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Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D


crusader 1 | 40
31 Mar 2010 #661
Is this getting 'off topic'? I find Polish a very difficult language for a native English speaker. Spanish, Italian and French are much easier, perhaps because of the common Latin/Germanic/Anglo base that they share. Agreed?
Damians
1 Apr 2010 #662
STUDENTS IN POLISH LANGUAGE

This is the most interesting post of the whole discussion and says everything
about a nation who cannot speak ITS VERY OWN LANGUAGE, because it is too damn complicated

:))
mafketis 23 | 8,612
1 Apr 2010 #663
And it just eats you alive, doesn't it?
Ironside 49 | 10,471
1 Apr 2010 #664
Latin/Germanic/Anglo base that they share.

Polish is stuffed with Latin words and grammar is formed after Latin, I agree about this Germanic part!
And French greatly influenced( contributed to the formation of the English language) English language during the middle ages, as you know...
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Apr 2010 #665
grammar is formed after Latin

Evidence please.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Apr 2010 #667
No evidence = no plausibility.

Sanskrit also has inflections, does it mean Sanskrit was modelled on Latin? I just like my facts straight.

;-p
Ironside 49 | 10,471
1 Apr 2010 #668
Well, in Poland about 200 years Latin was used for everyday communication, also for more years that I care to remember Latin was the language of correspondence and King's court, so it is more likely than Latin greatly influenced Polish :P
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Apr 2010 #669
Sure, no doubt Latin influenced Polish, esp. in certain areas of vocabulary.

But: what about all those humble folk who never had the chance to learn any Latin at all, let alone speak it every day? I dare say they formed a whopping 70 - 80% of the general population. What language did they speak? And was it in any way different, grammar-wise, from the Polish spoken by the upper classes?

Well, in Poland about 200 years Latin was used for everyday communication

You seriously mean to tell me that Latin was used for everyday communication i.e., when discussing the weather, asking about the price of grain, or chatting up ladies at a party, in 18th - 19th century Poland?

Latin was the European lingua franca throughout the Middle Ages, but its influence had pretty much disappeared by the end of the 17th century. It was mainly replaced by French.
Ironside 49 | 10,471
1 Apr 2010 #670
You seriously mean to tell me that Latin was used for everyday communication i.e., when discussing the weather, asking about the price of grain, or chatting up ladies at a party, in 18th - 19th century Poland?

yes, in Poland XVI century, you could communicate with a shoemaker in Latin :)

What language did they speak? And was it in any way different, grammar-wise, from the Polish spoken by the upper classes?

Whose language they teach at school ?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Apr 2010 #671
yes, in Poland XVI century, you could communicate with a shoemaker in Latin :)

And the 16th century was 200 years ago? Please be at least slightly consistent in your claims ;-p

Whose language they teach at school ?

When? And who attended the school? The poor started attending any sort of school about 200 - 150 years ago. Which is not the 16th century.
Lyzko
1 Apr 2010 #672
The point of my post was merely that poor orthography is not specific to any one country, least of all Poland:-)

How are you so sure that the child was NOT normal? Many so-called normal folks out there can't spell their way out of a paper bag. Interestingly, this may be why the US is, I think, the only country in the world with spelling bees, since to be any type of proficient speller at all seems worthy of celebration LOL

If any European language was and remains structurally influenced by Latin syntax, it's German with its hypotactic monster-length sentences with the principal verb usually at the very end.
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,642
1 Apr 2010 #673
Not much latin about German at all...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_language#History
Lyzko
2 Apr 2010 #674
Indeed there is, if examined for word order alone. The reason? German monks slavishly mimicked the Latin grammar in their work as sacred scribes.

Incidentally, only German and to some extent Dutch, have the type of of S. O. V. position in certain clauses such modals, where the main verb always comes at the very end of the sentence, much less subordinating word order which Twain himself joked about:

"Because I to the mountain top climbed, could I over the whole valley see."

Crazy this for Poles as well as most other European languages, but standard German. The Scandinavian languages have a S.V.O. order in almost every instance, just like English.

