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The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité: Spanish equivalent?

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Senior Member
<a href="/bn/translator/fingerspitzengef%C3%BChl" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1392432">Fingerspitzengefühl</a>
যোগদান: 08.08.2018
Pending moderation

The Poem "The Chaos" by Gerard Nolst Trenité is about irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation. Here two links:
http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/lehre/pmo/eng/Chaos.pdf (text)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO178ZfEVME (read out)

Although there are less irregularities in Spanish language (I guess so), is there a Spanish poem that is equivalent to this poem?
I'm looking for one to practise my Spanish pronunciation.

¡Muchas gracias!

Moderator of Romance Languages
<a href="/bn/translator/carnivorouslamb" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1109697">phantasmagoria</a>
যোগদান: 31.03.2012

I'm sure there are, but you can make your own or read them as riddles like so:

Juan tuvo un tubo, y el tubo que tuvo se le rompió, y para recuperar el tubo que tuvo, tuvo que comprar un tubo igual al tubo que tuvo.
[Juan had a tube, and the tube he had broke, and to get back the tube that he had, he had to buy a tube just like the tube that he had.]
(tubo and tuvo are pronounced the same, depending on how it's used is the clue to which one it is)

El volcán de Parangaricutirimícuaro se quiere desparangaricutiriguarízar, y él que lo desparangaricutiricuarízare será un buen desparangaricutirimízador.
[The volcano of Parangaricutirimicuaro wants to "desparangaricutiriguarize" and whoever "desparangaricutiriguarizes" it will be a good "desparangaricutiriguarizer."]

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

I can mention a less ambitious, yet interesting poem, due to Alphonse Allais and concerning French. All rhymes in it are made for the eye... but not for the ear !
 

Moderator
<a href="/bn/translator/roster-31" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1158631">roster 31</a>
যোগদান: 15.02.2013

Ellen. otra versión:
El cielo está entarabicuadrillado, quién lo desentarabicuadrillará, el desentarabicuadrillador que lo desentarabicuadrille, buen desentarabicuadrillador será.

Moderator of Romance Languages
<a href="/bn/translator/carnivorouslamb" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1109697">phantasmagoria</a>
যোগদান: 31.03.2012
roster 31 написал(а):

Ellen. otra versión:
El cielo está entarabicuadrillado, quién lo desentarabicuadrillará, el desentarabicuadrillador que lo desentarabicuadrille, buen desentarabicuadrillador será.

Este me gusto, después de varios intentos me salio mas o menos Regular smile

Цитата:

El otorrinolaringólogo de Parangaricutirimícuaro se quiere desotorrinolangaparangaricutirimicuarizar. El desotorrinolaringaparangaricutimicuador que logre desotorrinolangaparangaricutirimucuarizarlo, buen desotorrinolaringaparangaricutimicuador será.

But sometimes simply ones are fun too:

Цитата:

Si la sierva que te sirve, no te sirve como sierva, de qué sirve que te sirvas de una sierva que no sirve.

Editor
<a href="/bn/translator/mariorodriguezgonzalez9" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1130282">mario.rodriguezgonzalez.9</a>
যোগদান: 21.10.2012

- Compadre, cómpreme un coco
- Compadre, cocos no compro. El que poco coco come, poco cooco compra. Como yo como poco coco, poco coco yo compro.

Moderator
<a href="/bn/translator/roster-31" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1158631">roster 31</a>
যোগদান: 15.02.2013

Otro juego de palabras. Un duo:
- En las orillas del Tejo....
- Del Tajo.
- En las orillas del Tejo,,,
- Del Tajo.
-En las orillas del Tajo
se ven del sol los reflajos!
¿Se da usted cuenta ¡carajo! cómo era Tejo y no Tajo?!!!

Confusiones del idioma.

Editor Eastern/Oriental
<a href="/bn/translator/diazepan-medina" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1321515">Diazepan Medina</a>
যোগদান: 02.01.2017

This thread inspired me to write a "tongue twister tale" (it's in spanish)
https://blog.pueseso.club/lola-cuento-trabalenguas

Senior Member
<a href="/bn/translator/fingerspitzengef%C3%BChl" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1392432">Fingerspitzengefühl</a>
যোগদান: 08.08.2018

Thank you very much! I really like it (although I cannot understand everything, but I will learn).

Member
<a href="/bn/translator/mercuriohirviendo" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1362835">MercurioHirviendo</a>
যোগদান: 27.11.2017

The Question: Is there something like "The Chaos" (poem) in Spanish?

My Answer: No. It simply is not possible.

