Understand Advanced Writing Systems
this focus now will be on writing systems that are completely different to the ones that we know on. The often cause problems to the learner on now, usually languages that are considered to be generally perceived to be more difficult in English. And we discovered yesterday as well are we discovered in the previous lessons that we don't talk about a language being difficult because any language could be difficult in any language. Could be easy because it's so I want to say, Well, Chinese is 1000 times more difficult in English on by our vice versa. Well, no, I would actually say, Well, English is 1000 times more difficult than Chinese. The opinion on the way you look at it. Of course, we have a writing system in Chinese, which is much more complex than the one in English. But on the other hand, and we'll be looking at this later if we look at the complexity of one. Even while we looked at English spelling already, which is anything but regular and too, if we look at the complexity of th...
e language itself in English, the amount of tenses we have and it is something that in Chinese that simply doesn't exist in other languages as well, where you only have three tenses far to cover the entire spectrum of a thought. Let's say President, past and future. So here, what will be looking at is toe genuinely perceived languages that are perceived to be difficult to muster. To write Onda again, we'll be using a technique that were already familiar with. And this is one to focus and similarities, which is something that we saw in a pre in previous lessons. So really, concentrate on what we know, what we can understand easily on by also following certain steps in going about doing this. And this is how will be by doing this will be able to understand and to read and write, especially to right to read. Sorry, the language correctly and if it effectively. So we were talking about how to master a writing system. Onda. The first thing that we already discussed was to focus on similarities, and I'd like to take a closer look at two languages here to writing systems that differ much from our own. One is Japanese, on one is Chinese, and usually when I hit when they say these words are, say these the names of these languages people automatically. Unless they speak, these languages will think, Ah, impossible. Never gonna be able to let it. It's so different. I mean, how we're not even talking about alphabets here. We're talking about there, not even celebrates. Celebrate is a language which which is comprised off, not necessarily letters, but syllables. So, for example, you would have, say, a sort of a you would have ka ga ha Now, actually, Japanese is partly composed of such stuff. It's Chinese that isn't Japanese and Chinese. Both do not have a traditional alphabet in the sense off an alphabet that has letters for each sound. Japanese and Chinese do not have that. Japanese has a combination off syllables, which is, for example, his car got. And it also has a combination off change of characters which are of Chinese origin, which is great because actually, if you learn Japanese and then going to learn Chinese, there are a lot of elements, a lot of characters that you will already understand because as well seen writing systems as a like Chinese or Japanese. It's not about Feroz, where we see something and Even if we see the word cough and it could be cold cough, however, we want to pronounce it. We know that it's cough because it's what we've been brought up with. But for someone that's lonely in English but in somehow it's in some way still the same. It's still were able to understand why it's cough and not, for example, pronounced is light. Because we have this association with the letters. When we can see that that's a C, and that has to be. There's a vowel after it. So it's a car, and it's not us, for example, CH. Where we know that such a in at least in English, mainly usually Chuck, now in Japanese in and in Chinese. We don't actually have that. We don't really have a way off off determining that, because it's all about the semantics, the meaning behind it. However, that doesn't mean that it's impossible to learn these languages are that it's actually much, much, much more difficult to do. So now. If I were to tell you that it's actually possible to memorize very, very a large amount of characters and also a a large and a relatively easy amount of characters in Japanese, for example, Would you believe me? Yes. No, because you have to say yes. But this simple answer is yes. One. We know this because first of all, Japanese people are able to do so on. We learned already that the only reason why we speak English that's saying this contact is because we were brought up with things were nurtured in the language are most of us were. But if there's no nothing stopping us from doing so. And secondly, there is actually a logic behind the writing system Is not that someone just went up to a wall? Andi scribbled something on it and decided this was going to be the symbol for whatever. So, for example, if I were to show you how certain symbols looked like in Japanese also it's and characters No, a few hundreds. If not 1000 years ago, we might have had something like this. I failed at school, so you might not understand what this is Straight away. Could anyone maybe suggests what that could be? A tree. Thank you. Say someone said this star Then I couldn't leave Now, Now this is what we'd look like it What could look like a tree, albeit a rather weird one. Now if we simply fight that and just did No, maybe, no, that might be a simply fight tree, but we could even maybe just have, like, one branch. Just have one brands like a stick. And we've all drawn stick trees are stick people as Children and told how beautiful they look. No, in Japanese you have something similar as well. Which would be the tree? Looks like a tree, huh? With a bit of imagination, you could think it's a tree now. The same goals for others as well. So we were, for example, to take. I don't want You have much colors here. This one you're probably not gonna get. Imagine if this is a green pasture and this one is a swell. There's something separating the two. What waterfall are just Water River? Exactly what river Now we could simplify this and some point say the stream of river. It's a stream of water. Now this is basically nicer pot. You have to put if you get the thing is right. But this is essentially the character in Japanese and Japanese for river. I'll show you one more example, and then you'll all be writing Japanese. Put these in just so you can. Even then you still might not understand what it is. Sorry, it's a mouth. It's a mouth. I'll be a really bad one, but it's a mouth. Now we could make. That may be a bit more elegant, and then we put the outline of a mouth and then at some point and get straightened out. And that's your Japanese character for a mouth. Now what do we associate mouth with? What can we think of in English, where we would think something to do with mouth apart from? Well, no, I won't say, apart from because they already maybe give you a hint. But if you think of the word mouth, what can we do with the mouth talk So they symbol for mouth also is integrated into the Japanese character for speech, which is basically the mouth with words rising up on the words original would probably maybe like they're someone's talking. Getting on our nerves is going into. This is going into thin air on the lines were strike straight and now, and they became the symbol for