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  #11  
Old July 11, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Mandarin is very difficult to learn. I quote someone else when I say 'everything is different.' The writing system, the 5 distinct tones you must master, and the vocabulary are all new.
Well, there are 'only' 4 tones to master, and it's not THAT hard. Yes, learning the Hanzi can be a challenge, but it's also great fun when you get the hang of it. And yes, the vocab is totally different, but the grammar is just so straight-forward and at times easy, so that makes a lot better.

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how easy is it for us to learn two or more languages simultanously?
Depends on the languages. For example; French and Spanish. At the same time it'll confuse you. But for example Spanish and Turkish (like I do at the moment)? I think it's perfectly possible because the two languages are so completely different.

Last edited by Ramses; July 11, 2008 at 12:03 PM.
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  #12  
Old July 11, 2008, 12:50 PM
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It's probably truth, but I don't know if, I'm learning English and chinese at same time it could be hard do it.

But, I think if the person endeavor a lot learning two languages, in any case the person will learn the languages.
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  #13  
Old July 11, 2008, 01:00 PM
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I wasn't saying that it's not difficult. Of course it's best to concentrate on one language, but if you already have a strong base in one language, studying another language which is totally different won't cause much troubles.
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Old July 11, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Of course.
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Old July 11, 2008, 03:03 PM
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...


Depends on the languages. For example; French and Spanish. At the same time it'll confuse you. But for example Spanish and Turkish (like I do at the moment)? I think it's perfectly possible because the two languages are so completely different.
Ok, at least, now, I know I´m not completely thick in the head or too old.
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  #16  
Old August 31, 2008, 03:02 AM
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The most difficult language for Native English speakers is Hungarian which is related to Finnish, however they cannot communicate with each other at all in their Native Language.
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Old August 31, 2008, 10:43 AM
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I don't think so, I believe what the language more difficult in learn would be russian.
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  #18  
Old August 31, 2008, 11:07 AM
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I'm not sure, I know from my research that Hungarian is considered the most difficult, I think this is because of pronunciation rather than the letters themselves. Even though I speak very little Spanish my pronunciation of Spanish is much better than my Hungarian. I've been slowly learning Hungarian for just over 2 years ( my girlfriend is hungarian) and I've been learning Spanish for about 5 Months. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has or is learning Russian.
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  #19  
Old August 31, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by sunikem View Post
I'm not sure, I know from my research that Hungarian is considered the most difficult, I think this is because of pronunciation rather than the letters themselves. Even though I speak very little Spanish my pronunciation of Spanish is much better than my Hungarian. I've been slowly learning Hungarian for just over 2 years ( my girlfriend is hungarian) and I've been learning Spanish for about 5 Months. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has or is learning Russian.
I find what both you and Crotalito say very interesting, and even though I have very little theoretical information about the subject, my practical knowledge, after teaching EFL for exactly half my life, and having been a student of foreign languages for even longer, is a bit wider. I love reading what linguists have to say on the topic of language acquisition, and I partly believe their findings, even if sometimes they are quite contradictory.
All the same, I think that when you speak about languages and humans you can never generalize. There are too many factors to take into account: ability, motivation, genetics, background, lifestyle, location,character...

But that's the beauty of it. Languages are full of unexpected surprises, and each and every learner has a unique experience (although there are, of course, common attributes when you consider, for example, a group of Spanish learners).

And (this one is for you, Sosia) here comes my egocentric moment: people say you learn a second foreign language through your mother tongue: I can assure you I have learned both French and the little bit of German I know through English. (Sorry, David, I took the liberty of adding my little show-off, to prevent possible future attacks by my lovely forum friends...Wouldn't want to give any names...)
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Last edited by María José; August 31, 2008 at 12:07 PM.
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  #20  
Old August 31, 2008, 02:04 PM
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Hungarian and Russian are not related. As you pointed out, Finnish is a closer match. Finnish is a very hard language to learn, but according to some sources, Hungarian is even harder.

Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, while Hungarian uses an extended Roman alphabet.

Russian has 6 noun cases. Compare that to German (4) and Finnish (8). Hungarian has as many as 18 noun cases. For those who don't understand cases, it means that a noun has a different pronunciation (and spelling) depending on what part of speech it plays. There are 6 different ways to say 'park', 'book', and 'ball' in Russian, depending on what role the words play. There are a lot more ways to say these words in Hungarian.

So, I agree that Hungarian sounds like a difficult language to learn, and I have to believe what others have said about it - that it is one of the most difficult languages for an English speaker to learn.
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