private remark

How different my neighbor languages are!!

   As I was interested in Gkatar’s comment on “Happy New Year!”, I checked out mine and my neighbor languages about it by online-dictionaries.

  • 彼はジョンだ。彼は東京にいる。(Japanese)
  • 是约翰。他在东京。(Chinese)
  • 그는 지역이다. 그는 도쿄있다.(Korean)
  • เขาคือจอห์น   เขาอยู่ในโตเกียว(Thai)
  • Он Джон. Он находится в Токио.(Russian)

   How different my neighbor languages are!!

   On the other hand,

  • He is John. He is in Tokyo. (English)
  • Él es John. Él está en Tokio. (Spanish)
  • Lui è John. Lui è in Tokyo. (Italian)
  • Il est John. Il est à Tokyo. (French)
  • Er ist John. Er ist in Tokio. (German)
  • Hann er John. Hann er í Tokyo. (Icelandic)
  • Han er John. Han er i Tokyo. (Norwegian)
  • Han är John. Han är i Tokyo. (Swedish)
  • Hän on John. Hän on Tokiossa. (Finnish)

   How similar they are!! They look more the dialects of A language than various sorts of languages.
   When I began to learn English, it was very difficult for me. Still now.

   By the way, I’ve registered for the Facebook. 🙂

12 replies on “How different my neighbor languages are!!”

Hi 🙂
It’s curious, because you choose two language family: romance and germanic (語族
The reason why both family lenguages use the latin alphabet is because of the christianization (拉丁字母發展史
I add you in face book

I edited your comment name.
> It’s curious, because you choose two language family: romance and germanic
Yeah, I know about it. But they all are branches of Indo-European languages.
Since the Christianization made them use the Latin-alphabet, they increasingly became resembling each other for a long time.
I think, at any rate, their differences are smaller than the difference between Japanese and Korean.
I feel Japanese language resembles Korean, but linguists say they don’t belong to the same language family.
They say my mother tongue is an isolated language. Probably, we may be poor at foreign languages because of about 200 years closure of the country and this.
BTW, I add you in it, too.

what do you mean with >because of about 200 years closure of the country? the country was… close?

It’s short but I think it explain it fine. I didn’t know about it, and that may be a reason, (as you said).
I ended up looking for japanese language in wikipedia. It says that “Japanese may be most closely related to Korean, but the similarities consist only of general grammatical features and approximately 15 per cent of basic vocabulary.” I know my word doesn’t count because I don’t know japanese nor korean, but I wouldn’t consider a 15% as something low.

I don’t know about it really, but, I feel Japanese language resembles Korean definitely.
So, I think this. (^_^)
If Japanese students don’t meet English but Korean as the first foreign language, they would feel the foreign language more familiar to themselves. Unfortunately, we, I mean Japanese, assume foreign languages are very different from our mother tongue because of learning English as the first foreign language. Most of them think that they cannot get better at English forever. And they begin to feel a feeling of needless inferiority for languages. Oh miserable, we are! (^^;)

Hey, don’ say that. A woman I met once(who speaks 7 lenguages) said that the first two lenguaes are diffucult, the rest are more fluent.
At least the people there are not like the guys in here. Do you know what most of the guys say about speaking a foreing lenguage? They say: If I ever have to go to an other country I’ll talk with signals (expresions with hands). They are just lazy haha.

(reading it again, the “hey” may sound rude, I didn’t mean that. It was something like please)

Don’t mention it. I don’t mind. Of course, I think to be polite is important on the net, though there are a lot of people without it.
And a little apology about my last comment, it is just a moan. Why did I make such a moan? Because to dispose some lazy students to study hard is very difficult things, not only English but also others. I’m not a language teacher, though.
But I’m glad your reaction is so straight. Probably you are a good student in the past and the present.

I was reading your blog and found this discussion quite interesting.
I had not thought much about the many different writing systems used in the world. If most of the world uses latin, cyrillic, arabic or greek scripts, which all have common origin, then in Asia people really have surprisingly many different writing systems, even if the differences in languages are not that big. I wonder if it’s because of having old civilizations, but even so, why would they need to have different scripts? Not all of them are old – people have been creating totally new systems even in the last few centuries (Korean, for example). Elsewhere people just add a few letters to the Latin alphabet to be able to write their language. I remember how I met someone from India and told them about the difficulties of having to translate everything in the European Union into nearly 30 different languages. She said they had the same problem in India, but not only were there 30 different languages, but also a dozen and more different writing systems. Even so, I find the Japanese system of using several different “alphabets” at the same time most fascinating.
I think that Japanese and English are relatively similar compared to others, such as African or American or even Chinese. Sadly, I do not know any Korean, but from what I know being the languages of neighbouring countries can have as much influence as being in the same language family. Since the European countries interact very closely, the words and languages are bound to become similar. Of course, these days almost any language is influenced by English and taken words from there. As to what is considered a language and what a dialect, is often decided by politics – if there is a different country, it is considered a different language, even if it is very similar. For example, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish people understand each other well if they all just speak in their own languages. Ah, also I’d like to point out that Finnish is actually not an Indo-European language. That means that it should be about as difficult to translate between Finnish and Spanish as between Japanese and Spanish. Of course, being in the same region and sharing the cultural background brings more similarities.
I myself find that it is a good idea to choose a not very similar or simple language as your first foreign language. Well, having English as a first foreign language might also have the benefit of learning the Latin alphabet, which makes it a lot easier to learn the next European languages. On the other hand, English pronunciation is difficult to learn, compared to Japanese, Spanish or Finnish. For me, the first foreign language was French, which has a lot more variety in verbs etc than English, so I would consider it more difficult. I also learned the Cyrillic alphabet at an early age and I think that having done these things made it a lot easier to learn the next languages. Actually learning English as a third language was a little confusing, because it was so similar to French and I thought I already knew everything and made mistakes because of that. Of course, if you don’t use the language, you will never get good at it. I think Japan is certainly large enough that people don’t actually need to use English and so it is easy to forget what they have learned. I know that even watching TV in a different language was of more help than simply studying it at school.

Hi, Ronale,
Thanks for your comment.
> Not all of them are old ~in the last few centuries (Korean, for example).
Yes, 한글(hangeul) was created by 世宗(李氏朝鮮第4代国王-King Sejong the Great). In Japan, on the other hand, ひらがな(hiragana) and カタカナ(katakana) were naturally occurred during daily lives of our ancestors about 10 centuries ago.
In the past, people in East Asia used 漢字(Chinese characters) for their writing systems as same as people in West Europe did Latin for their official language.
Nowadays, 朝鮮(North and South Korea) has stopped using 漢字 but they are confused at some points because of that. As we (i.e. East Asians) used 漢字 for a long time, we have a lot of homonyms. Even for Japanese themselves it is not easy to read if a text is written by all ひらがな or all カタカナ. Such a text takes much time to understand than a usual text.
As Japanese lived in Pax China in the past and Japan had closed the country for a long time, I guess we needed not to speak but to read other language.
>Ah, also I’d like to point out that Finnish is actually not an Indo-European language.
Oh, Actually I apologize about it. Finnish, Estonian and some others are not Indo-European languages. Though I know about that, I did not touch on it because of my entry’s convenience.
> I know that even watching TV in a different language was of more help than simply studying it at school.
I agree with you 100%. Today, the net is very good for that, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *