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


Atch 17 | 3,324
3 Feb 2016 #1,442
Ah Ziemowit, hello dear. I see we posted almost simultaneously. Great minds and all that........
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
3 Feb 2016 #1,443
End of !!! (Or is it: End off !?)

of....:D

Hey, I was alluding to this famous mistake made by Iron which Atch corrected:

It's 'end of' as in 'end of the story'.

You're another speed reader, Roz :-)

English is the hardest language in the world to learn!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
3 Feb 2016 #1,444
You're another speed reader, Roz :-)

yeh I read way too fast, you are right.
Interesting what you say about English. If you have reached that conclusion you must be of a really high level.
So many people learn English at the basic level (which is easy enough with our simple grammar and lack of inflections) , think they know it all, and that they speak 'English'. which they don't, they speak what I call 'Bizniz Inglish'
poganin - | 58
3 Feb 2016 #1,445
I have to finish by correcting a mistake you make all the time because it's driving me absolutely nuts: stop saying 'end off' as a conclusion to posts.

And I'm alluding to this famous mistake made by foreigners which I am about to correct once again: Correct us in your own country not Polish forum, end off story.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
3 Feb 2016 #1,446
Poggy dear it is an English speaking site. If you don't like it, go to a different site.
jon357 63 | 15,378
3 Feb 2016 #1,447
And begs the question why he wants to discuss his "own country" and language in someone else's language then gets nasty when they reply.
Atch 17 | 3,324
3 Feb 2016 #1,448
Well of course he's here, not because he wants to discuss anything, but because he wants to have a row with someone. And he won't be disappointed! It's a little hobby for the child anyway, keeps him out of worse mischief hopefully.
jon357 63 | 15,378
3 Feb 2016 #1,449
It's a little hobby for the child anyway, keeps him out of worse mischief hopefully.

A bit like saying "end of story", on a par with "at the end of the day" and "at this moment in time".

There are similar habits in Polish that one can pick up; saying w każdym bądź razie (w każdym razie is slightly better) or kwestia jest tego typu (kwestia jest is a little less bad) that mark people out as being less well educated.

There are plenty of these in Polish and it's very easy to fall into the trap of using them if you hear them every day.
Ironside 49 | 10,691
3 Feb 2016 #1,450
Yes you would

No I wouldn't!

You once got very cross with me for correcting your spelling

Nah, I got cross with you because you proceeded to lecture me in a very snotty manner. You persisted in that folly even after I have patently explained to you error of your ways. You would have none of it and since then you casted me as a villain of this forum - another folly.

To the point, you lie about what had happened. As a matter of fact you were using spelling as yet another stone to be casted at me in your indignation and haste to punish poor me for telling you to mind your own business and stop interfering into something you as a newbie on this forum have no clue about.

If somebody would bother to correct my errors without an ulterior motive in mind I wouldn't mind it at all.

You make loads of errors in spelling and grammar

I'm well aware of it thank you. You see I'm dyslectic and I would have to read my posts again in order to correct those errors. I'll pass, thank you.

One of the features of your own English Ironside is that your command of syntax and grammar deserts you big-time when you get over-excited.

The some goes for any other language I would use.

And one of the nice things about Ziemowit is that he continues to want to learn and improve his English skills, it's one of the reasons he visits this forum

I'm baffled why would he choose PF forums for it. I think he would do himself a favor if he was to seek some forum better suited for his needs. On PF very few posters can be learned from, very few indeed.

I have to finish by correcting a mistake you make all the time because it's driving me absolutely nuts: stop saying 'end off' as a conclusion to posts.

I haven't realized that I'm writing 'and off' rather than 'end of' - thank you! By the way I'm not using that particular phrase very often, it means you must be reading my posts with a bated breath. I'm faltered.

