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Out of curiosity, how do our members of this Grate Site who are not native English speakers think of the difficulty of learning English?

Coming from German, it's easy - but treacherous, particularly pronunciation. ...

 

One word: Scotland

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If knowing English, French and Spanish...that is most of the globe covered.

Learn Mandarin, converse with 3.8 Billion people 😀😀😀😀

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Posted (edited)

 

If knowing English, French and Spanish...that is most of the globe covered.

Learn Mandarin, converse with 3.8 Billion people

 

 

er, I should be more positive.

 

I'm willing to bet anyone who can speak Mandarin at a conversational level probably could expect a 10-20% increase in their salary, assuming international business.

Edited by Stargrunt6
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French, an excellent choice for a foreign language. Beautiful and with a great culture and body of literature to discover. As a Dutchman I grew fond of the language and country during my high school years. At university I took some classes in the French department and worked four summers in the country, which was great for learning the vernacular. Do not be put off by failing to understand the numerous regional dialects in the country, which are quite distinct from the language as spoken by the Parisian elites. Accessible literature may help improving your vocabulary, find out what French novels are given to the students in your local high schools.

 

The Alliance Française may also help you learning French: https://afusa.org/

 

Cherished nostalgic Francophile films are, for example, Jean de Florette (1986) and its perhaps even better sequel Manon des sources (1986). In similar vain are La Gloire de mon Père (1990) and its sequel Le château de ma mère (1990).

 

To get acquainted with relatively modern French as spoken in the streets of the urban centers, see La Haine (1995) and to get a taste of the rather different pronunciation of the Langue d'Oc, see Lacombe Lucien (1974), which is great for somebody interested in WW2.

 

Thank you. I clicked the link for the Alliance Francaise and sure enough, there's a chapter in my town (go fig). They're even doing an online version of their movie night.

 

Speaking of, the first French film I've ever watched is "Le Femme Nikita." Saw it on the Independent Film Channel in the 90's. As soon as I could, I bought a copy. A Cajun friend of mine in college, who was fluent in French back then, told me he loved the remake but had never seen the original. I showed him the original, changed his mind on the remake.

 

Sounds like France has a similar problem to Spanish. Just when you think you are fluent, here comes hard-level espanol from the Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Venezuelans etc.

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Amusing, since a French girl I worked with (primary driver for my interest in Française) saw both and preferred the USian version.

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Well...gf speaks Swedish, Finnish, English, French, German and Russian...good one to have around when travelling.

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Well...gf speaks Swedish, Finnish, English, French, German and Russian...good one to have around when travelling.

 

That's like having six girlfriends. She can chew you out with half a continent.

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Finish is also almost fully phonemic, so much easier than Hungarian. Hungarian also has 17 or 18 grammatical cases... :wacko:

 

Which are? For starter, we have only 3 tenses, so learners of English language have to grok the meaning of Past Perfect Continuous Tense.

 

 

 

Threw -through

Hear - here

Ewe

Bin - been

Goofy

Would -wood

 

 

This is what some sort of British humour based on it, like Monty Python is hard to translate to Hungarian. We have much less ambiguous sounding words. Even misheard lyrics is not a standalone genre here.

 

I flirted with learning Russian, but only got as far as learning, or trying, to learn cyrillic. Kind of reminded me of shorthand.

 

My primary school Russian teacher had a solution to that: we had a summer holidays homework, write an A5 sized, specially lined exercise book full with copied Russian text from our language books. Usually done in the last days of Summer. How my hands ached :wacko:

 

 

Out of curiosity, how do our members of this Grate Site who are not native English speakers think of the difficulty of learning English?

Coming from German, it's easy - but treacherous, particularly pronunciation.

 

My high school grammar teacher said something similar about speaking Finnish for a Hungarian: unlike speaking let's say English, it was thinking Hungarian, forming Hungarian sentences but speaking entirely different words.

 

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Finish is also almost fully phonemic, so much easier than Hungarian. Hungarian also has 17 or 18 grammatical cases... :wacko:

 

Which are? For starter, we have only 3 tenses, so learners of English language have to grok the meaning of Past Perfect Continuous Tense.

 

Had to actually google exact number, I remember that from someone complaining about Serbian having 7 cases in front of some Hungarians who started laughing hard.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_case#Hungarian

 

I know about only 3 tenses, but 20 years ago while i was toying with learning it grammar looked pretty hard.

