'Dem Chinkies are smarter!


The left temporal lobe of the brain is active when English speakers hear the language but Mandarin speakers use the left and right lobe, which is normally used to process melody in music and speech.

I am pretty sure many of my fellow Birminghamians do not even use the left temporal lobe when speaking.

Dirt - You are a chink yourself, IIRC. So your thread title is not offensive, right? :wink:

Wouldn’t you expect this to hold for all tonal languages? And you’d assume the form of communication with the lowest transaction costs would be the most useful…

Well given that your posts tend to create a very high “transaction cost” in innefective replies from more reasonble posters, I’d say that demonstrates that your posts aren’t very useful.



i’m sure the same excellent research team of unracist objective saints have another study about how blacks are more sexually proficient or some latin word for the same thing.

Funny how all this assumes much about the supremacy of the US dollar…my how the mighty have fallen in the recent past eh? (British empire)[ul]what i’m more worried about is racist science out of China saying how the Chinese are more immune to radiactive fallout than the Americans[/ul]

This is actually a pet hobby of mine - trying to decide which form of language is superior. There’s no doubt that alphabetic languages are simpler to learn, but tonals that have to make use of a myriad of characters train the brain in memory and more complicated thinking.

A fair analogy might be the comparison to Roman numerals. There’s no doubt that the use of Roman numerals exercises your brain more, but in the end we ended up using Arabic numbers. Of course, a number system can be easily replaced, it isn’t tied to language. There isn’t a convenient way of alphabetizing Catonese or Mandarin.

I’m not sure Roman numerals are an apt analogy (they were used only when the total was known, and were useless for doing math), but I know what you are getting at.

But the tonal/alphabet division is a false dicotomy. English isn’t tonal, but it is only alphabetic because we choose to make it so. Phonetic is the proper opposite of tonal. Korean is now written in a phonetic system, despite its historical roots with Chinese. The way one writes a system is not the same as the way one speaks it. Just look at how we write English words, for heaven’s sake.

This study was about speaking the language, not writing it.


Korean as it is spoken now has changed considerably from even a century ago. It’s as different from the various Chinese dialects as Japanese is. Heck, Japanese isn’t tonal.

Intonation is important in Mandarin because it gives different meanings to the same word. The word “ma” for example can mean mother, scold, horse or hemp, depending on the tone

oh wow, the scientists should study cantonese then… cause in mandarin there are only 4 intonations whereas cantonese has 9… :twisted:

i actually like English best because it’s derived from so many language it’s polyglot - that meaning it’s basic structure has evolved through trial and error in the most darwinian of fashions…so yeah, i trust the English letters to be more “advanced” than the rest.

call me racist. g (probalby just call me a mongrel tho. lol)

Mandarin is a crafted language of the elite. It was created by (you guessed it) the Mandarins of China so that no one would be able to understand them when they talked.

There are two kinds of people: those that understand the meaning of 10 and those that don’t…

uhm…tell you the brutal truth, a base 8 system has appealed to me more on a visceral level (and intuitive) than the decimal system i’ve grown up on…call me hoaky. shrug