Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Ranking the "Medium Hard" Languages

  Tags: Difficulty
 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
62 messages over 8 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 8 Next >>
Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 3225 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 33 of 62
11 January 2014 at 6:28pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:



- 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.

hərɐ'sho probably. The first vowel is by no means an [a].
1 person has voted this message useful



Einarr
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
einarrslanguagelog.w
Joined 2782 days ago

118 posts - 269 votes 
Speaks: English, Bulgarian*, French, Russian
Studies: Swedish

 
 Message 34 of 62
11 January 2014 at 6:40pm | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
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!


Sorry, my bad, I'll fix it right away. And it indeed is "твоих" , rather than "твойх",
it's a typo I do due to my native language and sometimes it can get very annoying
indeed. Just like now. :)


1 person has voted this message useful



Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 3225 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 35 of 62
11 January 2014 at 6:44pm | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
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.

You are right, but I think it can be explained easier.
Acc. sing.
1st declension - у (ю)
2nd declension anim. masc. = gen. other words = nom.
3d declendion = nom.
Acc. pl.
anim. = gen. inanim. = nom.
Indeclinable nouns have one form for all cases and numbers.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Stolan
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2201 days ago

274 posts - 368 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Thai, Lowland Scots
Studies: Arabic (classical), Cantonese

 
 Message 36 of 62
11 January 2014 at 9:45pm | IP Logged 
doubleUelle wrote:

I was indeed referring to the former, i.e. that Thai is a analytic (opposite of
agglunative) language that has no conjugations, declensions, gender (for nouns), etc.

Grammar specification and such can exist outside of inflection. Something agglutinating but very straightforward
like Persian can be said to be simple. Compare Mandarin, which is really watered down, to Cantonese ( Mand. has
fewer measure words, fewer particles, less tone agreement, only 6 vowels).
Thai has more aspect particles, many vowels, classifiers, polite pronoun usage (around 27 more common ones
based on feminity and politeness), end final words, etc than something like Chinese. I rank easieness based on how
battered the language has become. An extreme example is Indonesian being one of the older lingua francas.
English still didn't simplify in pronunciation though compared to her sisters, it still has its difficulties in that area.
So there exist degrees.

Edited by Stolan on 11 January 2014 at 10:25pm

1 person has voted this message useful



YnEoS
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2423 days ago

472 posts - 893 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 37 of 62
11 January 2014 at 10:44pm | IP Logged 
I feel like a lot of these discussions end up being more of a matter of "how hard is the language to produce for a speaker", but often times I think the grammar rules that are difficult to learn and reproduce in speech, tend to be pretty helpful when it comes to listening comprehension, and can eliminate a lot of ambiguity that would otherwise have to be inferred through context.

To me a complex case system is easier to understand than a strict word order that I'm unfamiliar with.

To me it always seemed like the most important factors when it comes to the "difficulty" of learning a language would be 1) how close is the language to one you already know and 2) how logical/uniform are the grammar rules.

I also still don't understand why everyone thinks the fact Chinese languages have thousand of characters to learn makes them "hard". To me learning characters has always seemed more similar to learning words than it is to learning letters which I think is the comparison a lot of people make in their heads.

So for example on CantoDict they list ~5000 characters as being at "level 3" (not sure how arbitrary or official this classification is), but then they also list ~50,000 compound words that can be made from the 5000 characters just in their database (there are probably more than this, but probably not all of these would be considered totally unique words). So of course it's hard to learn them all, but show me a language where learning 50,000 words is easy.

Edited by YnEoS on 11 January 2014 at 10:45pm

1 person has voted this message useful



kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 3058 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 38 of 62
11 January 2014 at 11:07pm | IP Logged 
I've been looking around for other sources for data to mash into the list, but haven't
found any good, objective studies.

The FSI/DLI/FCO lists all include speaking, reading, and writing ... my guess is that
it's the writing that keeps the East Asian languages in the top tier, even though there
seems to be a consensus that Vietnamese is the hardest language to actually
speak well.

And there's some good arguments for placing Russian higher than Turkish, so tweaking
the list, still using the FSI groups as a base & adding some HTLAL subjectivity into
this, we get:


Group 1

1. Dutch, Frisian
2. Romance and Scandinavian languages

Group 2

3. German
4. Indonesian, Swahili
5. Hindi, Persian, Greek

Group 3

6. Turkish, Thai
7. Vietnamese, Russian

Group 4

8. Arabic
9. Korean, Chinese
10. Japanese

(Also, I lumped Dutch in with "Scandinavian languages" earlier, which was a mistake)

And here's one more excellent link that groups languages & length of time needed to
reach various proficiency levels, broken up by the aptitude of the student:

The following ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Ratings represent levels of
expected performance for language learners who complete full-time intensive and/or
immersion, proficiency-based language training under the supervision of an instructor
and with 1-4 students per class.


Language Testing Int.

(If HTLAL ever upgrades I would love to have the ability to post charts!)


4 persons have voted this message useful



doubleUelle
Bilingual Tetraglot
Groupie
United States
Joined 2204 days ago

67 posts - 95 votes 
Speaks: English*, Russian*, French, Japanese
Studies: Spanish, Thai

 
 Message 39 of 62
12 January 2014 at 12:49am | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
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.

Holy f*ck, am I ever glad I never had to study Russian grammar!
5 persons have voted this message useful



shk00design
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2613 days ago

747 posts - 1122 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Studies: French

 
 Message 40 of 62
12 January 2014 at 1:47am | IP Logged 
Languages being easy or difficult depends on how much interest you put into it and how much time you spend
outside of your studies to learn on your own. They are relative to one another so it is difficult to give artificial
rankings. Although Chinese & Japanese are normally considered a difficult language, I can name 4 people who
posted videos online who had no previous experience in Asian languages but mastered them: Moses McCormick
(American goes by the nickname Laoshu), Steve Kaufmann (Canadian who lived in Quebec), Luca Lampariello
(Italian) and Carlos Douh (Canadian now living in Hong Kong) who started off with Cantonese and getting to be
fluent in Mandarin as well.

The other day I was listening to 2 polyglots Steve Kaufmann discussing languages with Felix Wang who resides in
Bruxelles (Belgium). Steve finds Russian more difficult in terms of spoken languages because they have a lot of
awkward grammar rules. Chinese is quite straightforward if you ignore the characters. Most people tend to get put
off by Chinese & Japanese because of the need to learn / recognize many characters. Japanese you can still get
away from using characters entirely but they prefer to write with some characters in their text. Japanese & Korean
tend to be similar in the sense you use different ways of addressing people who are more senior / junior such as a
Japanese emperor for instance. On the other hand, Felix finds Turkish similar to Japanese in many respects.

We may think of Chinese / Japanese as being difficult, many of them have problems learning English when they
arrived in America. They tend to focus on passing exams (TOEFL scores). Japanese who learn English because they
enjoy learning languages and want to socialize with friends become very fluent.

Polyglot discussions: Felix in Brussels, English

Edited by shk00design on 12 January 2014 at 1:57am



3 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 62 messages over 8 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 46 7 8  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3120 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2019 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.