Latest Diablo 3 News
DiabloWiki Updates

In your opinion, what is the most difficult language to learn?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by boogyman19946, Nov 29, 2009. | Replies: 53 | Views: 2196

  1. boogyman19946

    boogyman19946 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Alright, I became curious after a while of learning the Japanese Hiragana syllabary as to which language in the world is the most difficult to learn. Of course, there is no definite answer so let's make this a poll. I'm sure at least some of you have once attempted learning another language and many of you actually speak two languages already. Here's what I'm looking for:

    State your native tongue. This is pretty important. The difficulty of learning another language depends on this quite a bit. If you are a native wielder of a Hispanic language, you might find that Russian is a hard language for you to learn. If you are an English speaker, perhaps Hungarian causes you the most trouble. On the other hand, if you are a native of German, you might find English to be extremely easy. State your primary language first and then state the language that you feel is the most difficult one to learn from your point of view. It cannot be the same as your native tongue because that is the base of your communication and you can't really say it's hard for you to learn. If it was, you'd have a hard time talking to other people in your country =]

    Ok, I will start with my own opinion =]

    My first language to learn was Polish. It was where I was raised and in the span of 10 years I got a fairly good grasp of it and have no trouble speaking, writing, or reading it. Second I have learned English when I moved out to America so I personally do not consider this language as hard to learn at all. Frankly, I am willing to say that I am far more fluent in English than I am in Polish. I am learning Spanish at school and also learning how to read Japanese at home on my own time.

    So far for me, Japanese is the most difficult language I had yet to learn. Spoken Japanese is very hard for me to understand and I am unable to speak anything near as fast and clear as I hear Japanese natives speak. The three writing style, Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, are hard for me to decipher because they are unlike anything I've seen and the sheer amount of Kanji that I still must learn to became just barely literate is overwhelming :)

    Spanish is a piece of cake and I have almost zero accent in pronunciation due to my first hand language, Polish :) The only language that I seem to accent in is English =]

    So, what are your guys' thoughts? =] Looking forwards to see which languages do you guys think would cause you the most trouble. :thumbup:
  2. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    11,335
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    474
    Klingon .

    But I'm just not a nerd.
  3. razen

    razen IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    466
    My native language is Chinese.

    Chinese is also the hardest language to learn from. The only official phonic sub-system is taught only in Taiwan (mainland China uses Romanize alphabets... how halarious is that? They need English to help them learn Chinese, and then suck at English at the same time. If this isn't irony...)

    You need to master at least 3000 words to be able to communicate effectively.

    To be perfectly frank, any languages that you can't tell how to speak them by merely looking at them (all the non-phonics based languages) are extremely hard to learn. Chinese just happen to be the most popular example.
  4. boogyman19946

    boogyman19946 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    166
    I hear there are two "versions" of the Chinese language, the Traditional and the Simplified. If figure the Chinese mainland uses the "Romaji" (borrowed from Nihongo :D) to express the language whereas Taiwan uses the actual Chinese writing. That is interesting. Does the Chinese language have syllabaries like Japanese? Or is it straight words without any way to sound it out.


  5. razen

    razen IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    466
    Well, both simplied and traditional are basically the same system of unique characters. We do not have sllabaries like Japanese... each character is it's own sound.

    However, you can roughly break down all the Chinese characters into roughly ~300 sounds from combination of 36 sound characters (this is pin-yin, the only official phonics subsystem ever created for Chinese, and only taught in Taiwan.) Pin-yin acts like the Japanese Hiragana or Katagana system. But educated people don't write them (for they are merely support for younger children on pronounciation)


  6. Leopold Stotch

    Leopold Stotch IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    13,446
    Likes Received:
    111
    Trophy Points:
    475
    English is my first language.

    i took my first foreign language class when i was 12. the majority of it was Spanish, but i think the last three weeks or whatev we learned French. pretty much the only reason i signed up for that class. took French in high school and it was pretty easy. not trying to sound arrogant, but i think my accent is ok, if not good, for the most part. i wanted to take German, but my old high school is dumb and didn't have the class. i would like to take it while in college. was told by an English speaking friend who speaks fluent German it shouldn't be THAT hard for me. we'll see.

    Spanish is a bit difficult for me (i have failed my ancestors! :p) bcuz i am so used to the French "r" and not the Spanish. so, if i try to speak some Spanish, not only will i want to speak French, but i will pronounce some Spanish words with a French accent. :\ tried a few phrases in Romanian. that was a bit tough, hehe!! :) :D
  7. Kaysaar

    Kaysaar IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    3,937
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Native language: English

    The hardest language I've had any experience learning is Arabic. Subject verb agreement based on gender, single, duality, and plurals. A very complex verb structure and system, numbers that have opposite gender agreement, as well as a very subtle phonic system. Having a terrible teacher for my first year didn't help either...

    The easiest by far is Spanish. Simple and logical subject verb agreement, perfectly phonetic spelling and pronunciation, in addition to flexibility in sentence structure. French isn't too bad either.
  8. SonataArctica

    SonataArctica IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    121
    I feel that 'Moron' is the hardest language for me to speak. I just don't understand it. The sad part is that every time I venture out into the world, I hear someone speaking it.

    Hmm, maybe Muzzy can help me... >.>
  9. TurbulentTurtle

    TurbulentTurtle IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    10,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Cantonese first language.
    English and French learned at the same time.

    I am super best. Nothing is difficult for me because I am the smartest person in the world.
  10. s4nder

    s4nder IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2003
    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    My first language is Estonian. It's a Finno-Ugric language and is completely different from other European languages except Finnish and to some extent, Hungarian. No articles, no genders, no future tense. 14 different case endings for each noun and adjective, some of the rules are quite obscure. Like with other languages, natives get them right every time but foreigners make embarrassing mistakes even after years of learning.

