Comparison of Ido, Japanese, Korean and Turkish grammar and derivation

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Over at Auxlang I'm often writing about how one of the points that I really like about Ido is how similar it is to two languages I'm fluent in, Japanese and Korean. After learning Ido and going on to Turkish I also found those two to be quite similar as well. Here I'll try to show how a quick example of how Ido differs from English (and most Indo-European languages) in its precision, and how Japanese, Korean and Turkish generally have about this same level of precision.


English
Ido
Japanese
Korean
Turkish
real
reala
genjitsu (na)
現実な
hyeonshiljeogin
현실적인
gerçek
realist
realisto
genjitsushugisha
現実主義者
hyeonshiljuuija
현실주의자
gerçekçi
realism
realismo
genjitsushugi
現実主義
hyeonshiljuui
현실주의
gerçekçilik
to come true,
be realized
realeskar
genjitsuka sareru
現実化される
hyeonshilhwa dwaeda
현실화 되다
gerçekleşmek
coming true
(gerund)
realesko/
realeskado
genjitsuka sareru koto
現実化
されること
hyeonshilhwa
dwaegi

현실화 되기
gerçekleşme
realize,
make real
realigar
genjitsuka saseru
現実化させる
hyeonshilhwa
shikida

현실화 시키다
gerçekleştirmek
realizing,
making real
(gerund)

realigo/
realigado
genjistuka
saseru koto

現実化
させること
hyeonshilhwa
shikigi

현실화 시키기
gerçekleştirme
reality
realeso
genjitsu
現実
hyeonshil
현실
gerçeklik
really
reale
genjitsu ni
現実に
hyeonshillo
현실로
gerçekten

So you can see in most cases the languages match up in their derivation. Some notes:
  • Turkish -ism here is actually -ist (ci) plus -ness (lik), so realism is more like realistness.
  • The Ido -ar to -o change from a noun to the action of a verb is generally equivalent to removing the k from the end of a verb in Turkish, replacing the da with gi in Korean, and adding koto or slightly changing the end of the verb (like hanasu to hanashi) in Japanese.
  • All four languages have a clearer differentiation than English when it comes to transitive and intransitive verbs. After putting suffixes on the end of verbs you can again change them into gerunds in the same way as above (they don't all function like in Ido where there are no exceptions, so don't try to just make up words in Japanese or Korean willy-nilly using this method for example, it'll sound weird).
  • The -n case in Ido is also equivalent to the Turkish -i, Japanese wo, and Korean reul, which is nice. This makes it really easy to explain how it works to people from these countries and lets them achieve a bit freer word order than with something like Novial.
There's a lot more to this but I'll leave it at that for the first post. Note that I'm not saying that the four languages are anywhere close to the same, just that:

  • Ido has features that make it more appealing to and easier to explain to people from these countries, and
  • Ido's having the level of precision it has is not unnaturally logical. The general consensus against Ido by its detractors (the majority of which do not know anything about the grammar of Japanese/Korean/Turkish and related languages) is that it is unnaturally logical, the brainchild of a mathematician, and too robotically precise. The fact is that languages like English are often so vague ("Eye drops off shelf", "Enraged cow injures farmer with axe", "Squad helps dog bite victim") that this has become the norm we use to compare IALs. It's good to take a good look outside the English bubble every once in a while when looking at the features of an IAL.

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