What Makes One Language Harder or Easier Than One other?

What makes one language harder or easier to learn than one other? Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer. There are some languages which have a number of characteristics that make them comparatively troublesome to learn. But it relies upon much more on what languages you already know, particularly your native language, the one (or ones) you grew up speaking.

Your native language The language you have been surrounded with as you grew up (or languages, for these lucky sufficient to grow up speaking more than one language) is the most influential factor on the way you be taught other languages. Languages that share a few of the qualities and characteristics of your native English will likely be simpler to learn. Languages that have very little in widespread with your native English shall be much harder. Most languages will fall someplace within the middle.

This goes each ways. Though it is a stretch to say that English is harder than Chinese, it is safe to say the native Chinese speaker probably has practically as hard a time to study English because the native English speaker has when learning Chinese. If you’re studying Chinese proper now, that’s probably little consolation to you.

Related languages Learning a language carefully associated to your native language, or another that you already speak, is far simpler than learning a very alien one. Related languages share many characteristics and this tends to make them easier to learn as there are less new ideas to deal with.

Since English is a Germanic language, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish) are all carefully related and thus, simpler to study than an unrelated tongue. Another languages associated in some way to English are Spanish, Italian and French, the more distant Irish and Welsh and even Russian, Greek, Hindi and Urdu, Farsi (of Iran) and Pashto (of Afghanistan).

English shares no ancestry with languages like Arabic, Korean, Japanese and Chinese, all languages considered hard by English standards.

Comparable grammar One of those characteristics which can be often shared between related languages. In Swedish, word order and verb conjugation is mercifully similar to English which makes learning it a lot simpler than say German, which has a notoriously more advanced word order and verb conjugation. Though each languages are related to English, German kept it’s more complicated grammar, where English and Swedish have largely dropped it.

The Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and a number of other languages) are well-known for sharing many characteristics. It is not stunning since they all developed from Latin. It is vitally frequent for somebody who learns one among these languages to go on and study one or two others. They are so related at times that it seems that you could be taught the others at a discounted value in effort.

Commonalities in grammar don’t just happen in related languages. Very different ones can share similar qualities as well. English and Chinese actually have similarities of their grammar, which partly makes up for a few of the different difficulties with Chinese.

Cognates and borrowed vocabulary. This is one of those traits that make the Romance languages so similar. And in this, they also share with English. The Romance languages all have the huge mainity of their vocabulary from Latin. English has borrowed much of its vocabulary directly from Latin and what it did not get there, it just borrowed from French. There is a gigantic quantity of French vocabulary in English. One other reason that Spanish, French and Italian are

considered simpler than other languages.

There are always borrowings of vocabulary between languages, and not always between related languages. There is a stunning amount of English vocabulary in Japanese. It is a little disguised by Japanese pronunciation, but it’s to discover it.

Sounds Clearly, languages sound different. Although all people use basically the identical sounds, there always appears to be some sounds in different languages that we just do not have in our native language. Some are strange or difficult to articulate. Some might be quite subtle. A Spanish ‘o’ is just not precisely the same as an English ‘o.’ And then there are some vowel sounds in French, for instance, that just don’t exist in English. While a French ‘r’ could be very totally different from English, a Chinese ‘r’ is

really very similar.

It might take a while to get comfortable with these new sounds, although I think that faking it is acceptable till you will get a better deal with on them. Many people don’t put sufficient effort into this aspect of learning and this makes some languages seem harder to be taught than they need to be.

Tones Just a few languages use tones, a rising or falling pitch when a word is pronounced. This may be very subtle and troublesome for somebody who has never used tones before. This is without doubt one of the important reasons Chinese is hard for native English speakers.

Chinese isn’t the only language to use tones, and not all of them are from unique far-off lands. Swedish uses tones, though it shouldn’t be nearly as complex or tough as Chinese tones. This is the kind of thing that can only really be realized by listening to native speakers.

By the way, there are examples of tone use in English but they’re only a few, normally used only in specific situations, and are not part of the pronunciation of particular person words. For instance, in American English it’s widespread to raise the tone of our voice at the end of a question. It is not quite the identical thing, but in case you think about it that way, it may make a tone language a little less intimidating.

The writing system Some languages use a unique script or writing system and this can have a serious impact on whether a language is hard to study or not. Many European languages use the same script as English but additionally embody just a few other symbols not in English to symbolize sounds particular to that language (think of the ‘o’ with a line via it in Norwegian, or the ‘n’ with a little squiggly over it in Spanish). These are generally not tough to learn.

However some languages go farther and have a unique alphabet altogether. Greek, Hindi, Russian and most of the different Slavic languages of Eastern Europe all use a unique script. This adds to the complicatedity when learning a language. Some languages, like Hebrew and Arabic, are also written from proper to left, additional adding difficulty.

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