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Easiest "difficult" language?

  Tags: Difficulty
 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
35 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 35  Next >>
Suzumiya
Diglot
Groupie
VenezuelaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3250 days ago

43 posts - 64 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, English
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 25 of 35
11 January 2017 at 2:58am | IP Logged 
German has a reputation for being ''hard''. I'm sure you've heard of the phrase ''Life is too short to learn German''. What scares many English speakers is the many unfamiliar words as well as the apparent difficult sounds German has. German is a lot easier than people think. The only problem you have to deal with is the randomness of the plural form and the gender of many words. The grammar itself isn't really hard, pronunciation isn't, either, but, do us a favor and try your best to get the German R right; German pronounced with the English R is sacrilege xD. The German syntax can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but you'll get used to it pretty soon. One of the usual complaints about German is its cases. I fail to see how German cases can be hard, they're a total joke. You only decline the articles (and adjectives with copy & paste patterns) and add a lousy N to the dative plural of nouns. Some nouns belong to the so called N-Deklination, so you have to keep an eye on very few nouns. If anyone complaints about German cases, kindly let them know of the existence of Latin, Greek, Icelandic, Russian (or any Slavic language but Bulgarian and Macedonian), Hungarian, Basque, etc.

Russian too has a reputation for being hard, it's a lot easier to learn than people think. Polish, on the other hand, is indeed hard for an English speaker.

Edited by Suzumiya on 11 January 2017 at 2:59am

1 person has voted this message useful



Derian
Triglot
Senior Member
PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3665 days ago

227 posts - 464 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, English, German
Studies: Spanish, Croatian, Czech, French, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 26 of 35
11 February 2017 at 5:35pm | IP Logged 
For me, it's Mandarin.
Once you realize - as a European - that you've been using tones all of your life, but just differently, then these become very easy to absorb. And then there's nothing hard left about the language. The simplistic grammar makes it very friendly to learn.

I started my Asian journey with Japanese, thinking it would be the easiest (Asian language) because of the lack of tones, while being afraid of Chinese for the same reason. But boy was I wrong. Japanese turned out to be as difficult as advertised.

One thing that I might underestimate the significance of is that my native Polish happens to have all the sounds there are in Mandarin, so that Mandarin pronunciation is literally a non-existing problem.

Suzumiya wrote:
German has a reputation for being ''hard''. I'm sure you've heard of the phrase ''Life is too short to learn German''. What scares many English speakers is the many unfamiliar words as well as the apparent difficult sounds German has.

I'm sure the only English speakers who complain at German having many unfamiliar words or difficult sounds are those who have never tackled any other language [beyond the Germanic/Romance safety zone for anglophones].
2 persons have voted this message useful



rinnymcphee
Pentaglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 1890 days ago

1 posts - 1 votes
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, Mandarin, Croatian, Serbian
Studies: Toki Pona, German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 27 of 35
02 March 2017 at 1:40pm | IP Logged 
Derian wrote:
For me, it's Mandarin.
Once you realize - as a European - that you've been using tones all of your life, but
just differently, then these become very easy to absorb. And then there's nothing hard
left about the language. The simplistic grammar makes it very friendly to learn.


I totally agree with you on this one. I had built up Mandarin to be the impossible
language to learn and it really isn't. Like you say, once the tones are realised to be
nothing alien, you can soon get to grips with the grammar.
1 person has voted this message useful



Zé do Rock
Newbie
Brazil
zedorock.net
Joined 697 days ago

4 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: English

 
 Message 28 of 35
10 July 2018 at 11:35am | IP Logged 
Hi, i'm new here. I'll write my messages in two blocks, the first one in the 5
languages i know, going gradually through spelling reforms, or alternately in the 5
languages evolving to europano, a language i created - i'm thinking of changing the
name of it, i thought of europidgin but too many people dont know what it means. The
second block is written in normal English, for all the people who dont like reformed
spelling or languages being "distorted". At the beginning it will be hardly
noticeable, but later you'll see... I hope this is OK here...

