I won't go through all of them, but I will talk about German since I'm studying it right now. I'm heading into my second year at the University that I attend.
I'll just say what I dislike about it. The three different genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. The dative case: Seriously! retarded.......
That's all I have to say about that. However, I am enjoying the language very much and intend to go as far as possible with it. I would love to learn as many languages as possible.
Language & History
English is an amazing Language. It's made great my it's ready introduction of words from anywhere. For the greatest part, other European Languages.
For Native English speakers to learn other languages can be the most enlightening and broadening of experiences. Filling up a world of Historical knowledge along the way. The history explains the seeming silliness of some English words. Take the word "Sound" I think in English it has 5?? possible meanings, all of which occurred through different language groups arriving in what is now the UK & Ireland and the words accepted into common vocabulary often giving name to some slight variance of the same theme. This taking on of other origin words I feel has probably created the subtleties that can be acheived in English speech, poetry and writing.
Language though is a great aid in the study of our Origins. Some of the books on the origins of modern languages provide fascinating clues as to our origins. Their study along with the recent DNA revelations are going to increasingly continue to zero in on our beginnings and travels as a relatively new and extraordinary species on this Earth of ours.
World's richest language seems to be Arabic as the 13'th century Lisan al arab dictionary contains near 4,5 mln words(if we add neologisms,current scientific terminology and dialectal words it can reach 5mln words)
But of course a great part of these words are somehow synonim
My native languages are English and Continental Portuguese. A am also fully fluent in Spanish and have a good business working knowledge of French and Italian.
I prefer to use English professionally but I think that both French and Portuguese are more complex languages. Both have beautiful, unique phonetic structures.
What I like particularly about my own native language(Slovene) is that it is quite a phonetic language, far more so than French or English. I also find its structure very interesting, although most foreigners would probably see it as an unnecessary complication. I like it that Slovene is a relatively archaic and conservative language in terms of grammar and vocabulary. I also like the richness and numerousness of Slovene dialects. And I find its sound and accent very pleasing to the ear as well.
I find Arabic and Japanese languages phonetically difficult.
Japanese phonetically difficult ? For speakers of Romance languages only the "h" sound might be difficult. Other sounds exist in every languages (ok, you need to roll the "r" more gently and pinch a bit the "u", but that's it).
Originally Posted by Cambria Red
I think that Japanese is easy to pronnounce but japanese grammar is a bit difficult.
On the other hand, chinese is harder to pronnounce but easier in terms of grammar
I guess it depends on the main language someone has. For example it's very hard for Greeks to tell the difference between mad and mud when they hear them but very easy to pronnounce "r" like the French do since it sounds a lot like our "γ" letter. We also don't have sounds that combine vowels like oe, ae etc so it's hard for Greeks to pronnounce them.
Ancient Greek was different. It included all of those sounds and had more rythm, that is why we have different vowels or combination of vowels for the same sounds for "i" sound we have η, ι , υ , ει, οι, and for "o" we have ο and ω. In ancient Greek each of these letters was pronnounced a bit different but now we read them all the same. We still keep the correct spelling but most Greeks just learn it by heart without knowing that they are different cause of the different pronnounciation they used to have
The only other language I can communicate in is German,which I like a lot.
I'm not at native-speaker level,though.
I live in Texas,so I hear a lot of Spanish.Don't know how it sounds when spoken by Spaniards,but I don't care for the Mexican version.Hard on the ears.
Dabbled a little with Mandarin,many years ago.Very interesting.
I love Spanish language, It's sound sweet every time I hear a conversation from spanish people.
I'll make a very short introduction now to something completly new:
-Very easy pronunciation: it uses latin alphabet, consonants are pronounced as in english, vowels as in german. only exception is gh as a pharyngal sound
-the language belongs to the Bantu branch. it's grammar is really easy, although you have to get used to it first as it differs widely from IE or semitic languages. for example it has 14 noun classes, which are bound to semantics such as persons and animals, plants, artifacts, loanwords, abstractions etc... with many exceptions. However, if you confuse these classes in practice, the language still remains comprehensible.
-vocabulary is very poor. for every word there seems to be only one expression. so distinction between formal and informal language can only be made through politeness in grammatical expression. it is a very good language to simplify complex matters and thus to make them understandable. but expressing complex matters sometimes becomes a stimulating challenge.
I skipped it after half a year due to unpronouncable sounds and too many words. The grammar however seemed to be logic. Can't say very much to it.
Above all my favourite, as I personally think the grammar and pronunciation is not too complicated. It is rich in words and so it has a big variety in expressing meanings. And I like the sound of it.
I think if I wasn't confronted with English more often and learned French at an earlier stage, it would be easier than English for me. I like the French sound, and probably as with other roman languages I hate the subjunctive.
Short, if it wasn't my mother tongue, I probably wouldn't learn it. Grammar and pronunciation are too complicated, the sound is the opposite of beautiful. I figured out the only time German sounds nice is when a young lady whispers it in a soft voice.
It is correct that modern English is very much a hybrid. Most sources will say that more modern English words are of Middle-French origin than of Old English. Common percentages are a little over 30% French origin and around 28% of Old English. The remainder is of direct Latin, Greek, and Brythonic Celtic input.
