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What has been the hardest language for you to learn?


Wulkan - | 3,172
11 Oct 2012 #31
I agree with you Lyzko and what I can add to that is that Spanish people who work in turism industry usualy speak English but other then that it's hard to find anyone with at least good command.
Ziemowit 14 | 4,230
12 Oct 2012 #32
Polish by comparison is actually easier for an Anglo-Saxon to learn than vice versa, by virtue of the fact that Polish spelling is inifinitely more transparent than English orthography, once the fundamentals have been mastered, of course:-)

I'm not joking, Ziemowit and Wulkan(o):-)

By saying that you are joking, I meant you were referring to the basic communicative level. English is easier for a Pole at a basic level, in my view, than vice versa. A Pole attempting to speak English at that level has much less chance to make a mistake with the verb or the noun than an English person attempting to speak Polish as English has virtiually no declension and only the third person singular of the verb is conjugated. But the farer you advance, the English language is getting more difficult for the Polish speaker whereas the Polish language is becoming less difficult for the English one.
Lyzko
12 Oct 2012 #33
With the latter part of your statement, Ziemowit, I concur wholeheartedly! As with German too compared with English; the former looks harder than the latter in the beginning, but gets easier, the latter looks soooo simple in the beginning, but then get oh, so hard:-)
Woon
30 Oct 2012 #34
I personally treat it as a foreign language. Real foreign language. But the simplicity lies in the closeness of the sound systems. There are light problems for Ukrainians or Russians with Polish l and ł, ą and ę, but mostly it is the same set of sounds.

Poles usually have problems with Ukrainian h that is not Polish ch, but English breathy voiced h. Also Poles know that ci is ć and si is ś, while in Ukrainian there are many cases when c and s must be softened before a vowel, and there it just has to be c' and s' - not ć and ś.

Other than that, word constructing is similar, sounds, lexemes are similar in all Slavic languages.
imano 10 | 42
2 Nov 2012 #35
for me none. i thought polish was tough, but it's not. when you understand the grammar, you come to realise it's one of the most beautiful languages on the planet. i like it. it makes me think and use my brain which is yet another reason i'm in love with this language.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,594
2 Nov 2012 #36
For a Swedish person Norwegian and Danish are extremely easy to learn. English and German are rather easy to learn. Finnish is very difficult. Slavic languages are also very difficult to learn.

For Norwegian and Danish people the situation is the same.
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #37
Here are all the languages I've studied, from hardest to easiest to learn:

Arabic
French
English
German
Russian

Age of the learner makes a huge difference: I learned German and English when I was very young, and Russian was easy because it's so similar to Polish.

I could add Polish to the list: I was born in Poland, but I had to re-learn Polish when I returned here. I could put it somewhere in the middle of my list: it was not that difficult, but I would not call it easy. Especially the different word endings, which I still struggle with.
Lyzko
2 Nov 2012 #38
Interesting that English is only number three. Most people I've met would put it as number one, at least in terms of spelling and pronunciation. It's morphological structure is nowhere nearly as outwardly 'complex' as, say, German, Hungarian or Polish, for instance. I'll certainly grant you that much:-)
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #39
It was easy for me because I learned it when I was young, in an English-speaking country.

Arabic and French, for example, I studied mostly from books.
Lyzko
2 Nov 2012 #40
Nonetheless, your mother tongue, presumably is still Polish. Did you then grow up more or less 'bilingual' with Polish and English simultaneously (as for instance I did with German), or did you acquire it solely as a second language?
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #41
My second language was German. Later I learned English and forgot German, and still spoke Polish (although very little) with my parents at home. I basically had to learn most of Polish over again when I came back to Poland :)
Wulkan - | 3,172
2 Nov 2012 #42
Here are all the languages I've studied, from hardest to easiest to learn:
Arabic
French
English
German
Russian

huh why would you learn Arabic?!
Wulkan - | 3,172
2 Nov 2012 #44
but why, does it sound nice or other reason?
Nacjonalista 4 | 96
2 Nov 2012 #45
Spanish is easy in the sense that everything is pronounced like it's spelled like Polish. However verb conjugation in Spanish is difficult compared to English. For polish speakers Spanish and Italian are probably the easiest non slavic languages to learn.
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #46
but why, does it sound nice or other reason?

I like the way Arabic letters look on the page, and I spent some time in the mid east and the Gulf and liked it there, so I wanted to give Arabic a shot. Also as a challenge, because it seemed like a hard language to learn. It was pretty hard, I enjoyed studying it for about a year and then gave up.

