The worst sounding natlang ever

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DesEsseintes
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by DesEsseintes » 31 Jan 2018 04:02

I was going to stay out of this but alas! I can’t help myself:

Japanese is perfect. Definitely one of the world’s most euphonic languages to my ear. Whispered vowels sound amazing to me. Cheyenne is a contender for the throne as well.

I happen to hold the opposite opinion to Pabappa. I find languages without bilabials beautiful. (I find it extremely hard to use /p/ in my conlangs, though there are exceptions.) Mohawk sounds fantastic. Ample use of /h ʔ/ is also a plus.

Since “guttural”* languages were mentioned, I love Arabic and its numerous post-velar phonemes.
*ridiculous word

Russian is the most beautiful European language to me. French is also nice, and I’ve never understood the widespread hate for it in conlanging circles.

I don’t really like thinking of languages as being ugly, but I do think Spanish is the worst. It has nothing much to do with the phonology per se (I have no problem with fricatives), but rather the exceedingly annoying intonation that pervades all variants of Spanish I’ve come into contact with. Catalan is equally awful.

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Ahzoh
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by Ahzoh » 31 Jan 2018 07:34

Regarding Spanish, I find women who speak it to sound more attractive whereas when dudes speak in it many sound annoyingly high-pitched, almost as if they're whining.

Regarding Japanese, I love it and it vaguely reminds me of French when I hear it.

Regarding Chinese, I hate alveolo-palatals.
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by Adarain » 01 Feb 2018 16:54

Ahzoh wrote:
31 Jan 2018 07:34
Regarding Japanese, I love it […]
Regarding Chinese, I hate alveolo-palatals.
Very curious this, considering the Japanese sh-, j- and ch- series are alveolo-palatal.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.

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Ahzoh
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by Ahzoh » 01 Feb 2018 17:05

Adarain wrote:
01 Feb 2018 16:54
Ahzoh wrote:
31 Jan 2018 07:34
Regarding Japanese, I love it […]
Regarding Chinese, I hate alveolo-palatals.
Very curious this, considering the Japanese sh-, j- and ch- series are alveolo-palatal.
Aye, but I don't hear it as pervasively as the Chinese languages.
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KaiTheHomoSapien
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 01 Feb 2018 18:18

Yeah, Mandarin has x, sh, zh, j, q, ch, all of them some kind of alveolo-palatal (or palato-alveolar) sound.

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Xonen
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by Xonen » 01 Feb 2018 20:37

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
01 Feb 2018 18:18
Yeah, Mandarin has x, sh, zh, j, q, ch, all of them some kind of alveolo-palatal (or palato-alveolar) sound.
According to Wikipedia at least, Mandarin <zh ch sh> are retroflex, but even if they are palato-alveolar, then that's still rather different from alveolo-palatal. And yes, the terminology is annoyingly confusing; the safest, IMO, would be to stick to "postalveolar" when distinguishing the subtype "palato-alveolar" isn't absolutely necessary (which it rarely is).

In any case, palato-alveolars and alveolo-palatals are in complementary distribution in Mandarin, so I don't think the problem is that it has more such phonemes in its inventory, but that such sounds are more "pervasive" in the actual spoken language. Which could be because they're simply more common, or due to some other reason, I guess... But since we're talking about entirely subjective assessments here, I suppose it ultimately doesn't much matter. Personally, I quite like both alveolo-palatals and Mandarin, although the latter only partially because of the former.

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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by LinguoFranco » 07 Feb 2018 01:34

Testyal wrote:
06 Mar 2011 19:55
MrKrov wrote:Spanish. :-P
I can't agree with you more.
Honestly, I cannot decide whether I like or dislike the way Spanish sounds. Guess I'm neutral towards it.

I can't say I have heard a truly ugly language, I don't find Dutch very appealing, nor did I ever really like Slavic languages, mainly because they go crazy with consonants like Srpska. Like, how the heck am I supposed to pronounce that?

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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by Imralu » 07 Feb 2018 12:38

I'm going to get a bit retro and go back to the first couple of pages of this thread and jump on the Thai and Vietnamese train.

A couple of caveats though: Thai sounds kind of ugly and abrupt to me, but also completely adorably cute. Vietnamese is not cute, but I kind of find it interesting how horrible I find it. I always get my hair cut in a Vietnamese place and the hairdressers shout to each other in Vietnamese and I find it entertaining to listen to. I'm also grateful to not understand it because hearing people's banal conversations really annoys me while getting my hair cut - I can't stop eavesdropping if I understand, but just hearing a random string of sounds is fine.

Also, the food of both countries is basically the best although it's hard to get good Thai in Berlin. There aren't that many Thai restaurants - but a lot of Vietnamese places do Thai food too. I think I just miss Australianised Thai food - coconut rice and pad mamuang himapan!
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by Ahzoh » 12 Feb 2018 14:03

I dislike Berber languages, both in how they are written and how they sound.
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by Vlürch » 13 Feb 2018 22:22

LinguoFranco wrote:
07 Feb 2018 01:34
Srpska. Like, how the heck am I supposed to pronounce that?
With a syllabic /r̩/. If you struggle with it, start by saying [serpska] and then reducing the /e/ until it's [sərpska]. Dropping the schwa should be pretty easy.

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LinguoFranco
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Re: The worst sounding natlang ever

Post by LinguoFranco » 05 Apr 2018 17:27

Vlürch wrote:
13 Feb 2018 22:22
LinguoFranco wrote:
07 Feb 2018 01:34
Srpska. Like, how the heck am I supposed to pronounce that?
With a syllabic /r̩/. If you struggle with it, start by saying [serpska] and then reducing the /e/ until it's [sərpska]. Dropping the schwa should be pretty easy.
I'm guessing something similar applies to the Czech /krk/?

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