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What are the easiest and the most difficult languages in the world?
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

kleiner Kater
Chile
Local time: 18:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Probably German Oct 4, 2009

Maybe German. Trennbare Verben are a total nightmare. Not to mention the Pluralendungen.

 

Anna Haxen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:55
Member (2005)
English to Danish
+ ...
Greenlandic most difficult Oct 5, 2009

A Norwegian language linguist, Rolf Theil, recently named Greenlandic the most difficult language to learn: http://www.arctic-council.org/article/2008/10/focus_on_indigenous_languages

I can only agree with him. I'm good at languages, but I've lived in Greenland for four years now and still haven't got a clue.

I've heard of many native Greenlandic-speakers who grew up in Greenland, moved to Denmark for a period of time, and had more or less forgotten how to speak Greenlandic (their mother tongue!) when they returned.

At school they teach alternately in Greenlandic and Danish and it's common knowledge that putting a Danish-speaking and a Greenlandic-speaking child together in the hope that the Danish-speaking child will learn more Greenlandic, always results in the Greenlandic-speaking child learning more Danish.


 

Audra deFalco (X)
United States
Local time: 18:55
Italian to English
+ ...
This is a difficult question to answer Nov 6, 2009

This is a difficult question to answer because in reality it's very subjective.

I grew up speaking both English, Italian and Sicilian so for me, the romance languages come especially easily, whereas Korean which I'm trying to learn is much more difficult.

Speaking from the perspective of the "tabula rasa," that is, the blank slate that we all are born with as children with our own perfectly functioning language acquisition device, any language can be learned and none is more or less difficult than another, just as no one language is more "correct", more "slangish" or more "worth learning."


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:55
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
This is true Nov 7, 2009

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

In one sense, all languages are equally easy: children learn their respective native tongue equally easily and become proficient speakers of it at the same age, no matter whether their native language is Navajo, Finnish or Spanish.

In another sense, the only possible answer is "it depends": for an Italian, learning Catalan is easier than learning Finnish or Russian, but for an Estonian, learning Finnish will be easier than learning Italian, and for a Bulgarian learning Russian will be easier than Catalan.

Finally, it could be argued that Esperato (and Interlingua, Klingon, and other artificial languages) are actually the most difficult to learn: if we admit that the easier language to learn is our own native tongue, which we all learn as children, since there are no children whose native language is one of these artificial languages, hence, these are all languages learned, in the aggregate, with more difficulty.



logially speaking.


 

skanskan
Spain
most difficult languages? May 14

Then, what is more difficult for an English or Spanish native speaker:
Georgian
Malayalam
Tamil
Mandarin
Japanese
Icelandic
Greenlandic
Finnish
Irish
Navajo
Arabic


 
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