What Makes One Language Harder Or Easier Than Another?

What Makes One Language Harder Or Easier Than Another?

What makes one language harder or easier to be taught than another? Sadly, there is no one simple answer. There are some languages which have a number of characteristics that make them relatively troublesome to learn. However 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 develop up speaking more than one language) is the most influential factor on the way you study different languages. Languages that share some of the qualities and characteristics of your native English will likely be easier to learn. Languages that have very little in common with your native English might be much harder. Most languages will fall somewhere in 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 as the native English speaker has when learning Chinese. If you are studying Chinese right now, that is probably little comfort to you.

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

Since English is a Germanic language, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish) are all intently associated and thus, simpler to learn 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.

Comparable grammar One of those characteristics that are typically shared between related languages. In Swedish, word order and verb conjugation is mercifully similar to English which makes learning it a lot easier than say German, which has a notoriously more advanced word order and verb conjugation. Though both languages are associated 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 famous for sharing many characteristics. It isn't shocking since all of them advanced from Latin. It is very common for somebody who learns one of these languages to go on and learn one or two others. They are so similar at times that it seems you could learn the others at a discounted price in effort.

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

Cognates and borrowed vocabulary. This is a kind of traits that make the Romance languages so similar. And in this, in addition they share with English. The Romance languages all have the huge mainity of their vocabulary from Latin. English has borrowed a lot of its vocabulary directly from Latin and what it did not get there, it just borrowed from French. There is an enormous quantity of French vocabulary in English. One other reason that Spanish, French and Italian are
considered easier than different languages.

There are always borrowings of vocabulary between languages, and never always between related languages. There's a surprising amount of English vocabulary in Japanese. It is a little disguised by Japanese pronunciation, but it's to discover it.

Sounds Obviously, languages sound different. Although all people use basically the identical sounds, there always seems 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 will be quite subtle. A Spanish 'o' shouldn't be precisely the same as an English 'o.' After which there are some vowel sounds in French, for instance, that just do not exist in English. While a French 'r' may be very totally different from English, a Chinese 'r' is
actually very similar.

It will possibly take some time to get comfortable with these new sounds, though I think that faking it is acceptable until you may get a better deal with on them. Many individuals do not put sufficient effort into this side of learning and this makes some languages appear harder to be taught than they should be.

Tones A couple of languages use tones, a rising or falling pitch when a word is pronounced. This might be very subtle and troublesome for someone who has never used tones before. This is one of the principal reasons Chinese is hard for native English speakers.

Chinese is not the only language to make use of tones, and not all of them are from unique far-off lands. Swedish makes use of tones, though it shouldn't be nearly as advanced or difficult as Chinese tones. This is the kind of thing that may only really be discovered 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 particular person words. For instance, in American English it's frequent to boost the tone of our voice on the end of a question. It's not quite the same thing, but for those who think about it that way, it may 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 or not a language is hard to study or not. Many European languages use the same script as English but in addition embody a couple of different symbols not in English to represent sounds particular 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 troublesome to learn.

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

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