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Easiest language to learn?

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  • SaniusSanius Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I've been thinking about this too, so:

    I'm native in the english language and understand a lot about it, so would it be hard to jump into spanish? My area has a lot of hispanics (so my friends are mainly mexican), and i've always been interested in learning the language. But I don't know if it's really hard or easy to learn compared to most other languages.

    Sanius on
  • AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    It's only hard if your not interested in it....or have a terrible teacher.

    I had a mix of both, and even though I took 5 years of spanish I wouldn't be able to say anything other than "Hola, me llamo Alyce, y me gusta su lapiz." Hell, I don't even know if that's right.

    Anyway, if it interests you, take it.

    AlyceInWonderland on
  • blizzard224blizzard224 Registered User
    edited November 2006
    People say bad things about Japanese and how hard it is, but really, it's pretty easy to learn, provided your professor is actually pretty good at teaching (like mine is).

    I wouldn't recommend it if you haven't had a lot of previous exposure to Asian languages. Something to keep in mind.

    Chinese and Russian would be the most economically beneficial for you to learn. China has a booming middle class, and economists estimate that it will overtake America as the world leader. I do hate how archaic it is, though.

    Although you don't like the whole feminine/masculine thing in Spanish, it's really just a matter of which words end in -a or -o, and using the appropriate la or el. I recommend you take it. Really easy to learn, alphabet is nearly identical, though conjugation can sometimes be a huge bitch.

    I once spent 6 hours on the internet trying to work out what the fuck 'desu' meant.

    Then I went and found someone doing Japansese at school.

    Then I went and found a Japanese person.

    And I still have no idea what the 'desu' means.

    blizzard224 on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Run Run RunRun Run Run __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2006
    Desu basically means 'to be' and is used when making a statement in a polite way.

    Watashi ha desu. = I am.
    Anata ha desu. = You are.
    Ano kata ha desu. = He is.
    etc.

    Kore hawatashi no kuruma desu = This here is my car.

    In it's usage it is kinda compareable to the german 'Sie' ('you' in a polite way).

    Run Run Run on
    kissing.jpg
  • TorgoTorgo Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Learning to read Korean (memorizing sounds/characters) can be done in a week or two. Once you get over "OMG, NO ABC!" it's not hard at all. It's a scientific phonetic writing system.

    Korean grammar is backwards compared to English often times and that's hard to adjust, and there is a Chinese influence (70% of words have a Chinese origin). Korean is TONS easier than learning Japanese though. They write English words with the same Korean script. That means as long as you can read the Korean, you already know about 8000 of the foreign words they've adopted into the language. Not every meaning is the same however.

    People studying Korean in college for fluency will need to learn old school Chinese characters (Not simplified characters that the Chinese use).

    However, learning Chinese characters would help people interested in living in Asia. It makes learning Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean much easier.

    Torgo on
    History is a spoiler for the future. (Me on Twitter)
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Watashi ha desu. = I am.
    Anata ha desu. = You are.
    Ano kata ha desu. = He is.

    I think your sentence structure is incorrect.

    "Watashi desu" - I am
    "Anata desu" - You are
    "Ano kata desu" - That person is.

    (He is would be more like "Kare desu")

    The particle ha (pronounced 'wa') is used to join two nouns or an article and a noun, not a noun and a verb.

    'Watashi ha MagicToaster desu'

    See? Noun ha noun verb.

    EDIT:

    If you just want an easy language to learn find out which one is most similar to the ones you already know and take it.

    MagicToaster on
  • leftrightleftright Registered User
    edited November 2006
    german and spanish are actually pretty similar but german is supposed to be one of the easiest languages to learn. Although spanish is quite useful.

    leftright on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    leftright wrote:
    german and spanish are actually pretty similar but german is supposed to be one of the easiest languages to learn. Although spanish is quite useful.

    you are misinformed.

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Basar wrote:
    leftright wrote:
    german and spanish are actually pretty similar but german is supposed to be one of the easiest languages to learn. Although spanish is quite useful.

    you are misinformed.

    Agreed, how is a germanic language similar to a romance language? If anything I'd say German is like English.

    MagicToaster on
  • Wandering StarWandering Star Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Language is one of the most complex things that humans can do, so I don’t think it makes much sense to evaluate languages in terms of how easy they are to learn. Languages tend to even out in complexity- one language may have fixed word order and simplistic verb conjugation, but it may have distinctive tones. Another language may have vocabulary that would be familiar to you as a speaker of English, but with grammatical gender and a rich case system.

    Which type of language system you find easiest is probably an individual thing, just as many other talents and skills are. Ultimately, I think people learn a language best if they have to learn it (immersion), or if they have an interest in it. So, if you’ve got any kind of curiosity or social motivation, such as wanting to be able to understand strangers’ conversations in Spanish or know what the Japanese taunts in fighting games mean, go with that.

    Otherwise, the suggestions people have given so far have been wonderful. Out of all of them, since you really don’t seem to have an interest in taking the language for its own sake, I’d probably go with Latin. Because, as someone else suggested, they usually don’t make you speak (other than reading aloud), and you don’t have to write any original compositions. It’s usually nothing but translation and memorization. It’s still no less difficult than any other language, but I guess you could approach it in a more systematic way since you don’t have to be creative with it. A good friend of mine who doesn’t like taking languages took it in college and really excelled at it. Plus, it will improve your English vocabulary.

    I also feel the need to clear up a common misconception. American Sign Language is NOT, NOT, NOT just English translated into hand gestures. It has its own grammatical system that is nothing like English, and hand signs don’t usually correspond directly to words. That means that people who can communicate in both ASL and some form of English are truly bilingual. I do think it would be a very rewarding class to take, but don’t go into it thinking it will be anything like your native tongue at ALL.

    Wandering Star on
    We can't play math rock in 4/4, dude.
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