The relationships between the neo-Latin languages

Guest   Mon Dec 25, 2006 2:16 pm GMT
From all latin languages,romanian is the most difficult in pronounciation
similar to brazilian portuguese
OldAvatar   Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:54 am GMT
At a pronunciation level, Romanian is not difficult at all. It has a phonetic alphabet and pronuntiation is almost identical with Italian and a bit different than Portuguese. Instead of Italian "zz" for example, there is "ţ" in Romanian and instead of Italian "sci, sce", Romanian language has "ş". The other letter groups "che, chi" are the same as in Italian. The difficulty comes up when you speak of Grammar, that's indeed quite harsh, having a complex combination of Latin and Slavic.

Another difference that might make it a bit more difficult is the presence of letters "ă" and ",", but those are vowels which are quite easy to pronounce. "Ă, ă" exists in Portuguese too, as far as I know.

Best regards
guest   Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:00 pm GMT
If you put a Spaniard, a Portuguese, an Italian, a Frenchman, and a Romanian all together in a room (all well educated speakers), it would be the Spaniard and Portuguese who would be carrying on a conversation consistently and effortlessly. The Italian would sometimes tune out of that conversation, and ocassionally made some headway with the Frenchman and Romanian. In good faith, the Spaniard and Portuguese tried to do the same, but never got past the initial pleasantries with the Frenchman and Romanian, and resumed the interesting conversation they were having about Iberian history and the glory of the Spanish and Portuguese discoveries.

Eventually, the Romanian felt like a third wheel, left the conversation between the Italian and Frenchman, and later tries to re-establish a conversation with the Italian, who earlier got bored with both of them. So the Italian again re-joins the conversation between the Spaniard and Portuguese, who understand the Italian much better than the other two did. Naturally, he talks to the Iberians about the ancient glory of Rome.

In a last ditch attempt to avoid feeling left out, the Frenchman and Romanian attempt to communicate with one another and maintain the conversation for 5 minutes, at which point it peters out. I've never actually tried this experiment folks, and as funny as it is, I am pretty sure that this is the way it would play out.
JR   Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:20 pm GMT
Except...

The Romanian would be able to understand the Italian
Guest   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:49 am GMT
The romanian in that room would establish communication with the French in the French language which again proves that French is the most International and prestigious than either Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese.

Even in Bulgaria (a Slavic Country), and Armenia lots of people there speak French than English.
Guest   Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:43 pm GMT
In the example, they only speak their respective languages, only...I guess I should have specified that.
Carlos   Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:21 pm GMT
Yes, I agree completely, a couple of Romanians speaking French in a chat room is irrefutable proof that French surpasses any other major world language and has now become the lingua Franca for the whole globe.

I also have other interesting revelations to make: I have two friends who are married to two Englishmen, both Cambridge graduates, which is the unquestionable proof that intelligent Englishmen are irresistibly attracted to Spanish women. My sister used to have a Scottish maid who stole some things from her house, which proves that all Scottish women have a dogdy sense of ethics. The other day I saw a dog eating an apple, which proves that dogs love fruit.

Have you heard of a vice called Chauvinism? It can reach ridiculous proportions in some people when coupled with a flaw in logical thinking called over-generalisation.
Guest   Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:48 am GMT
"Yes, I agree completely, a couple of Romanians speaking French in a chat room is irrefutable proof that French surpasses any other major world language and has now become the lingua Franca for the whole globe. "

Carlos, what I mean is English has already surpassed French as international language my point is French is "a world lingua franca" and English is the leading one because of the status of USA in world economy, and politics.

But on the other hand, French is the second most important international language. What we don't like here in this forum is what they post about French like "unimportant nowadays and has been displaced by this language" and some even conclude that it's already a "dead language". You see they didn't realized the lasting contribution of France and the Francophone world in human civilization.

They keep on posting without checking on facts and reliable data/information.
fabio   Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:20 am GMT
I think the point of the message 6 postings earlier about all of the speakers of the Romance languages in a room was not about language prestige, but about the level of intelligibilty, or lack thereof, between the speakers of each of those Romance languages. As guest pointed out, in the experiment each of them only speaks his own language perfectly and nothing else.

