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

wildrover 98 | 4,451
16 Apr 2009 #91
Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn...

I hope it wasn,t the Polish that chose this....?
mafketis 23 | 8,612
16 Apr 2009 #92
I believe some of the Central American languages make a distinction between creaky and non-creaky vocal sounds

Can't say I've heard of this in terms of Central American languages. IME creaky voice is more commonly associated with SE Asia. Burmese and Vietnamese especially have tones that are partly distinguished by creaky voice.

There are many native american languages (N, C and S America) that have glottalizaed consonants (usually written p' t' k' s' etc) for these the throat closes while the consonant is pronounced and then opened (the exact timing differs from language to language). It often creates a distinct kind of catch in the voice, in the case of k' or q' it can sound almost like a click.
Marek 4 | 867
17 Apr 2009 #93
What about the Hottentot languages of South Africa with their almost unmimicable "click sounds"??-:)) LOL

Cantonese though probably comes in a close second, at least for me and other Westerners, even those who already spoke some Mandarin!!!!
okgirl66 3 | 90
18 Apr 2009 #94
Cantonese though probably comes in a close second

I thought Cantonese was relatively easy - I mean there's no past tense or verb endings to worry about. Also the Cantonese for Monday - Saturday translates as Day1, Day2, Day3 etc....... and there are lots of other aspects of the language that are so simple. I know it's a tonal language but I love singing so it's just like learning the tune of the words. 是 嗎 ?
Marek 4 | 867
18 Apr 2009 #95
I guess I was only referring to the pronounciation, not to the grammar-:)))

Been looking into learning Albanian of late, as an abundance of our student body have been registering from Albania and many of our our present students hail from that country. Albanian seems even more morphologically complex than either Polish or Russian! Just for starters, it has no infinitives, multi word stems, irregular plural formations and a word stock taken largely from the ancient Illyrian family of long-extinct Balkan languages.

All this apropos of difficulties in order of language-:))))
southern 75 | 7,096
18 Apr 2009 #96
into learning Albanian

Turning into a shriptar?No way.
gumishu 11 | 5,322
18 Apr 2009 #97
I heard a story.
Some Albanians stole a truck in Greece and they were heading towards Albania. Police pursuit followed. The thieves approached the border. But there was no road there to cross the border. They went into a field but stopped there, got off and ran away to Albania. After some time when the Greek police were trying to get the truck out of the field a tank (Russian made thing obviously) appeared from Albania (don't know if it fired) but it crossed the border definitely making the Greek police take flight. The truck was hauled afterwards into Albanian territory.

I am not sure if this story is really true

but certain things I know make it quite believable - there was once chaos in Albania after some breakdown of financial pyramids - army depots were run over, lots of military equipment stolen (they say everyone now owns a gun in Albania (AK 47 for that maatter)
southern 75 | 7,096
18 Apr 2009 #98
lots of military equipment stolen (they say everyone now owns a gun in Albania (AK 47 for that maatter)

I confirm that.When this stealing happened,you could get an AK47 in Greece with 200 euro.
Albanian army is now in serious shortage of AK47s.
blindside70 - | 13
19 Apr 2009 #99
The American Foreign institute calls Hungarian the hardest language to learn for an English speaker and some other British government office called Japanese the hardest language for an English speaker.

Polish is hard, no doubt about it but I'm not sure how claritaslux figured this out, also what really would be the difference between the difficulty of say Russian/Czech to an English speaker? Pronunciation? It's not that crazily different and though we'll always have accents you can get by with the pronunciation.

I'm actually sort of sick of hearing about Polish's difficulty, some people wear it like a badge and tell me how difficult it is as if they were the first to let me in on it.
19 Apr 2009 #100
Keep poles speaking polish and I'll be happy :-)

Polacy nie gęsi, swój język mają ;p Polish is the best because it's very uncommon language and if I went abroad and said sth to the foreigners, they wouldn't understand me and that makes my native language special ;p But personally I don't think that's not the hardest language to learn.
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
19 Apr 2009 #101
I did have the opportunity to learn one of the hardest, and supposedly the most grammatically-complex Slavic language, Polish. It is certainly harder than Croatian, which I already knew when I started to learn Polish.

Well if you're Croatian it shouldn't be that had, people say English is harder to learn than Polish, English words are spelled one way and pernounced a different way, it was easy for me cause i went to an American school, if you go to school and ur just a kid you'll learn quickly, it's harder trying to learn it by yourself and when you're older. I'm starting to learn Russian, i like how it sounds, in many ways its similar to Polish many words are the same also, im starting by learning the words themselves and looking and tranliterations, not yet focusing on the cyrilic alphabet.
gumishu 11 | 5,322
19 Apr 2009 #102
polska język trudna język :P

ona być najtrudniejsza - nie wiedzieć ;)
Castanea - | 75
19 Apr 2009 #103
Don't learn the language of those muslim turk shiptars. They sell their own kids and traffic women for sex in Italy.
Marek 4 | 867
20 Apr 2009 #104

We really oughtn't judge other countries by their politics, after all we Americans are basically honest by nature:)))))) LOL

"They sell their own kids and traffic women....."

Well nobody's perfect! Never met a single youngster you'd wouldn't like to sell, huh???? Now, don't take me the wrong way. Just, let's not be hypocrites here, ok?
Castanea - | 75
21 Apr 2009 #105
Americans with common sense do not have any say in government policy. I'm not a hypocrite. I have never sold a child. You can't judge me a hypocrite by what thoughts you think I may have had.
Marek 4 | 867
21 Apr 2009 #106
Castanea, is English your first language????! Yo, pal I was only goofin' witcha--:))))
Guess the shtick zoomed right past ya. My "material" needs a little work, I see. LOL
SamenessLove 1 | 33
27 Apr 2009 #107
It's a blessing that the Polish language is difficult.
gumishu 11 | 5,322
27 Apr 2009 #108
maybe a blessing in disguise ;)
Babylon 16 | 192
27 Apr 2009 #109
Slovaks can learn Polish very easy
gumishu 11 | 5,322
27 Apr 2009 #110
and I can understand a lot of Slovak partly because I understand quite a lot of Czech as I have the benefit of Czech TV availability. And very often Slovak sounds as Czech with Polish accents/pronounciation (to Polish ears)
27 Apr 2009 #111
I find it's easier for me to go from Polish to Russian than in reverse. But then, I'm not native born to either language--:)))
z_darius 14 | 3,968
27 Apr 2009 #112
what really would be the difference between the difficulty of say Russian/Czech to an English speaker? Pronunciation? It's not that crazily

The devil is in the detail. If you're English you are pretty unlikely to hear differences among Polish, Czech and Russian. These differences are obvious to the speakers of the 3 languages. Heck, in many cases Poles can tell which part of Poland someone is from by their accent, and that with differences much more subtle than East End and West End of London.
27 Apr 2009 #113
I can spot a Pole from Zakopane, frankly, as soon as they say any word with 'ł', since most pronounce it, like in stage/screen diction, as if it were a 'dark' Russian 'l' variety. Also, some Poles say 'taKże', while from others it sounds more to me like 'taGże'.

Are these regional differences, or am I mistaken?
F15guy 1 | 160
30 Apr 2009 #114
Simplified basic rules on Polish vocative (there may be an exception here or there):

Thank you, Mafketisu. Very helpful.

because the Japanese probably didn't have any Navajo speakers or even any linguists who had knowledge of it

The Japanese had captured a couple of Navahoes who were not code talkers. The problem was, the captured people recognized the words, but didn't know what they meant. Navaho for turtle stood for a tank. Literal Navaho "Turkey Rain" sounds a bit like terrain when literally translated so turkey rain was terrain.

See and

for good explanations.
Czwartek 2 | 14
17 May 2009 #115
If Navajo is so difficult and unknown, hot did they train American soldiers in it in time to use it in battle? It would have surely taken years.

I read most of the wiki article on the language, and it looks pretty insane, reminiscent of Greenlandic.

I don't have much useful to contribute to this conversation, except that the level of difficulty of any language is extremely subjective according to who you ask, their native language, their experience with the language in question and their experience with foreign languages in general. When I first started learning Polish a few years ago, I couldn't imagine anything more complicated and harder to remember, but as I became familiar with more words and sentences and how they're formed, it became much easier to learn new words and expressions.

A few months ago I began trying to learn Turkish, just the basics. I'd still like to if I had the time and energy, but alas, peering too deeply into the complex verb conjugation put me off (although the cases system and consonant clusters in Polish had the same effect on me at first too).

My real passioin is Finnish, although sad to say I'm not as actively trying to learn it as I once was. Mutta suomi on maailman kaunein kieli! But it's the world's most beautiful language. Well, I think so. Complicated? Hell yeah, like a candy covered rubik's cube. It's just extremely pleasant to the eyes and ears, and that makes it enjoyable to learn.

Oh, and for those of you saying languages don't need genders, try Finnish and Turkish, no arbitrarily assigning genders to objects, no distinction even between he and she, and (like Polish) no definite or indefinite articles.
shopgirl 6 | 928
17 May 2009 #116
If Navajo is so difficult and unknown, hot did they train American soldiers in it in time to use it in battle?

They didn't. They used Navajo men as soldiers who were the code talkers.

Navajo was an attractive choice for code use because few people outside the Navajo themselves had ever learned to speak the language. Virtually no books in Navajo had ever been published. Outside of the language itself, the Navajo spoken code was not very complex by cryptographic standards and would likely have been broken if a native speaker and trained cryptographers worked together effectively.

Michal - | 1,865
17 May 2009 #117
German-only four cases and like five exceptions, everything is logical, of course.

German may not use so many cases but the language is harder than Polish all the same. There are officially more cases in Polish but they are not always used in practice though and the Poles, themselves, rarely know the difference!
jojospacemunky 1 | 59
17 May 2009 #118
German may not use so many cases but the language is harder than Polish all the same

mmmm i would say Estonian is harder more ... as it has 14 cases so that more than Polish!
18 May 2009 #119
Hungarian has almost twenty-(20) odd "working" cases in everyday use. Surely, Hungarians mess them up sometimes as well, yet the sheer amount of inflectional information definitely challenges the foreign learner (myself, for instance!) in ways Polish doesn't.

Returning to Navajo, indeed, its very intricacy and lack of world exposure made it a perfect conduit for the code talkers:-)

German, in my umpteen years experience teaching, writing in and translating it, poses more difficulty in the word order, according to many of my students over the years. Never yet heard from anyone that they became actually "dizzy" following a single sentence as I have when novices tackle their first piece of technical German, for instance, a patent.

Czwartek 2 | 14
18 May 2009 #120
The number of cases a language has doesn't necessarily indicate its difficulty. Finnish has 15 cases, but about half of them are locative and simply replace prepositions. As long as you can remember '-ssa' means 'in', '-lla' means 'on', etc. Hungarian and Estonian are related to Finnish, and I believe they have a similar system.

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