As a native English speaker who only has one other language (Spanish), I will comment on my likes and dislikes of that language.
The pronunciation is almost perfect. As soon as one learns the slightly different alphabet, it is nearly impossible to mispronounce a word in Spanish. The worst thing that one may occasionally do is miss on the location of which syllable gets stressed.
If one can become comfortable with the irregularly-conjugated verbs, the regular verbs are relatively easy once the English speaker can train him/herself to recall Yo, tu'. Ud. Nosotros, etc. for use is everyday speech.Spanish speakers also are pretty forgiving if you mess up!
Having dealt with a tremendously wide range of regional Spanish styles and slangs, I have to give it to the Castilian as being my favorite. I love the calm, almost methodical way that it sounds to a person who is mostly used to seemingly limitless styles from Mexico down to Tierra del Fuego and all of the islands. If I had to say what I disliked about Castilian, I would have to mention the "th" instead of the "s" sound and its absorption of many Arabic-derived words as opposed to the more conservative Portuguese, Catalan, etc. I like preserving a langauage in a manner as close to its earliest form as possible.
I speak some languages.
Dutch: I speak the Brabant (southern Netherlands) form. I almost never speak the official Dutch. Dutch grammar is a disaster. In The Netherlands Dutch is explained by teachers as a kind of mathematic model, that almost never fits.
In my dialect I have a pretty good idea why something is female, male or neuter.
It's simply an added value to a word. Most of the time because it pronounces more fluent.
English: My second language. Easy to understand, although I sometimes have problems with urban language and American. English sounds a bit like a chello music instrument.
German, I understand it, and I speak it, but writing it is difficult.
Also there are a lot of words that I can't compare with other languages.
German can sometimes sound a bit like a machine gun.. ;)
And the very long words...
Try this (a joke)
HauptReichsAngestelter EisenbahnLinienKnotenpuntWechsel HinUndHerSchieber.
It is 1 word!
Favorite German sentence:
"Stell dich vor es gibt Krieg, und keiner geht hin!"
It's very beautiful, because it has two meanings.
1 Imagine there's a war going on, and nobody goes there.
2 Imagine there's a war going on, and nobody dies.
French. Nice language, but I use it seldom, but if spoken slowly, I can understand.
Nicest European language I would like to learn:
Italian. Almost an opera in itself. Nice melody.
Yes that's a famous quote by Carl Sandburg. It's a good one! :laughing:
Originally Posted by Reinaert
PS: the correct form is "Stell dir vor es ist Krieg, und keiner geht hin!"
French sounds so chic, it is so feminine and also so familiar (most loans in Italian are from French) so I can only like it. Also speaking French men sounds so romantic!
English, I like it becouse it has got the easiest grammar of Europe. It sounds also well, but in my opinion French is more beautiful.
German is definitely what you call a viril language. I like men who speak German, but the grammar is hard and sometimes it seems that people are always angry when they speak in German.
Spanish in my opinion is not that great. Itsounds the way a stammering Italian would speaks. I prefer Portuguese.
Greek sounds well. I like it, although it sounds a bit like a machine gun (ta-ka-ta-ta-ki). But it's solar and has a long and great history, so...
Italian. I am Italian, so I dunno how this language sounds. People say that it's beautiful and melodic, but I don't understand what they mean.
Catalan : My native language, sounds nice to me, I don't know how it sounds to others, some people say it sounds like a mix of spanish, french and italian.
French : I don't like it that much, some of the sounds are ridiculous lol, I only like it when women speak it because it sounds delicate and feminine.
English : American english sounds very forced and ugly, I prefer british english sounds more refined and melodic, though english langauge today is seen as modern and unclassy. The language of business.
German : A very harsh language for my romance ears, sounds like they are always talking about serious things.
Spanish I like spanish, the Castilian version. Very equilibrated and harmonious language,
Italian. Sounds like they are always singing, because all the words finish with the same intonation, and when they speak very fast sounds like they are complaining and angry.
Greek I like it, sounds nice, but they speak like machines.
Portuguese I like how it sounds, it's a beatiful accent.
I like hearing Gaelic both Irish and Scottish.
FRENCH It conveys me Tenderness. It's elegant, i like its j (sweet sounds) and also the vocals (like you find in german and northern italian dialcts). But i don't like listening to music in french. Spanish it's way much better in songs for example.
SPANISH I like it, spanish music is popular in italy (latin american music, you often listen to it played usually is summer on the beaches, with songs like Vamos a la playa, Aserejé ah ehehé; Salsa etc..). It conveys me fierceness, but not as in german (it's actually pleasing to listen to it).
PORTUGUESE I prefer spanish to it. (spanish sounds way more clear and more "pure").. portuguese is....shhshshs..eo..eu..shs..eo...ao...eu..eu..eu
ENGLISH I like it it's what i call a round languages (i don't know why it conveys me something round and joyful). I'm crazy for American English accent, "No wayyyyy" "You are a *****!!!" it's very exagerated but i like it. i like it also when it's extremely nasal too.