And yes my own Polish is cringe-inducing although people are very kind and tell me 'ale bardzo ładne Pani mowi po Polsku'

I'm sure your Polish sounds very pretty. You are a feisty Irish lady indeed and I must confess that I do enjoy provoking you into your spirited outbursts, its fun. I'm sure we would get along splendidly under different circumstances.
Lyzko 26 | 7,007
3 Feb 2016 #1,451
Ziemowit's correct that English most certainly is the hardest language in the world to learn (.....CORRECTLY!!). As the standard across the continent regarding English is relatively low, it should come as no surprise that those here on PF who claim to speak it adequately at best, don't honor standard, except in their own language:-)

Polish difficulty measured next to English, German for French, is based again on expectation of (in-)ability among foreigners to speak that language. The same level of difficulty is not expected of English nowadays.
Liebermann
3 Feb 2016 #1,452
It is somehow funny see brits claiming that english (!!!!) is the most difficult language to learn.. Even more than polish (!!!)

Yes, sure. Lol

Would be less non-sense if they claimed that british woman are the hottest in the world hahaha.
jon357 63 | 15,378
3 Feb 2016 #1,453
Polish difficulty measured next to English, German for French, is based again on expectation of (in-)ability among foreigners to speak that language.

Spot on. One issue about English is that it's possible to communicate adequately using just a tiny fraction of the huge and subtle vocabulary. Communicating adequately is far from being the same as mastering the language. In Polish, a language with far fewer lexemes even than French, once one masters the morphology the rest falls into place.

As ever, when talking about a language being hard to learn, the question is always "hard for whom".
Lyzko 26 | 7,007
3 Feb 2016 #1,454
Right on as usual, jon ol' man!

This question of lexemic stratagems in Polish reinforces the concept of the relative ease in vocabulary acquisition among foreigners learning Polish as opposed to the reverse. Albeit the morphology of a language such as Polish can be daunting at the very outset for non-natives, imagine the sheer frustration of the Polish student of English being confronted with the plethora of word choices in that language, e.g. "desk" vs. "writing table" vs. "secretary/anoir" vs. "lecturn" vs. "pulpit" etc..., each one from yet a different root origin, whereas the still homogeneous Polish has little non-Polish, i.e. non-SLAVIC, word stock from which to choose:-)

Why do you find it funny, Liebermann? Just curious. Your post peaked my interest, that's all.
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
4 Feb 2016 #1,455
whereas the still homogeneous Polish has little non-Polish, i.e. non-SLAVIC, word stock from which to choose:-)

LOL. Not being fluent in polish is no excuse for writing a pure nonsense on your part. Ffs just look up your own examples in a dictionary for proper polish counterparts and you will see why it is so or simply ask a native speakers if you do not own one.
Levi 12 | 450
4 Feb 2016 #1,456
How a language that allows communication between 2 billion people and even semi-neandertals like some of those that post on this forum (english) can be considered more difficult than Polish (a language that is almost intact during the last 300 years) blows my mind.

As someone said above, a bit more and the brits will also start to claim that their woman are the hottest one.
Atch 17 | 3,324
4 Feb 2016 #1,457
a language that allows communication

Yes but as John pointed out:

it's possible to communicate adequately using just a tiny fraction of the huge and subtle vocabulary

far from being the same as mastering the language

Basic English is really quite easy hence the fact that even

semi-neandertals

can learn it. But note how their command of the language falls apart when they try to use advanced vocabulary and tenses and that's just the tip of the iceberg - ah there you go now, that's an example 'tip of the iceberg'. English is enormously rich in similes, phrasal verbs and euphemisms, not to mention slang and that's even before one looks at dialects and local usages of the language. The speech of native speakers is literally peppered with them. Sometimes we communicate almost entirely in this way: 'For God's sake, would you ever come down off your high horse and give us a hand with this?' says one Irish man to another or a thirsty person might say 'I have a mouth on me like Ghandi's flip-flop'. Lyzko pointed out another factor which is the existence of multiple words having the same yet slightly different meaning:

e.g. "desk" vs. "writing table" vs. "secretary/anoir" vs. "lecturn" vs. "pulpit" etc..., each one from yet a different root origin,

Desk is not the same thing as a lectern or pulpit. Desk is a writing table, lectern is a desk/stand for reading and pulpit is not really any kind of desk, more of a stand and is specifically for speaking from. Oh and Lyzko don't forget bureau!

When I was being interviewed for a job teaching EFL many years ago the interviewer asked me which level I thought was the most difficult to teach and I replied 'intermediate without a doubt'. Basic English can be acquired quite quickly and students are pleasantly surprised at their own progress but when they get to intermediate they often exhibit a kind of syndrome where they spiral downwards into depression and desperation! The brighter ones realise at that point that they've only begun to scratch the surface and feel really overwhelmed by the vastness of the language and how much there still is to learn.

