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Jeruba's avatar

Speakers of other languages: when someone asks a question about grammar in your language (please name it), does it incite as much controversy and produce as much heated disagreement as do English grammar questions here on Fluther?

Asked by Jeruba (41907 points ) September 29th, 2011

Lorem ipsum.

Topic tags: grammar, languages, English, controversy, debate, education.

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14 Answers

28lorelei's avatar

It can, as Finnish grammar is extremely complicated (14 different cases and 7 different verb endings)

Pandora's avatar

Spanish, but not much really. Not hung up so much on what is said but rather how it may be pronounced. Spanish has so many variations because of other mixes from other cultures.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I think it doesn’t in Spanish because the rules are more consistent, fewer exceptions than English. Not that people are not hung up. Your answer surprised me. Maybe I am wrong in how I look at it. Spanish is my second language and not fully bilingual.

rebbel's avatar

Edit: Deleted.
I wrote my answer in the wrong thread.
Nice, @Jeruba…., making two (almost) identical (looking) questions in a row ;-)

fizzbanger's avatar

In Russian, grammar can be perplexing even for native speakers. People will purposely avoid stating quantities of objects in a certain manner due to disagreement over irregular word endings.

harple's avatar

Welsh – I would say no in answer to your question.

There are very strict rules in the language, and it is quite complicated, not least for its mutations (an equivalent example being the h at the beginning of the word head in the sentence: “Your head is too large” changes to a different letter when the posessive changes to my… Your head = Eich pen. My head = Fy mhen.).

It is also written far more formally than it is spoken. The equivalent of speaking the phrase: “I don’t like this” and then writing “One does not like this”...
I don’t like that (spoken) = D’wi ddim yn hoffi hwn. (written) = Sain hoffi hwn.

However, whilst it is agreed that written Welsh should be formal, it doesn’t spark the controversy nor disagreement that we see here over the English language. I think there is an element that Welsh speakers are glad that it is being used at all, and the older generations of Welsh people are often not that educated in their written Welsh in terms of being able to write it “correctly”. Also, Welsh is affected greatly by English words, and there is an accepted amount of Wenglish used, even on formal Welsh tv programmes, where an English word is used when there is no exisiting Welsh word, but made to sound Welsh. It’s quite amusing really.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie I just mean most people don’t get so hung up on the actual grammer. Where they tend to get hung up is how the word is pronounced. I know I get annoyed when people get lazy in how they pronounce words, more than how they write it. Its easier to get what they are trying to say when they write it down. Not so easy if they are mispronoucing the word or when they just have a different dialect.
Lets take the word suave. If someone wrote que suave, than you know what they mean. But I know people who pronounce it like que sabe, which means something different.
( Only word to make it on my mind right now.)
Too many people screw up the v and b sound.

JLeslie's avatar

I just asked my husband, again first language Spanish. He said there is controversy in Spanish also, just like English. However, he does not participate on fluther, so he might not be aware of the extent we debate about it here. He used to translate documents for work, as a side note, and he has worked in business in both languages throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain. So, he is not just a Spanish at home speaker, not sureif that would make a difference.

Jeruba's avatar

@rebbel, that way it’s easy to compare them and see that they’re not duplicates. So what’s the case with Dutch?—a lot of heated controversy and no resolution when someone raises a grammar question on a Dutch website?

pathfinder's avatar

the cezch grammar is simular to the french grammar also there is an another groop of language witch has an same gramar thats are latina languages.We need to search in history to finde a one root for all….

morphail's avatar

Many European languages, for instance, French Dutch German and Spanish, have regulatory bodies that make rulings on what is standard. So I imagine it might be easy to settle disputes in these languages by just consulting the ruling.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Russian – I don’t remember really but there are some groups that make fun of other groups’ dialects. Grammar was very important but I wouldn’t say people spend so much time on correction in Russia.

whitenoise's avatar

@morphail is right… There are regulatory bodies, but these themselves create a lot of controversy.

In my native speak (Dutch) for instance the rules change every couple of years, ever so slightly. These changes often create a lot of debate – amongst those that care.

For instance: in Dutch it used to be “a number of people lives in houses”. Now it is “a number of people live in houses”.

To old school people the ‘new form’ will always be out of tune.

But then this reminds me of the old farmer that over the phone told me to take the old road to Utrecht, to immediately add that this was actually nonsense since he had seen it built and to him it still was the new one.

bolwerk's avatar

People get butthert about grammar, but keep in mind it’s basically an arbitrary standard. Nonetheless, it is a standard, so it’s hard to see why, at least with major European languages as @morphail says, anyone would have a serious dispute about it. How people speak is how they speak, but if you’re appealing to a “proper” grammatical authority, you can usually look up the correct usage.

In English, while there is no official body for dictating the language, grammar by and large is standardized across the anglosphere by social norms, with differences bordering on trite (UK ’‘in hospital’’ vs. US ’‘in the hospital’’). At least with spelling, each English-speaking country has its own variations. Again, it’s impossible to say which is right or wrong (I don’t bother) because either can make sense if it’s widely used.

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