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What's the easiest language for you? - Page 2 - UniLang

What's the easiest language for you?

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Koko » 2014-12-03, 6:12

For me, listening is a different skill and requires time to develop on its own. I'm pretty sure this is true for almost everyone who learns a language. What do you mean to prove?
 (it) Correggimi per favore (se lo sbaglio è grave, sennò non correggermi perché potrei correggermelo da solo)  (bg) Българският не е руски  (cs) Jsem krásný jazyk. :D ^^

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby księżycowy » 2014-12-03, 12:59

Yasna wrote:To the "spoken Japanese is easy" choir:

I certainly can't. But that has more to do not having studied it in years then anything else.
þūhte mē þæt ic gesāwe syllicre trēow on lyft lædan lēohte bewunden bēama beorhtost.

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Dr. House » 2014-12-03, 13:04

Well If I were to compare Mandarin with Japanese and Korean, I'd say Japanese is the hardest.

They all are Asian and therefore nothing like Indo-European languages in terms of grammar.

Reading: Korean is the easiest. (only what 1500 hanjas as a supplementary writing system?) Japanese is the hardest. (not because of kanas, but the onyomi and kunyomi readings - hikari becoming ko in kogen)

Grammar: Hard to say. Mandarin seems to be the easiest in the beginning stages, but then it's just as complicated as the other two. Korean is the hardest. (It's like Japanese grammar on steroids)

Pronunciation: Japanese is the easiest. Korean and Mandarin are the harder ones, depending on what you have problems with.

So comparatively, Many European languages such as French, Dutch or even English are more difficult to pronounce than Japanese. Japanese is like a baby talk. Easy to speak, hard to write.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Marah » 2014-12-03, 13:07

Probably Portuguese because my native languages are French and Spanish.
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Luís » 2014-12-03, 13:08

Probably English, but just because I've been exposed to it from an early age. Other than that, Spanish.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby voron » 2014-12-03, 13:38

Koko wrote:For me, listening is a different skill and requires time to develop on its own. I'm pretty sure this is true for almost everyone who learns a language. What do you mean to prove?

Language proficiency is composed of 4 skills so when you said "Japanese is easy" it was understood as if all 4 of them were easy for you, while you apparently meant just one (speaking). Even "spoken Japanese" is not a clarification good enough since it implies 2 skills out of 4.

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Koko » 2014-12-03, 15:53

Might I stress the fact I'm not done studying the languages (check my stars) I consider the easiest. Plus, it's not like I said that the other parts of Japanese weren't easy, just that learning to speak it is easier. And this is a question asking for your own opinion.

Between Japanese and Italian, I'll admit Italian is easier. I'll still tie them because Italian doesn't beat Japanese by much for me.
 (it) Correggimi per favore (se lo sbaglio è grave, sennò non correggermi perché potrei correggermelo da solo)  (bg) Българският не е руски  (cs) Jsem krásný jazyk. :D ^^

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-12-03, 16:11

Dr. House wrote:They all are Asian and therefore nothing like Indo-European languages in terms of grammar.

The conclusion does not follow. There are only so many different ways to organise the grammar of natural human languages, so similarities are inevitable even between completely unrelated pairs. There are actually a lot of parallels in the grammar of Mandarin and English, as both are analytic nominative-accusative SVO languages.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Dr. House » 2014-12-03, 18:04

linguoboy wrote:
Dr. House wrote:They all are Asian and therefore nothing like Indo-European languages in terms of grammar.

The conclusion does not follow. There are only so many different ways to organise the grammar of natural human languages, so similarities are inevitable even between completely unrelated pairs. There are actually a lot of parallels in the grammar of Mandarin and English, as both are analytic nominative-accusative SVO languages.


I never said they were from another planet, just pretty distant. You're a native English speaker, so you've heard thousands of people making unnatural structures, yet they could be understood, right?
They just didn't feel right. If I chose to say a sentence like that in Chinese and my pronunciation would be spot on and the syntax would be also correct, I'd still be facing a possibility of not being understood, because they would have never expected such an answer in that very context.

