which languages are the most difficult ?

blah   Monday, August 04, 2003, 13:34 GMT
Personally, I don't believe picking up an accent is completely dependant on age, but probably more so on how good a listener someone is.
I completely lost my Australian accent after living in Europe for a year. In that time I managed to start speaking German with more or a less a native accent, and my English changed to some sort of weird British/German mixture. It wasn't something I tried to do on purpose, it just happened and it took about 3 months for me to pick up my old accent again. In fact, I used to get sick of people asking me when I got back home if I was from England!
Guofei Ma   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 01:47 GMT
Someone's ability to pick up accents is also dependent upon whether he is willing to do so. I came to America when I was nine years old and have lived here for quite a long time but I don't speak with an American accent because I don't want to.

Blah, how were you able to pick up a British accent when living in Germany? Is German pronunciation and intonation very similar to British English?
Tremmert   Saturday, August 09, 2003, 10:05 GMT
I don't think so, otherwise a German English accent would be more sought after...
Kelly   Friday, August 15, 2003, 19:38 GMT
I'm learning Japanese now. The hardest part, for me, is the varying levels of politeness, particles, and as Hi, Bryan said, the counters. Especially the counters :@:@:@

For example:

~Mai = Counter for flat things like paper and CD's
furoppi disuku wo nijup-pon (niju hon) kaimashita
I bought 20 floppy disks

~Hai (Pai/Bai) = the counter for cups, glasses, and bowls of drinks or food
Gohan o mou ip-pai kudasai
Please give me another bowl of rice

~Hon (Pon/Bon) = the counter for long, shaped things
enpitsu ga ni-hon irimasu
I need 2 pencils

~Nin = the counter for human beings
Tomodachi ga san-nin
3 of my friends came to my house

~Satsu = the counter for bound books, magazines etc.
Senshuu hon o san-satsu yomimashita
Last week I read 3 books

~Hiki (Piki/Biki) = the general counter for animals, but not birds
Daidokoro de nizumi o ip-piki mimashita
I saw one mouse in the kitchen

~Tsu = the counter for miscellaneous things
Tottsu benkyou shimashita
I studied 4 Kanji

The hard part isn't remember which counter is which, it's the way they change depending on the number. Like: Ip-pon, ni-hon, san-bon, yon-hon, go-hon, rop-pon, nana/shichi-hon. Arg!!
wingyellow   Sunday, August 17, 2003, 06:30 GMT
Counters are more a Chinese thing than a Japanese one.
English has counters for uncountable nouns, like a piece of paper.