Reformado:
Eu acho o alemao extremamente difícil pra falar perfeitamente, e muitos alemaes tem
problemas com ele - eu ja passei mais de 20 anos aqui e ainda fasso erros. Aber es is
am ende relativ leicht zu kommunizieren, keiner hat probleme was zu verstehen wenn
jemand den falschen artikel oder ein dativ-N or -R vergisst, viele merken es gar nich.
I wrote a book without cases and people had rarely problems with it. Evidement il y a
encore des autres problèmes, comme les 10 fassons differentes de former le pluriel,
mais aussi ici, si on ajoute simplement un E, les gens vont le comprendre
parfaitement.

La pronunciación a veces es dificil por causa de los grupos de consonantes, pero ellos
raramente son difíciles para la gente que habla inglés, y la proporcióon de vocales y
consonantes pronunciadas es la misma que del inglés americano. O alemao tem 3 sons que
sao problematicos para a maioria dos europeus, mas o inglês tem 5. Die orthografie is
nich perfekt, aber natürlich viel leichter als die englische. The vocabulary isnt
really difficult for English speakers: in a running text, 40% of the words have a
clear similarity (more than 50%), 40% at least some similarity (less than 50%), and
less than 20% of the words are completely different.

English:
I think it is extremely difficult to speak German perfectly, and even many Germans
have problems with it - i'v been living in Germany for more than 20 years and still i
make mistakes. But it is easy to communicate in it - after all, nobody has problems
understanding it if you use the wrong article or forget a case-N or a case-R in the
end of the word, most people dont even realize it. I wrote a book without cases and
people had rarely problems with it. Of course there are still other problems, like the
10 random ways to make the plural, but again, if you just add an E, people understand
it perfectly.

The pronunciation is sometimes difficult because of some consonant clusters, but they
are rarely consonant clusters English speakers would have problems with, and the
proportion of uttered vowels and consonants is the same as in american English. It has
3 sounds that ar problematic for most europeans, but English has 5. The spelling isnt
perfect, but of course much easier than English. The vocabulary isnt really difficult
for English speakers: in a running text, 40% of the words have a clear similarity, 40%
at least some similarity, and less than 20% are completely different.







1 person has voted this message useful



Zé do Rock
Newbie
Brazil
zedorock.net
Joined 697 days ago

4 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: English

 
 Message 29 of 35
10 July 2018 at 12:03pm | IP Logged 
Europano:
Le russe a un système compliqué de cas, mais les verbes en général sont faciles. El
alfabeto cirílico es fácil, puedes aprenderlo en algunas pocas horas, mismo que las
palabras sean mas dificiles de memorizar y reconocer, a no ser, claro, que vivas en
Rusia y veas las palabras diariamente. E a língua tem frequentemente palavras bem
longuinhas... Oft hat es ziemlich schräge konsonantenklumpen, aber irgendwie kriegt
man das hin. I guess the worst aspect for the lerner is the irregular stress, you neva
know where the stress is, so you dont know how to pronounce the E's and O's, which
change depending on whetha they are stressed or unstressed.

Larabe a une écriture plus difficile que la russe, et la manque de voyales ne le fait
pas plus facile. Mas la peor pra mi es la pronunciación. Mesmo a transcrissao IPA das
palavras tem um aspecto absolutamente estranho, com todas aquelas "letras" que eu
nunca vi na vid.

English:
Russian has a complicated case system, but the verbs are usually easy. The cyrillic
alphabet is easy, you can learn it in a few hours, but of course it is much more
difficult to memorize and recognize, unless, of course, you live in Russia and see the
words everyday. And it often has quite long words... It has quite often unusual
consonant clusters, but they're manageable. I guess the worst aspect for the learner
is the irregular stress, you never know where the stress is, so you dont know how to
pronounce the E's and O's, which change depending on whether they are stressed or
unstressed.

Arabic has a more difficult writing system than cyrillic, and the lack of vowels dont
make it easier. But the worst for me is the pronunciation. Even the IPA transcription
of the words looks absolutely wierd, with all those specials signs i've never seen
before.