I once attended this university lecture and when the American teacher asked us, how would we treat the guys who beat up on their women or what should they do? I told him they could neuter their husbands and he didn't understand. Maybe I mispronounced the word or maybe not, but I had to spell it out for him in order to get to the synonymous castrate, which made the other students laugh...
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-12-03, 18:15

Dr. House wrote:I never said they were from another planet, just pretty distant. You're a native English speaker, so you've heard thousands of people making unnatural structures, yet they could be understood, right?

Er...I'm not sure that I have. How could it be "unnatural" if it was something they produced spontaneously? The only truly unnatural structures I've seen have been from conlangers (like the recent proposal to make a "strict verb-first language" that extracted verbs from all subordinate clauses and shift them to the left).

Dr. House wrote:They just didn't feel right. If I chose to say a sentence like that in Chinese and my pronunciation would be spot on and the syntax would be also correct, I'd still be facing a possibility of not being understood, because they would have never expected such an answer in that very context.

Is that really a problem of "grammar" per se or is it usage?
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-12-03, 22:41

linguoboy wrote:
Dr. House wrote:I never said they were from another planet, just pretty distant. You're a native English speaker, so you've heard thousands of people making unnatural structures, yet they could be understood, right?

Er...I'm not sure that I have. How could it be "unnatural" if it was something they produced spontaneously? The only truly unnatural structures I've seen have been from conlangers (like the recent proposal to make a "strict verb-first language" that extracted verbs from all subordinate clauses and shift them to the left).

I'm sure he just meant they sound ungrammatical and not like sentences a native speaker would make.

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-12-04, 4:14

vijayjohn wrote:I'm sure he just meant they sound ungrammatical and not like sentences a native speaker would make.

If he meant "ungrammatical" I'm not sure why he didn't say "ungrammatical". "Unnatural" has a different connotation here given that I had just made reference to "natural human languages" (as opposed to conlangs or nonhuman forms of communication).
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Itikar » 2014-12-04, 13:11

Overall I'd say French, although there are some difficult aspects in comparison to other languages I have studied, such as oral comprehension.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby razlem » 2014-12-04, 23:35

Swedish, partly because it's super close to English/German, but also because I really enjoy studying it.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-12-05, 0:05

razlem wrote:Swedish, partly because it's super close to English/German, but also because I really enjoy studying it.


I think part of its appeal for me was its easiness. It just feels like you get more "bang for your buck" with time invested in it than other languages I've tried.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby loqu » 2014-12-06, 10:24

Spanish.

Yeah, the OP didn't say each one's own mother language doesn't count. :mrgreen: 8-)

Other than that, I guess Galician, but I haven't studied it in depth. Then Portuguese, Asturian, Aragonese, Catalan, Occitan, Italian.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Youngfun » 2014-12-06, 12:13

For an Andalusian Spanish speaker it must be easy to learn Castillan Spanish. :lol:

_________________________

For me: Italian and Mandarin.
I learned Italian when I was 6 and Mandarin when I was 7 or 8, so they are not my native languages, right? :D

Apart from these, then: Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Unlike the other two Italians who have replied, I find French harder than Spanish and Portuguese, but it's still an easy language.

I would say also Esperanto and Chinese languages such as Cantonese, but I haven't really learned them.

Oh, and of course, Japanese kanji. :lol:
Last edited by Youngfun on 2014-12-07, 2:48, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Itikar » 2014-12-06, 13:11

Youngfun wrote:Unlike the other two Italians who have replied, I find French harder than Spanish and Portuguese, but it's still an easy language.
If I were not a Northerner, I would have probably answered Spanish too. For me the only part of Spanish which is, in general, easier than French is spoken comprehension, but also this largely depends on vocabulary employed, speed, dialect, etc.
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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-12-06, 17:43

linguoboy wrote:German. I've had the most exposure to it and it's more closely related to my native language than almost anything else I've studied.
Wouldn't Dutch be closer?

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Re: What's the easiest language for you?

Postby Lauren » 2014-12-06, 17:50

mōdgethanc wrote:
linguoboy wrote:German. I've had the most exposure to it and it's more closely related to my native language than almost anything else I've studied.
Wouldn't Dutch be closer?

Frisian is closer than Dutch, and Scots closer than Frisian. ;P
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