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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 T. Ape Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: What's the most difficult language to lea
    Posted: 27-Mar-2007 at 20:20
As a side note, Egyptian is nothing more than a dialect of Arabic.
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  Quote Tangriberdi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2007 at 21:23
Turkic languages may be among the most difficult ones for European learners.
Because They are agglutinative languages. They only have suffixes and these suffixes define the tenses, relations an d all other grammatical issues.
 
For example.If you want to ask: Are you one of those who we could not Anglicized in Turkish( the most widespread Turkic language), the approxiamte sentence turns to be only one word and it is so:
İngliz+les+tir+e+me+di+k+ler+i+miz+den+mi+siniz?
Ingiliz: English
-leş: To become
-tir:to make , to cause, to lead to
-e: can, be able
-me: not
di: past making suffix
-k: we
-ler. plural suffix
-i : a kind of linker
-miz: we, ours
-den from
-mi: question suffix
siniz: be form for you
 
Ingilizlestiremediklerimizden misiniz?
 
Meaning:
Are you one of those who we could not Anglicized?
 
İngliz+leş+tir+e+me+di+k+ler+i+miz+den+mi+siniz?
Word by word translation:
 
English become make could  we those of us from are you
 
Or more meaning fully :
Are you of those we could not make become English?
 
Oh my God How could I teach Turkish to an Englishman if I were a Language teacher. God forbid. It is horrible.
,
As a Turk for me it is easy but surely Turkish will be a nightmare for a westerner.
 
I think only those who are obsessed with mathematics or other numerical sciences  would take pleasure from learning Turkish. Because Turkish is a science on its own.
There is not so many bookworms in the world.
 
 
 


Edited by Tangriberdi - 27-Mar-2007 at 21:28
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  Quote barbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Apr-2007 at 12:32
I just can't believe Chinese has got 16 votes. Chinese actually is very easy language (except pronounciation and the writing). The grammatical structure is very simple. When I speak Chinese on the phone no one can guess that I'm not a native speaker (I went to Uyghur school). We used to have a Chinese teacher who majored in Uyghur language, live in Uyghur region more than thirty years, and only teached Uyghur students, and you can tell very quickly that he is a non native speaker, due to the grammatical mistakes he makes, when he speaks Uyghur Turkish.  
 
Turkic language is the most difficult language among the languages I know. A single verb can have more than six thousand different forms as an Uyghur linguist told me. You can express very subtle inner feelings just by changing the verb form.  
 


Edited by barbar - 08-Apr-2007 at 12:34
Either make a history or become a history.
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  Quote DerDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Apr-2007 at 14:12
I think that languages of native American tribes, such as the language of the Navajos, are among the most difficult languages to learn. It al饖ays depends on what language you learn, since languages related to one's mother-tongue are always easy to learn.
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2007 at 17:18
Originally posted by barbar

 
Turkic language is the most difficult language among the languages I know. A single verb can have more than six thousand different forms as an Uyghur linguist told me. You can express very subtle inner feelings just by changing the verb form.   
Well, in theory a Scandinavian or Germanic noun can be thousands of letters long, even though you hardly encounter that on an everyday basis. I really doubt that many forms are used.
 
As for hardest, I don't know. Of those I've tried, Finnish was the worst, the grammar was disastrous. Chinese is doable, but some sounds are really really hard. Japanese is comparably easy.
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Apr-2007 at 15:03
Originally posted by barbar

I just can't believe Chinese has got 16 votes. Chinese actually is very easy language (except pronounciation and the writing).
Hah!
 
That's why I picked it.
 
(I know hardly anything about Korean.)
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  Quote barbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 11:17
Originally posted by Styrbiorn

Originally posted by barbar

 
Turkic language is the most difficult language among the languages I know. A single verb can have more than six thousand different forms as an Uyghur linguist told me. You can express very subtle inner feelings just by changing the verb form.   
Well, in theory a Scandinavian or Germanic noun can be thousands of letters long, even though you hardly encounter that on an everyday basis. I really doubt that many forms are used.
 
As for hardest, I don't know. Of those I've tried, Finnish was the worst, the grammar was disastrous. Chinese is doable, but some sounds are really really hard. Japanese is comparably easy.
 