And that's just the spoken language. What about the spelling?? Very challenging.

Polish is not that difficult Levi. The phonetics of it are straightforward. Once you've learned them you can read and pronounce any word correctly which is a great boon when learning the basics. Some of the sounds are tricky for a non-Slav to master and they may never do so, but having a foreign accent when speaking a second language is not uncommon. As long as you're not mangling the word completely and people can understand you. The grammar is a different matter. To me Polish noun cases are the big stumbling block. I think it's very rare for any native English speaker to master those.

Just to conclude my Polish husband prefers to speak English as he says he finds it easier to express himself more concisely.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Feb 2016 #1,458
@Atch: what you are saying IS true about ALL languages although English grammar is the easiest of all European language (no gender, no agreement whatsover, easy conjugation, fixed order of words (for instance adjectives always before nouns) just compare with any European language ;). My first Polish teacher hated teaching English speakers since they had a harder time than other speakers to understand Polish grammar because of English grammar being so simple.. ). By the way, do you know that about half of "English" words including of course words used daily come from ... French?

For once (;) ), I'll agree with Levy, if English is spoken all around the world, it is because it is easier than any other language and that anybody is capable of learning English. I have met quite a few non English speakers in the UK and the US with 0 knowledge of language when arriving who could become fully operational within 6 months. Said non English speakers came from different language groups. I have often heard that even .... apes could learn English. For sure, said foreigners do malke some mistakes when using English but don't English speakers make mistakes when by some chance they dare learning other languages?

Well, have a good day, you'll! (I used to live in .... Georgia ;) )
Atch 17 | 3,324
4 Feb 2016 #1,459
By the way, do you know that about half of "English" words including of course words used daily come from ... French?

Well I don't think it's half, InPolska, more like a third I'd think, but of course I know about the influence of French on English you daft moo!! That's one of the reasons it's so easy for an English speaker to learn French.
Levi 12 | 450
4 Feb 2016 #1,460
My first Polish teacher hated teaching English speakers since they had a harder time than other speakers to understand Polish grammar because of English grammar being so simple

Exactly. The grammar of english is quite simple.

Also, since english is a language heavily influenced by both germanic languages and latin languages, it is easy for natives of those two groups to find common factors with english.

Meanwhile the grammar of Polish is way more complex, and there is only a small influence from latin, and some influence from germanic.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Feb 2016 #1,461
@Levy: right on!

@Atch: how many languages do you know at C1/C2 level? I assume zero otherwise you would know that English is the least difficult. Trust me, Polish students (since we are in Polish fora) have less difficulty in learning English than any other language.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
4 Feb 2016 #1,462
English

Every language has its upsides and downsides, its pluses and minuses, its easy things and difficult ones. In one sense, Polish easier for young children to acqurie vocabulary in than English. Above the basic level of everyday speech, English uses a great deal of Latin and Greek-derived roots which msut be memorised. One example: ask a 5-year-old what lactic acid is, and it'll probably draw a blank stare. In Polish kwas mlekowy is self-descriptive -- the child at least knows it's something sour and has to do with milk. Ptak drapieżny enables a Polish child to immediately picture an aggressivel clawing fowl which the word predator does not automatically suggest to an English 5-year-old. That is true of much scientifc terminology -- Polish tends to use indigenous roots and English -- Graeco-Latin ones.

But this varies from field to field. In the realm of medical specialists Polish tends to opt for foreign sources: laryngolog (ear, nose & throat specialist), nefrolog (kidney specialist), neurochuirurg (brain surgeon), etc. Ask an Anglo-speaking 5-year-old what kind of a doctor a stomatolog is and he'll probably say: "One that treats stomach aches."
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Feb 2016 #1,463
@Pol3: the Greek and the Latin (through French) have been used in the English language for ages so no "excuse"! "Dentist" comes from French "dent" but over the centuries English speakers have had the time to figure it out, just like Polish kids know about "dentysta" ;).
Chemikiem 6 | 2,319
4 Feb 2016 #1,464
The grammar of english is quite simple.

English is the least difficult.

