English Learners: come and clarify your doubts

David Bosch   Sunday, May 11, 2003, 04:06 GMT
Ask me whatever, if I don't know the answer I'll ask somebody else until I find it, and if I know it I will be very pleased to help you.
Boy   Sunday, May 11, 2003, 07:23 GMT
1) Why do we always write pronoun 'I' in a capital letter?

2) Why doesn't English language accept words from moslem languages? (For instance, it grasps words from French, Italian, Yiddish..etc)

Hint: Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Turkish are called 'moslem' languages.
MunchkinLad   Sunday, May 11, 2003, 14:14 GMT
1) People started writing 'I' as a capital letter centuries ago to make it easier to see in the middle of a sentence. I think because of their handwriting something like 'i went to school' was difficult to read.
2) English does have words from Muslim languages, eg. (Arabic) mosque, lute, cipher, algebra, talc, djinn, genie, syrup, admiral, almanac (Turkish) yoghurt, caftan, pilaf, divan, caviar, shish-kebab, dervish, meander, baklava. It does have more words from French, Italian and Yiddish though because these are European languages and English developed in Europe.
MunchkinLad   Sunday, May 11, 2003, 14:18 GMT
For other English words from Arabic see http://www.zompist.com/arabic.html
David Bosch   Sunday, May 11, 2003, 16:20 GMT
Thank you very much :)
Boy   Saturday, May 17, 2003, 08:12 GMT
3) What's the basic difference between a moslem and a non-moslem language? [Hint: English(non-moslem), Arabic(Moslem)].
MunchkinLad   Saturday, May 17, 2003, 19:00 GMT
Is this a quiz? Boy I think you should look up 'hint' in the dictionary - it makes it sound like you already know the answer to the question and are asking others if they know too.

As far as I know there's no more difference between a Moslem and a non-Moslem language than there is between other language families. Languages are separated into related groups eg. Indo-European, which contains Indian languages and most European ones.
Boy   Sunday, May 18, 2003, 08:48 GMT
All non-moslem languages are written by left-hand side, but all moslem languages are written by right-hand side, and I guess this difference will be quite interesting for your knowledge.
hp20   Sunday, May 18, 2003, 17:32 GMT
im sure many knew that, but hebrew is also written to the right--do you consider that a muslim language?
MunchkinLad   Monday, May 19, 2003, 13:50 GMT
You're talking about Semitic languages which include Muslim languages, Hebrew and Aramaic.

Sorry to burst your bubble but some Indian languages are written diagonally. Arab languages aren't that special in that way.
Simon   Monday, May 19, 2003, 14:03 GMT
Islam is a religion. Language and religion are not the same. Ok, Mohammad wrote the Koran in Arabic after having it recited to him by the Angel Gabriel but if he had recited it in Finnish, that would now be the religious language of Muslims. Arabic other than this has no specifically religious nature and vocation.
abdul   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 03:21 GMT
This is my question. Do you think that reading alone can improve our English coversation?

This is my opinion. I have just finished watching movies. I watched "Four Weddings and One Funeral" (Hugh Grant, he is British). I think British-English -- in spoken-- is more difficult to understand. I mean, the pronounciation is difficult to understand, they speak too fast in that movie.
Jim   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 04:55 GMT
Chinese and Japanese are traditionally written from top to bottom in columns going from right to left. These days the European left-to-right-with-lines-top-to-bottom style is becoming more common but has not totally replaced the traditional style.

Ancient greek was often written in alternate lines of left to right and right to left.

Some languages are not written.


What do you mean when you write spoken British English "is more difficult to understand"? More difficult than what? I don't find spoken British English difficult to understand.
abdul   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 07:17 GMT
to Jim,

I mean, when I saw that movie--"Four Weddings and A Funeral [not "One Fuberal"]"-- I found it was more difficult to understand than American movie, when they spoke. The British actor & actress speak too fast in that movie.

For you, I guess you're a native speaker, may be there's no problem to understand British-English or American-English movie.
Simon   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 08:13 GMT
That's probably because you are used to hearing American English. It's like Scottish English, it can at times be difficult to understand for those not used to it but for them it's a piece of p***.