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Most difficult IE Language?

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Merv
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United States
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 Message 57 of 69
30 June 2010 at 2:29pm | IP Logged 
Captain Haddock wrote:
Quote:
Either because he or she never manages to learn it, or because of the utter
depression that follows when the
foreigner realizes how primitive his or her own mother tongue is.


Ancient Greek seems to have this effect as well.


I will say that despite my Slavic language background, I found ancient Greek to be a viciously difficult language,
especially if you try to treat the accent as a proper pitch accent rather than a stress accent. I would assume that for
an analytic language background (e.g English only), it would be even harder. The lack of stress predictability
(similar problem seen in Russian), and the insane amount of inflection (of articles, for example, along the lines of
number, case, and gender), are what I found to be the hardest.
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chucknorrisman
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 Message 58 of 69
30 June 2010 at 3:56pm | IP Logged 
How do Russian and Slovene compare to Czech and Polish in terms of complexity? Czech and Polish have fixed stress while Russian and Slovene don't, but I don't know much more about the differences.

Edited by chucknorrisman on 30 June 2010 at 3:57pm

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trance0
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Slovenia
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 Message 59 of 69
01 July 2010 at 2:36pm | IP Logged 
Slovene is probably somewhat easier than Polish and maybe also Russian. While it has mobile stress, which makes it similar to Russian in this respect, it also has generally easier orthography (and pronunciation) than Russian, Polish and Czech. As for morphology, Slovene is generally simpler than Russian, Polish and Czech. In comparrison with Russian there are fewer verb conjugations and in comparrison with Czech and Polish there are fewer declension paradigms and one less case. However, Slovene still uses dual number with all flexible word classes, but this usually poses problems only for beginner learners.
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chucknorrisman
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 Message 60 of 69
01 July 2010 at 10:20pm | IP Logged 
trance0 wrote:
Slovene is probably somewhat easier than Polish and maybe also Russian. While it has mobile stress, which makes it similar to Russian in this respect, it also has generally easier orthography (and pronunciation) than Russian, Polish and Czech. As for morphology, Slovene is generally simpler than Russian, Polish and Czech. In comparrison with Russian there are fewer verb conjugations and in comparrison with Czech and Polish there are fewer declension paradigms and one less case. However, Slovene still uses dual number with all flexible word classes, but this usually poses problems only for beginner learners.

Thank you for the answer.

Just got one more quick question about Slovene: in this language, are the perfective verbs used as future tenses as well like in Russian, or are they different? I've heard that they were used quite differently, but I want to check.
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trance0
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Slovenia
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 Message 61 of 69
02 July 2010 at 3:14pm | IP Logged 
Old Slavic bǫdǫ originally was the perfective pair to "byti" in present tense, and as at this stage present tense of perfective verbs was future tense (as is still the case in West and East Slavic while the South Slavic situation is different).

In Slovene future is formed with forms of "bǫdǫ" (in Slovene it is 'bom' in 1st sg.) plus participle, thus "bom delal" etc., and future is formed like that with both perfective and imperfective verbs (as opposed to Russian where only imperfective verbs form future like that while perfective verbs present tense are future).
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cordelia0507
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 Message 62 of 69
03 July 2010 at 4:15pm | IP Logged 
Well, this depends on where you are from, doesn't it?

For example Czech is not so hard for Polish person as per another thread, but it's probably very challenging for a native English speaker.

Whereas speakers of Slavic languages have the devils time with something that is completely natural to most of us here: definite article and when to use it..

People in some areas have serious difficulties prounouncing sounds of other languages, and getting used to different letters than what they are used to.

This is a very relative question. You would have to have a starting point, like:

What is the most difficult Indo European language for a monolingual native English speaker?

Then I'd say it's got to be a Slavic one, or Finnish, Hungarian any Baltic, Greek, Welsh or Basque.
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tractor
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 Message 63 of 69
03 July 2010 at 9:23pm | IP Logged 
cordelia0507 wrote:
What is the most difficult Indo European language for a monolingual native English speaker?

Then I'd say it's got to be a Slavic one, or Finnish, Hungarian any Baltic, Greek, Welsh or Basque.

Except that Finnish, Hungarian and Basque aren't Indo European.
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feanarosurion
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Canada
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 Message 64 of 69
05 July 2010 at 1:55am | IP Logged 
If you throw Finnish, Hungarian, or Basque into the equation, you're dealing with something entirely different. But for a native English speaker, I think the "European" side would be easier than the "Indo" side. They might have been connected thousands of years ago but now the resemblance isn't visible on the surface. I don't know about the distinct grammatical differences, but it seems to me that a European language would be easier to deal with for an English speaker.


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