Well noun formation and verb formation are two different things.  I wasn't talking about theory neither. Those different forms are the ones that areactually used. Of course some are more frequenly used, some are not.
 
Another thing is that the formation of the verb isn't necessarily that long to give deep meaning.  a single syllible added after the root verb also can give very subtle meaning. Turkic language is extremely rich in suffix.
 
For example:
 
Al ---- means "to take"
 
Here I just give some imperitive forms:
 
Ale --- take it.
Alinge --- please take it.
Alsila ---- please take it (with more polite way)
Alghine --- take it (asking with sincere request and a kind of affection)
Alipbaqe --- try to take it.
alipbaqqin --- just try to take it.
alsangchu --- take it (with annoyance after several times of request)
aliwer --- take as you want.
almamsen --- don't worry to take it. (with reproach) 
...................
 
 
I can go on and on. Remember this is only the imperitive form. Wink
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  Quote mamikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 13:44
I have heard Magyar and Estonian languages are the hardest (thus the Finno-Ugric group)

8 people voted for English Confused


Edited by mamikon - 15-Apr-2007 at 13:45
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  Quote DayI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 16:28
i heard it was an extinct caucasian language which contained no vowels! And the only man who managed to learn and speak that language was a Turkish (it is in guieness world records book).
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2007 at 16:16
Originally posted by T. Ape

As a side note, Egyptian is nothing more than a dialect of Arabic.
What do you mean by 'Egyptian'?
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  Quote Killabee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2007 at 17:31
Chinese is the hardest language? Well, if you want to speak like a news broadcaster and be able to read the newspaper and novel, Yes it is very difficult since you need to learn and memorize at least 10000 characters.
 
If you only want to learn enough for daily conversation, it is relatively easy. Chinese (Mandarin) only has four tones and the grammatical structure is same as English, which is SVO.
 
I have seen many European/American who can speak Beijing Style Chinese(Mandarin) fluently as if they were born there.
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  Quote LuckyNomad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2007 at 00:07

The hardest language depends upon who you are.

For me, Japanese wasn't all that hard and Korean has been a total breeze. Korean and Japanese are actually very easy in a way because you only need one word to make a proper sentence. Also, Korean has the easiest writing system in the world. Both Japanese and Korean follow a Vowel-Consenant-vowel-consenant rule, so they flow very easily.
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  Quote Jagiello Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2007 at 07:12
Polish and bulgarian are one of the hardest european languages to learn.Besides,i also think it matters where you come from and what language group youre language is.For example-Jappanese isn't that hard for a Korean as Italian to a spanish.
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  Quote Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2007 at 17:02
Latvian, because it is small and no one wants to learn it.
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2007 at 17:27

I have heard that Vietnamese is very difficult due to both it's tonal structure and Vietnamerse being an isolate language that is not related to other nearby languages.

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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2007 at 08:03
Originally posted by barbar

Originally posted by Styrbiorn

Originally posted by barbar

 
Turkic language is the most difficult language among the languages I know. A single verb can have more than six thousand different forms as an Uyghur linguist told me. You can express very subtle inner feelings just by changing the verb form.   
Well, in theory a Scandinavian or Germanic noun can be thousands of letters long, even though you hardly encounter that on an everyday basis. I really doubt that many forms are used.
 
As for hardest, I don't know. Of those I've tried, Finnish was the worst, the grammar was disastrous. Chinese is doable, but some sounds are really really hard. Japanese is comparably easy.
 
Well noun formation and verb formation are two different things.  I wasn't talking about theory neither. Those different forms are the ones that areactually used. Of course some are more frequenly used, some are not.
 
Another thing is that the formation of the verb isn't necessarily that long to give deep meaning.  a single syllible added after the root verb also can give very subtle meaning. Turkic language is extremely rich in suffix.
 
For example:
 
Al ---- means "to take"
 
Here I just give some imperitive forms:
 
Ale --- take it.
Alinge --- please take it.
Alsila ---- please take it (with more polite way)
Alghine --- take it (asking with sincere request and a kind of affection)
Alipbaqe --- try to take it.
alipbaqqin --- just try to take it.
alsangchu --- take it (with annoyance after several times of request)
aliwer --- take as you want.
almamsen --- don't worry to take it. (with reproach) 
...................
 
