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What's the most difficult language to lea

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Poll Question: What's the most difficult language to learn?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
9 [19.15%]
25 [53.19%]
8 [17.02%]
2 [4.26%]
3 [6.38%]
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: What's the most difficult language to lea
    Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 19:02
Ok, sorry for not being able to bring a lot of option... but I only have 5 options. You could mention other languages by posting on the forum....   

Edited by pekau - 08-Jan-2007 at 23:13
     
   
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 19:06
I'd have voted 'Other'. I have heard that English is exceptionally hard, but I wouldn't know because it's my first language. Russian is meant to be fairly difficult. I suppose though that Chinese, Arabic or Korean - or any language which uses a different number and letter system than English would be a challenge for me. German, French, Spanish.etc are easier for English speakers to learn. 
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 19:10
Yeah, I am Korean... and the grammar order and verb is quite confusing... (Though I am improving, according to others) I am taking French, and it's ok... but this masculine and feminine is so confusing!!! My teacher told me that there's no rule to determine whether the word's masculine or feminine... is that true?
     
   
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 19:19
Yes that's pretty much true, except once it is in context or conjugated. I find the whole masculine/feminine thing illogical. I mean come on, rocks, rivers and everything inanimate has no gender. It's silly with say a cat (le chat - masculine), but there's female cats too! Tongue
I've found the easiest language to learn as an English speaker is definatly German, and the hardest of those that I've learnt - Mandarin
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 19:33
I hoped to take German as well, but my school only offers French or Spanish.
     
   
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 19:36
Is Latin meant to be a hard language to learn? Apparently one of the only ways you can learn it is through repetition. Has anyone learnt or knows Latin?
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  Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 19:52
Latin just like any language that you will learn is simply a matter of how much you put into it. Since it is not really a spoken language anymore it requires more repetition than some languages. I did two years of college latin in one year and am currently taking a third year. No language is meant to be difficult to learn. If you think about it though the way we speak about English is based on Latin grammar.
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 20:06
Originally posted by Knights

Is Latin meant to be a hard language to learn? Apparently one of the only ways you can learn it is through repetition. Has anyone learnt or knows Latin?
 
I took Latin in high school and continued to take translation courses all through undergraduate school.  When it came time for me to learn Greek my junior year of undergrad, it was a lot easier based on my knowledge of Latin grammar.  There were others in my beginning ancient Greek courses that had taken no foreign language or some French or Spanish and they were having an awful time with the grammatical structures.
 
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  Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 20:15
What I found in Latin was the ability to think about a language. That is when I learned latin my command of English grammar improved as did my ability to learn other languages because I had acquired a way to think about the languages I was learning.

    latin is probably one of the most useful languages to have a knowledge of for the reason stated above.

Edited by King John - 06-Jan-2007 at 20:16
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 22:18
Well, it depends from which mother language one comes from. Mine is Spanish so I can understand most of what is written in Latin. Besides, when I saw "The Passion" of Gibson, and I listened those Romans speaking latin, I could follow them without much effort :)
 
For me, the easiest languages are Portuguese, Italian and French in that order. English is the non-Latin language more easy to learn. All the rest are a lot more difficult but European languages like German and Russian seem relatively accessible for me.
 
Non-European languages are another matter. Korean, Egyptian and Arabic, together with Polynesian and Native American languages, seem to me in a similar level of difficulty, which is to learn a language which has an alphabet, and that is not in anyway related with the Indo-European languages.
 
Worst of all is Chinese, because is a tonal language, it is written with ideograms, and has no point in contact at all with western culture.
 
Pinguin
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 22:29
Originally posted by pekau

Yeah, I am Korean... and the grammar order and verb is quite confusing... (Though I am improving, according to others) I am taking French, and it's ok... but this masculine and feminine is so confusing!!! My teacher told me that there's no rule to determine whether the word's masculine or feminine... is that true?
 
Originally posted by Knights

Yes that's pretty much true, except once it is in context or conjugated. I find the whole masculine/feminine thing illogical. I mean come on, rocks, rivers and everything inanimate has no gender. It's silly with say a cat (le chat - masculine), but there's female cats too! Tongue
..
 
