Languages I find hard or easy

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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby Delodephius » Sun 24 Jan 2010 2:35 am

We have [h] and [ɦ]. It kinda makes it easier to figure out how to pronounce aspirates and learn them more easily.
- Latina Ἑλληνική संस्कृतम् पाळि עִבְרִית پارسيک الفصحى 文言 Norrœnt
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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby Remd » Tue 26 Jan 2010 7:15 pm

I completely agree with Delodephius, when I studied Linguistics during the first year of my degree, I learnt that the most accepted theory is that a language is easy or difficult depending on how close it is to the languages we already know. However, at least in my case, grammar is one of the aspects which could affect the process of learning, but lexicon is more important. I mean, if I learn a language with a romance-like grammar, I might be able to produce sentences easily, but if the vocabulary is very different I'll have to study a lot to be able to describe complex situations. So I don't think Slavic languages help too much with Sanskrit anyway, but I guess it means Delodephius has a better memory than I do, which is provable because mine is terrible =_=.
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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby formiko » Thu 28 Jan 2010 11:36 am

Remd wrote: but if the vocabulary is very different I'll have to study a lot to be able to describe complex situations.

That was my problem with both Indonesian and Persian. I learned Indonesian grammar in about an hour (the same with Persian..it's surreptitiously easy :roll: ), however, the vocabulary was so foreign, that was my problem.
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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby Delodephius » Thu 04 Feb 2010 10:07 pm

I'm bit getting tired of Anglocentrism on this forum. Every language is judged through the prism of the English language. Sure most members here are from the Anglosphere (mostly USA), but it still doesn't make it right to talk about other languages as if they were animals in the Zoo.

This Anglocentrism is also quite visible in other discussions. For example, unlike on forums here in East Europe (regardless of language), a certain level of Political Correctness has to be practised. It is hard for me to express myself adequately sometimes since I have the feeling I have to talk about a certain subject in "cotton gloves", and it makes me uncomfortable. It would be interesting to see how members of other cultures feel or think about the cyberspace, which is suppose to be about connecting people, being dominated by a culture which does not tolerate theirs. My concern is why do we have to make a compromise while others don't?

Returning to the first paragraph, when talking about my native language I want people to have respect for it like they do for their native language(s). Coming from a very nationalistic part of the world, even with my best efforts, it does not make me fell uninsulated when people talk about my native or other close languages as freak-shows.
- Latina Ἑλληνική संस्कृतम् पाळि עִבְרִית پارسيک الفصحى 文言 Norrœnt
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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby Talib » Thu 04 Feb 2010 10:18 pm

I can't speak for the other members of this forum but I personally like several other languages far more than my own, including all the ones listed in my signature (except for Portuguese, which I like precisely because it sounds awful to me, and Japanese which is great except for the many mangled English loanwords).

Long story short, English is nothing special to me. If it weren't so useful I wouldn't be in favour of teaching it to anyone.
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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby dtp883 » Fri 05 Feb 2010 1:28 am

Delodephius wrote:I'm bit getting tired of Anglocentrism on this forum. Every language is judged through the prism of the English language. Sure most members here are from the Anglosphere (mostly USA), but it still doesn't make it right to talk about other languages as if they were animals in the Zoo.

I'm not sure I've seen any of that. If you're referring to the posts in this specific forum, as you and Remd stated, the difficulty of a particular language depends on your native tongue. Because most of us are native English speakers we are simply stating our opinions on how difficult a language is from an English point of view.

This Anglocentrism is also quite visible in other discussions. For example, unlike on forums here in East Europe (regardless of language), a certain level of Political Correctness has to be practised. It is hard for me to express myself adequately sometimes since I have the feeling I have to talk about a certain subject in "cotton gloves", and it makes me uncomfortable.

Wouldn't talking about certain subjects with "cotton gloves" be the same as holding up a level of PC?
It would be interesting to see how members of other cultures feel or think about the cyberspace, which is suppose to be about connecting people, being dominated by a culture which does not tolerate theirs. My concern is why do we have to make a compromise while others don't?

This comment is a little absurd. I assume you are referring to the Anglosphere as the dominating culture, which I'll give you, but what do you mean isn't tolerant. Sure there are some people that are intolerant, but the current trend in the Anglosphere is that intolerance is bad. And more specifically on this forum, no one has actively been intolerant to any other culture. Also, since the Internet was born in America it only makes sense that the dominant culture on it would be American and in English and the people who use it would compromise to that. Even then there are HUGE co-dominant internet cultures in Asia. And then there are places like this forum that embrace cultures and more specifically their languages.

Returning to the first paragraph, when talking about my native language I want people to have respect for it like they do for their native language(s). Coming from a very nationalistic part of the world, even with my best efforts, it does not make me fell uninsulated when people talk about my native or other close languages as freak-shows.

When has anyone on here talked of any other language as a freak-show?
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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby Abugida » Thu 11 Nov 2010 8:15 am

I think that Mandarin grammar is pretty easy for English speakers...but then again, I night be biased, as I am a L1 speaker!

Basque is sooo hard for me on so many levels...grammar, vocabulary, discourse.

(I'm a L1 speaker of American English and Mandarin Chinese...and I used to speak Wu Chinese but have forgotten almost all of it :( )
Ez naiz euskalduna, baina euskaraz dakit.

Thaana is awesome, no doubt about it.
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Re: Languages I find hard or easy

Postby Delodephius » Thu 11 Nov 2010 12:23 pm

Wouldn't talking about certain subjects with "cotton gloves" be the same as holding up a level of PC?

Yes, that is what I'm saying. Unlike in my part of the world, on this forum there needs to be some PC.

This comment is a little absurd. I assume you are referring to the Anglosphere as the dominating culture, which I'll give you, but what do you mean isn't tolerant.

Well, am I allowed to swear and curse on this forum? I suppose not. Swearing and cursing is part of my culture, it is so extensive and deep-layered that many curses cannot be translated into English. I have since childhood been taught to express certain thoughts and emotions through curses. However, in the Anglosphere curses are seen as vulgar and prohibited in for example certain media. But where I live even the most sophisticated and most brilliant people swear and curse, even in public. So, should I ask for a special privilege to be able to swear here?

My point is that certain practices are not tolerated. Let's say hypothetically that a person from some cannibalistic society joins this forum. Would he be allowed to discuss about how he prepared a roast from his neighbour? :P
From the top of my head that is all I can think of right now. There are plenty more I'm sure.
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