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What Makes One Language Harder Or Simpler Than One Other?

What Makes One Language Harder Or Simpler Than One Other?

What makes one language harder or simpler to study than one other? Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one simple answer. There are some languages which have a number of characteristics that make them relatively troublesome to learn. But it depends 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 enough to grow up speaking more than one language) is the most influential factor on the way you learn different languages. Languages that share a few of the qualities and characteristics of your native English can be easier to learn. Languages that have very little in common with your native English might be much harder. Most languages will fall someplace in the middle.

This goes both 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 nearly as hard a time to study English because the native English speaker has when learning Chinese. If you're studying Chinese proper now, that is probably little consolation to you.

Related languages Learning a language carefully related to your native language, or another that you just already speak, is far simpler than learning a very alien one. Related languages share many traits and this tends to make them easier to be taught 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 intently related and thus, easier to study than an unrelated tongue. Another languages related 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.

Related grammar One of those traits that are usually shared between related languages. In Swedish, word order and verb conjugation is mercifully much like English which makes learning it a lot easier than say German, which has a notoriously more advanced word order and verb conjugation. Although both languages are related to English, German kept it's more advanced grammar, where English and Swedish have largely dropped it.

The Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and a number of different languages) are well-known for sharing many characteristics. It is not shocking since they all developed from Latin. It is very frequent for someone who learns one in all these languages to go on and study one or two others. They are so related at times that it appears that you may study the others at a reduced cost in effort.

Commonalities in grammar do not just occur in related languages. Very completely different ones can share similar qualities as well. English and Chinese actually have comparableities of their grammar, which partly makes up for a number of the other difficulties with Chinese.

Cognates and borrowed vocabulary. This is one of those traits that make the Romance languages so similar. And in this, in addition they share with English. The Romance languages all have the vast 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 an enormous amount 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 never always between associated languages. There's a stunning quantity of English vocabulary in Japanese. It's a little disguised by Japanese pronunciation, however it's to discover it.

Sounds Obviously, languages sound different. Although all people use basically the same sounds, there always seems to be some sounds in other languages that we just haven't got in our native language. Some are strange or difficult to articulate. Some may be quite subtle. A Spanish 'o' just isn't precisely the same as an English 'o.' After which there are some vowel sounds in French, for example, that just don't exist in English. While a French 'r' may be very totally different from English, a Chinese 'r' is
really very similar.

It may possibly take some time to get comfortable with these new sounds, though I think that faking it is settle forable until you may get a better deal with on them. Many people do not put enough effort into this side 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 difficult for somebody who has by no means used tones before. This is likely one of the primary reasons Chinese is hard for native English speakers.

Chinese is not the only language to make use of tones, and never all of them are from unique far-off lands. Swedish makes use of tones, although it just isn't nearly as complex or troublesome as Chinese tones. This is the kind of thing that can only really be learned by listening to native speakers.

By the way, there are examples of tone use in English however they are very few, often used only in particular situations, and aren't part of the pronunciation of individual words. For example, in American English it's widespread to boost the tone of our voice at the finish of a question. It's not quite the identical thing, however for those who think about it that way, it would possibly make a tone language a little less intimidating.

The writing system Some languages use a distinct script or writing system and this can have a significant impact on whether a language is hard to learn or not. Many European languages use the same script as English but in addition include a few different symbols not in English to signify sounds specific to that language (think of the 'o' with a line by means of it in Norwegian, or the 'n' with a little squiggly over it in Spanish). These are typically not difficult to learn.

But some languages go farther and have a distinct alphabet altogether. Greek, Hindi, Russian and lots of the other Slavic languages of Japanese Europe all use a special script. This adds to the complicatedity when learning a language. Some languages, like Hebrew and Arabic, are also written from proper to left, further adding difficulty.

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