 
I can go on and on. Remember this is only the imperitive form. Wink
 
 
The fact that Turkish does that with a single word is actually immaterial. For each line of your statement above you need to get the correct meaning in English a different phrase (including the intonation as part of the phrase, since changes in intonation affect meaning in English more than any other language I'm aware of except Chinese and Norwegian).
 
It's just as hard to learn all those phrases in English as it is to learn the different verb forms (which are actually just condensed phrases) in Turkish.
 
In fact, what students of English seem to have the hardest time with is (a) distinguishing between phrasal verbs[1] and (b) getting the intonation (the shifts in pitch) right.
 
On the other hand, since English has so many variants and so many 'native' speakers with different accents/dialects, natural English speakers find it easy to get the intended meaning in spite of mistakes, which in one way makes the language 'easy to learn'.
 
[1] E.g. 'come to', 'come along', 'come round', 'come over', 'come by', 'come up', 'come down', 'come in'.... all of which have meanings that have nothing to do with motion (as in 'come here')
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2007 at 10:29
 
Originally posted by mamikon

I have heard Magyar and Estonian languages are the hardest (thus the Finno-Ugric group)

8 people voted for English Confused
Maybe because even the English find it hard to speak/write correct English. It's too wasy in English to get away with incorrect English.
 
Apart from that what makes English difficult for most people is the reliance on pitch and intonation to convey meaning. (Granted it's not the only language that does that.)
 
The simple sentence "You went to Paris yesterday" depending on intonation can mean
"I thought it was someone else who went to Paris yesterday"
"You really hate Paris: why did you go there?"
"So you did go like you said you would"
"So you went even after saying you would never go"
"So you weren't already in Paris the day before yesterday?"
"I thought you were going somewhere else"
"I thought you were planning to stay here"
I thought you were going earlier (or later) than that"
and probably more things than that.
 
It's not easy for a non-native speaker to get them all right.
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  Quote barbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2007 at 07:54
Originally posted by gcle2003

   
The simple sentence "You went to Paris yesterday" depending on intonation can mean
"I thought it was someone else who went to Paris yesterday"
"You really hate Paris: why did you go there?"
"So you did go like you said you would"
"So you went even after saying you would never go"
"So you weren't already in Paris the day before yesterday?"
"I thought you were going somewhere else"
"I thought you were planning to stay here"
I thought you were going earlier (or later) than that"
and probably more things than that.
 
It's not easy for a non-native speaker to get them all right.
 
I wonder if native speakers can get them right either. It's nothing but confusion. Intonation is common to every language.  Anyway, you don't give any of those meanings when you right them down without adding other sentenses, do you?
 
 
Either make a history or become a history.
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2007 at 11:55

Originally posted by gcle2003

The simple sentence "You went to Paris yesterday" depending on intonation can mean
"I thought it was someone else who went to Paris yesterday"

"You really hate Paris: why did you go there?"

"So you did go like you said you would"

"So you went even after saying you would never go"

"So you weren't already in Paris the day before yesterday?"

"I thought you were going somewhere else"

"I thought you were planning to stay here"

I thought you were going earlier (or later) than that"

and probably more things than that.


It's not easy for a non-native speaker to get them all right.



Same as in Scandinavian then.
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2007 at 08:24
Originally posted by Styrbiorn


Originally posted by gcle2003

The simple sentence "You went to Paris yesterday" depending on intonation can mean
"I thought it was someone else who went to Paris yesterday"

"You really hate Paris: why did you go there?"

"So you did go like you said you would"

"So you went even after saying you would never go"

"So you weren't already in Paris the day before yesterday?"

"I thought you were going somewhere else"

"I thought you were planning to stay here"

I thought you were going earlier (or later) than that"

and probably more things than that.

 

It's not easy for a non-native speaker to get them all right.



Same as in Scandinavian then.
 
Similar, though the actual intonation patterns are different. I've found that the best non-native speakers at mastering English patterns are Norwegians.
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