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Ranking the "Medium Hard" Languages

  Tags: Difficulty
 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
62 messages over 8 pages: 1 2 35 6 7 8 Next >>
Henkkles
Triglot
Senior Member
Finland
Joined 2442 days ago

544 posts - 1141 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English, Swedish
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 25 of 62
11 January 2014 at 3:52pm | IP Logged 
betelgeuzah wrote:

But we aren't really saying "hold" when we state that now are we? It's just a case of single verb having multiple meanings.

It has become abstractized but that is what it "literally" means. Similar phenomena are with words like "ymmärtää", literally "mennä ympäri" and "käsittää", "pitää käsissään".
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betelgeuzah
Diglot
Groupie
Finland
Joined 2590 days ago

51 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English
Studies: Japanese, Italian

 
 Message 26 of 62
11 January 2014 at 5:09pm | IP Logged 
Henkkles wrote:
betelgeuzah wrote:

But we aren't really saying "hold" when we state that now are we? It's just a case of single verb having multiple meanings.

It has become abstractized but that is what it "literally" means. Similar phenomena are with words like "ymmärtää", literally "mennä ympäri" and "käsittää", "pitää käsissään".


Well the more you know! Thanks for the explanation.
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5345 days ago

4228 posts - 8254 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 27 of 62
11 January 2014 at 5:26pm | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:
And Turkish vs. Russian was the biggest "wtf" for me. Just based upon friends'
experiences, Russian sounds far more difficult and challenging. I know a surprising
number of people who have learned Turkish, and I know a lot of people who have failed
to learn Russian. And yet so many sites list the Turkic family as 'harder' than the
Slavic family. I'd love to hear from someone who has studied both!


I haven't studied Russian, but I've got plenty of experience with the closely-related Ukrainian (not to mention other Slavonic languages) in addition to Turkish.

Here's my impression of them for learning to use them passably/"properly" to native speakers.

- Pronunciation
Russian would take more effort from me to pronounce properly than Turkish. Vowel reduction, mobile stress and palatalization do not help. The only thing tricky about Turkish pronunciation for me is that while stress is often on the last syllable, I've been learning that it falls on other syllables depending on morphological rules with certain suffixes (e.g. -me negative imperative) or loanwords (stress pattern of the "donor" language is kept in the word).

- Spelling
This is related to above. Russian spelling falls between the stools when it comes to being morphological and phonemic. One example is хорошо "good, well", unstressed 'o' is pronounced a lot like 'a' and in this instance it sounds more like 'harasho' rather than 'horosho'. Turkish spelling is very phonemic, as you probably know.

- Grammar
It's a wash to me. Russian grammar has most of the Slavonic intricacies of grammatical gender, cases (at least 6 of them), verbal aspect, and consequent nuances inherent in syntax yielded by the aforementioned distinctions. Turkish grammar has most of the Turkic intricacies of heavy agglutination, cases (6 of them), treatment of tense, aspect and mood which doesn't neatly align with English perceptions of them, and very divergent syntax from English (daristani once touched on this final point).

- Vocabulary
This is harder for me to figure out since each language has its share of loanwords but the degree to which they're recognizable depends on how familiar or imaginative one is with "internationalisms". For example Russian вокзал for a large train station is from Vauxhall in "Vauxhall Gardens". In Turkish, otobüs is a bus but it sounds a lot more like its French source autobus than English "bus".

Of course both languages have much vocabulary which for all intents and purposes is meaningless or unrecognizable to a English monoglot either because the etymological link is distant (English and Russian are Indo-European) or there isn't such a link in the first place (English and Turkish are unrelated). Perhaps Russian would have a slight edge in ease than Turkish on this aspect if we extrapolate what we see in Swadesh lists of English to Slavonic and English to Turkic.

Overall I'd rank Russian as more difficult to learn than Turkish for an Anglophonic monoglot mainly because the difficulties in pronunciation and spelling more than offset the slightly greater transparency in lexicon.
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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3033 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 28 of 62
11 January 2014 at 5:34pm | IP Logged 
Einarr wrote:
* В твойх глазах - |So now, we have the indicator for (1) В - in, at first position, then (2)твойх - lit. your, in accusative 2-nd person plural, then (3)глазах - lit. eyes, in prepositional case, while the singular for eyes is "глаз".

Russian is a complicated language, but it doesn't combine adjectives in the accusative with nouns in the prepostional case. Both words are in the prepositional case here!
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Henkkles
Triglot
Senior Member
Finland
Joined 2442 days ago

544 posts - 1141 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English, Swedish
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 29 of 62
11 January 2014 at 5:44pm | IP Logged 
Exactly, "твойх" is plural genitive or prepositional.
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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3033 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
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 Message 30 of 62
11 January 2014 at 5:51pm | IP Logged 
Well, it could be accusative for animate nouns, but eyes are not animate.

Moreover, it should be твоих and not твойх, as I'm just noticing now.
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Henkkles
Triglot
Senior Member
Finland
Joined 2442 days ago

544 posts - 1141 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English, Swedish
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 31 of 62
11 January 2014 at 6:04pm | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
Well, it could be accusative for animate nouns, but eyes are not animate.

Moreover, it should be твоих and not твойх, as I'm just noticing now.

Are you sure? I think my Russian textbook said that animate noun accusative is genitive in singular and nominative in plural, but I might misremember.
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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3033 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 32 of 62
11 January 2014 at 6:17pm | IP Logged 
I'm afraid you're misremembering. These are the rules for the formation of the accusative:


The accusative of animate masculine nouns is the same as the genitive in singular and plural.

The accusative of inanimate masculine nouns is the same as the nominative in singular and plural.

The accusative of animate feminine nouns is the same as the genitive in plural only.

The accusative of inanimate feminine nouns is the same as the nominative in plural only (except nouns ending in -ь, whose accusative is the same as the nominative in singular as well).

The accusative of neuter nouns is always the same as the nominative in singular and plural.


In any case, твоих глазах can't be anything but prepositional, because the noun ending -ах only exists in the prepositional case.

Edited by Josquin on 11 January 2014 at 6:39pm



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