Why English often change the spelling of Alphabeth inside words?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by orangpelupa, Oct 29, 2015.

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  1. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    I've been wondering for ages, why "C" was spelled as "she" but when you put it in a "Car" it was read as "K" instead of "C". So in English, 'Car" read as "Kar" instead of "Shar".

    similar case with G. You have Giraffe that read the same as the alphabet "G". But then you have "Good" that did not have any connection whatsoever with the alphabet "G".

    then you also have Queue that only spelled with the first alphabet, "Q".

    what is the reason behind this? I'm curious. (spelled as Kurious, instead of Shurious).

    EDIT:
    the weirdness is not just in first alphabeth but also on the ending alphabeth. For example:

    Too, You, New.

    all of it was spelled as "u". Tu, Yu, Nyu. But one have oo, then ou, and ew.
     
    #1 orangpelupa, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
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  2. Alexko

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    Different languages, as they are written, have different levels of orthographic depth, as it is called: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthographic_depth
    English is considered rather "deep" in that the correspondence between spelling and pronunciation is fairly poor.

    This is likely due to England's history: it used to be Celtic land*, then it was partially romanized, then invaded by Germanic tribes, then invaded by Scandinavians, then by Normans. So there have been lots of foreign influences, and then there's the simple fact that the language and its writing system are quite old, and while pronunciation naturally tends to evolve over time, spelling tends to be more conservative. "Odd" spellings often reflect the old pronunciation of a word, thus "foot" used to be pronounced /foːt/ in Old English, i.e., "foht" with a long "oh". English is chock full of that kind of stuff.

    Italian, by contrast, is very shallow, likely because Standard Italian is a fairly new thing (which isn't surprising, since the country wasn't unified very long ago) so its writing system still maintains a very good correspondence with pronunciation. The same is true of Turkish, but its writing system was devised a few decades earlier and while I don't speak or read the language, I'm told orthographic depth is getting noticeable.

    *not that Celts were the first to populate the British Isles, but I don't think English retains much of anything pre-Celtic, apart from some toponyms.
     
    #2 Alexko, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
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  3. TheAlSpark

    TheAlSpark Moderator
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    y co curious
     
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  4. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    If anyone's having trouble with this, just remember that French is worse. :p
     
  5. nutball

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    Quite a few words have been adopted from modern French (modern as in not Norman, which wasn't French anyway AFAIK). It was popular and fashionable amongst the so-rich-they-had-nothing-better-to-do classes in the 18th century to speak French. I believe that the pronunciation of many English words evolved quite a bit then as a result of that silliness.
     
  6. Davros

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    ps: it's Alphabet not alphabeth.
     
  7. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    And here I thought you were talking about the some female leader, the Alpha Beth!

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Sxotty

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    One interesting/funny thing is when the US separated from UK we decided we needed our english to be different and actually fixed many of those problems, but by and large they did not stick. Too bad really as it would be nice if the language made more sense.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_spelling_reform
     
    #8 Sxotty, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  9. Alexko

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    French is pretty deep, but often considered to be less so than English. French has tricky stuff, in that there may be many ways to spell a single sound, e.g., for the basic sound /o/, you can have "o", "au", or "eau", and a big fat collection of seemingly random silent letters at the end: T, P, LT, X, sometimes H and of course, S. Sometimes a final letter may or may not be silent depending on the word that follows it, and to some extent, the preference of the speaker. There are many pitfalls with Ns after vowels. Sometimes they indicate a nasal vowel, sometimes just a normal vowel and an N, sometimes the N is silent (ils mangent) and it can be difficult to tell.

    But while there may be many ways to spell a single sound, in general, a given letter or set of letters is pronounced in a relatively fixed way. You rarely get the mess that you have in English with, say, "ough" or, really, any vowel.

