What's the hardest language to learn/master?

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Philosophy Explorer
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What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:10 am

With computer languages it seems the more it expects from you, the more you can expect to get back from it is my comment.

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by -1- » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:33 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:10 am
With computer languages it seems the more it expects from you, the more you can expect to get back from it is my comment.

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Human Languages: hardest to learn for an adult is Hungarian.

Computer languages: C++. Hardest to learn for an adult.

Animal languages: The whispery whistle of the Great Blue Sperm Whale. Hardest to learn for an adult giraffe.

Foreign languages: Xp9578@@x##$ from Planet 4W%Y&S in the asgaepgh Black Hole. Hardest to learn for an adult solar system.

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QuantumT
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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by QuantumT » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:11 pm

I'd say the hardest language is wife/girlfriend language.

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by gaffo » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:36 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:10 am
With computer languages it seems the more it expects from you, the more you can expect to get back from it is my comment.

🇺🇸PhilX🇺🇸
I've heard Islandic is

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by -1- » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:41 pm

gaffo wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:36 pm
Philosophy Explorer wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:10 am
With computer languages it seems the more it expects from you, the more you can expect to get back from it is my comment.

🇺🇸PhilX🇺🇸
I've heard Islandic is
Some practical facts about Iceland:

- it just about gets all its imports from overseas
- it gave some of the most valuable words to the English language:
---- Eyes Slant (D changed to T)
---- I slander
---- I slither (some phoneme shifts)
---- I slumber (ibid)
---- etc (lots of phoneme shifts.)
---- shifty phonemes (you see how they shift?)
- its government declared bankruptcy more times than any other European country except for Bulgaria
- Iceland lent itself to be the inspiration for the lyrics of a Led Zep song, "Immigrant Song", "Right from the land / of the Ice and snow / with the midnight sun / where the hot springs billow"
Last edited by -1- on Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

iolo
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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by iolo » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:50 pm

I'd say the hardest language is the language least like your own, unless you start as an infant. Chinese seems to me very close to English in many ways, whereas most inflected languages are tough (for me, anyway). Again, it depends on how prepared people are to speak to you - in the Low Countries they all seemed to prefer English. My wire is good at computer language and German, but has trouble with Cymraeg because, again, all our people nowadays speak English and it gets a bit tedious waiting for people to form thoughts into words when you can already see what they mean. Relatives from Patagonia are required for proper practice!

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by iolo » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:48 pm

In the above, my Wife has turned wiry, for some reason!

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by -1- » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:16 pm

iolo wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:48 pm
In the above, my Wife has turned wiry, for some reason!
My wife, my right hand, would only be good at sign language, if I ever learned it.

My left and my right hands are good at computers, and at typing, but my right apparently does not know what the left is doing and vice versa. -- A little bit like Politics, except the two hands don't blame each other for the economy.

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by Skip » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:13 pm

-1- wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:16 pm
My left and my right hands are good at computers, and at typing, but my right apparently does not know what the left is doing and vice versa. -- A little bit like Politics, except the two hands don't blame each other for the economy.
So, no piano or guitar lessons, then?
I should think sign language can't be all that hard, since chimps and gorillas can learn it.
Maybe any language is relatively easy at the level of basic interaction - "I'm hungry." "Where is the bus stop?" " How much does the umbrella cost?" or "You are the the most beautiful girl I have ever seen." - and increasingly difficult as you get into literature, philosophy and specialized knowledge.

Yes, it is easier to learn a language in the same linguistic family as one's own, not just in grammatical structure, but in the sound of hard and soft consonants. Many people find Hungarian difficult because it doesn't belong to a big family (I've heard it's related to Finnish and the dialects of northern Russia and Asia, but the split-off of Huns from the Mongolian group was a long time ago, and each fragment of the tribe merged with different local nations, plus later migrants from Europe and Mesopotamia.)
The most complicated thing about Hungarian grammar is adding the correct prefixes and suffixes - which are child's play compared to Ojibwa.
Many Hungarian speakers find other languages, particularly English and German, easy to learn - but not the far eastern languages.

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by -1- » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:25 am

Skip wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:13 pm
-1- wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:16 pm
My left and my right hands are good at computers, and at typing, but my right apparently does not know what the left is doing and vice versa. -- A little bit like Politics, except the two hands don't blame each other for the economy.
So, no piano or guitar lessons, then?
I should think sign language can't be all that hard, since chimps and gorillas can learn it.
Maybe any language is relatively easy at the level of basic interaction - "I'm hungry." "Where is the bus stop?" " How much does the umbrella cost?" or "You are the the most beautiful girl I have ever seen." - and increasingly difficult as you get into literature, philosophy and specialized knowledge.

Yes, it is easier to learn a language in the same linguistic family as one's own, not just in grammatical structure, but in the sound of hard and soft consonants. Many people find Hungarian difficult because it doesn't belong to a big family (I've heard it's related to Finnish and the dialects of northern Russia and Asia, but the split-off of Huns from the Mongolian group was a long time ago, and each fragment of the tribe merged with different local nations, plus later migrants from Europe and Mesopotamia.)
The most complicated thing about Hungarian grammar is adding the correct prefixes and suffixes - which are child's play compared to Ojibwa.
Many Hungarian speakers find other languages, particularly English and German, easy to learn - but not the far eastern languages.
I think you are right on every account, almost every account. You left out a few things... the most important is the Vowel Agreement, which is also reflected in the suffices, and the one thing about the language that is unique, that is the subjective and objective conjugation of verbs. Which is insanity for a foreigner, but natural for a Hungarian.

