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14th February 2007 at 1:04
Re: logic...
Hi,

thanks for feedback. You're right, Czech language is complex although I obviously can't agree it isn't developed. I'd say the opposite is true - it's overdeveloped. After all what to expect from a language far older than English ;-) But that's a problem of most European languages - they're complex and illogical with lots of exceptions.

As for Mely Gibson vs. Mely Gibsonova - yes, I personally don't favor these "femalization" of names. However to use foreign female names in the proper form in Czech sentences it's often needed to attach the -ova suffix. In either case, you end up with an incorrect name or with a grammatically incorrect sentence. Tough choice ;-) That's by the way true for most slavic languages - Czech, Russian, Polish, etc.

Don't complain about missing plural for "doors". There is no plural for "sheep" or "fish" in English either ;-)

I'm not aware of a word with 20 different meanings but for sure some words have multiple meanings. Again that's the same in English. For instance the word "bark" means at least five completely different things. And there are other examples. In all languages I believe.

As you say you're Dutch, English and German are much closer to your way of thinking - they all belong to the same language group as Dutch. Therefore you feel English is better. For me English is very limited in ways to express some subtle nuances in meaning. Even French, although from a romanian language group which is very different from slavic group, has more "intuitive" rules where I can express myself much more precisely than in English.

For instance I miss "reflexive pronouns" a lot in English. That's something that exists in Czech and French and many other languages. For me it's sometimes hard to create an english sentence because the special subtle meaning of a reflexive pronoun can't be expressed. Translation from "rich" languages like Czech or French to those simple ones like English often involves losing some meaning or clarity.

English is rich in idioms and as a foreigner you're lost without knowing the meaning of each and every one of them. Furthermore these idioms are often geographically dependent and a way to express something in US can be very much different from the way to express the same in Australia. On the other hand Czech is rich in language constructions - we don't need that many idioms because Czech language provides us with enough richness and power in the language itself.

Anyway, for me English is simple but cumbersome as it's missing many language constructions common in "higher" languages. Czech is much more complex and richer, with all those advanced concepts that make it a developed language. Granted, the higher complexity make it a nightmare for foreign students. And that's the great benefit of English - it's so simple and limited in nature that anyone can learn the basics in a matter of months. For Czech - I doubt you'll be able to speak and understand after a year of study. Give it at least two years and then perhaps.

By the way I have 3 yrs old kid and both me and my wife speak Czech with her daily. She's still not fluent. As we live in New Zealand she's now started in kindy and got into English with ease. Her English after half a year is at about the same level as her Czech after 3 years. Well I'm not sure if it proves anything ;-)

Anyway good luck with Czech language!

Michal
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