What's the easiest language for English speakers to learn?

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by ASU55RR, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    as in "grabs" or "ceases" as in "stops"? :)
     
  2. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    NYC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Heh, very true. I once spent about a half hour during college translating one Jay-Z song for a girl in my dorm who had, shall we say, a very sheltered upbringing.
     
  3. Bass0r

    Bass0r Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Tokyo/N. Velidhoo
    Club:
    Urawa RD
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    The methods for learning a language will always depend on the language itself.

    An English-speaking student will find a Germanic language easier to learn in a school, but an Asian language will be more difficult.

    I've learned both German and Japanese throughout my years, and simple school study helped me learn German far quicker than I would learn Japanese.

    Japanese can seem easier to learn in school than it actually is to apply in day-to-day life, as the there are different ways to speak, based on the situation, and a teacher will only give you one (typically the super-formal version, which is great if you only ever speak Japanese to the CEO of your company).
    I know so many people who thought they were fluent in Japanese, only to go there and find they had no idea what people were saying (and it's not even due to the different dialects).

    Immersion in a language will alway assist your language development, and I'm fairly certain that nobody would ever argue the fact. It's how you learned the basics of your native tongue, and being immersed in a foreign language will always speed up the mind in adapting to new words and forming different sentences.
    It definitely helped me in learning Japanese. I'm sure I've learned more words through immersion than I have with any CD, book, or study.

    With a lack of immersion, as well, I lost most of my German vocabulary, because it wasn't drilled enough into my head. It really works both ways.


    Ever said something in English that you've worded horribly, when you know you could have formed the sentence much better (much like this sentence)? It's probably something you picked up early in your life, from the immersion.
     
  4. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I can't remember whether this has been discussed, but English is a very forgiving language. Its grammar isn't as crucial to the meaning as some more inflected languages, and you don't need a very big vocabulary to be understood in simple situations.

    You can say in English, "Him and I are going to the store."

    In Spanish, if you say "Lo ( or Le ) y yo estamos yendo ( or vamos ) al mercado", the meaning is garbled. I don't know whether all native Spanish speakers would be clear on what you were trying to communicate.
     
    Nacional Tijuana repped this.
  5. ASU55RR

    ASU55RR Member

    Jul 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY/Brno,CZ
    Club:
    FC Zbrojovka Brno
    Nat'l Team:
    Czechia
    Earlier in this thread I mentioned how Interlingua made a helpful auxillery tool for learning Romance language vocabulary and that it would be cool to hace a mezislovansky (Inter-Slava)- well it exist, and is called Slovio.

    Sxto es Slovio? Slovio es novju mezxunarodju jazika ktor razumijut cxtirsto milion ludis na celoju zemla. Slovio mozxete upotrebit dla gvorenie so cxtirsto milion slavju Ludis ot Praga do Vladivostok; ot Sankt Peterburg cxerez Varsxava do Varna; ot Sredzemju Morie i ot Severju Morie do Tihju Okean. Slovio imajt prostju, logikju gramatia i Slovio es idealju jazika dla dnesju ludis. Ucxijte Slovio tper!

    I understand this passage 100% without even studying the language at all (granted it was made by a Slovak linguist, but South Slavic speakers also understood nearly all); might be worth checking out for those of you trying to learn a Slavic language as it- since Western Europeans often get frusterated by grammar and don't develop vocabulary well.

    Also, on the original question I asked- I recently received an interesting answer: Indonesian. Apparantly, Indonesion is a constructed language that simplified old Javanese to be understood by all people in Indonesia, therefore it has is very simplified in terms of rules and grammar.
     
  6. Paganitzu

    Paganitzu Member+

    Aug 16, 2006
    Eindhoven
    Club:
    PSV Eindhoven
    Frisian isn't that hard either to learn for English speakers. The question is, do you actually want to learn Frisian.

    Answer is often no, but useful if you both want to learn Dutch/German. Frisian is quite similair to Old English.
     
  7. hola.lala

    hola.lala New Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Italy
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Indonesian language (Bahasa) was absorbed from Malay language, only a little of its words came from Javanese. And in this little part, it wasn't only Javanese language that contributed in forming Bahasa actually but also local languages from another Ethnics such as Sunda, Aceh etc. My point is Javanese language had nothing much in forming this language.

    A friend of mine, a Belgian, he was able to speak Bahasa in moreless 3 weeks, especially things related to logistician and construction field besides daily life conversation. Also another people I know who learnt it, they were able to master the language between 2-3 months and as a matter of fact in terms of speaking it formally they're much better than Indonesian themself, so yes I think it's a very easy language to learn. Sorry for my poor English:eek:
     
  8. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    wow!

    i was just telling someone almost the same exact thing last week.
     
  9. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    You also have a number of very Dutch sounding words! Like polisi.
     
  10. hola.lala

    hola.lala New Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Italy
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Yes, since we were occupied by the Dutch for 350 years and it was one of the official languages back then until Japan took over. And to name you some more of Dutch words we're still using are opa,oma,rekening,doorsmeer,wortel etc.

    BTW, apa kabar Johan? :)
     
  11. Paganitzu

    Paganitzu Member+

    Aug 16, 2006
    Eindhoven
    Club:
    PSV Eindhoven
    What does doorsmeer mean?
     
  12. hola.lala

    hola.lala New Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Italy
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Car wash.
     
  13. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    I apologise for any harm my ancestors did to you that goes without saying. I can assure you most Dutch people have very warm feelings for Indonesia still! I myself visited the place and loved it (and got into a very interesting political discussion with a couple of Balinese reactionaries but this is not the place). I'm wondering about doorsmeer too. And cracking up about you using the word rekening.

