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What has been the hardest language for you to learn?


a.k.
2 Nov 2012 #61
Interested in the topic of this thread? Then go and leave a comment about it, for a change.

I've already done it on 1st page.
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #62
Then I guess your work here is done.

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.

I hope to learn some basic Japanese someday and maybe some calligraphy. It's beautiful, and a dream of mine is to visit Tokyo someday. I have a friend with Japanese heritage, and his photos from that city were pretty amazing.
natasia 3 | 368
2 Nov 2012 #63
Polish by comparison is actually easier for an Anglo-Saxon to learn than vice versa

I actually agree. And if that Anglo-Saxon has spent 8 years studying Caesar's Gallic Wars and other such delightful Latin texts, then Polish is a breeze - I mean, people really SPEAK Polish!! You can go to a bar and LISTEN to it! Cool. Easy. Nice.

Honestly, I really don't find Polish that hard. Now either I am an idiot, or a genius, or showing off, or ... Polish isn't that hard. It is easier than Latin, for damn sure. And for some reason I find it easier than German. Spanish and Italian are like dodgems in terms of language - point and go; French is hard to put in gear, and makes strange noises; Polish is a sports car that drives easier than it looks.

Now my next challenge is going to be ... Russian. That DOES sound tricksy. Is it?
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #64
Now my next challenge is going to be ... Russian. That DOES sound tricksy. Is it?

If you found Polish easy, Russian shouldn't be too hard - they're pretty similar. The Russian alphabet is daunting at first, but not that difficult when you get into it.

Russian to me is so soft, melodious and beautiful that speaking it is a pleasure. that was a good motivation to keep on studying it, at least for me.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,861
2 Nov 2012 #65
I am sure it will be an Aston Martin for you Natasia, you know Greek and Polish already.....
natasia 3 | 368
2 Nov 2012 #66
Russian to me is so soft, melodious and beautiful that speaking it is a pleasure.

Yes, spent all last night listening to Russian friends, and it was gossamer-soft compared to Polish ...

I am sure it will be an Aston Martin for you Natasia, you know Greek and Polish already.....

Wow, you must have remembered that from some other post, a good while ago ... I didn't mention the Greek this time ... but as for Russian being my Aston Martin (always my car of choice) - hmm - wouldn't that be too perfect? I hardly dare hope.

It appeals, though, Russian, doesn't it? Seems an almost unbearably romantic language to me. But then that's all those writers and composers working on me. How not to be seduced by Tolstoy and Rachmaninov?
Dominika99 1 | 93
2 Nov 2012 #67
It's an incredibly sexy language, too, and sounds comforting like a bed time story. all those soft ts sounds just melt in your mouth.

There's something sexy about Scottish accents, too, but for entirely different reasons.
Lyzko
3 Nov 2012 #68
Wulkan, you didn't tread on my ego any more than I didn't mean to tread on yours:-))

Back to the topic, I continue to maintain that the margin for error in a language such as Polish is immeasurably greater than for English. This is still, however, NO license to misuse or intentionally abuse the English language. As Polish remains the mother tongue of Mickiewicz (well, second mother tongue. He was actually from 'Litwo, ojczyzna moja! he-he), Słowiacki and so many others, English is the language of Shakespeare etc.. No sense in learning the curse words in English and pretending that's English anymore than learning Polish slang here on PF is any substitute for classical Polish.
Lyzko
3 Nov 2012 #69
Whooops, "...ojczynO moja." (wołacz - rodzaj żeński)

Polish was the most intimidating language for me to acquire, but scarcely the "hardest"LOL
That dubious honor belongs to Hungarian, Icelandic (though Germanic) might rate a close second!
polonius 54 | 420
4 Nov 2012 #70
Finnish (same Ugro-Finnish language group as Hungarian) is very hard to learn (more than a dozen inflected cases)!
Lyzko
4 Nov 2012 #71
...but Hungarian, I've often been told by native authority, uses most of her umpteen cases in DAILY conversation/writing, whereas Finnish apparently does not:-) I'm only going by what Abundalo and Carlsson have written in their texts. Finnish, unlike Polish, shares with Czech (interestingly enough) a wholy separate sub-category of slang, grammatically as well as lexically distinct from the "standard" language learned typically by foreigners!!
Ziemowit 14 | 4,230
5 Nov 2012 #72
As Polish remains the mother tongue of Mickiewicz (well, second mother tongue. He was actually from 'Litwo, ojczyzna moja! he-he)

