https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian_

What languages are very regular, i.e. minimally irregular?

I'm just wondering, which languages are very regular and follow certain patterns well?

For example while German verb conjugation is relatively regular, but noun gender and number is definitely not, whereas in Serbo-Croatian not only is verb conjugation very regular, but the gender and number of a noun can be determined by the ending of a word instead of having to memorize the gender and plural version of every single word individually. Likewise in Spanish, noun gender and number can be determined by the ending of a word.

Also I hear that Turkish, Persian, and Japanese all have around 3 irregular verbs each (compare that to French) and that pluralizing words is very easy - is that so?

I'm asking this because liking the smooth auditory flow that Spanish and Serbo-Croatian have, which is based of the fact that noun gender and number can be determined by the end of noun plus the fact that all the words that modify a noun change in a regular and similar pattern, I want to learn languages that are structured similarly.

4 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/856pm

Esperanto is regular, as are most non-Klingonian constructed languages.

Turkish is regular, I hear.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian_

Are you familiar with Esperanto by any chance, i.e. have you studied it?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/856pm

I haven't had the time or found it useful, so no meaningful study here. From what I saw, it's very regular.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian_

Oh I was asking because I heard some claim that learning Esperanto helps with their understanding of other languages... jw if anyone else could vouch for that.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trang.
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Yeah it's true, I studied Esperanto on my own back to secondary school for a while. Now when I get back with French and start with Italian, I find them very correlative

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/856pm

Yeah. I saw a study saying it helped in the acquisition of Romance languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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They did a study that if you learn Esperanto before learning other foreign languages, when you learn a natural foreign language you do so much faster. It's like learning to play on the recorder before learning to play the piano. If you've already learned a foreign language to fluency then that trick unfortunately won't work. But the vocabulary does help sometimes, because it draws words from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Russian for the most part.

It is however PERFECTLY regular. I've studied it on and off for months, and there is not a single exception to any rule. That was the point, though, to make it as easy as possible to learn.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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There's not much music, no, but there are quite a few books that are translated, and the Esperanto community, besides being inherently international, is very forward-thinking, so there's actually a few sites with a bunch of Esperanto books that are available for free.

A study done on French students claimed that it took them 1,500 hours to become functional in English, 2,000 hours in German, and 150 in Esperanto. So part of me almost doesn't count it as learning a whole other language since you can start functioning with it so quickly. It feels like cheating lol.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian_

Is it useful beyond that though? I'm guessing there can't be much music or many books in Esperanto, right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/benevolent97

I can't reply to "Ontalor". People has the mistaken idea that Esperanto has no original literature, culture, or even books.

Just read "The concise encyclopedia of the original literature of Esperanto". link:

http://blogs.transparent.com/esperanto/discover-esperanto-literature-in-english/

Read "star in the night sky" if you want to read original Esperanto anthologies presented in the original language of Esperanto and translated into English]

http://esperanto-usa.org/retbutiko/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=20_270&products_id=18815

For anyone who wants to learn more about the effect, perception, and nuances of languages, then read Claude Piron's articles. Claude Piron is the late polyglot psychologist who worked for the United Nation:

https://textsofpiron.wordpress.com/

http://claudepiron.free.fr/articlesenanglais/reactions.htm

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk
Selcen_Ozturk
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yes, Turkish is very regular. It also has many rules, many tenses, but once you learn them, you don't have to memorize any exceptions to them :) There are maybe really few exceptions but I cannot even remember any at the moment. As you said also the plurals etc are all regular.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/le-lapin-noir
le-lapin-noir
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Japanese has 2 "irregular" verbs: suru and kuru. Those get turned into shi- and ki- plus their conjugated endings. That's not to say that all other Japanese verbs are conjugated identically: they're not. It's just that they don't undergo any stem changes. There are no genders and pluralizing is completely regular since you are not changing the root word at all, just adding a suffix at the end (ex. child =kodomo, children=kodomo-tachi).

Vietnamese, similar to Chinese as Smilemaker mentioned, also has no conjugations or genders, you just use particles to get a time on the action (tôi học tiếng việt =I study Vietnamese, tôi sẽ học tiếng việt= I will study Vietnamese, tôi đang học tiếng việt=I am studying Vietnamese, etc.). Pronunciation is also just as it's spelled, although that can take some getting used to.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Smilemaker

There is no conjugations in Chinese, every tense looks like the same, you only need to put "了" in the end of the verb to express the action has been done. For example: I eat → 我吃 I've ate → 我吃了

I think Chinese grammar is very easy; however, the Chinese word is not. Even so, some Chinese words are easy to guess what it means. For example: 凹 means concave. 凸 means raised.

Well, I don't think there is a language everyone can learn it easily and without any problem. Even though there are many difficulty in learning languages, I think it's also what I'm enjoying in learning them.

Above is mere my opinion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian_

IMHO, learning any language is easy as long as you want to learn it.. and I'm actually looking for a language that follows audible patterns that are determined by gender, number, and case.

Yeah I keep on reading articles that claim that " Mandarin doesn't have any grammar" which makes it attractive to learn but I also enjoy the sound changes that arise from complex structures in the grammar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trang.
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I also enjoy the complicated structures in grammar of languages that I am studying

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian_

What's Italian like?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trang.
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It is very close to English. I have seen many, many words similar to English words (more than French) and the grammar is less difficult than French. It also requires gender/number agreement in a sentence, but unlike Spanish, French,... you can omit the personal pronouns

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/le-lapin-noir
le-lapin-noir
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Chinese DOES have plenty of grammar rules, it's just that many Westerners who try to learn the language seem to assume that no conjugations means no grammar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_grammar

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian_

That and no genders, no plurals, no cases, no articles...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/le-lapin-noir
le-lapin-noir
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Entirely different language family, hence entirely different grammatical structures.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rewong
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While there are none of those, there are other complicated things such as assigned measure words. For example, in English there is "a cup of water", with "cup" being the measure, but there is a measure for EVERY noun, such as "a (measure word: 个) person". There are also various ending sounds that are assigned (a, ma, la, ba, le, etc.) based on the topic or tone of the sentence. And on top of that, there are many regional variations such as "cook" would be "做饭" in Northern China, "煮饭" in Southern China/HK, and "烧饭" in Shanghai.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashiplo
ashiplo
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As zoeyandfriends mentioned above, Japanese grammar is surprisingly regular, and I just had a few points to add on. The irregular verbs are quite irregular (the passive form of kuru is korareru, not ku- or even ki- as one might guess) but they are such common verbs that they're no problem to learn. And though all Japanese verbs may not be conjugated identically, they are easy to divide into groups based on their last sound (-su, -mu, etc.) that do conjugate identically.

Also, I don't think it's quite accurate to say that plurals are regular, since most of the time, there aren't any plurals at all! For example, 犬がいます (inu ga imasu) could mean either 'there is a dog' or 'there are dogs' depending on the context. Plurals are really only used when the speaker wants to make a point of the number.

The lack of genders, cases, articles (a/the), or a distinction between countable and uncountable nouns (you can't say 'I want a music' in English; it is uncountable) make Japanese grammar pleasantly simple at times.

I suppose that helps make up for the challenging writing system and the remarkable ambiguity that is possible when there are no plurals, articles, etc.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Squidmanescape

Klingon is surprisingly regular. Every verb except "to be" is conjugated in exactly the same way, and there are seven irregular plurals, though that number doesn't count the nouns that only have one form.

10 months ago
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