Sometimes I just study a language out of interest, not because I have to speak it...

Russian was the same way. I just liked the way it sounded, and I studied it for awhile until I could read Pushkin in the original. Then I lost interest and quickly forgot most of what I learned.

If you or anyone says anything about how I'm a "traitor" for liking either the Arab or Russian culture, I will not reply.
Wulkan - | 3,172
2 Nov 2012 #47
Sometimes I just study a language out of interest, not because I have to speak it...

It's same like me, the only language I studied for useful reasons was English.

If you or anyone says anything about how I'm a "traitor" for liking either the Arab or Russian culture, I will not reply.

Why would I say that? I keep getting called traitor usualy by Polish girls for being in relationship with an English woman and it doesn't bother me, I always say that I don't care who they sleep with.

Liking another culture has nothing to do with being traitor. Russian culture could be interesting, Arab... knowing how inhumanly they treat women I wouldn't even want to go beyond that point.
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #48
Arab... knowing how inhumanly they treat women I wouldn't even want to go beyond that point.

See, that's exactly why I didn't want to get into this conversation. you were shocked because you didn't understand how a woman could study a language whose culture was "inhumane" towards women, and that's what I figured about you from the start.
Wulkan - | 3,172
2 Nov 2012 #49
you were shocked

not shocked, more like curious.

I only said my reason why I wouldnt be interested in this, I never condemned you for that. There must be a reason for the defense mechanism you have at this matter.
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #50
I'm not a psychologist, but I guess my reluctance comes from my experiences in posting so far on this forum. Seems people are very argumentative and also very interested in where other posters come from, where they have lived, and where they have been, so they can make judgments and be critical about each other.

But at least your curiosity is now satisfied :)
Lyzko
2 Nov 2012 #51
Wulkan,

Arabic too is immensely practically, especially nowadays:-) While we're on the subject of "inhumane" treatment, almost any language culture you can think of has its caveats, right? Learn German!! Sure, but weren't they all Nazis?, English is sooooo practical, isn't it? Definitely, but then America is a cancer taking over the worldLOL:-)), Spanish?? Weren't their ancestors those brutal conquistador fellas?? etc... ad infinitum.

There's always going to be something to stand in one's way of learning a language. However, the most important reason is because English won't always get one by perfectly or even near prefectly EVERYWHERE!! Sometimes, it's necessary to know the target or local lingo!!

Poland's a great example. When I was there, Poles asked me after a while to speak to them please in English. My stock answer was always the same; " No, z przyjemnośćią! JA mówię po raz pierwszy w języku angielskim a potem w języku angielsim, aby lepiej porozmawiac sie!"
Lyzko
2 Nov 2012 #52
Sorry, I meant "polskim" in the last part of the sentence.
Wulkan - | 3,172
2 Nov 2012 #53
Arabic too is immensely practically, especially nowadays:-)

this is kind of right

No, z przyjemnośćią! JA mówię po raz pierwszy w języku angielskim a potem w języku angielsim, aby lepiej porozmawiac sie!"

hehe, I like reading your Polish, I bet you would be a funny guy to talk with in real ;-)
Lyzko
2 Nov 2012 #54
Likewise Wulkan!

I'm certain your English, were I to speak with you face to face, would similarly yield suitable risible sensations:-) It is unfortunate that you lot fail to grasp the humor in your self-confident posturingslol
Wulkan - | 3,172
2 Nov 2012 #55
lol I did not mean to touch your ego, I meant it in a good way, peace ;-)
a.k.
2 Nov 2012 #56
I basically had to learn most of Polish over again when I came back to Poland :)

Then what languages are you a native speaker of?
a.k.
2 Nov 2012 #58
Chinese, obviously.

Oh again, you're famous sarcasm, no one knows when to laugh and when not to.

Is it English?
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #59
Well with you, nobody laughs period.

Interested in the topic of this thread? Then go and leave a comment about it, for a change.
polonius 54 | 420
2 Nov 2012 #60
Speaking of Chinese, the writing is foreboding indeed, but speaking basic household Chinese (Mandarin) is easy enough to pick up. Once you get past the four intonations that vowels have. In the States I had Chinese flatmates (from Taiwan) at uni and could communicate on a basic level. Haven't used it in years, but remember I used to introduce myself to Chinamen with:

£o sy polan mejgłoren. (I am a Polish American).
Ni ło hy ca? (Fancy some tea?)

(I have used Polish phonetics for the sake of ease.)


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