GERMAN it conveys me Vigour, harshness. Ich liebe dich(dick lol) sounds harsh and not romantic.
I've read always that italian seems sung, happy etc.. but i don't know why??
Brazilian-portuguese: I use to listen a lot of bossa-nova music. I like it. Sounds sweet.
Italian: I find its intonation really funny.
French: Agreed with Wilhelm, I like it when women speak it. French is a language I have always related with femality.
Basque: It's harsh on the ears, primitive, most people will find it ugly... but I like it. It evoques me ancient times.
Romanian: Sounds exotic and familiar at the same time.
The Foreign Legion will hunt you down, and take you to a court in Paris .. :innocent:
Originally Posted by ^ lynx ^
I speak Italian(my mother tongue) and English(since I was in elementary school. I used to be fluent in French, but it has deteriorated, and now my Spanish is probably better. My Portuguese is passable. I tried to learn German in graduate school, but gave it up.
German-too gutteral and harsh, and the grammar was too difficult, or perhaps I didn't try hard enough.
French-elegant, logical language. I like it a great deal-love French songs
Spanish-it was an easy language to learn and I love Spanish poetry and music, but when it is spoken, I find the tone somewhat monotonous.
Portuguese-I love the sound of Portuguese. (I also love Fado) I found there to be more correspondence between Portuguese and Italian than between Spanish and Italian in terms of vocabulary. French also was more similar. Perhaps it is because Spanish has more arabic derived words. I also found Catalan more easily understandable than Spanish when I first went to Spain. This may all have something to do with the fact that the dialects of my area are influenced by a Celtic substratum. There are correspondences to Provencal and Occitan I think.
Italian-It's hard to be objective about your native language, but I think it's extraordinarily beautiful. The open vowels make it perfect for singing,(which is why so many composers have chosen it) and it is extraordinarily easy to rhyme in it. There are many, many words related to domestic life and to the affections. I think it is harder than it appears, especially in terms of verb usage etc. In my experience, many foreigners for example think they speak good Italian, whereas they are actually butchering it. You can tell immediately how educated a person is by the quality of their Italian, and for many students it can be a nightmare to get a good grade in it. There is a very good book on it in English by Dianne Hales called La Bella Lingua.
English-Although it is not my mother tongue, it is the language I speak and write in most frequently. I don't think any other language can compare with it in terms of the subtlety and flexibility which it provides. The sheer quantity of its vocabulary makes it a dream for writers. I have no idea how it sounds to others, although I think it has a slight Germanic quality, and so may not be as pleasing to the ear.
It's not easy to give an answer, but I'll try to talk about the languages that I know better. :)
Italian - I think that I'm not the most indicate person to talk about a language that is the mine, so I may appear unbiased.
I think that the Italian is a great language not only for how it sounds (not too "sweet", not harsh, not sibilant and not "skinny"), but even because it has a literary tradition that is great.
What I don't like...Maybe it could appear too hard gramatically for the foreigners. It has a lot of tenses, irregular verbs and double letters.
English - I have to confess that I don't like so much this language. Even if it is perfect for music, it sounds too "chopped" at my ears, expecially when spoken in slang. And, strangely, I find it quite difficult to talk (and write).
What I like about English it's that it is immediate and it's the easiest way to communicate.
Spanish - I have to make a premise: I talk this language fluently and I hear talking in Spanish quite often. I think it's basic to make a distinction beetween Spanish-Castillan and Spanish-Latinoamerican. Contrary to the prevalent opinion, I LOVE Spanish language from Spain and I dislike the American pronunciation. I love the sound "J" and "Z" too, how it is pronunced in Spain. It is great for music and it give to girls and women a charm touch that makes me crazy.
French - I think here the fundamental distinction should be made beetween French spoken by men and French spoken by women. I love when it is spoken by women because it's SEXY. It gives to them charm, an "allure" as they would say.
If it is spoken by men it sound "too sweet". But it's always a Latin language, one of the best in the world to hear and talk for me.
Talking about languages that I don't really know:
Portuguese sounds great, but sometimes it is too "slobber".
What I can say about German it is that I don't understand ANYTHING and it doesn't sound good to me.
I really like Greek talking, but it's quite funny too.
The language I don't like at all is arabic, really harsh.
i respect your opinion but that's unfortunate. there's not a UNIQUE american pronuntiation, even in a single latin american country you can find a lot of differents pronuntiations.
Originally Posted by Riccardo
i extremely dislike the spanish from spain, the S and the Z sounds like they are about to spit to you, and people in the southern pronuntiation make them sound like stupids (no offense intended).
the most beautifull spanish pronuntiations are in colombia and peru. colombian women talk soft and sweet.
You're surely right Canek, sorry if I couldn't explain me good. What I wanted to say is that in Spain they have a totally different pronunciation compared to the others in South America, and I prefer this one! :good_job:
Originally Posted by Canek
Maybe it's even because I'm accostumed to it!
that's probably the main reason, it's totally understatable, you are more near to spain.
Originally Posted by Riccardo
but people who knows the spanish accent, and most of the latin american accents, usually preffers the latin americans'.