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What Language Should I Learn?

TimeAsylums

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/inb4 programming jokes. please.

I am a native English speaker, and what I am looking for is the best language that will challenge my understandings. I don't care what language will benefit my employability or economic standing so don't bother with telling me about which language best suits that. I enjoy nuances in languages and learning new understandings of words that don't exist in other languages - the different concepts.

With that being said, I've asked a few of my teachers, but I didn't really receive any comprehensive answer. I'll have to search my college for some linguist grad or professor or something, but until then (three+ weeks), I was wondering if any of you actually knew about it.

So as I said, native english speaker:
I've taken two years of German, too close to english
a lifetime of Spanish, too close to english
one year of French, man I just love the way it sounds...
and not really much else.

I was searching the internet for my question, but the best it would come up with was "hardest languages to learn (for native english speakers, anyway)"
The top four generally came down to (no particular order): Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Each list differs a little, esp in the top ten, so whatever really, but I'm assuming along with that would bring new concepts or whatever (I really like languages :D)

[BIMG]http://voxy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/110329-VOXY-HARDLANGUAGES-FINAL-WIDE.png[/BIMG]
So, opinions? Facts? Ideas? Thoughts?

I'm clearly biased towards the hardest languages, just to note.
 

ummidk

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Chineese? I thought China had a bunch of different languages and most of them spoke mandarin.

Anyways, according to that chart, if you enjoy nuances in language, the tonal description of chineese language would probably have plenty...Sounds the hardest to me, atleast

If you don't want to learn a new alphabet but want a challenging language, apparently Gaelic is tough, but I don't know if it differs great from english or not (generally speaking difficulty in terms of language learning is a matter of there connections to a language you already know, or lack thereof, so maybe it does differ from english.
 

TimeAsylums

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Chineese? I thought China had a bunch of different languages and most of them spoke mandarin.

Like most countries, we just group all the dialects together and call it one "language."
Whether this is offensive or politically correct or not...whatever hahah.

Anyways, according to that chart, if you enjoy nuances in language, the tonal description of chineese language would probably have plenty...Sounds the hardest to me, atleast

If you don't want to learn a new alphabet but want a challenging language, apparently Gaelic is tough, but I don't know if it differs great from english or not (generally speaking difficulty in terms of language learning is a matter of there connections to a language you already know, or lack thereof, so maybe it does differ from english.

Yeah I'm on the fence, I'm in-between Chinese and Japanese, leaning towards Japanese. I mean obviously besides the 1 billion people vs only 120 million people thing..heheh. Not so much nuance favor in terms of the tones of speaking, meh, irrelevant to me, although important to the language, doing some more research apparently the grammar is harder in japanese compared to the tonal pronunciation in Chinese, I'm all bout dat grammar.
 

ummidk

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^^ Those are probably the two languages I'd consider learning if I was considering learning ;)...Eastern culture is quite interesting to me.

That or Ancient Greece/Latin/Hebrew to be able to read ancient texts without translation. Maybe if I learn Hebrew I can become a Jew and have instant wealthy connections :angel:

oh btw, fuck grammar and anyone who corrects bad grammar that isn't even confusing.

...Incoming post dissection
 

TimeAsylums

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^^ Those are probably the two languages I'd consider learning if I was considering learning ;)...Eastern culture is quite interesting to me.

That or Ancient Greece/Latin/Hebrew to be able to read ancient texts without translation. Maybe if I learn Hebrew I can become a Jew and have instant wealthy connections :angel:

oh btw, fuck grammar and anyone who corrects bad grammar that isn't even confusing.

...Incoming post dissection

Lulz butt grammer iz kewl.
I'm not even kidding. When I'm not busy spewing out Ne ideas rapidly, Ti is Mah best friend, I fucking love English/history classes the most.

When I actually try, TiSi + Ne = makes one quite the pedant, it's fun.

Ig ill go with jap
 

ummidk

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^Fuck ye, Japaneesee

For grammar, I see it's purpose and loose following of the rules as neccesary to form a coherent sentence for someone else. After all the purpose of language is to communicate, and some rules need to be followed or we'd all just be communicating gibberish.

This being said, my problem is with sticklers for grammar. People who correct grammar, not in an attempt to make ones thoughts better communicated, but just because its wrong grammar, essentially being a smart ass.

Ex: Your so silly

This is gramatically wrong, and should be "you're so silly", but I'm pretty sure everyone got the point, so who cares?
 

TimeAsylums

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For grammar, I see it's purpose and loose following of the rules as neccesary to form a coherent sentence for someone else. After all the purpose of language is to communicate, and some rules need to be followed or we'd all just be communicating gibberish.


LAMEEEEEEEEEE. Literature IS my heart's desire. With the proper grammar and syntax and everything, ideas and communication can flow better.
This being said, my problem is with sticklers for grammar. People who correct grammar, not in an attempt to make ones thoughts better communicated, but just because its wrong grammar, essentially being a smart ass.
Ex: Your so silly

This is gramatically wrong, and should be "you're so silly", but I'm pretty sure everyone got the point, so who cares?
Lo ok, those people are very lol@ish. I don't go around correcting "your/yours/you're." If I did that I would go full out correcting the proper sentence structure, but you can find any number of my own posts with ending sentences in prepositions and other shit no one cares about in informal communication.