First, the poem has several heteronyms, which are words that are spelled the same but sound different. An example from the poem is wind (el viento, blowing air) and wind (enrollar, rhymes with most words that end in -ind, including hind, find, kind, and bind). The poem doesn't use both, it sets up the rhyme and then writes the word "wind" and it is "the less common one", but you needed to say the version that rhymes. Oh, tear (lágrima, water in the eye) and tear (desgarrar, split paper by tearing it) shows up right at the beginning, and both forms do appear. That uses context to show which pronunciation is correct, which is heinous.

Spanish has literally zero heteronyms.

Second, and the larger problem (in my opinion), the poem hinges on the fact that English has at least 12 contrastive vowel sounds (Spanish only has 5), and there are far more than 12 ways to spell them, and there is no way to know the correct vowel sound prima facie. You need to ask, or look it up.

The huge diversity of ways to spell the vowel sounds is in part due to the Great Vowel Shift, which occurred mostly after the spelling of all English words was established and then never fixed. The poem uses this a lot, for instance "heart, beard, and heard" from near the beginning. Those are three simple vowels (monophthongs), and they are all different. A homophone of heard is herd. If you put the vowel sound from heart into the word heard (with a D sounds, not a T sound), then the result is hard, a different word. If you put the vowel sound from heard into heart (the reverse of what we just did), the result is hurt, also yet a different word. Let's try it with the vowel sound from beard. Well, heard turns into heared, which is incorrect, it could have been correct, but the verb to hear is irregular. Heart turns into a total nonsense word, I would spell it hiert or heert, it is not a word. Let's try beard: With the heart vowel, it becomes bard, which is a valid word, like William Shakespeare was a bard. With the heard vowel sound it becomes bird, which is also a word. Almost all permutations were valid words, the only two that weren't valid are heared (which makes sense, but it is incorrect) and hiert (total nonsense).

This shows up at least a dozen more times.

English also has a lot more homophones, and the diversity of ways to spell the same sounds is enormous. For instance, cot and caught may or may not be perfect homophones, depending on your dialect. I have a partial cot-caught merger, so cot and caught are homophones, but bought and cog have different vowel sounds. For me.  So caught and bought do not rhyme for me. Honestly, I think cot and caught may only rhyme for me because the minimal pairs with these two vowels usually involve at least one very rare word, in that case cot, which I probably didn't "learn as a child". I knew the word, but I probably heard it on TV and read it in books far more often than I said it. Some of the people on TV pronounce it "like caught", so I do too. But as a child, before I could read or was allowed to watch much TV, I caught a lot of insects and I bought a lot of candy. Speaking out loud. I definitely know what those words sound like. Bot, like robot, and cot, are less common words. I'm not even sure whether bot and bought are "not supposed to rhyme" for some people.

English has gems like this set of words: Though, through, thorough, thought, throughout, and trough. Usually trough is omitted, but it really completes the set. That switches between voiced and unvoided TH sounds. The unvoiced sound is at the beginning of thesis. The voiced sound is at the beginning of these. The unvoiced sound is at the beginning of the plural of thesis, which is theses. Oh man. That set (though, through, thought, etc.) also changes the vowel sound heavily, and the sound made by the GH ranges from silent (in though) to F (in trough), and it can also sound like P (in hiccough, new spelling hiccup, neither one gets a red underline from my spell checker).

Then English has the straight-up crazy words, here are a few, in my opinion, along with the best understanding of why they are crazy:

One and won are homophones. The spelling of one is heinous. This is probably an immortalized bad decision from about 1350, when the printing press arrived in England, and a rare regional pronunciation of one was actually used that lacked a W sound at the beginning and had a "long vowel", although vowel length from Middle English has nothing to do with vowel length in Modern English, and vowel length is not contrastive in American English anymore. It is arguably not contrastive in British English, either.

Colonel and kernel are homophones. This is because the English word colonel is accidentally based on two different words, one Spanish and one French, but they were indeed similar ranks. One is cognate with column and has an L sound. The other is cognate with corona (as in crown) and has an R sound. The pronunciation uses the R sound, the spelling uses the L letter. The second O should not be there, but it existed in both French and Spanish. The second O in English is just a lie, it is not a vowel.

Chaos is simply Greek. That's the whole story for that spelling and pronunciation.

Choir is doublet with chorus, meaning they come from the same Latin word. The Latin word is chorus and it means "chorus" or "choir". The spelling of choir in English was changed rather late, and for bad reasons. The word choir was spelled with a QU at the start of the word for hundreds of years, which does reflect the sound at the beginning. The spellings quer and quier are attested. QU itself makes a KW sound for some reason. Only sometimes. Not in the word queue which is homophone with cue, although they have different meaning.

French has so many homophones that you can do pretty good stuff with French.

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