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Guybrush88 - Nov 23rd 2010, 00:35
Chinese is much more difficult than other foreign languages.
Guybrush88 - Nov 23rd 2010, 00:35
linked to 632375
sestersparrow - Nov 24th 2010, 16:25
linked to 634205
Manfredo - Nov 24th 2010, 16:58
linked to 634253
Manfredo - Nov 24th 2010, 16:59
linked to 634255
fucongcong - May 30th 2011, 15:12
linked to 913961
fucongcong - May 30th 2011, 15:12
linked to 913961
fucongcong - May 30th 2011, 15:15
linked to 916106
Zifre - May 30th 2011, 16:54
linked to 916175
pne - Aug 31st 2012, 02:21
linked to 1808135

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Sentence #632378

eng
Chinese is much more difficult than other foreign languages.

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Comments

sacredceltic
May 29th 2011, 10:22
lie
Guybrush88
May 30th 2011, 15:03
it could also be an opinion
sacredceltic
May 30th 2011, 17:34
it's both.
Pharamp
May 30th 2011, 17:44
I'm for "opinion".
Guybrush88
May 30th 2011, 18:13
@sacredceltic, could I ask you why it should be a lie?
sacredceltic
May 30th 2011, 18:28
>@sacredceltic, could I ask you why it should be a lie?

Because Chinese appears to be more difficult than it really is. Actually, pronunciation seems to be difficult for people who are not used to tonal languages, and ideograms look rather cryptic, but the language itself is pretty much logical.
To Chinese people, English looks and sounds even more difficult and utterly nonsensical, as it has no rules for pronunciation, writing or word-derivation.

Thinking that a language is "difficult" is just a cultural prejudice and depends mainly on the point of view.

As a matter of fact, I know many westerners who speak a pretty good Mandarin, but I know no Chinese who can pronounce English correctly...
Guybrush88
May 30th 2011, 18:31
I understand, but it's, as you said, a point of view, not a lie. In my opinion of course
Pharamp
May 30th 2011, 18:44
I agree with you on everything, but this sentence is clearly a subjective opinion, as it states "more difficult than >other< foreign languages", not more difficult than anything else. If "other foreign languages" are English or French for an Italian speaker, I agree with you that it's just a matter of prejudice, and it could be considered as a lie. But I personally don't see it as an absolute affirmation, but just a simple opinion...
sacredceltic
May 30th 2011, 18:52
>I agree with you on everything, but this sentence is clearly a subjective opinion, as it states "more difficult than >other< foreign languages", not more difficult than anything else. If "other foreign languages" are English or French for an Italian speaker, I agree with you that it's just a matter of prejudice, and it could be considered as a lie. But I personally don't see it as an absolute affirmation, but just a simple opinion...

Very good point that illustrates the ambiguity of English:

As a matter of fact, you can spot this ambiguity through the dual translation in French, which is not as ambiguous in this case:
"Le chinois est beaucoup plus difficile que d'autres langues étrangères."
"Le chinois est beaucoup plus difficile que les autres langues étrangères."

But anyway, as English will not be reformed any time soon to resolve this ambiguity, we have to cope with it, and face the fact that one of the meaning of this sentence is that Chinese (which is not a language, by the way, but a nationality) is more difficult than (any number of) other languages, which is a lie.
U2FS
May 30th 2011, 19:03
It's definitely not a lie. It can be true or false though. A lie is intended, but I think the person who says so means it, and believes so. So it's all but a lie.

As the guy above me put it himself [Thinking that a language is "difficult" depends mainly on the point of view.] So people should be as open-minded as to accepting all sorts of opinions, be theirs different...
Zifre
Jun 1st 2011, 02:19
> Very good point that illustrates the ambiguity of English:

Please stop spreading lies about English.

It's not an ambiguity. It means, in logical terms:

There exist at least two foreign languages such that Chinese is much more difficult than them.

If you want to specify that this includes all or only some foreign languages, then you would say "all foreign languages" or "some foreign languages". If you want to specify a certain already mentioned group of other foreign languages, you would say "the other foreign languages". If you want to specify that it is an opinion, you would say "I think that..." If you want to specify that it is a fact, you would say "It is a fact that..." The fact that a sentence is not precise does not mean that it is ambiguous.

Do you want me to start telling you that "J'ai pris son parti dans la dispute." is ambiguous because it doesn't specify the gender?

By your logic (if it can be called that), nearly every Chinese sentence is ambiguous, because they usually don't specify definiteness or number. (Your supposed "ambiguity" also exists in the Chinese sentence which I wrote. Should we also "reform" Chinese so that it can be a good little language like French?)
sacredceltic
Jun 1st 2011, 11:11
>Please stop spreading lies about English.

Stop being hysterical.
English is notoriously one of the most ambuiguous languages of all. Even natives are constantly confused.

>Do you want me to start telling you that "J'ai pris son parti dans la dispute." is ambiguous because it doesn't specify the gender?

Yes, French can also be very ambiguous, although less so. Genders are more opften explicit in French than in English, where even number is vague:
"You sided with her in the dispute" doesn't even specify if "you" is one person or several...

>By your logic (if it can be called that), nearly every Chinese sentence is ambiguous,

That wasn't my purpose here.
My purpose is to say that English is more difficult to Chinese people than Mandarin is to English natives. So constantly spreading that Mandarin would be more difficult than English is just nonsensical propaganda, grounded on no hard facts.
Begind this, the agenda is clear: it is to claim that English is so easy that it can be the international language. It is just a bland lie. English is EXTREMELY difficult, ambiguous, very difficult to pronounce for natives of other languages than germanic-family languages, and has no rule of word derivation, pronunciation or orthography, making each word a complete mystery to even the natives.

>Should we also "reform" Chinese so that it can be a good little language like French?

So you really misread me from the start, because I think Mandarin is FAR MORE logical than French.

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