    The Normans were of Scandinavian descent, but by William the Conqueror's time, they had assimilated to the extent that they spoke French (or a local dialect that for all intents and purposes can just be called French). Thus the language of William's court was French, and you had to learn it if you wanted to get anywhere in government, provided you could overcome the obstacle of not being Norman. Between that, the prominent status of France and French especially in the 17th century, aristocratic fashion trends, and simple geographic proximity, the influence of French on the English language is considerable:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. tongue_of_colicab

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    What probably isn't helping Orang is that Indonesian is one of the easiest languages in the world. According to a friend that is teaching there, you don't have to consider much in the sense of spelling and grammar.

    I'm not much of a linguist but don't much of the European languages have a lot of weirdness? Probably because there are so many countries with different languages packed close together that over the centuries with all the different wars most languages are borrowing a fair bit from each other.

    Dutch is full of strange things like with words ending in a t, d, or dt while it makes no difference in pronunciation. That is, if you can even manage to learn some half decent pronunciation because for most people Dutch is anything but easy.

    On the other hand Japanese isn't too bad. You can get a long way with phonetically pronouncing everything and grammar isn't too bad either. Though it's one of only three languages using particles to add meaning to a word in a sentence. What makes it a hard language to progress with beyond the basic level is kanji. Unlike languages using the alphabet you can't simply pick up a book or good to your favorite websites and just read whats there. That's an easy way to improve your vocabulary but with Japanese you're just staring at a wall of kanji. Motivation drops real quickly after you spend an hour despairing kanji to only read three sentences.
     
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  11. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    ah the wide variety of language mixed into English and the trend of spelling in france considered as "awesome". so that's why there so many "inconsistencies" between whats written and the readings.

    so the way to be sure You, New, Too are reads as Yu, Nyu, Tu is by getting familiarized with the language.

    btw the word "meme" goes viral in Indonesia but we read it as how English read "me me" (read the "me" like "meta") or "目 目". Instead of "mim".

    @Davros but but but Alphabeth sounds more famine and easier to talk to

    @tongue_of_colicab yeah, Indonesian did not care much with spelling and grammar. I don't think there is a grammar for past, present, future tense. The spelling in words also the same as alphabet spelling.

    and yeah, Japanese particles changes meaning and can be confusing but fortunately japan people still understand what I say while they giggling lol (in destiny).

    about dutch, Indonesian borrow lots of things from being invaded by Dutch for 350 years. Kantoor in dutch become Kantor in Indonesian and many more borrowed stuff from Dutch.

    https://translate.google.com/#id/nl/kantor


    https://translate.google.com/#id/nl/kantor
     
  12. Rurouni

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    My pet peeve is that some people refer to Indonesian language (which should be Indonesian or Indonesia) as "Bahasa". Like "I don't speak bahasa". And this is happening even on a major news network. FYI, bahasa = language. Also sometimes "Bahasa Indonesia" is grouped like it's the name of the language. It is like saying the official US language is "English Language". But I guess it's better than being called just "Bahasa".
     
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  13. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    @Rurouni yup yup yup! I wonder who the heck popularize that. it is wrong and weird.

    there's also weird phenomenon where translation from english to indonesian often use "translation" instead of "localization" for technology stuff (software translation, manual book, webcomic, etc). While they properly use "Localization" for printed comic, printed novel, etc.

    everytime i send them a feedback, they just says thank you (looking at you LINE Webtoons) or outright ignores me (looking at you PlayStation Asia).
     
  14. tongue_of_colicab

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    That's not that surprising though. For example novels will often contain references to events or jokes that makes sense to people living in the same country or region as the author but make no sense at all to people outside of that country so that needs to be localized in order to make sense.

