What Language Seems Almost TOO Difficult to Learn?

K. T.   Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:34 pm GMT
I don't think that any language is impossible to learn, but I wonder if I could ever learn Xhosa!

What languages seem difficult to you?
PARISIEN   Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:41 pm GMT
Tous les experts (je n'en suis pas) s'accordent pour dire que la plus difficile des langues est le basque.
Plus que non indo-européen: extra-terrestre.
K. T.   Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:46 pm GMT
Lol. I've never understood WHY Basque is difficult. Is the culture difficult to penetrate in order to learn the language well? I've heard that the best way to learn is to marry a Basque girl (or boy).
Guest   Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:24 am GMT
The same old Chinese, because of characters. Not so hard, just long and dreadful.
Earle   Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:29 am GMT
I'd say any language that forces one to make clicks and pops with the tongue and lips (!Kung). All else pales before that...
K. T.   Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:32 am GMT
I see that click consonants also scare you, Earle!
Guest   Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:44 am GMT
I've heard that Navajo is tough, at least for speakers of western European languages.
Guest   Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:15 am GMT
For me Chinese, not just because of the characters but also because of the tones and sounds.
Xie   Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:36 am GMT
I'm sorry to say that many languages are virtually non-existent unless you become a linguist, so they aren't relevant to me.

For me English, not just because of the tons of utterances I can't understand without banging my head against the wall (this is graphical, but many are not) but also because of the tons of mistakes everyone makes every day.

My opinion could be the reverse of that of Mark Twain, if I were to learn everything all over again.
K. T.   Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:39 am GMT
What about among European languages other than English, Xie?
Xie   Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:56 am GMT
Many of them are non-existent in the mind of natives, so they aren't even relevant, either lol. I'd say, though, that since much less people would bother to learn them, despite very limited input, it's more *difficult* to hear bad accents of those.
Guest   Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:09 am GMT
Any which is not closely related to my native language is too much for me. Not that I wouldn't like something different, but I study languages as a hobby and I am a very busy person. So basically it all comes down to time.
K. T.   Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:12 am GMT
You doing okay? Your writing seems different today. I suppose it would be like asking me for details on my favourite Chinese languages other than the big ones.
K. T.   Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:14 am GMT
Sorry, that "doing okay" was for Xie.

Languages are just a hobby for me too.
Earle   Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:34 am GMT
[quote]I see that click consonants also scare you, Earle![/quote]

K. T., I don't know if you've ever seen, or heard, clips of !Kung speaking, but it's not a combination of vowels and consonants. Sometimes, long strings of words flow by without a vowel to be heard. There's only a series of clicks and pops of various sorts. THAT is scary. OTOH, as above, one has to at least bow in the direction of Navajo, since the Japanese spent the entire WWII trying to decipher it, without success. I've never been able to understand that, since Navajo is a member of the Athabascan language group, with speakers up and down the Pacific coast from northern California into Alaska. You'd think that, somewhere, there would be a Japanese anthropologist who would say "Hey, that sounds like how they talk in the Aleutian Islands..."