speech and another very nice way of looking at it as well is how many of us have siblings? Yeah. I mean, we all of our siblings, obviously, but his Children, maybe we're not that keen on the may be in on it now the Japanese symbol for Big Brother is our brother. Even the big brother is basically a big mouth. So it's the mouth with like how they put it. It's like a person may be on the top like the outline of a person. And this is the Japanese character for for for big brother. So using these two symbols, we already have one while three we have with this symbol we have, which is essentially mouth. We have speech and we have big brother. And these are ideas that we can visual we can see And we can see that even if looking at them straight away were not really able to understand. If you analyze them closely, then we really we can understand how they were perceived at the time and how the ideas became Minto were formed and basically put down in writing. Shante, how would you go about doing um proper now owns so that s o for people. So like names, Names like a name exact three. So that usually so you always I'm not an expert on this Japanese and Chinese at my my my strong point. But for example, in the case of Japanese, if it's a foreign name, so it's not like a truth, it's actually were learning how to write. Shunned then Japanese, as I said, has two systems. It has a silivri, which is where you have you have. It's always phonetic, so it's a combination of, say, a continent and what were deemed to be a continent and of our. So you would be able to write your name in in that. But if it was something like with a tree the specific tree than a lot of the time you at the the elements together you would at the characters together now in Chinese, for example, on a lot of the issue. This is something we'll be looking at now. Is that in Chinese, even though some people might not think this that most Chinese characters up in this upon to the slide, most Chinese characters, and actually in fact around 80% of them are a combination off meaning on sound. Now what does that mean? If we if we see something, we know that that pitch that character, you can't possibly pronounce it without knowing what it is. It's not like as we saw in English or in Greek, or even in Hebrew and Arabic, where we can analyze the letters and see what they mean or the the letters are the combinations we're physically able toe. Understand what it could be? Maybe not. Get it straight away, Andi, especially in cases where of alphabets where you don't have vowels there. Some alphabets object where we don't right the vowel because you don't need to because it's logical. You don't need to know the vowel in orderto to get the gist of the word. But in this case, in the case of Chinese where you have and I hope Lily, you might be able to help me out here, where, in the case that you have a combination of the radical so radical would be something that say that the basic caught meaning of something. So in this case, we have like, for example, in Japanese, for water, or for for water off our for anything made out off what? Theis idea of a radical. And then you combine these with other elements and a lot of the time on we even need. We even take all the characters that have nothing to do with the the meaning, but because they sound similar. So you could have, for example, the case off if I remember correctly. Sheep is young, depending on the tone, and then because the name that the word for ocean sounds very similar. Then you have basically the ready call for water on their sheet next to it. And then you have the word for ocean, if I remember correctly. Yeah, the sheep is young, and part of ocean is young. The second character notion is young exactly, and so they take the character for sheep, and then they put the radical for water next to it. So it sounds like she, but it has the water radicals. You know. It's Ocean Earth's water related, so you only have to learn. Very few are not. Very few mean very few sounds like only three or four. That's not the case, but the list of characters that you actually have to learn in order to understand everything is little competitive. Actual characters that formed forms different words together. The great thing also about Chinese Japanese is that like all those characters do you talked about in Japanese there also they came from the Chinese are a Chinese characters said they're the same directors. So if you know Chinese or Japanese, you also know some of the other language because co that mouth is the same in Chinese and the water is also very which is great because I mean you also have If I remember correctly as well for all the writers of Chinese dialects, so you could be reading something. You could be reading a newspaper and you could have a Chinese Mandarin speaker on a Cantonese speaker next to each other and they would say exactly the same thing. But it would sound different because you have the same you have to solve. The idea is when we read something, we don't read the sound of it. We read the meaning of it, which means that you can have five different people speaking. Five different languages are varieties of Chinese and they're all reading the same thing and they understand everything. It would be like if we had an English speaker of French speaker, German speaker, a Greek speaker and a Swedish speaker beating the same text and saying, Please read them out. Without that, he would have thumbs everyone saying something completely different, what they would say exactly the same because the median states that say it's actually a great it's a great idea. Maybe we should introduce it for English, but the idea behind this is simply on. This is where they brought upon the next and there another thing is well concerning this. You might be wondering what opinion is opinion was a A alphabet, basically the system device to write Chinese in the Latin alphabet. And we saw on an example on pronunciation of how pronouncing the sound say the sound because there are so many there at least at least four if not five different ways of pronouncing this concerning the pitch or the tone, whether it's falling, rising now, this can mean different words in Chinese. Andi opinion were able to read Chinese without actually using the Chinese ourselves of the Chinese writing system simply because it was devised for people that didn't want to maybe thought it would take to longer. They were worried that they wouldn't be effective enough to, uh, it would take years to work, to understand the system, that it was a quick way of writing Chinese, the Chinese language in on the Latin script. Now this. If we decide if you should decide to go on until the in Chinese is your language, then you can always use this as a help initially because ideally, as we said yesterday or in the previous lesson, the most important aspect at the beginning is to speak. Now. Writing is always important, and I would always suggest to combine these together. But you don't need toe if you have less time than maybe focused more on the speaking part, unless on the writing. But make sure you're always doing something in the case of Chinese, and you could always start to use opinion first and then build up, learn the basic radicals, learn the basic notions of, for example, for water forward, and then you can build on that on the more you integrate it into your system. Obviously, into your timetable, the easier it will stick, and this is something we'll be looking at today. This whole, like the notion off Howard toe, expand our vocabulary