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The most phonetic languages

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96 messages over 12 pages: 1 2 35 6 7 ... 4 ... 11 12 Next >>
United States
Joined 6871 days ago

52 posts - 54 votes 
Speaks: English*, Russian
Studies: German, Spanish, Irish

 Message 25 of 96
25 May 2009 at 9:58pm | IP Logged 
Journeyer wrote:
I've heard that Irish is indeed a chaotic orthographic jungle.

It is. I fought with it for a coupla months, finally surrendered, and let the Celtic mumbo-jumbo wash over me. It was as if a light went on in my head and its nonsense finally made sense. All the vowel combinations <--(for some reason the forum's spellchecker thinks this word is misspelled) are madness!! And some of the vowels are mere buffers around consonants.

Spanish is phonectic, compared to English and Russian is phonetic for the most part. Unaccented vowels tend to get minimalized/schwa'd.
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Akipenda Lugha
Joined 5577 days ago

78 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Swahili, Sign Language, Spanish

 Message 26 of 96
26 May 2009 at 6:56pm | IP Logged 
IANAL (I am not a linguist),
but as far as I'm aware, Swahili is a completely phonetic language. This is probably a
product of it having been transliterated into the roman script (used to be in arabic
script) in this century. But by its nature, most words are made up of two-letter
syllable units containing one consonant and one vowel, and you just say it as its
written, with stress on the penultimate syllable.
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Senior Member
Joined 6280 days ago

176 posts - 221 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Russian, Mandarin

 Message 27 of 96
28 May 2009 at 6:20am | IP Logged 
There was another thread about this

My vote still goes to Georgian, nearly all the other languages mentioned here fall a bit short of the ideal of "one letter = one sound".

pesahson wrote:
Polish is definietly a very phonetic language. Stress is very regular (with few exceptions) and once you get the rules (how to pronounce each letter or each diagraph) it goes smoothly.

Yes, but Polish has - digraphs, final consonant hardening, assimilations, duplicate letters like ó/u and ż/rz, letters like si/ś that can be spelled two different ways, etc. though the rules are fairly consistent, it can't be considered a "phonetic" language by this definition.

MartinB wrote:
Hungarian as well. Once you master the pronounciation rules, and some special cases like sz,cs you can easily read a text and have a hungarian understand it.
There are some exceptions to the rules still.

Yes, but in spoken language long vowels and even consonants get shortened (and this is standard, educated Budapest speech - other parts of the country have other peculiarities). Many Hungarians (especially from the diaspora) have problems with spelling because they write exactly as they speak.
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Joined 5805 days ago

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2 sounds
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: French, Spanish, German

 Message 28 of 96
28 May 2009 at 5:41pm | IP Logged 
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United States users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5471 days ago

4 posts - 4 votes
Speaks: Japanese*, English
Studies: Spanish, Russian

 Message 29 of 96
24 June 2009 at 8:42pm | IP Logged 
Satoshi wrote:
Well, if you count furigana in (or the kanji out), Japanese would be the most phonetic language there is...

I second that hiragana and katakana are very phonetic :-)
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Joined 5560 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English, Tagalog*
Studies: Korean

 Message 30 of 96
08 July 2009 at 8:01am | IP Logged 
Tagalog is (almost) 100% phonetic. More so if you use the diacritical marks (for syllable stress and glottal stops). It's unfortunate though that no one uses diacritics with Tagalog anymore.
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 5959 days ago

246 posts - 385 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Portuguese, French

 Message 31 of 96
08 July 2009 at 8:26pm | IP Logged 
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Joined 5543 days ago

14 posts - 14 votes
Speaks: Finnish*, Russian
Studies: French, German, Italian, Croatian, Serbian

 Message 32 of 96
12 July 2009 at 9:33pm | IP Logged 
TheBiscuit wrote:

One I found to be incredibly phonetic was Croatian.

I agree.

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