The problems with Polish for foreigners is rarely, if ever, the word order, as much as the inflections and aspectual agreement, most absent from German or English:-)
Ironside 49 | 10,471
3 Apr 2010 #675
And the 16th century was 200 years ago?

I wrote, for 200 years not 200 years ago :P

When? And who attended the school? The poor started attending any sort of school about 200 - 150 years ago. Which is not the 16th century.

I mean that the language in use nowadays were the language of the elite few centuries back!
As a matter of fact commoner attended schools in Poland (Crown to be precise) about 500 years ago (hence Polish Golden Age)!
king polkagamon
3 Apr 2010 #676
To claim that anyone in Europe except priests,diplomats and intellectuals spoke in Latin is ridiculous.
Even in Greece where people were still called roman citizens(never conquered by barbarians) people did not speak Latin and the high classes left Latin completely for Greek in 8th century.We were the only ones able to teach Greek to Europeans till the 16th century.
Lyzko
3 Apr 2010 #677
I think the point here is, rather, not that Latin was some sort of lingua franca which bound all classes of society together, but instead that it served as a glue which united different countries attempting to communicate with one another; a Lithuanian scholar wishing to contact a Pole etc.., thereby serving much the same purpose that English does today:-)
Nathan 18 | 1,363
3 Apr 2010 #678
or chatting up ladies at a party

Quo vadis, bonita? ;)
I can easily see that.
Lyzko
3 Apr 2010 #679
The influence and hegemony of Latin is so far reaching, I doubt whether its impact on practically every subsequent language can be accurately assessed, at least in terms of vocab in among other areas law, medicine, zoology etc..
Mirko
5 Apr 2010 #680
what has to do latin with polish?

let's discuss about the level of insanity and hardness that is polish language, with the weird declinations based on 3 genders, 7 cases and 5 numeral forms that make your head spin...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #681
The cases have some semblance of predictability and logic, Mirko. When you become comfortable with the rules, you can begin to take on the exceptions. Take the instrumental case, for example. Most commonly, it is em or iem at the end, e.g samolotem, samochodem, promem or pociÄ…giem to name but 4. However, piechotÄ… or na nogach are other options.
Mirko
5 Apr 2010 #682
nice, but combinations of 3 genders, 7 cases and 4 numerals make all together

about 54 finishings to be remembered for EACH POLISH WORD

in English you have just "two children", no matter the gender or the case

in Polish you have

dwie dziecmi
dwoje dzieci
dwoga dziecki
dwom dzieckami

and so on, making your head spin, and causing illness and insanity on long term
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #683
I've never felt the need to master higher level grammar in Polish. Gestures and a sound knowledge of common basic speech has gotten me by nicely.

See it as a project, Mirko.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
5 Apr 2010 #684
in Polish you have

dwie dziecmi
dwoje dzieci
dwoga dziecki
dwom dzieckami

ouch!
Or was that just a joke?
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
5 Apr 2010 #685
random question to the Poles i've been meaning to ask:

why oh why do you call a tuxedo a "smoking".....
z_darius 14 | 3,968
5 Apr 2010 #686
Because that is what the English called a similar garment that was used in smoking rooms. The borrowing, in Polish, was later extended to denote a tuxedo.
Lyzko
5 Apr 2010 #687
In German and French too, resp. 'der Smoking', 'le smoking':-)
In the US, what once upon a time used to be called in common parlance a 'smoking jacket', as I recall, was a rather elegant, velvet red jacket, worn in men's clubs etc..

This though was NEVER the same as a 'tuxedo', which was/is always black.

Conversely, a 'white tux' (short for 'tuxedo' in the States!) is instead called a 'leisure suit' by most US retailers.
natasia 3 | 368
6 Apr 2010 #688
you must be some kind of a linguistic genius

so when people say to me 'you speak great English' (because my Polish speaking is so convincing they think i am Polish) ... then i really REALLY should feel good?

is a bit like when they won't sell me alcohol because they think i'm too young
is the sort of compliment that makes you feel like there is one big bouncy castle somewhere underneath you

i have learnt/dabbled in Latin, French, Italian, German, Greek (modern) and Spanish, and yes, Polish is way the hardest. way the most fun, too, though ...