Both of you are right, especially when comparing English with Polish language, but as I mentioned in a previous post, English is a difficult language to speak well.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Feb 2016 #1,465
@Chemi: ALL languages are difficult to speak (and write) WELL so English is no exception ;). As to Polish, it is both very difficult and very easy (depending upon learner's native language). I have had quite a few people from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic or Slovakia around me and ALL could learn Polish within a few months.

Nevertheless, true that English is the least difficult European language mostly due to very simplified grammar.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
4 Feb 2016 #1,466
Polish kids know about "dentysta"

That's a good example. Not only known but universally dreaded. But you will agree with my kwas mlekowy example, won't you? How about kwas mrówczy (formic acid) and kwas solny (hydrogen chloride)? Sure, eventually the kid will learn in middle or secondary school, but we are talking about he average 5-year-old. Dunno if anyone has ever done a comparitive study, but it would seem the Polish child of equal age and educatonal level should have an advantage in vocabulary building.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,319
4 Feb 2016 #1,467
WELL so English is no exception

Of course, but as most learners find it relatively easy to pick up, I think they tend to get lulled into a false sense of security and think it is just as easy at a very advanced level, and that's where the problems lie. It's very easy to learn the basics, whereas for Polish it isn't ( for English people anyway ).
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Feb 2016 #1,468
@Pol3: kids may they be Polish, English, Greek, Finnish, French, Dutch or whatever don't know these words any way. As to "dentist", everybody uses the word. Before coming to Poland, I had never used the word (stomatolog). In French, people say "dentiste" and "chirurgien dentiste" when "more severe" dental surgery and I don't remember having ever heard "'stomatologue" (yes, people who understand "estomac")

Nevertheless Polish language (spelling may be phonetic, once we learn the few "combinations" but grammar for NON slavic speakers can be a genuine ordeal) is far more difficult than ... English and saying the opposite does not make sense ;). A proof: Poles learn English much faster than English speakers learn Polish ;)
Atch 17 | 3,324
4 Feb 2016 #1,469
@Atch: how many languages do you know at C1/C2 level?

This is part of your hoity-toity nonsense that doesn't endear you to other members. I think that's upper-intermediate to advanced level, is that right? Firstly I would say that you don't need that level to have an idea of how easy/difficult a language is. Once you get beyond basic level in any language, and you have a modicum of intelligence/common sense, you can see what's stretching before you. If it makes you feel as if you need to go and have a lie down then you know where you are in terms of difficulty.

All I can say is that I did French and German for five years each in secondary school and took Hons level exams in both so I suppose that's upper intermediate. I was reasonably proficient in French back then. I got an A. I still don't know how I managed that. I couldn't do it now that's for sure! I had a bit of a head start because my mother was quite a good French speaker. She was a member of the Alliance Francais (sorry can't do the cedilla or any accents on this keyboard), and I heard French at home from an early age, she loved French music. I used to sing along phonetically having no idea what the words meant but I loved the sounds and like most children picked up the accent quite easily. I still remember the songs and the words, could sing you a few bars now! Charles Trenet (il plu dans ma chambre, a very child-like little ditty,I liked that one!), Jean Ferrat ( 'Je n'ais pas le coeur a redirer, on ne voit pas le temps passer' I loved his voice though some people unkindly say that he sounds like a goat), Georges Moustaki (la fille aupres de qui je dort'. That's from Voyage). Do you know the songs InPolska? We could form a girl group with Roz!

German - I was quite good for the first three years and then I just lost interest and began to find it really tedious and I hated the grammar. The length of the sentences and the clauses was mind-numbing. I found German much more difficult than French and remember scarcely a word of it whereas with French I can still read an article in a newspaper for example and understand most of it. But to converse en Francais mais non, ma petite, c'est vraiment impossible!

you would know that English is the least difficult

Yes, as I said earlier, basic English is easy but as many of us agree, true mastery of the language is not.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
4 Feb 2016 #1,470
Nevertheless, true that English is the least difficult European language mostly due to very simplified grammar.

yes it is very easy at a basic level, we all know that.
Sadly very few people go beyond that and even people who claim 'fluency' do not ever really get a grip of the grammar and meaning of eg the conditionals and modal verbs.

You are included in that btw.


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