I agree with guest that the highest level of intelligibilty between any pair of speakers would without a doubt be between the Spaniard and Portuguese. The Italian would do quite well with the Spaniard and Portuguese, and he would also understand the Frenchman and Romanian (reasonably well) - certainly better than the Spaniard or Portuguese would.
fabio   Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:26 am GMT
I should also add that the Frenchman and Romanian would likely understand the Italian much better than the Italian would understand them.
Guest   Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:54 am GMT
"I agree with guest that the highest level of intelligibilty between any pair of speakers would without a doubt be between the Spaniard and Portuguese. The Italian would do quite well with the Spaniard and Portuguese, and he would also understand the Frenchman and Romanian (reasonably well) - certainly better than the Spaniard or Portuguese would.

I should also add that the Frenchman and Romanian would likely understand the Italian much better than the Italian would understand them."

Yes Fabio, it's because Italian can be readily understood by other Romance language speakers particularly by Hispanophones and Portuguese speakers.

That's why despite that geographic limitations of Italian, its speakers still have an advantage when they go to Latin America because of its similarities to Spanish and Portuguese.
Carlos   Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:16 pm GMT
Whoever says that French is unimportant in the world today is an utter fool. OK, in the context of people wanting to belittle its importance I understand your "defensive" attitude. Don't make me go on about the importance of Spanish though, he, he, he...

OK, everything in order now... Let's go back to the issue being discussed: mutual intelligibility. Yes, I agree, Spanish and Portuguese the closest, then these two and Italian. Sorry about my ignorance about Romanian... For what I have heard, there is some intelligibility between Romanians and Italians. As for French, I think it's easier for them to understand the rest of Romance languages than the other way round, though once you identify a few sound patterns and a few constructions, the common vocabulary helps a lot, at least from the perspective of a Spanish speaker.

Ciao.
Miguel   Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:08 pm GMT
Carlos you said, "OK, everything in order now... Let's go back to the issue being discussed: mutual intelligibility. Yes, I agree, Spanish and Portuguese the closest, then these two and Italian. Sorry about my ignorance about Romanian... For what I have heard, there is some intelligibility between Romanians and Italians. As for French, I think it's easier for them to understand the rest of Romance languages than the other way round, though once you identify a few sound patterns and a few constructions, the common vocabulary helps a lot, at least from the perspective of a Spanish speaker." I agree completely Carlos.

And just to make sure this is clear, let me just say that no one in this forum (at least since I've joined in) is discounting the importance and prestige of French.

I'll just add one thing though...if Spanish and Portuguese Latin America ever get their politics in order (hopefully soon), they are going to be a force to be reckoned with globally. The Chinese and India are already doing a lot of trade with them (Brazil - aerospace) and with Argentiana, Venezuela...with Portuguese Africa too. Angola (a former Portuguese colony whose national language is Portuguese), is getting ready to explode economically, its economy being bolstered by its vast richness in natural resources e.g. gold, diamonds, coffee, oil, etc., and by serious trade with China, India and Southeast Asia. The Mercosur agreement between Portuguese speaking Brazil, and many of the Spanish speaking Latin American countries, e.g., Argentian, Paraguay, Uruguay, solidifies the relationship through the fact that even before this agreement they were already able to communicate with one another effortlessly in their own respective languages.
OldAvatar   Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:12 am GMT
Romania is considered a francophone country just for political, historical and cultural purposes. In fact, the number of English speakers in Romania is 3 times bigger than the ones who are able to communicate in French. And most educated Romanians understand Italian without theneed of learning it. A situation not available for French, for example.
Francophilippe   Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:05 am GMT
Old Avatar: "Romania is considered a francophone country just for political, historical and cultural purposes. In fact, the number of English speakers in Romania is 3 times bigger than the ones who are able to communicate in French. And most educated Romanians understand Italian without theneed of learning it. A situation not available for French, for example."

Really? Just where did you get this data? Maybe those Romanian English speaker that you are reffering have just a smattering of English like simple greetings. But in actual conversation they back-off. Just listen to them how they speak French and English, compare, and see the big difference and you will dtermine in which language they are far more articulate.