounced differently, I think.

The problem with ㄱ ㄲ and ㅋ are that they're the average, tensed, and aspirated (made with a puff of air, as in the "t" in "pot") versions of the same consonant sound. English speakers make all these different sounds (and they are different, in some way), but since our language doesn't distinguish them, we have a hard time telling them apart. Korean does have minimal pairs, though - 불, 뿔 and 풀 all have different meanings.

...sorry, a linguist here. Continue...

Do you mean the "p" in "pot"? The "t" is usually unreleased.


  • shostager
  • Super Waygook

    • 364

    • November 06, 2012, 06:08:10 am
Re: Korean language is "so scientific"
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2016, 09:58:45 am »
Actually, I've heard that's pretty much the case for those vowels - they used to be pronounced differently, I think.

The problem with ㄱ ㄲ and ㅋ are that they're the average, tensed, and aspirated (made with a puff of air, as in the "t" in "pot") versions of the same consonant sound. English speakers make all these different sounds (and they are different, in some way), but since our language doesn't distinguish them, we have a hard time telling them apart. Korean does have minimal pairs, though - 불, 뿔 and 풀 all have different meanings.

...sorry, a linguist here. Continue...

Do you mean the "p" in "pot"? The "t" is usually unreleased.

Oh, my bad. You're right. The "p" in "pot" is the aspirated consonant, more or less equivalent to ㅍ.