Hungarians were under Turkish rule twice in their language development, and therefore Turks consider Hungarian an offshoot of some Turkish sub-family (I am not familiar with the roots of Turkish), and they reject the notion that Hungarian is part of the Finno-Ugric family of languages.

Hungarian may as well be a sub-something of whatever family the Turkish belongs to, because we only have fewer than 100 words alive in the language, which is similar in sound to Finnish and mean the same.

On the other hand, some 90 percent of the words in use in everyday Hungarian speech have been developed from Finno-Ugric roots.

I don't know what the precise impact of Turkish was on Hungarian. The annals in Hungary don't speak of it, because for historical reasons, we resent the Turkish occupation for patriotic reasons.

Skip, I raise my hat to you: you have a real deep insight into Hungarian, the language. I don't think I have any insight into the historical and lingual development of other languages, besides Hungarian and English.

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by Skip » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:33 pm

-1- wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:25 am
You left out a few things... the most important is the Vowel Agreement, which is also reflected in the suffices,
You're right, I did forget that.
and the one thing about the language that is unique, that is the subjective and objective conjugation of verbs.
But then, doesn't every language have its own peculiarities on that count?
Hungarians were under Turkish rule twice in their language development, and therefore Turks consider Hungarian an offshoot of some Turkish sub-family (I am not familiar with the roots of Turkish), and they reject the notion that Hungarian is part of the Finno-Ugric family of languages.
Well, then the Turks are all wet. They were only around for a couple hundred years, very late in the development of the nation, when the language was fully formed. I should think more German stuck, just because the Austrian domination took place during the Industrial revolution, when new things, with new names were invented and introduced. However, there is a deep Mongolian root is common to Turks and Hungarians, so I wouldn't be surprised at a similarity of language structure, as well as cultural iconography. (horses and swords, anyhow) But then, I suppose the Finns migrated northward from the same steppes, a couple of thousand years earlier, when their cousins went eastward, across the Bering strait. (spears and caribou)

Early people-migrations are still largely mysterious, but gene-tracking has started to shed some light.
we only have fewer than 100 words alive in the language, which is similar in sound to Finnish and mean the same.
I wasn't thinking that; I was thinking of structure, sounds - the prevalence of k and r - for example, diminutives, syllable stress and cadence.
Skip, I raise my hat to you: you have a real deep insight into Hungarian, the language.
Not really. I pretty much stopped speaking it by age 12, except to my parents, and that's kitchen-language; no advanced concepts or grammar.
However, I did teach ESL for some years, and got a little bit of insight into what different native speakers find difficult to master in English.
Hungarians do have a devil of a time with English prepositions and pronouns. Also th. (except one music teacher - she had an ear like no other student!) But then, Germans put in extra prepositions and can't readily manage v or soft g.

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by -1- » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:21 am

Yes, Hungarian took a large hit of influence by German, especially in two aspects: one, the use of "time-words" such as "already", "yet", "still", "not yet", "after", etc, which relationships are mostly expressed in English by the perfect, the pluperfect, the imperfect and the present, both in continuous and nominative. That was one influence on Hungarian by German. The other influence was the development of new words in the Age of Enlightenment: there were a bunch of language-innovators, who created words from Hungarian roots for concepts that hitherto hadn't existed. This was a typically German approach, without using any German at all. The spirit of creating and innovating was imported, not the words or the grammar.

But equally as influential were the Slavic languages that people spoke / speak around Hungary. Slavic was introduced earlier to Hungarian than German, and therefore many words were imported in the middle ages: iskola, (skola), templom, kocka, medve, puska, picsa.

What fascinates me about Hungarian are the proper names on the maps. Such words that have long ago lost their meaning. Szazhalombatta, Komarom, Esztergom, Kecskemet, Szeged, Kiskunfelegyhaza, Paty, Cinkota, Pecs, stb. stb.

My difficulty in English pronunciation is not the TH at all, but the vowel sounds. Especially the difference between A (eh) and E (EE). My As sound as Es. That's especially inconvenient as I have lots of As in my name. (Not ASSes, but A-s.) And to this day I can't properly pronounce the short i. Despite the fact that I am short.

And the biggest hurdle in learning English was the hardly audible 've and 'd after nouns, denoting have, had, and would. This I hadn't been hearing, and therefore the proper usage of verb tenses eluded me in English for thousands of years. Joking, for about 15 years in effect. I had a girlfriend who proofread one of my books, and she informed me of the rules, which are not all that complicated, one just has to set his mind that in English "yet", "after", "already", stb. are not that often used but the verb tenses reflect the temporal progression of events.

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by Skip » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:48 pm

-1- wrote: ↑
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:21 am
And the biggest hurdle in learning English was the hardly audible 've and 'd after nouns, denoting have, had, and would.
I have an author like that. He simply avoids contractions, so that all his dialogue reads like Data's speech, and I have to edit the hell out of it. He does also have trouble with e's and a's, which is a problem, because heckle and hackle mean quite different things.
stb.

Ha!

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by -1- » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:22 am

Skip wrote: ↑
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:48 pm
-1- wrote: ↑
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:21 am
stb.

Ha!
Ha! He noticed!

Huckle is yet a different meaning.

In Toronto the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a recording studio hall called the Eckler auditorium. I keep referring to it as the Heckler auditorium.

This was the second bluff that, for my greatest surprize, worked. Huckle is a word in English. I did not know that. I just backformed it from Huckleberry (as in H. Finn.)

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Re: What's the hardest language to learn/master?

Post by Skip » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:29 pm

Perhaps the root of "hucksterism", or, in post-modern parlance, the art of the deal.

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