Well, the male/female thing is not very logical but, at least in Spanish, the rule is simple. If an object ends in "a" is female, but if ends in "o" is male. Yes, there are exceptions, but with that almost all the cases are covered. The male/female distinction in objects got nothing to do with sexuality at all. Nobody would believe a rock is sexy LOL 
 
That way, the door (La Puerta) is female and a shoe (El Zapato) is male. Quite simple for us, but I agree, it is not very logical. But impossible to change after thousand of years making the same mistake. Remember that the male/female thing is common to all Romance languages.
 
I guess, no language is free of illogical things, but those problems are only discovered by foreigners. People that speak the language from childhood simply don't see the problem.
 
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 22:42
Originally posted by pinguin

 
Well, the male/female thing is not very logical but, at least in Spanish, the rule is simple. If an object ends in "a" is female, but if ends in "o" is male. Yes, there are exceptions, but with that almost all the cases are covered. The male/female distinction in objects got nothing to do with sexuality at all. Nobody would believe a rock is sexy LOL 
 
That way, the door (La Puerta) is female and a shoe (El Zapato) is male. Quite simple for us, but I agree, it is not very logical. But impossible to change after thousand of years making the same mistake. Remember that the male/female thing is common to all Romance languages.
 
I guess, no language is free of illogical things, but those problems are only discovered by foreigners. People that speak the language from childhood simply don't see the problem.
 
Pinguin


Great Post Clap
Yeh in French you can determine the gender of a word by the ending in a lot of cases .eg. blanc (m) blanche (f) But the Spanish idea looks easier. I have not studied the other Romantic languages before but I would imagine they are similar.
Your last paragraph is very true. I see all the things others point out as exceptions, problems and plain crazy things within English as normal lingo.
Oh. About the rocks. You never know...some people Tongue

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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 22:45
Originally posted by King John

What I found in Latin was the ability to think about a language. That is when I learned latin my command of English grammar improved as did my ability to learn other languages because I had acquired a way to think about the languages I was learning.

    latin is probably one of the most useful languages to have a knowledge of for the reason stated above.


Definatly, a lot of Western Linguistics originates from it. I love Latin as a language despite its almost non-existence as a primary language, it is a beautiful language that has influenced the world monumentally.
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2007 at 08:51
Egyptian?!! Do you mean ancient Egyptian language?
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  Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2007 at 10:26
Irish (Gaeilge) is difficult for me. I can speak a little bit but I am far from reading or writing anything...
The sharpest spoon in the drawer.
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  Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2007 at 10:33
i think english and many of the other languages that uses latin alphabets are easy to learn, arabic is difficult compared to english, but for me i guess the chinese/japanese/korian/thai/indians are difficult to learn. but then i wont know till i at least try to learn them.
:D:
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  Quote Dan Carkner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2007 at 12:23
I think languages with an alphabet would be easier to learn than ones like Chinese or Japanese.  (For someone who grew up with alphabets I mean.)
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  Quote The_Jackal_God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2007 at 22:23
non certus lingua anglorum super grammaticum latinae constricta.

just trying that for fun. anyways, i recently heard that french is germans speaking latin. this is all in response to the claim that english grammar is based on latin.

while many things we share in common, that has rather to do with the common antecedant of indo-european. english grammar derives, rather, from germanic (germanic, not german).

a simple example explaining:

it's me. (demonstrative + 3rd person + accusative)
c'est moi. (" " + " " + " ")
[insert german, i know it follows this pattern, but don't know the specific wording]

soy yo. (1st person + nominative)
sono io, etc

on difficulty of languages

amharic (ethiopian) is ridiculously difficult. in their script, every letter has 7 variations, depending on which vowels it is connected to. i.e. ha, hee, hay, ho, hu, heh, and h-. 7 x 29 = too many letters. i am sketchy on the grammar, but i believe verbs have genders while nouns and adjectives do not.

so

dehna neh?  - how are you (lit. are you well/esta' bien/va bene?) [to a male]

and dehna nesh? [same, to a female]

also, i found the Korean alphabet to be relatively simple, and perhaps the easier of the oriental languages.

vietnamese is also very difficult because the emphasis tone plays in conveying various meanings for the same sound.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2007 at 10:18
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

Egyptian?!! Do you mean ancient Egyptian language?
 
I don't know if that's what he mean, but Coptic language is still in use by the Egyptian Coptic Church. And that's the language of ancient Egyptians.
 
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2007 at 14:33
Chinese would be the most difficult, for reaons already mentioned.
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