I study Arabic and IMHO is extremely difficult. A friend is also studying Chinese and it is simply horrible. It is impossible to study.
So, I think that these languages never can be really important, at least, in the Western World.
Asian languages will be only important in their regional spheres of influence, but not everywhere.
I think that only English, Spanish and French can be considered World languages.
What do you think about?
Chinese is not that hard, really, extremely simple grammar and a set of four tones that your ear needs to get used to.
It's just different, and by different I mean really different, not like between English and Spanish.
As for the written language, same applies, it's a different concept, a beautiful one, IMO. The kind of spiritual trance you can reach delving with ideograms can not be achieved with the Roman Alphabet, no matter how much imagination you put into it
Arabic is indeed pretty hard, but Mandarin is a piece of piss. People who say it's hard have never tried to learn it.
<<Chinese is not that hard, really, extremely simple grammar and a set of four tones that your ear needs to get used to.>>
To my mind, besides the tones, that extremely simple grammar is one reason why it is so hard.
<<The kind of spiritual trance you can reach delving with ideograms can not be achieved with the Roman Alphabet, no matter how much imagination you put into it>>
I really don't like to have that much ''spiritual trance'' in a writing system, so the roman alphabet does quite well for it's purpose.
A Turkish friend of mine finds Arabic "an easy language". Of course, she's a devout Muslim and is raised reading the Qur'an before even learning Arabic. When she visits Arabic countries, people always are amazed she's actually Turkish and think she's a native speaker (they think she's Syrian).
She neither understands why Moroccans find MSA a difficult language. She also understands MSA and ECA, but speaks MSA.
Chinese is a language that needs to be learned using the right hemisphere, as opposed to English, which is left-brainish (but highly right-wingish)
<<Chinese is a language that needs to be learned using the right hemisphere, as opposed to English>>
When both your left and right hemispheres are used, you become a more balanced and less biased person. Many of those who only use their left hemisphere always show clear evidence of a strong bias against the Chinese language. This explains it, doesn't it? So, make no excuses. Make an effort to use both of your hemispheres and become a more complete person.
Sorry, but you are biting on bone here,
I belong to the 0.5% of Mankind who use both hemispheres.
I exercise on a daily basis by juggling raw eggs and I invariably break one or two at the end of each session, which brings me abruptly in contact with reality. I then use the spilled yolk to massage my cranial hair and diffuse any electrostatic generated by so much current passing through the corpus callosum.
And for your info, Humans are the only species in the Animal Kingdom that don't use both hemispheres in an equal manner and happen to be the only one that can speak.
So, by making an effort to use both your hemispheres you won't become a more complete person. A more complete animal perhaps.
Then theres the fact that Chinese is shit.
I want to learn (secular) Arabic so badly, but I haven't got the time to start learning it apart from reading its writing. Personally I'm curious how bad the propaganda is they spread throughout satellite television. I have read from Arabists Muslims in Europe are being brainwashed into believing in the Protocols of Zion and other 19th century European Anti-Semitic bullshit. Also the influence of imams from Saudi-Arabia who are sent to European mosques is worrisome. Europeans should study more non-IE-languages and be less naive.
Many Muslims here are fine people, but Islam means 'submission' whole Evangelia means 'good message', take your pick. Moderate Islam doesn't exist, moderate Muslims do. Keep in mind that it's the Greeks who imported Eastern thought to the West and who have humanized it. Later on they even humanized a formal desert religion as Christianity. It's not guaranteed that we can humanize Islam, but we can try at the very least.
In fact, I don't like to hear strong guttural sound in Arabic.
<<Europeans should study more non-IE-languages and be less naive. >>
I'm interested in Basque. It's the only surviving Iberian tongue but as Arabic it is quite difficult. The good thing is phonetics , almost identical to Spanish.
<<Penetra Tue May 11, 2010 1:05 pm GMT
Then theres the fact that Chinese is shit.>>
See how a retarded right brain can do to a person?
Do you guys want to end up like Penetra? If not, wait no longer! Start learning Mandarin.
I learn both Mandarin and English to keep both my right and left hemispheres active. This is obviously the much better way to train your brains than some stupid methods like juggling raw eggs and making a terrible mess all over the place.
<< I think that only English, Spanish and French can be considered World languages. >>
Only French and English are global languages. Russian, Arabic and Portuguese are also world languages.
Only English and Spanish are World languages.
Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Hindi are becoming also World languages.
French, Japanese and German are the looser in the XXI century.
PD. The problem for French, Japanese (and German) is that they are regional languages spoken by around 100 million people. ALL EXPERTS IN LANGUAGES THINK THE SAME.