Marek2010
but all of them - this is what they are thinking

i know - they (you) are extraordinarily sly. it is a sort of cultural defence mechanism. my lying skills have soared since i began conducting my life in Polish. this language has eroded my morality. i feel myself saying and doing things i have only seen people doing in war films ... (the ones where they either got caught, or are trying not to)
nomaderol 5 | 726
6 Apr 2010 #689
Polish hardest language? for who? For an English native language one? Illogical.
English is in the same language family (Indo-Euro) with Polish.

Learning languages in other language families are difficult.
For an English as in Indo-Euro family, Altaic (Turkic, Japonic, Mongolic) etc must be hardest. Or, Uralic (Hungarian, Finnish, etc) or Semitics like Arabic. But, Arabic must be easier to to learn by an Indo-Euro person and Uralic is easier to learn by an Altaic as they are closer to each others. For example, grammer structures are different in Altaics and Indo-Euro (position of subject, adjective, etc are changing in sentences) and logic of language is changing. Linguists must know these better.

To me, Indo-Euro, Semitics, etc are digitized/discreatized languages. In such languages, there are more words to describe a thing. You can find a seperate word to differentiate two things. So, there will be less confusion when understanding what it is meant when a person is speaking.. This is more difficult in Altaic language like Turkic. One word may have many meanings. This causes troubles to many foreigners who are in different language families. You can be punched on your face even if you use the correct word in a sentence, but, its meaning of the word may change depending on the sentence. Arabic like English have no this problem. A seperate word to describe a thing exist in these languages. So, such languages like English, Arabic, etc are, "dictionary" languages you need to memorize more words unlike Turkic, less word more meanings. So, Indo-Euro, Semitics/Arabic, etc are digitized/discreatized languages also in structure forms while Uralic, Altaics are more continum languages with less interruptions between words.

Another criteria that makes a language hard to be learnt is "is your native language an agglutinative language or not?" If not, it will be very difficult to learn an agglutinative language.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agglutinative_language

But, it is like a snake or plastic that you can extend a word as long as you want. Turkic, Japanese, Korean, Native Americans, Persian, Basque, Hungarian, Finnish, etc are such languages. In these languages, you can generate single long meaningful words by adding suffixes at the end of a word. If you look at here

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_words
the longest words are in these agglutinative languages and the longest word is in Turkic with 70 letters.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_word_in_Turkish
(see how it is done.)

One word can also be a sentence and I can easily generate a long word as one sentence also just simply by integrating words (subjects, adjectives, suffixes, etc.) Such languages are like analytical languages, also a fun.

Here is an example I quickly generated:

Polonyalilastiramadiklarimizdanmisiniz? (38 letters, one word, one sentence.)
which means
"Are you one of those people whom we couldn't make resemble from Poland?" Or
can also mean "Are you one of those people whom we couldn't assimiliate you to Poland?"

It looks very difficult to make such one sentence-words, but, it is very systematic. Once learn the systematic in such aglutinative languages, they are very easy to learn. But, even we native speakers have troubles in word meanings as one word may have many meanings, and meaning of a word may change badly depending on the sentence.
George8600 10 | 637
6 Apr 2010 #690
Read this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Most_difficult_language_to_learn

The website you posted was written by a Pole native in the language, and states no sources other than his generalizing comments he has with readers below the article. there are tons of articles like that which claim that Italian, no German, no wait Japanese are the hardest to learn. Which to believe? The way I see it, there isn't one.

Linguistic neurology is so little understood that the rankings of difficulty are different for all. Factors may include what family their native (first language is), the age which they picked up the second language, their method of learning and time spent (some learn it better conservatively in a classrooms while others use software that teaches it inversely), their IQ level, etc. etc.


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