Which is easier to learn?

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Which is easier to learn?

Postby Jayan » Sun 19 Apr 2009 7:38 pm

I was wondering. In your opinions, which is easier to learn: a language which is closely related to your L1 but beyond a dialect (e.g. L1: English L2: Danish) or a language which is structured in a completely different way (I think an example would be L1: English L2: Japanese)? I thought that, while being closely related to your L1 would give some advantages, it might be harder to adjust to the differences if every other aspect were similar. On the other hand, a totally foreign L2 would require building a whole new foundation.

What do you guys think?
Native/Fluent: English (on a good day :P)
Pursuing fluency: Dansk
Entertaining self with: 日本語
Up next: русский язык
Eventually: Gaeilge|Deutsch|Kiswahili|Suomi
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby sokuban » Sun 19 Apr 2009 9:13 pm

Well, my first language is English, and I had a lot of trouble learning French in school but I was able to learn Japanese much more easily.

While of course the way I studied both languages matters a lot, and it isn't a very good example because of that, I still think that trying to learn a language too close to one you already know is very difficult.

Imagine if you were trying to learn a different dialect or a different spelling system. It is difficult because you would keep defaulting to your original dialect/spelling system all the time.
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Svip » Sun 19 Apr 2009 9:42 pm

Okay, I have to ask one thing, Jayan, why on Earth do you want to learn Danish as your second language? Do you have family or friends there?

Because, I can assure you, Danish is not an easy language to learn. It confuses me on a daily basis. It is even a common joke in Denmark that nobody speaks Danish.
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Jayan » Sun 19 Apr 2009 9:52 pm

Svip wrote:Okay, I have to ask one thing, Jayan, why on Earth do you want to learn Danish as your second language? Do you have family or friends there?

Because, I can assure you, Danish is not an easy language to learn. It confuses me on a daily basis. It is even a common joke in Denmark that nobody speaks Danish.


hehe :lol: . Jeg lærer dansk fordi noget af min familie er i Danmark. Min mormors mor (min oldemor?) kom over fra Danmark til USA og jeg vil gerne kende den del af familien. Er dansk dit modersmål?

In case my Danish is too terrible, this is what I was trying to say.

hehe :lol: . I'm learning Danish because some of my family is in Denmark. My maternal grandmother's mother (my oldemor?) came over from Denmark to the USA, and I'd like to know that part of the family. Is Danish your mother tongue?

I've experienced some of the difficulties of Danish (especially considering I don't have a teacher...don't seem to be many Danish speakers...I wonder why ;) :P ), but the more I learn, the more I come to love the language. Maybe I'm insane, who knows...

Maybe you could help me, Svip?
Native/Fluent: English (on a good day :P)
Pursuing fluency: Dansk
Entertaining self with: 日本語
Up next: русский язык
Eventually: Gaeilge|Deutsch|Kiswahili|Suomi
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Svip » Sun 19 Apr 2009 9:58 pm

Why yes, Danish is my mother tongue. Born right here in Copenhagen.

I can help with sorts about Danish, I am already helping an Icelandic with Danish in school. Yes, they still learn Danish on Iceland. They can deny it all they want, but they are still somewhat a part of Denmark.

But I guess it's fair enough, I want to learn Estonian myself.
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Jayan » Sun 19 Apr 2009 10:01 pm

Svip wrote:Why yes, Danish is my mother tongue. Born right here in Copenhagen.

I can help with sorts about Danish, I am already helping an Icelandic with Danish in school. Yes, they still learn Danish on Iceland. They can deny it all they want, but they are still somewhat a part of Denmark.

But I guess it's fair enough, I want to learn Estonian myself.


:lol: :lol: Yeah, didn't Denmark have to force indepedence on them? Then you have the Faeroese :roll: who are convinced they can survive as an independant country :P (whatever!)

Now I'm curious, why do you want to learn Estonian?! Aside from the short stint under King Knud, I can't think of any connection between Denmark and Estonia.
Native/Fluent: English (on a good day :P)
Pursuing fluency: Dansk
Entertaining self with: 日本語
Up next: русский язык
Eventually: Gaeilge|Deutsch|Kiswahili|Suomi
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Svip » Sun 19 Apr 2009 10:09 pm

Iceland's independence was complicated of sorts, it had been under way for half a century, but it was finally during the Second World War that Denmark had to grant control of Iceland to the Allied forces to avoid Denmark being used as a German strategic location, in addition Greenland was put under a similar system, except Greenland did not at the time have any sort of leaning towards independence.

Greenland and the Faroese Islands remain a complicated issue, even in Danish politics, because Denmark is quite a wealthy nation, and we are actually supplying them with roads, tunnels, bridges and all other sorts of important stuff, that they wouldn't be able to afford on their own. Problem is, there is a growing nationalism in both countries, and people in Denmark have begun adopting three opinions on the subject.

One is of course just to stay the course, but even if that is going to work, something has got to give.

Second is to grant them independence, let them rot for all we care.

Third is to degrade their local powers, and let them become regions like other parts in Denmark. This will most likely meet a lot of local protest, and may even meet protest in Danish politics. But hey, it's all complicated. My opinion is the latter.

As for Estonian, I have met a couple of people from Estonia, and have indeed found their culture and language quite interesting, in fact, I have found Estonian more interesting than Finnish, especially considering that Finnish have become a bit of a cliché. Estonian is a lot more lax than Finnish, that and their street signs are only in Estonian, not the whole Swedish/Finnish ordeal.

What the puck!?
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Jayan » Mon 20 Apr 2009 2:41 am

I say option 2 or 3. :P Denmark has the money and the power to take it away. But really I think it's time for them (the Faeroese especially) to give it up... :roll:

That's cool. My grandparents were good friends with en Estonian family. What is the deal with all the hype about Finnish?
Native/Fluent: English (on a good day :P)
Pursuing fluency: Dansk
Entertaining self with: 日本語
Up next: русский язык
Eventually: Gaeilge|Deutsch|Kiswahili|Suomi
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Stosis » Mon 20 Apr 2009 2:50 am

I think the hype about Finnish stems from the Finnish government. My first year linguistics professor told us that back when he first got his undergraduate the popular thing to do was go to Finland and learn Finnish, all at the cost of the Finnish government (keep in mind he's over 50 now so this was quite sometime ago). I was an attempt to make the Finnish language more global in academics. I think they also gave out a lot of research grants to those who came. I don't have any direct experience with any of this of course so if you're interested you should probably do your own research.
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Re: Which is easier to learn?

Postby Hungakuluk » Tue 21 Apr 2009 3:25 pm

My L1 is Inuktitut that i learned since i was born and it is not easily learns inuktitut because there lots affixes and more irregular than regular words and make more add compounds
and lots list for one word example: "big" is -juaq-, -aluk-, -pak-, -llaluk-, -laaq-, -quq-, -quqtujuq-, -rallak- Inuit has more 20 affixes for 'big' so Inuit are so heavy agglutinative same as Kalaallisut as well

and my L2 is ASL I was 5 yrs old i learned it from skool cuz im deaf
it sometimes easy or hard but for hearing they would hard learning or understand them and my interpreter told me she has learned asl in college for 4 or 5 yrs! she said it was hard eh
Inuuhiluktaapkun taimangnitsuhilaunngitsunga
Ilaanikkun Inungniiguaqhuqpunga
Kihimngiurumavungattauq


In all ma lyf-time Ive not met one lyk dat yet
Im A Pretty Outgoing Person At Times
But I Lyk Ma Own Quiet Time Now And Den T_T
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