    Pronunciation is another funny aspect, Estonian is very rich in vowels and foreigners can find themselves having to read and pronounce freaky words like lasteaiaealine, kõueööaimdus or jää-äär.

    English is my second language, I took interest in it in kindergarten and started learning it in the third grade. I was pretty good at it by grade six. I've had no trouble learning English because it's ubiquitous. It was also exotic and interesting at the time.

    My third language is Russian, I've learned it for six years in highschool but can barely understand it when it's slowly spoken. For some reason my vocabulary never got anywhere big enough for everyday use. But then we had a brutal teacher and most lessons were spent hoping we'd escape without another F-equivalent.

    I've also learned Finnish for a year but that's mostly forgotten by now.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  11. Halfsoul

    Halfsoul Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It´s rather interesting, that the more languages you know, the easier it becomes knowing another one, especially if you know indoeuropean languages like latin or cl. greek(which i know), so learning i.e. french, italian becomes a lot easier if you know latin. Knowing danish help you to understand sweedish and norweigean, but also german because they are both germanic and thus have many words in commen, although the grammar is german is based on cases like in Latin with nominative, accusative, genitive ect.

    The most difficult language i learned was cl. greek, mainly because it´s a dead language meaning that nobody speaks it anymore, but in neardy societies :d and thus you have to learn it academically through grammar et cetera whereas with a "living" language you could become better quite quickly, by talking the language with people, watching tv or hearing radio. That option doesn´t exist with dead languages, so it becomes a whole lot harder.
  12. Halfsoul

    Halfsoul Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i forgot to mention, that my native tongue is danish, but i also know german, english, french quite well and pro tempore i am learning arabic.
  13. Leopold Stotch

    Leopold Stotch IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    13,446
    Likes Received:
    111
    Trophy Points:
    475
    MUZZY!!! :D yay!! hehe!

    :thumbup:

    now, correct me if i am wrong (PLEASE!), but don't other countries start teaching foreign language when the kids are young enough still to absorb it better? iirc, America doesn't start teaching foreign lang. until middle school or high school. i mean, you may have some interaction with it when you are younger in the classrooms, but not much... eh, maybe im just remembering how my skool days were. idk if that's still true or not. forgive me.


  14. trashX

    trashX IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Europeans do learn languages at an early age. Switzerland got it all ****ed up though and teaches french first and english in middle school.
  15. boogyman19946

    boogyman19946 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    166
    My dad was studying German for a while when he was in school. My mom on the other hand was learning Russian. I doubt any of them can actually speak the language now but my mom can understand Russian quite well to be frank. My sister and I had to study English beginning first grade I believe. It was British English so coming to America where a different accent is used most of the time and not to mention plenty of slang, the English I was taught in Poland came out to be quite useless :D It took me roughly a year in America around English speaking kids for 8 hours each day to learn to speak English fluently =]

    Reasoning behind being able to learn languages quicker when you already know a couple is because many of the words repeat and the pronunciation of the spoken language becomes familiar a lot quicker because usually it's just a variation of a language you already know. If I knew Chinese, studying Japanese for me would be no problem. Knowing Polish and English gives me a cookie cutter recipe to learn Spanish because I can pick out words really quickly =] I have never tried learning French and I'm not sure if I will take the time to do so :) I hope that I can master the difficult and awkward languages early on so later on in life when I become old and have to work, learning a new one won't be as much of a hassle as it is for my parents :) Who after 5 years are struggling to put together a correct sentence in English.
  16. Nazdakka

    Nazdakka IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,470
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
  17. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    27,104
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    351
    That was an enjoying read :thumbup:

    But who said "English is like a mix of German and French, lacking the good features of the two" ? :whistling: I'm pretty sure it was a native English speaker.
  18. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    11,335
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    474
    All my Grandkids get American English and Mexican Spanish as milk tongues.
  19. boogyman19946

    boogyman19946 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    166
    I separate my languages too. I use Polish as my pick up line (I guess people with accents are awesome...), English as my milk tongue, and I will use Japanese as an extra act of coolness to win brownie points in anime loving people :D Besides, knowing 3 languages is awesome :D Oh... and taking years of Spanish only looks good on a college applications because on Resumes... Japanese is FAR better :) Knowing 4 languages is even better ^_^


  20. Galabab

    Galabab IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    467
    native:
    russian.

    learned ukranian from the first grade on and engish from 5th, moved to germany and had to learn french in 7th grade.
    From the experience of having learned those 5 languages I can say none of them was really difficult for russian native speaker. Russian has suffixes depending on the case, its super complicated, I heard german russian teachers making mistakes all the time!
    Like if I say "Rogop was running" in russian you can tell the gender of the subject from the verb form that means every verb has 3 forms, and there are a bunch of exceptions ofcourse. While german has its 3 articles, russian has them too but they are built in in the end of the words and get changed from case to case. Its super complicated.

    In english you have:
    I run you run he she runs we run you run. 2 forms altogether for 1 tense. SUper easy. Geraman has like 4 and russian 6.

    But in the end its just an other indogermanic language.
    I believe its all about the language family. The closer it is to your native language the easier you learn it.
    For english native speakers it would be like:
    1.german, dutch, swedish
    2.french, spanish, italian
    3.greek, russian, polish and other indogermanic languages not having influanced english.
    4.Chinese, japanese, hebrew, finnish, arabic, african languages, native amercian and all the non indogermanic ones no big difference which exactly.

    On a sidenote, while reading english writers I prefer original but german over russian because its closer. But recently reading Murakami I realized german is as distant to japanse as russian is, so it doesnt really matter.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009

Share This Page