The easiest language that you've heard about.

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Bryon
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby Bryon » 2012-02-09, 21:26

johntm wrote:I like "don't spit facing up". :lol:
Anyway, I'll second loqu. Back when I was first searching around the Internet and learning about languages and learning about learning languages, I knew French was pretty far down on my list, as in "I might learn it one day". Well...Korean's gone and French has moved way up on the list.
It just goes to show that your taste improved. 8-)
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby Michael » 2012-02-09, 22:23

TeneReef wrote:I hope you add Classical Greek later.
Já adicionei. 8-) O grego antigo é tão lindo que eu não podia resistir. :wink:

Bryon wrote:It just goes to show that your taste improved. 8-)
I must +1 this. French > Korean anyday.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby Zireael » 2012-02-27, 18:42

My friend learned both Italian and Spanish and says Spanish is easier. I can confirm it's easy.

I never considered learning French because it has so many uvular sounds and the pronunciation differs from spelling so much :(

People told me German is easy, but I gave up after ~5 years of learning, when all the cases and articles came and I frequently got den/dem mixed up.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby linguoboy » 2012-02-27, 18:48

Zireael wrote:I never considered learning French because it has so many uvular sounds and the pronunciation differs from spelling so much

"So many"? It has one: /ʁ/. Granted, it does occur frequently.

French has what it commonly called a "deep orthography", but so does Polish. I generally find it takes less thought for me to transform written French into phones than it does Polish, but perhaps that's largely because I've had more exposure to French.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby JackFrost » 2012-02-27, 21:11

/ʁ/ is probably the most common consonant actually, so that's probably why it really stands out.

Alternatively you could use /r/, but I don't think it'll fly too well in France compared to here.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby linguoboy » 2012-02-27, 21:26

JackFrost wrote:/ʁ/ is probably the most common consonant actually, so that's probably why it really stands out.

This study considers it the single most common phoneme in French, followed by /a/, /ɛ/, and /l/.

JackFrost wrote:Alternatively you could use /r/, but I don't think it'll fly too well in France compared to here.

/r/ is just another way of writing /ʁ/. Perhaps you mean [r]?

Another possibility would be to use [x], which is something I hear occasionally from younger speakers.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby JackFrost » 2012-02-27, 21:49

I said "consonant" because my memory was a bit fuzzy about /a/ being more common than /ʁ/ or not.

/r/ is just another way of writing /ʁ/. Perhaps you mean [r]?

I use slashes because it's quicker to type down on my keyboard.

But yes, I did mean the alveolar trill. I don't know much about its distribution in France, but I can say it still exists among some Canadian French speakers, especially the Acadians.

Another possibility would be to use [x], which is something I hear occasionally from younger speakers.

Or /ɾ/ perhaps.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby linguoboy » 2012-02-27, 22:04

JackFrost wrote:But yes, I did mean the alveolar trill. I don't know much about its distribution in France, but I can say it still exists among some Canadian French speakers, especially the Acadians.

As I've mentioned before, it's the usual realisation in Louisiana French as well. According to the relevant Wikipedia articles, it's the dominant realisation in most of Africa and is also common in the Midi outside of Provence and the Rhone Valley (although apparently not in "educated speech").

JackFrost wrote:
Another possibility would be to use [x], which is something I hear occasionally from younger speakers.

Or /ɾ/ perhaps.

I haven't heard that before.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby JackFrost » 2012-02-27, 22:16

I haven't heard that before.

I'm only basing it on the source I often use when talking about French phonology (just attached it to this post if you want to take a look).

I wouldn't be surprised if some people from the Midi use that one (it's found Occitan after all) and I remember a former user here who told me he uses it in his French. He's about as old as you by the way.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby Bijlee » 2012-02-28, 3:49

Zireael wrote:People told me German is easy, but I gave up after ~5 years of learning, when all the cases and articles came and I frequently got den/dem mixed up.


This coming from a Pole? Haha.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby laoshu » 2012-03-14, 5:08

I'd still believe that the easiest language for me is Indonesian. Not because I'm a native speaker but just look at how simple the grammar is compare to others.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby IMABI » 2012-03-14, 5:59

I would much rather do korean than French any day. I just can't seem to get French pronunciation. Spanish, though, is easier than both of them.

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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby linguoboy » 2012-03-14, 14:46

laoshu wrote:I'd still believe that the easiest language for me is Indonesian. Not because I'm a native speaker but just look at how simple the grammar is compare to others.

Yeah, piece of cake:

ajar = teach
ajaran = teachings
belajar = to learn
mengajar = to teach
diajar = being taught (intransitive)
diajarkan = being taught (transitive)
mempelajari = to study
dipelajari = being studied
pelajar = student
pengajar = teacher
pelajaran = subject
pengajaran = lesson, moral of story
pembelajaran = learning
terajar = taught (accidentally)
terpelajar = well-educated
berpelajaran = is educated

(Word formation is part of grammar, too, you know.)
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby Yasna » 2012-03-14, 16:00

linguoboy wrote:
laoshu wrote:I'd still believe that the easiest language for me is Indonesian. Not because I'm a native speaker but just look at how simple the grammar is compare to others.

Yeah, piece of cake:

ajar = teach
ajaran = teachings
belajar = to learn
mengajar = to teach
diajar = being taught (intransitive)
diajarkan = being taught (transitive)
mempelajari = to study
dipelajari = being studied
pelajar = student
pengajar = teacher
pelajaran = subject
pengajaran = lesson, moral of story
pembelajaran = learning
terajar = taught (accidentally)
terpelajar = well-educated
berpelajaran = is educated

(Word formation is part of grammar, too, you know.)

Are you saying productive use of word roots is a sign of difficulty?
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby linguoboy » 2012-03-14, 16:15

Yasna wrote:Are you saying productive use of word roots is a sign of difficulty?

It is when (a) the morphononemics are irregular and (b) the meanings are unpredictable.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby IMABI » 2012-03-14, 16:55

That's true. I'm still perplexed on the whole verb to noun stuff in Spanish. It seems pretty random to me.

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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby linguoboy » 2012-03-14, 17:10

IMABI wrote:That's true. I'm still perplexed on the whole verb to noun stuff in Spanish. It seems pretty random to me.

John McWhorter has argued that only creole languages (and conlangs) have truly regular and transparent word derivation because they simply haven't yet experienced enough of the sound changes and semantic drift which build up over time in natural languages.
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby IMABI » 2012-03-14, 18:00

But I think Japanese is pretty regular. There are some odd ones like shizukesa. You think it would be shizukasa. There are some odd ones like otona, kyou, kinou, kesa, etc.

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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby linguoboy » 2012-03-14, 18:02

IMABI wrote:But I think Japanese is pretty regular.

I have three pages of number + classifier combinations in my old TY book that say, "Not so much."
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Re: The easiest language that you've heard about.

Postby IMABI » 2012-03-14, 18:04

Japanese counter phrases and their contractions are actually very systematic.

I'm assuming you're talking about stuff like

sanzen
issatsu
roppun
etc.


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