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We have learned much less cases (subject, direct/indirect object) in school. The Hungarian version of this Wiki article points out that only this 3 are real case (attachable freely to words, meaning can be determined by syntactical analysis), the rest is lexical (have to know the meaning of the suffix - like have to know the meaning of the example English word in the second column).

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for me russian was much harder to learn than english, possibly due to need to translate it twice in mind - language and cyrillic alphabet.

 

since fenno-ugrish languages don´t have sexes, it always makes interesting reading translated books , like science fiction, when names are not immediately recognisable as male or female. sometimes on page 50 you go ´....oh´ :D

 

i have to add that sometimes it ´s most confusing seeing some bible citation here - i can´t make anything out of it - written in 17th century english, translation of 2000 year old metaphors. i get that the poster means well, but....

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We have learned much less cases (subject, direct/indirect object) in school...

Ah, so the same as tenses in Serbian, you have shitload but only few are actually used.

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for me russian was much harder to learn than english, possibly due to need to translate it twice in mind - language and cyrillic alphabet.

Serbian (or Serbo-Croatian as was called back then) had both cyrillic and latin alphabet as official. Cyrillic was learned in the 1st and latin in the 2nd grade of the primary school in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia, and vise-versa in Slovenia and Croatia*. ATM cyrillic is "more equal" in Serbia as official state/government documents have to be in cyrillic, but other than that there is no difference which one you use. I use latin on internet and while writing in capital letters, while for cursive I use cyrillic, through much simplified form of the "formal one".

 

*Unless your "native language" was not Serbo-Croatian/Slovenian/Macedonian, in which case you had to learn it parallel to the Serbo-Croatian, potentially learning both cyrillic and latin in the 1st grade of the primary school.

Edited by bojan
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russian lessons started here too in 2. grade. i think it became extracurricular in 1991, i liked my teacher so i stayed for year or two longer.

Edited by bd1
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Greek is funny due to the many articles which can be definite, indefinite, gendered, numbered and case-inflected similar to German. For example planets / moons can be female, male or neutral with the appropriate article to define them.

 

Granted modern Greek trimmed on the number but its still funny to see English and Slavic language speakers trying to figure out which to use. I remember how easy it was to learn English when you did not have to be wary of what article to use in each case.

 

Latin: In vino veritas

English: In wine (the) truth

Greek: Στο κρασί η (because truth is female) αλήθεια

 

80r3jtbqxx401.jpg

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Greek is funny due to the many articles which can be definite, indefinite, gendered, numbered and case-inflected similar to German. For example planets / moons can be female, male or neutral with the appropriate article to define them.

I went to college with several Greeks. Amusingly, the one with the least accent had the hardest time with pronoun genders. 5 minutes into a story you'd realize that the "she" in the story was a guy.

 

English is ridiculously easy to learn. For example, it is entirely obvious that the plural of foot is feet, the plural of boot is boots, and the plural of food is food.

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Greek is funny due to the many articles which can be definite, indefinite, gendered, numbered and case-inflected similar to German. For example planets / moons can be female, male or neutral with the appropriate article to define them.

 

Granted modern Greek trimmed on the number but its still funny to see English and Slavic language speakers trying to figure out which to use. I remember how easy it was to learn English when you did not have to be wary of what article to use in each case.

 

Latin: In vino veritas

English: In wine (the) truth

Greek: Στο κρασί η (because truth is female) αλήθεια

 

80r3jtbqxx401.jpg

 

LOL that's brutal.

 

Hell, French pronouns in general are a bit tricky for me. Not as intuitive as Spanish.

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Then really there is nothing new under the Sun, Latin is designed for our age due to her lax attitude toward articles.

 

Just remember only today how many times had you to go back one more word to edit your computer/phone text because you had to change the article after rephrasing the sentence...

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I've learned when using a phone keyboard to just look at the keyboard and not at what you are typing. cuts down on errors considerably.

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  • 3 months later...

Maybe a language with grammatical genders can save one:

 

Quote

There was an anecdote that soldiers in Saint Petersburg were said to chant "Constantine and Constitution", but when questioned, many of them professed to believe that "Constitution" (which is grammatically female in Russian Konstitutsiya) was Constantine's wife.

 

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