The easiest and the most difficult languages

Guest   Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:34 pm GMT
Well, I read two interesting lists about the 10 most difficult languages and the 10 easiest languages.

On September 27th a linguistic consortium in Paris has come up with following results:
the easiest languages to learn:

10. mongolese

09. aramaic

08. greek

07. norwegian

06. italian

05. romanian

04. croatian

03. bulgarian

02. english

01. the easiest language in the world spoken by more than 500 million people is spanish

the most difficult languages: (linguists examined complexity of grammar, syntax, historical development, pronunciation, orthography, letter styles, signs, etc.)

10. german

09. french

08. chinese

07. japanese

06. korean

05. persian

04. arabic

03. finnish

02. hungarian

01. the most difficult language is Slovak

The most difficult is grammar structure. Slovak language is the only one with seven grammar cases (nominativ, genitiv, dativ, accusativ, local, instrumental, vocativ), exquisite words, soft and hard "i", declension of adjectives and verbs, in other words almost each and every word in this language is being declinated. There are many other characteristics which are not found in other world languages. It is said, or estimated, that it takes about 12 years to learn it completely, but the linguists say, that there is no one on this earth who can speak this language perfectly knowing all the grammar rules.

PD. Well, If we consider only international languages the easiest are Spanish, English and Italian.

The most difficult ones are Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, French and German.
Willy   Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:52 pm GMT
Well, all the American webpages about that, say the same. Spanish is the easiest language.

There is another list about the most difficult languages, made by the British Foreign Office.

1. Basque
2. Hungarian
3. Chinese
4. Polish
5. Japanese
6. Russian
7. German
8. Korean
9. English
10. Swahili

English is at the same time easy and difficult. I think it depends if you focus on the grammar or on the pronuntiation. Anyway, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German and English are difficult according to the British.
--   Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:59 pm GMT
Yes, after the German spelling reform, our spelling is that hard that it almost comes up to Chinese spelling difficulty.
encore   Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:43 pm GMT
<<the most difficult language is Slovak >> What about Czech language? Slovak and Czech languages are like dialects of one language.
Caspian   Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:18 pm GMT
We can see that this list is wrong. If Slovakian is the most difficult language, how can Polish therefore be easier than German and Chinese?
fuck you   Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:50 pm GMT
Croatian is one of the easiest languages and Slovak the most difficult one???
Spanish the easiest and Italian one of the easiest while French is one the most difficult? Dude, believe me you are completely drunk! Have you ever read a good book about linguistics? Do you know what books are? Do you usually read only on the net? Your charts are the most stupid I have ever read in my all life!
mim   Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:59 pm GMT
By the way, If you studied languages instead of reading stupid articles on the net it would be much useful for you.
Hungarian is one of the most logical and straightforward languages in the world. German is also quite logical and Russian is not more difficult than Croatian, perhaps it is much more complex than Russian grammatically, so the above charts don't make sense!
poiu   Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:09 pm GMT
Persian is probably as easy as English. It is one of the simpliest Indo-European languages, morphologically. It is much easier than Spanish. It has no noun gender, no cases, adjectives never change, no article. I wonder why it should be included among the toughest languages??
Baldewin   Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:23 pm GMT
Because the list makes no sense at all. Indonesian should also be named among the easier languages. They also underestimate the ease of learning Spanish. It's harder than you think.
cnablis   Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:41 pm GMT
I suppose this list doesn't include things like Interlingua (which ought to be easier than Spanish and English), and pidgin languages?

Is the complete list somewhere? -- It would be interesting to know if they considered reputedly difficult languages such as Hopi, Basque, Navajo, and many Caucasian languages.
Edinburgh Medic   Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:49 am GMT
"Well, If we consider only international languages the easiest are Spanish, English and Italian. The most difficult ones are Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, French and German."

Seriously?? Chinese and English are my native languages but I think they're far more difficult for a non-native speaker to learn than French. French might have a complicated grammatical structure but it's considerably more logical than Chinese or English.

And don't get me started with *written* Chinese. Characters aside, the stylistic and literary demands of eloquent/formal writing are beyond the realms of sanity. Japanese is even more of a challenge, with several registers of humble and polite speech (yes, even in spoken language) ;p
xixi   Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:45 am GMT
Slovak language is the only one with seven grammar cases (nominativ, genitiv, dativ, accusativ, local, instrumental, vocativ),

Really?? What about Croatian, Czech, Polish, Slovene, Sorbian, Serbian??? By the way, where did that Conference take place?? In a kindergarten? :-)
matko   Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:34 pm GMT



artem   Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:22 pm GMT
i think this guest guy must be raving, he seems to have written that stuff from an insane hospital where that conference must have been held by some of the most hopeless patients.
Antimooner K. T.   Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:12 pm GMT
I don't know why French was listed as difficult UNLESS you consider that French people (in the past, at least) held their language to a very high standard. If you don't pronounce French well, you may not be understood.