What's the most difficult language you've taken to learn?

Hey,

I'm new here and so goes a hello to all of you : D
I'm from Germany, Berlin (But I speak "Hochdeutsch") and for myself French, Japanese and Norwegian are a problem. Actually Norwegian is a germanic language, but it has two absolute different accents (Bokmål and Nynorsk) which have partially absolute other words to describe and build sentences (for instance: I = Eg / Jeg), or the different uncertain articles (as: ei, eit, et, en) - but the pronunciation and the most of words are quite similiar and easy.

French has (but I think this may be subjective) a very hard to master pronunciation (for myself) I find.

Japanese has a really confusing grammar I find - the sentence structure is absolute different compared to the EU-ones, + the words aren't exist in the EU-ones. But that's just my experience.

- Schöne Grüße aus Deutschland ;)
 
French. I'd like to be able to naturally express myself as well as some writers and philosophers do.
 
I learned arabic,english,french and latin and latin was the most difficult and boring one..i still think my teacher didn't teach it always right.. :D
 
Polish !! oh god, the pronunciation, all these consonnants, the spelling, the writing...
I would also say gaelic irish. It's impossible to read a word like it's written.
 
What I've found difficult in the languages I've learnt or (been learning) and a personal mark of difficutly with 10 as most difficult:

English: lots of phrasal verbs and idioms 2/10
French: lots of irregularities, difference between written and spoken form 5/10
German: genders don't correlate with greek ones, big words 4/10
Spanish: confusing subjunctive, prepositions in verbs don't correlate with english, confusing reflexive verbs 4/10
Norwegian: difficult pronounciation, lots of dialects 6/10

So I'd have to say norwegian and french were the most difficult for me.
 
Scottish gaelic ( Gaidhlig) without a doubt the hardest that I`ve tried to learn. You see something wriitten and it sounds nothing like it looks!
 
Apparently The original English language was hard as well. So hard the Normans tweaked it
 
I still think, on a whole, English is one of the easier languages. A window is a window and a door a door, just an object, unlike in other languages it has to be a masculine or feminine article! :)
 
Irish (and I presume Scottish as well, though I'm not sure) is actually a fairly easy language to learn. People say that the words can't be pronounced as they're written, but that's only because they try to pronounce the words using English phonology. Once you learn Irish phonology, which is all around pretty straight-forward, words seem - to me at least - to be pronounced more consistently than other languages, namely English.

Take for example the surname, Doibhlin. An English speaker would probably try to pronounce that as "Doy-bih-lin", or something similar. It's actually pronounced "Devlin", which is the name's anglicized form. That's only unusual until you look up the pronunciation rules. "Oi" and "o" both tend to be an "eh" sound, "bh" is usually a "w" or a "v" sound, and the "lin" is straight-forward. Using those same rules, you can read and pronounce "Doire" as it was respelled using English phonology - "Derry".

This is generally pretty consistent. Compare that to English, where you can theoretically spell "fish" as "ghoti" (laugh, women, ration).

Anyone wanting to learn the Irish language would do well to check out Talk Irish. It does cost a monthly subscription fee, but it's very reasonably priced and the lessons are outstanding - easy to understand, and genuinely fun to go through.
 
Very good post, Keegah. I like learning new phonologies, to the point where I can pronounce words in some languages quite accurately, but without being able to string together a sentence in that language.

I think it's a general trend in Celtic languages to have phonologies that make them seem crazy if you look at them from an English perspective. I've very much noticed the same trend in Welsh. Llanfairpwllgwyngyll looks crazy, is it pronounced "Lan-fairp-well-gew-yun-gile"?... but it becomes much clearer when you know how "ll," "w," and "wy" are used in Welsh. A spelling in English phonology might be more like "Hlanvair Puhlgewingil."
 
From the ones I learn,French was the most difficult.To many verbs.
I speak French,English ,Spanish and a little Italian.
And of course Portuguese my mother tongue.
 
Very good post, Keegah. I like learning new phonologies, to the point where I can pronounce words in some languages quite accurately, but without being able to string together a sentence in that language.

I think it's a general trend in Celtic languages to have phonologies that make them seem crazy if you look at them from an English perspective. I've very much noticed the same trend in Welsh. Llanfairpwllgwyngyll looks crazy, is it pronounced "Lan-fairp-well-gew-yun-gile"?... but it becomes much clearer when you know how "ll," "w," and "wy" are used in Welsh. A spelling in English phonology might be more like "Hlanvair Puhlgewingil."

It changes the way you look at writing. A fun exercise is to rewrite words and names belonging to one language using another language's rules. I like respelling Spanish surnames, English surnames, etc. into "Gaelicized" versions.
 

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