1 person has voted this message useful



Zé do Rock
Newbie
Brazil
zedorock.net
Joined 697 days ago

4 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: English

 
 Message 30 of 35
10 July 2018 at 12:45pm | IP Logged 
Reformiert:
Das schlimmste für mich is chinesish. OK, once you can speak and read the words, it
gets quite simple, since the grammar is really simple. Mais pour arriver la-bas, il
faut apprendre a écrire et lire, et sa cest vraiment un défi. Y para mi, peor que leer
y escribir es pronunciar las palabras. Nao sao só os tons, sao os sons das letras.
Auch wenn sie die ganze zeit pinyin verwenden würden, wär es sehr schwer, da der
einzige laut, der wirklich gleich is, das F is, alle anderen sind mindestens ein
bisschen anders. When i was in China, i felt as if i was trying to lern the language
of birds or of apes.

La prononciacion vietnamienne est encore plus difficile, plus de tons que le chinois
et pour moi il sonne comme quelcun qui parle avec 3 boites de chewing-gum dans la
bouche. Pero por lo menos utilizan el alfabeto romano...

English:
The worst for me is chinese. OK, once you can speak and read the words, it gets very
simple, since the grammar is really simple. But to get there, you have to learn to
write and read, and that's quite a challenge. And for me, worse than reading and
writing is pronouncing the words. It's not only the tones, it's also the sounds. Even
if they used pinyin all the time it would be really difficult, after all i think the
only letter that has really the same pronunciation is F, all the others are at least a
bit different. When i was in China, i felt as if i was trying to learn the language of
birds or of apes.

Vietnamese pronunciation is still harder, more tones than chinese and to me it sounds
like somebody who's speaking with 3 paks of chewing gum in their mouth. But at least
they use the roman alphabet...

1 person has voted this message useful



Monox D. I-Fly
Senior Member
Indonesia
monoxdifly.iopc.us
Joined 3492 days ago

753 posts - 664 votes 
Speaks: Indonesian*

 
 Message 31 of 35
10 July 2018 at 3:49pm | IP Logged 
Zé do Rock wrote:

Arabic has a more difficult writing system than cyrillic, and the lack of vowels dont
make it easier. But the worst for me is the pronunciation. Even the IPA transcription
of the words looks absolutely wierd, with all those specials signs i've never seen
before.


Ironically, I find Cyrillic more difficult than Arabic exactly because it's too similar with Latin thus my brain automatically reads Cyrillic as Latin associating with the most similar-shaped letter in Latin despite the sound is completely different. On the other hand, though, I agree with the pronunciation part.
1 person has voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2409 days ago

499 posts - 1079 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 32 of 35
11 July 2018 at 1:27pm | IP Logged 
Welcome!
Zé do Rock, welcome to the How-To-Learn-Any-Language (HTLAL) language forum! In consulting any of the sub-forums, you will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that this website contains a vast archive of discussion threads touching upon issues of interest to independent language-learners. Nevertheless, as you progress through the files, you will also notice that the posting dates clearly suggest a much reduced level of activity over the past few years. What happened, did everyone suddenly lose interest in the subject? Well, no …

Historically Low Level of Activity
The HTLAL is, technologically speaking, a rather old platform that is difficult to maintain. The recurring technical problems, along with a number of other issues, resulted in the agonizing decision to (effectively) abandon the HTLAL as an active discussion board and to replace it with one for which the technical maintenance is significantly easier. The newer, replacement board was launched circa July, 2015. Since that time, most of the more active members of the HTLAL have registered on the newer discussion board and they now only rarely visit this board. This explains the lower level activity here. The HTLAL continues to serve as a highly-appreciated archive of past discussions; however, a quick review of the posting dates reveals that the level of activity has declined to an historically low level.

Replacement Discussion Board
Zé do Rock, should you, or any of the longer-term members of the HTLAL who have recently posted on this board, wish to communicate with a wider group of more active language-learning enthusiasts, I suggest that you register on the REPLACEMENT language forum. Here is the LINK:

A Language Learners' Forum (LLORG)

Kind regards,
Speakeasy


2 persons have voted this message useful



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