    We use Indonesian words in Dutch too you know. Like toko. And senang.
     
  14. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I began studying Indonesian during my first year in graduate school, studied it for 3 years here in the US, spent a summer at an intensive language program at IKIP Malang, on Java, and eventually lived a year and a half in Bone, Sulawesi. (Ini zaman dulu, kok, dan makin lama, makin kaku Bahasa Indonesiaku, kasihan.)

    Based on that experience, I'd say yes, Indonesian is easy to get started in, for most English speakers, because at first its structure seems very simple. For example there is no tense used in the construction of verbs, which is probably the most complicated aspect of European languages. So when I started I moved very quickly, especially compared to a friend of mine who was studying Thai (which is a tonal language). But any language poses a challenge when it comes to real fluency and it was when I started trying to actually think in Indonesian that I started running into differences that were just as complicated as those my friend was encountering with Thai (like, for example, the differences between "saya mendekatkan kursi it" and "saya mendekati kursi it" and "kursi itu saya dekat(kan)" and when I should have been using "aku" instead of "saya"...). All of that stuff takes time and understanding in any language.

    Tetapi mesti saya minta ma'af, karena masih belum bilang selamat datang ke BigSoccer.

    PS: Indonesian also has a fair number of Portuguese words, from a previous colonization era. "Pesta" is a good example.
     
  15. ASU55RR

    ASU55RR Member

    Jul 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY/Brno,CZ
    Club:
    FC Zbrojovka Brno
    Nat'l Team:
    Czechia
    ah, sorry for the mistake as I was just repeating what the person told me- should have checked a little background before posting.
     
  16. hola.lala

    hola.lala New Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Italy
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    I didn't mean to brought up the past with the word I used. I take it as what happened long time ago and bear no bad feelings towards the Dutch. I was under the impression that doorsmeer is a Dutch word but seems like I was wrong since you and Paganitzu was asking what does the word mean.


    The difference between "saya" and "aku" ,only the former is formal/polite. Terima kasih buat ucapan selamat datangnya. Bahasa Indonesia kamu masih bagus kok dan aku senang tahu di forum ini ada yang bisa Bahasa.
     
  17. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, but what I discovered is that in Indonesia the distinction between what is formal and what is not was very refined, compared to the culture I'd grown up in. Thus it was hard for me to trust my sense of when to use one version and when to use another.

    Ingat saya keramah-tamahan orang Indonesia di mana-mana kami (isteri dan anakku) tinggal. Kalau dapat kembalikan rasah itu sedikitpun, bikin aku senang.
     
  18. feta redded

    feta redded Red Card

    Dec 1, 2009
    The easiest language?

    It's definitely Spanish or Italian!
     
  19. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    Doorsmeer IS a Dutch word but we never use it as a noun but as a verb, i.e. doorsmeren means to lubricate.
     
  20. NHFootyFan

    NHFootyFan Member

    May 28, 2007
    Outside Concord NH
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    I had 4 years of German in high school, and one in college. I learned way more in the one year in college, because actual language drill actually, you know, speaking the language was required, as opposed to the almost-all-book approach in high school.

    Curiously, native German speakers tell me I have a good accent although through disuse most of my knowledge has lapsed.

    Learning German wasn't terribly difficult, but English must be one of the worst European languages to learn -- enormous vocuabulary, orthography all over the place relative to pronunication, weak but not non-existent inflections, complex tenses using modal verbs, and syntax that is more flexible than most, with a strong tendency to mangle words from one part of speech (nouns to verbs in particular) to another at will.
     
  21. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    as a native english speaker who has learned several languages, i can state WITHOUT FEAR OF CONTRADICTION..

    it's dutch.
     
  22. qwidgibo

    qwidgibo New Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Genève, Switzerland
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Switzerland
    I think Kriol which is spoken in Belize is pretty easy to learn. Also if you learn Spanish then it is easy to learn Italian, French, and to some extent portuguese.
     
  23. THE HUN

    THE HUN New Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Club:
    VfB Stuttgart
    "DUTCH" is not a language but a sickness of the throat Sorry, bad joke, but it's an accent like the German language has a lot of them. In English the old Germanic language was preserved, uninfluenced by Roman, French, Swedish or Turkish invasions. One example is the "window", meaning the "eye of the wind", in today's German: "Windauge". Before the romans brought the glass, German cottages had a simple hole, the "window". With glass in front ('fenestra') it became in German: Fenster. Visit the old courthouse of the "Hanse", an old trade union of cities on the Baltic Sea. The courthouse is in Lübeck/Germany. The courtrulings are painted on the walls in old Frisan-German. That is much closer to modern English as it is like today's German. Even the articles "der, die, das" in old German untiil the 19th century written as "ther, thie thas", spoken as ter tie, tas in Eastern Frisian is simplified as "the". In such way the ancient money "Thaler", meaning "from the valley", spoken "Taler" became "Dollar", which is the quite the same pronounciation, except the "T" which was softened.
     
  24. cinnaminson

    cinnaminson New Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Philadelphia
    the whole world should learn to siarad cymraeg.
     
  25. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    vasistas?

    yes, yes we know all about that old man, but the question was What's the easiest language for English speakers to learn?

    and having taught myself at different times of my life french, italian, dutch, and smatterings of spanish and german, i will repeat that it is
    WITHOUT FEAR
    OF CONTRADICTION
    VERDAMMT NOCHMAL
    that i assert the answer is dutch. an english speaker can reach a reasonable level of fluency in dutch faster than he can learn his german declensions or the difference between accents aigus and graves.​
     

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