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Re^4: thoughts on perl language

by Jenda (Abbot)
on Nov 11, 2012 at 15:53 UTC ( #1003345=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: thoughts on perl language
in thread thoughts on perl language

It's mostly the common verbs that are irregular ... they are being used often and thus have a chance to become and stay irregular.

OK. So maybe there's more commonly used irregular verbs than in one specific language, what about the rest? Let's have a quick look at Czech. An ordinary verb has 6 forms just for the present (1st-3rd person x singular/plural). For conjugation verbs are separated into five groups, with 16 different patterns in total and we haven't yet leave the realm of verbs that could have been somehow fitted into a group. See the intro for yourself here.

Nouns and pronouns are a similar mess. 14 forms to a word, 6 patterns for masculinum, 4 for feminimum, 4 for neutrum with the word gender assigned ad hoc and loads of irregular words etc.

  • Irregular plurals? Nouns have 14 forms in Czech, loads of them irregular plus there's a group of nouns that only have the plural forms even if you only use them for a single item. Some of them as in English (nůžky-scissors), some not (dveře-door).
  • Ehm ... cattle is "dobytek" and guess what, it has no real singular either. Cow is kráva, bull is býk, ox is vůl, calf is tele and there is no Czech word to refer to a single individual Bos primigenius without committing to its sex or age.
  • Let's see ... the sentence "I was there" .. in Czech it can be "Byl jsem tam.", "Tam jsem byl.", "Tam jsem byl já", "Já jsem tam byl.", "Já jsem byl tam." or even "Byl jsem tam já." with very slighly different meanings (you may be stressing the "I", the "was" or the "there" and you would use different orders as a response to different questions with the other orders being wrong. And the only reason people could give you would be "because they feel wrong".
  • We've got words of Slavic origin, German origin, Latin and Greek.
  • Idioms are nothing special. They exist in all languages. The difference between the English and Czech ones is that English often uses prepositions and Czech prefixes. Let's see "dělat" is "to do", dodělat = finish, oddělat = kill, remove, předělat = rework, obdělat = cultivate, zadělat = knead, cover, mess up, foul, podělat = botch up, fuck up, shit all over, přidělat - attach, faste, fix, make some more, nadělat = make a lot of sth (nadělat dluhy → run up debts
    (na)dělat si nepřátele → make enemies
    nadělat spoušť → wreak havoc, leave a scene of devastation
    nadělat kde paseku → play hell with sth , wreak havoc swh
    nadělat víc škody než užitku → do more harm than good, be more trouble than worth
    ) ... (See here)

Compared to other cakes, English is not exceptionally complicated.

Jenda
Enoch was right!
Enjoy the last years of Rome.


Comment on Re^4: thoughts on perl language
Re^5: thoughts on perl language
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 11, 2012 at 15:59 UTC
    in czech and other slavic languages, information density is greater than in english
Re^5: thoughts on perl language
by tobyink (Abbot) on Nov 11, 2012 at 20:16 UTC

    Interesting. I know very little about the Czech language, except that the English words "pistol" and "robot" originally come from Czech. "Robota" literally meaning servitude.

    Czech grammar seems remarkably similar to Latin. (They are of course, distantly related languages, but no more than say, Greek and Spanish.) In Latin there are five conjugations for verbs (though some people lump the fifth conjugation in with the third).

    In Latin also, there are 14 forms for a noun; seven singular and seven plural. (Though the locative singular and plural might as well not exist: with very few exceptions it's the same as the ablative. So Latin is often taught as having six singular and six plural forms for nouns.)

    And again in Latin, word order does not matter very much, only serving to add emphasis to particular parts of the sentence.

    In English, word order can also be flexible. While we tend to think of subject-verb-object (SVO) being the standard, other word orders are often used.

    • OVS: "Help," said the man.
    • OSV: There you are!
    • VSO tends to turn a statement into a question: Are you there?

    I think your definition of idiom is different to mine. I'm referring to phrases like "this is a piece of cake" where the native English speaker will understand it to mean that "this task is very easy" whereas somebody learning English might actually assume the task involves cake.

    Similarly, a native English speaker might describe an easy task as "like falling off a log", while a non-native might assume that it means the task is very painful.

    perl -E'sub Monkey::do{say$_,for@_,do{($monkey=[caller(0)]->[3])=~s{::}{ }and$monkey}}"Monkey say"->Monkey::do'

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