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    Aniruddh Vyas's Avatar
    Aniruddh Vyas Posts: 25, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    May 16, 2007, 09:42 AM
    Lack of scientific and logical grammar in english language
    We start learning english from our childhood. But what I wonder is that the problem with the language is that we cannot read a word unless we 've heard it before. For e.g. the suffix -tion is pronounced as "shun" but any beginner (say a child of kindergarten) who has just studied the individual pronounsations of 26 alphabets would read it as "teeon".
    Another problem is that can anybody tell me what is the logic behind the silencing certain letters. For e.g. the word Honest is read as onest so why do we use 'h' in the spelling.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,129, Reputation: 1307
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    #2

    May 16, 2007, 10:19 AM
    English is indeed a strange language with lots of exceptions to the "rules," as you have noted. I suppose this is due to the historical development of english from a wide variety of outside languages, including , french, german, norwegian, etc.

    In learning phonics as children there is a lot of emphasis not just on the sounds of the 26 letters but also the special rules for diphthongs - that is, special combinations of letters that together indicate a particular sound. You point out "tion" sound like "shun." "Sh" is itself a common dipthing - it certainly doesn't sound like "s" and "h" separately. Another common one is "th" as in "the" or "both." You just have to memorize what the various dipthings sound like, as well as the individual letters. One of the most confusing is "ough" which may sound like "off" (as in "cough"), or like a long "O" (as in "though") or as "ow" (as in "bough"), or "uf" (as in "enough").

    As for silent letters - an ending "e" helps identify that the preceding vowel is to be pronounced using the long sound - for example, "mope" versus "mop." But as to why we have silent letters like the "h" in honest - I don't know.

    It amazes me how so much of the world has managed to master all this!
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #3

    May 30, 2007, 05:44 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by ebaines
    It amazes me how so much of the world has managed to master all this!
    Master is a bit of a strong word... -_-
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #4

    May 30, 2007, 05:57 AM
    If you find the english language frustrating then you may want to stay away from French and German. The English language has only one gender while French has two and German has three. They too have their exceptions and idiosyncrasies.
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #5

    May 30, 2007, 05:58 AM
    NK, they're somewhat more logical than english, however.

    I would argue that language has no reason to be logical though.
    dunkyd5566's Avatar
    dunkyd5566 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Jun 1, 2007, 05:04 PM
    What does a apiculturist study? MONKEYS, BEES, SNAKES, OR ANCIENT EGYPT?
    jillianleab's Avatar
    jillianleab Posts: 1,194, Reputation: 279
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    #7

    Jun 1, 2007, 06:35 PM
    French is tough, but they care a lot more about sound than meaning. People who speak French will tease you if you get the gender of an object wrong, because "even children get that right!" Alas, I've heard that before because my French... C'est tres mal!

    All the idiosyncracies of English is what makes it one of the hardest languages to learn, from what I understand.
    Lirdn's Avatar
    Lirdn Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    May 15, 2013, 05:10 AM
    English is a combnation of many languages over the years, so a lot of the logic is gone
    English The Easy Way

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