Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Oct 2013 23:54 UTC
In the News

Happy Hangul Day! October 9th is a South Korean national holiday held in honor of the invention of the Korean writing system, which experts have called the most "scientific" (also "ingenious," "rational," "subtle," "simple," "efficient," "remarkable") writing system ever devised.

It's a bit outside of OSNews' regular stuff (although not unheard of), but as a language specialist myself, Korean, and Hangul in particular, has fascinated me for quite a while now. In contrast to other writing systems, which have developed over centuries - or millennia - without clear guidance, Hangul was more or less designed and set in stone 600 years ago, specifically for the Korean language. It is an absolutely beautiful alphabet, with a clear structure, and a unique way of organising letters - they are grouped in square morpho-syllabic blocks. To the untrained eye, Hangul may resemble e.g. Chinese characters - however, each 'character' actually consists of several letters.

Even though I'm not a programmer myself, Im pretty sure those of you who are will find Hangul fascinating. Due to its structured nature, it's incredibly easy to learn - I taught myself to read and write Hangul in a matter of days - and once you do take a few hours to grasp the basics, you'll surely come to appreciate its innate beauty and structure.

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No.
by aqd- on Sat 12th Oct 2013 07:51 UTC
aqd-
Member since:
2009-02-16

Unlike programming languages, all human languages are made for the very same purpose, to express the same things and same thought, and they're neither good or bad, beautiful or ugly. Another alphabet just means more waste of time of learning to communicate to each other.



We should use one universal language for everything, leave others in museums and libraries.

Reply Score: -5

RE: No.
by Soulbender on Sat 12th Oct 2013 08:10 in reply to "No."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

There already is one, it's called Esperanto. It's not a smashing success though.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: No.
by ricegf on Sat 12th Oct 2013 11:53 in reply to "No."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I agree. As long as it's mine. :-D

This is somewhat similar to the argument that we should all just use one programming language, since they are all used for the same purpose - to implement software. However, like most programmers I am very multi-lingual because some languages work better for some classes of problems than others; the language also affects how you think about a problem.

I would be really surprised (as a non-linguist) if the native tongue of a person didn't affect how they thought about pretty much everything. We get almost as many Spanish TV channels in Texas as English channels, and I occasionally watch them late at night. From what I see, native Spanish language programs are generally not the same as transliterated English programs!

If we were seriously to make an effort at a "standard" world language, though, I'd favour lojban ("logical language") rather than Esperanto. If we're gonna change languages, as the Koreans did, we might as well follow their lead and switch to something designed to be logical and easy to learn.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: No.
by unclefester on Sun 13th Oct 2013 06:04 in reply to "RE: No."
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

If we were seriously to make an effort at a "standard" world language, though, I'd favour lojban ("logical language") rather than Esperanto. If we're gonna change languages, as the Koreans did, we might as well follow their lead and switch to something designed to be logical and easy to learn.


The Korean didn't change their language - just their "alphabet".

How "easy" or "difficult" a language is to learn depends entirely on how closely related it is to your own native language. Languages are primarily structurally different rather than "easy" or "difficult".

Writing a language does vary greatly in difficulty depending on the writing system. Ideographic writing systems eg Chinese are far harder to learn to write than logical phonetic ("alphabetic") systems such as Latin.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: No.
by maccouch on Mon 14th Oct 2013 13:09 in reply to "RE: No."
maccouch Member since:
2012-03-14


If we were seriously to make an effort at a "standard" world language, though, I'd favour lojban ("logical language") rather than Esperanto. If we're gonna change languages, as the Koreans did, we might as well follow their lead and switch to something designed to be logical and easy to learn.


You should probably read a bit about Esperanto though. It **is** designed to be logical and easy to learn.

And in fact it is. Also, even though it simply uses the latin alphabet it also has the "one char -> just one sound" feature and the easiest part of esperanto is to learn how to read and pronounce correctly. it's always the same, and after a bit of classes you can pretty much read any text, no matter how complicated it is, even if you don't really understand it.

The most interesting fact, for me, in Esperanto, is how you can pretty much construct a word*, that has a specific meaning and everyone can understand its meaning, even though it doesn't really make any sense in the real world.

* due to the root and suffix/prefix combination/mechanics.

Edited 2013-10-14 13:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: No.
by unclefester on Sun 13th Oct 2013 03:28 in reply to "No."
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Unlike programming languages, all human languages are made for the very same purpose, to express the same things and same thought, and they're neither good or bad, beautiful or ugly.


This is simply untrue. MRI scans show that people actually think differently when they use different languages.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: No.
by jal_ on Mon 14th Oct 2013 11:18 in reply to "RE: No."
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

This is simply untrue. MRI scans show that people actually think differently when they use different languages.

I would challenge you to cite the relevant scientific studies. Using (partly) different brain areas doesn't equal "think differently".

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: No.
by allanregistos on Mon 14th Oct 2013 04:36 in reply to "No."
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Unlike programming languages, all human languages are made for the very same purpose, to express the same things and same thought, and they're neither good or bad, beautiful or ugly. Another alphabet just means more waste of time of learning to communicate to each other.



We should use one universal language for everything, leave others in museums and libraries.


You might be thinking of the English language? If that happened during the 1st century, we would be all learning Greek.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: No.
by jal_ on Mon 14th Oct 2013 12:59 in reply to "No."
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

We should use one universal language for everything, leave others in museums and libraries.

The problem is though, that there's way too much people to keep that new, single, universal language stable for a very long time. Even English, our current "universal" language (well, at least the universal business language) is diverging rapidly. Languages change, all the time. You can't stop that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: No.
by zima on Fri 18th Oct 2013 23:54 in reply to "RE: No."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Doesn't modern English get more homogeneous through massmedia?

Reply Parent Score: 2