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Easiest language to learn?

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91. Posted by Stewart47 (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y

I did look up 'Icelandic language' on google and I can see you would need to be a genius to speak it well in 4 hours!
I said previously that I thought Italian was the easiest for me to learn and it is such a beautiful language ,as is Spanish.
Obviously all languages have their difficulties. Italian has only two genders but many words for 'the'.Many verbs are irregular and one has to be careful of pronouncing the double consonants separately . Open and closed 'o' and 'e' can cause problems at the beginning. I read somewhere that Italian grammar was based on French during the Napoleonic period to try to unify the language spoken differently in parts of Italy and ,indeed, the grammar is very similar to French.
I also learnt German,Spanish,Dutch, French,Portuguese and Russian, in that order of difficulty.
Off and on I have studied Russian for many years or tried to. It has huge problems for a non Slavic speaker. Different alphabet,three genders and six cases, irregular plurals and cases, massive problems with syllable stress and two infinitives for each verb (perfective and imperfective). I once saw a book on Russian verbs of motion about 400 pages thick, just dealing with the difficulties of verbs like 'go', 'run', 'bring', 'fly' etc. So don 't try it if you value your sanity.Also,even though Russian claims to be a phonetic language, the stress problems still make it hard to see how a word is pronounced.
If you like reading foreign literature then French and German have produced excellent writers over the centuries.

92. Posted by Mila87 (Budding Member 18 posts) 8y

Quoting Stewart47

I did look up 'Icelandic language' on google and I can see you would need to be a genius to speak it well in 4 hours!
I said previously that I thought Italian was the easiest for me to learn and it is such a beautiful language ,as is Spanish.
Obviously all languages have their difficulties. Italian has only two genders but many words for 'the'.Many verbs are irregular and one has to be careful of pronouncing the double consonants separately . Open and closed 'o' and 'e' can cause problems at the beginning. I read somewhere that Italian grammar was based on French during the Napoleonic period to try to unify the language spoken differently in parts of Italy and ,indeed, the grammar is very similar to French.
I also learnt German,Spanish,Dutch, French,Portuguese and Russian, in that order of difficulty.
Off and on I have studied Russian for many years or tried to. It has huge problems for a non Slavic speaker. Different alphabet,three genders and six cases, irregular plurals and cases, massive problems with syllable stress and two infinitives for each verb (perfective and imperfective). I once saw a book on Russian verbs of motion about 400 pages thick, just dealing with the difficulties of verbs like 'go', 'run', 'bring', 'fly' etc. So don 't try it if you value your sanity.Also,even though Russian claims to be a phonetic language, the stress problems still make it hard to see how a word is pronounced.
If you like reading foreign literature then French and German have produced excellent writers over the centuries.

I looked it up too. He needed a week to learn it by the way. He IS a genius!
His abilities are created by a few disorders, but who cares?!

Russian seems to be impossible to learn for me, like I could ever pronounce any Slavic language..... 'Krcipzce' :S

93. Posted by gary123 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

Well i think to be honest with you it depends on what country you come from ie.. people from china will find it easier to speak thai than an englishman, but an englishman will find it easier to speak spanish than a chinese person. Therefore it depends on where you come from!!
Gary

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

94. Posted by Jamebb (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

I'm a native english speaker. I've studied french, latin, and arabic. I think that it's really a moot point to discuss the difficulty of your native language. You 'know' many of the rules intuitively and can't really explain them if asked (there are people who can't understand the difference between a noun and an adjective. When we were learning the arabic equivalent of a gerund, some kid in my class thought that 'gerund' was an arabic term...).
That said arabic is the hardest overall of all the non-english languages i know. Gramatically its WAYYYY simpler than latin, but there are so many other things to keep track (vocabulary, alphabet, pronunciation).
With french and latin you can kind of guess meanings because the vocabulary is very similar to english.

Post 95 was removed by a moderator
96. Posted by mee (Full Member 138 posts) 8y

a big problem for me is sticking to one language in my head. i always mix them up... since i started learning mandarin my french got so bad, i couldnt even get one sentence right (and still cant).
i think there is a certain level you have to be at (i know i reached it when i start dreaming in a foreign language) when i can separate it in my head and switch from one to the other. before that... no way anyone will understand what im trying to say.
maybe its just me, but i can only speak 3 languages at a time... the 4th is always a mix-up. how do you speak more than that? i dont even have the time to practice enough!!!
oh, yes: i speak german (mothertongue), english, french (well...), mandarin and a little italian.

97. Posted by ArchaeoX (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

By far the easiest language I've done is Mandarin Chinese. It's really different, but once u learn a few words, it all fits together and makes perfect sense. No gender, n even tenses r optional

98. Posted by mee (Full Member 138 posts) 8y

BUT learning chinese characters is pretty hard. especially because you forget how to write them every other month and have to repeat everything - all the time. at least i do
and there is quite some grammar and exeptions which are confusing.. like the difference between 我学了两年汉语 and 我学了两年汉语了。

99. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 8y

Quoting ArchaeoX

By far the easiest language I've done is Mandarin Chinese. It's really different, but once u learn a few words, it all fits together and makes perfect sense. No gender, n even tenses r optional

Are you kidding? What about the tones? Also, Chinese grammar seems easy at first, but once you get into intermediate Chinese, you realize it's actually not so simple. And, of course, there's the 5,000 'common characters' you have to learn.

Learning a foreign alphabet, though, is not really difficult, as long as it's phonetic. I learned to read Korean in a weekend, and Cyrillic (Russian) in a week in Russia. And I'm terrible with languages.

100. Posted by mee (Full Member 138 posts) 8y

madpoet, 谢谢你。
now i dont feel like an idiot having problems with chinese grammar...
do you really think 5000 characters are enough to read newspaper and so on? ive learned around 2500 by now (or at least should have learned), but i just cant believe i dont need more than 5000. or do i need that many characters and like 8000 words and expressions?? i mean, if you combine them in different ways, theyre still the same characters but the meaning is completely different... does that make sense??
cheers

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