one thing learning chinese has clued me into is how english is boring as shit

this is not a take it is an empirical fact

the prototypical perfect english phrase is like, “cellar door”, which is notable solely in terms of how boring as fuck it is to say

Show thread

there’s nothing unusual or interesting or exciting or fun about “cellar door” english just loves monotony

Show thread

@jellyfish_link I mean—That was just JRR Tolkien's opinion of what sounded nice. I think he just likes approximants, tbh.

@benhamill word but like

i think (in my dialect certainly) english speakers communicate a lot through accent and inflection

in order to communicate paralinguistically like that you need those things to not already have linguistic value, so the result is that the “base” language ends up being rather dull

this isn’t a good or bad thing, it’s just a shift to go from that to chinese where there are tones and all sorts of fun pronunciations which are linguistically relevant. so speaking an ordinary sentence in mandarin *feels* more fun than speaking an ordinary sentence in english. but doing funny voices in mandarin probably is much harder than doing funny voices in english. english as a language is really easy to do funny voices with.

@benhamill for clearer comparison, in chinese (which has tones and other things which are harder for me to describe than tones) if you want to be emphatic or playful about something what you do is “lean in” to the tones (and other features), really emphasize them and draw them out

and this is super fun to do

english doesn’t have many things you can “lean in” to like that. instead we add in *additional* (external) features (i.e., accents) when we want to be emphatic or playful

@jellyfish_link Huh neat. I get you. This is an interesting difference! Language is rad.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Eldritch Café

Une instance se voulant accueillante pour les personnes queers, féministes et anarchistes ainsi que pour leurs sympathisant·e·s. Nous sommes principalement francophones, mais vous êtes les bienvenu·e·s quelle que soit votre langue.

A welcoming instance for queer, feminist and anarchist people as well as their sympathizers. We are mainly French-speaking people, but you are welcome whatever your language might be.