That Polish was the second mother tongue of Mickiewicz is a bit surprising!
Wulkan - | 3,172
5 Nov 2012 #73
Finnish, unlike Polish, shares with Czech (interestingly enough) a wholy separate sub-category of slang

how is that possible?
Lyzko
5 Nov 2012 #74
Slang or vernacular in most languages I've studied (not to say, languages in generalLOL) deviates from the written standard, in the way in which dialect or regional variety usually differs considerably from the "status" tongue spoken by the elite. While there are languages which may not reflect such extreme shifts in speech, others oscillate wildly between the "correct" vs. the "colloquial" forms. Czech, it seems, is one of them:-)

As a non-Czech speaker and one with only a passing aquaintancship with Finnish, not to mention a slightly less cursory knowledge of spoken Hungarian, here, I'll gladly rely on those more expert than I.

Dutch and Swedish for instance, languages I know fluently, offer quite distinct variations between the written and spoken idiom. With the former, the difference is primarily in the vocabulary, in the latter, the distinctions, particularly post 1945, are so extreme as to be almost offensive to a university-educated native Swedish speaker born before the end of WWII. Youth magazines in this language are sometimes even written with spoken slang forms!!

Polish simply appears less polarized to me in this respect, that's all I was saying.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 645
1 Dec 2012 #75
What has been the hardest language for you to learn?

Cantonese, without a doubt.

Simply because, apart from English-influenced words like "bai bai" (bye!) there's nothing which sounds/looks like any European language. Speaking Polish is no help; but, rather bizarrely, speaking Czech is :0 As I'm heading to my beloved HK again soon, it's out with the CDs and books again. I'll never be fluent (unless I win the lottery tomorrow lol) but I've always liked a challenge :) A lot of European people don't like the sound of it though. And you can console yourself with this: if you think an upset, nagging Polish girl sounds annoying, you haven't lived until you hear a HK Chinese girl go off on one. But it's worth it, because they are so sexy :D
MoOli 9 | 480
1 Dec 2012 #76
I hope to learn some basic Japanese someday and maybe some calligraphy.

I have a place rented to that kind of services on NOWEGRODSKA street in Warsaw,but they are barely surviving...if u into it get in touch with them
FlaglessPole 4 | 655
1 Dec 2012 #77
(well, second mother tongue. He was actually from 'Litwo, ojczyzna moja! he-he)

second to what exactly..?
dougal - | 1
1 Dec 2012 #78
What has been the hardest language for you to learn?

Japanese was quite difficult, i just didnt learn it so i gave up.
berni23 7 | 378
1 Dec 2012 #79
Polish must be a ***** for westerners.
noreenb 7 | 554
1 Dec 2012 #80
Polish is a mine of wealth of vocabulary and grammar (unfortunately) for learners.
z0ltan - | 2
13 Dec 2014 #81
LOL at all the Poles who think that they know English well, and that it's an easy language for them to learn. I have never met a Pole in my life (who didn't learn to speak it as a child) who could speak good/proper English. The initial ease and abundance of speaking opportunities lulls them into thinking that English is an easy tongue, whereas most native English speakers are just too polite to tell them that their English is well below par.

Wulkan, I'd like to see how good your English is, heh.

@Wulkan

Come down here to Australia, and you'll see whether you can actually speak English. Heh. And I'm not talking just about the pronunciation. There are tons of Poles in here who have lived here their whole lives (and still speak Polish at home), and their accents are horrendous. I shudder to imagine how accents of Poles in Poland must be like. On top of that, what is commonly used online is a rather unrealistic version of what is actually used in real life. I bet you wouldn't figure out 50% of what was being spoken about in a cafe down here in casual conversation.

Lyzko is right - most native speakers of English don't worry about the mistakes of non-natives, are more accommodating about it, and actually compliment people on their skills rather than people from Europe who are rabidly maniacal about their spelling and pronunciation. Lastly, the most important point is that for native English speakers, learning foreign languages is a purely personal hobby rather than a genuine need, unlike for most Poles who have had to learn English. Now tomorrow, god forbid, Polish were to become the de facto language of the world, as English is today, I guarantee you people would have no problem learning better Polish than native Polish speakers. Case systems are hard in Polish? Yeah well, tenses are a nightmare in English for foreign speakers. And in fact, that is a harder system to master than cases. Cases are a breeze along with verb conjugations mostly because they are regular and simply have to be memorised.

z0ltan STOP insulting other PF posters or you will receive suspension


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