    Good examples of this are Shin Chan in Japanese and Dutch (and probably other languages as well) where the series is localized and quite different from it's original. The same goes for Japanese subtitles in English movies where the subtitles are often quite a bit off from what is being said and sometimes even totally different (google the Full Metal Jacket intro, no slimy little communist shit twinkle-toed cocksuckers for the Japanese... :lol:)

    However for example a manual or piece of software is written as a fact and is not open to interpretation (shouldn't be anyway). E.g. Plug in the power cable or press options, preferences. I don't see why or how that could be localized unless Indonesians have a very special way of plugging in power cables totally different from that of the rest of the world ;)
     
  15. Alexko

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    As far as writing systems go, European languages tend to be weird mostly because the writing systems are old, and the languages have evolved since their introduction. As mentioned previously, Italian is an exception to that, due to the recent nature of its national standardization. Most European languages are descended from Proto-Indo-European (as are Farsi, Hindi, Pashto, etc.) so they inherit varying degrees of PIE weirdness, but that's independent of orthographic depth.

    Oh, and particles aren't that rare around the world, though they're not necessarily used exactly as they are in Japanese: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_particle#In_different_languages
     
  16. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    @tongue_of_colicab
    about technological term,

    for example "Upload" is officially literally translated to "Unggah" and confuses people from outside of Java culture. Because "unggah" is actually Javanese language.

    "kirim" in Indonesian is synonym to "send" in English. "Kirim" is commonly used term, "kirim" is easier to understand for "upload" although "unggah" have the most similar meaning.



    about comic,
    they do localize them for printed comic but webcomic still use translation instead of localization. same with games, rely too heavily on translation instead of localization.

    like "we pray to the god of water" translated to "kami berdoa kepada Tuhan air".
    god = tuhan

    no no no, you cant do that. in Indonesia the only Gods called as Tuhan is god from Catholic/Christian/Islam. Other gods is called dewa.
     
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  17. Alexko

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    I'd consider that a wrong translation, not a localization problem. In fact I'm not a fan of localization at all.
     
  18. Silent_Buddha

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    Yeah when games/movies come over to the US, I prefer translations over localization. Even if I don't fully understand the cultural jokes and meanings, I'd rather get a translation of what was actually said.

    If someone called someone a "stupid cow" in their language, that's what I want to see. Rather than seeing a localization to something like "Bitch" or "Bastard" or F#$@er.

    This is why I oftentimes prefer fan-subs. Most notably the ones that do translations with an onscreen side note of the cultural reference something is referring to. Much better than the localization you get with professional subtitles which completely change the meaning of what is said.

    Final Fantasy 14 is REALLY bad about this. There was a hunting event in game that had NPCs that gave hints on what you needed to do to spawn the S-rank boss versions. A literal translation would have given the clues correctly despite missing out on the cultural references. Instead, the localization team...localized it instead of providing a literal translation. And so 3/4 of the S-rank bosses, no-one had a clue how to spawn. Until someone ran a Japanese version of the game and provided the literal translation.

    ARGH!$!@#!#!

    F-off localization. :p

    Regards,
    SB
     
  19. I.S.T.

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    The main issue is the dialogue in your average translation is uh... it's shit. It's utter shit. Your average translation is so stiff sounding it's not funny. Localizations, with their flaws, at least sound like real people. Plus, well, in the case of translations of Japanese stuff, you see -kun and -san and -chan and etc all over stuff, even if that stuff takes place outside of Japan.

    My favorite example is the Trigun manga. The official release has the same stiffly and overly formal dialogue I'm bitching about, complete with the suffixes.

    The characters in the manga are canonically speaking English. A proper translation of Trigun would have no Japanese suffixes.
     
  20. Alexko

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    The suffixes are a debatable point, but I'd keep them. They must surely be disorienting when you don't know what they mean, but when you do, they clarify the relationships between the characters, and they're an important part of Japanese interactions that, in my opinion, should not be removed.

    Of course in anime or in movies, you can omit them from the subtitles since you can hear them anyway.

    I guess it comes down to what your objective is: do you want to produce something that's as easy to approach as possible from outside the original culture, or do you want to be as faithful as possible to the original work, thereby allowing readers/viewers to become more familiar with the original culture? I prefer the latter, but from a commercial point of view, I can't blame people for opting for the former.
     
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