Originally Posted by kael03
Seriously, though. English as a spoken language is fucking stupid (as a native speaker, I can say this for a fact). The accents in the US can be confusing to people that live here, even "dialects".
I'd blame the lack of graphemes by the language itself. For example, European Portuguese has 18 vowel sounds and has 17 graphemes to represent them (16 native plus the y for foreign words). American English has more than 20 vowel sounds and only 7 graphemes for them, so those graphemes have to do gymnastics to fit the damn sounds.
Just for a practical comparison, the same grapheme, o
, is the most flexible of the graphemes in Portuguese and only codes for 5 sounds (ɔ,
o, ɯ, õ, ʊ) while in English it codes for 6 (ɑ, ɒ, ɔ, ʌ, oʊ, o) alone plus 3 (ʊ, u, a) when combined. So it's no wonder there are countless dialects in the US alone.
Soda pop has at least 3 different ways to call it (Michigan, at least, calls it "Pop", some areas call it "Soda", and parts of the south call it "Coke" with different brands as "flavors"). Even written it can be dumb with multiple words that sound alike (and native speakers/readers/writers still fuck it up).
I'm yet to see a language that is immune to regionalisms and homophones/homographs, etc. But the king of fucking up for words sounding alike has to be Japanese, English is very tame in comparison.