Which leads me to the overall point: Yeah informal communication = people (including myself) rarely give two shits about grammar and syntax, as long as you can get your point across somewhat coherently, it works. But in formal communication and writing, to do so eloquently and masterfully is beautiful.

Like in arguments, if you grasp the other person's point already and understand it, but they're struggling to get the point across because a lack of comprehensive understanding, you can mess with them... lol :D I mean... teehee... <--See me trying to explain typology theories. But srs, me loves writing papers/srs discussions. Japanese it is !!!
 

TheScornedReflex

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Learn sign language! Now! It had been decided by an omnipotent and omniscient being. My cat :cat:.
 

TimeAsylums

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Learn sign language! Now! It had been decided by an omnipotent and omniscient being. My cat :cat:.

I haven't mastered anything complex, but i now basic/laymen alphabet and common greetings, that's on my list too! Definitely all forms of communication, being verbal and non verbal as there is bound to be a massive amount of nuances and differences in both!

But I have decided :D
(It's a secret life goal of mine to be a polygot, which I imagine most of you Comp people imagine is futile seeing as computers can instantly transla---yada yada yada, I'm just expanding meh brainz)
 

Wolf18

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I haven't mastered anything complex, but i now basic/laymen alphabet and common greetings, that's on my list too! Definitely all forms of communication, being verbal and non verbal as there is bound to be a massive amount of nuances and differences in both!
Same here. I already have a Hebrew thread going (in Lounge). Maybe you should start there, please? I don't think anyone reads it, and I wish people would.

Arabic is lots of fun, but quite difficult.

If you want to learn Russian, this is my favourite place: www.russianforeveryone.com.

SW
 

BluePantsMcgee

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I would like to see your progress if you actually decide to go for Japanese. For I am really curious about how you would take this on. If I ever get some free time I want to give it a try myself.
 

Hawkeye

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Apparently, Japanese is one of the most challenging languages to learn for a native English speaker.

I've started learning it and I'm enjoying it.

I think Korean sounds sexier though. ^^
 

Lucifer van Satan

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Depends on what you mean by "hard".
A complex grammar system?
A lot of exeptions in the previous?
Nonubiquitousness? (A new word here :D )
A mix of the three?

If so, I believe you will find Serbian interesting:

Two scripts.
Serbian has both Cyrillic an Latin script, both easy to learn. If the easiness is unattractive in this case, think again: the Cyrillic script was reformed by an ingenious Вук Стефановић Караџић, making it the only perfectly phonetical 30-letter alphabet in the world.

Every word is logically connected with a root to what it does. E.g.:
"prst" (using latin here) - a finger
"prsten" - a ring
"sto" - a table
"stolica" - a chair

The structure is different than that of the Germanic languages, and capitalization rules, 7 cases, tenses and some irregularities won't fail to challange you.

Another good thing is that once you learned Serbian, you can perfectly understand 3.5 other regional self-proclamed languages. Look it up.
Of course, it has similar structure to other slavic languages, like Russian.

Source: I'm a native speaker.

By the way, what languages are you currently learning?
 

TimeAsylums

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Depends on what you mean by "hard".
See the IMG linked in the OP. Doesn't look like Russian/Serbian is in the top category, but in the middle :P (And strictly speaking from native English speaker's stance)
By the way, what languages are you currently learning?[
Native english speaker, fluent in Spanish, taken two years of German and one year of French. I love love love switching in-between different languages while talking, it's beautiful. To add an asiatic language to my repertoire would be something indeed. However, it's a personal goal like I've said, to learn most of them.
 

TimeAsylums

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I would like to see your progress if you actually decide to go for Japanese. For I am really curious about how you would take this on. If I ever get some free time I want to give it a try myself.

For sure, I'll gladly update you once I begin (I'll of course take at least one class this upcoming semester on Japanese, then go from there)
 

Jennywocky

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Like most countries, we just group all the dialects together and call it one "language."
Whether this is offensive or politically correct or not...whatever hahah.
Uh, dude, the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese is not exactly a dialect. YOu can be fluent in one and not be able to understand the other. Even Wiki notes this:

Although Cantonese shares much vocabulary with Mandarin Chinese, the two languages are not mutually intelligible because of pronunciation, grammatical, and also lexical differences. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two languages. The use of vocabulary in Cantonese also tends to have more historic roots. One of the most notable differences between Cantonese and Mandarin is how the spoken word is written; with Mandarin the spoken word is written as such, whereas with Cantonese there may not be a direct written word matching what was said.[3][4] This results in the situation in which a Mandarin and Cantonese text almost look the same, but both are pronounced differently.
Cantonese comes from Hong Kong and Guangzhou (aka Canton), which is south south south. Basic Mandarin is based on the Beijing form which is to the north north north. And China is a HUGE territory.
 

TimeAsylums

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Uh, dude, the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese is not exactly a dialect. YOu can be fluent in one and not be able to understand the other. Even Wiki notes this:



Cantonese comes from Hong Kong and Guangzhou (aka Canton), which is south south south. Basic Mandarin is based on the Beijing form which is to the north north north. And China is a HUGE territory.

Thanks for reading wikipedia to me ;)
Because I put an extremely oversimplified statement about Chinese/other languages you had to clarify, I understand, thanks for that, also for criticizing me instead of all of the lists (the picture) simply saying "Chinese" instead of Mandarin or Cantonese, which I was going off of...it's nice that you were the only one who actually felt the need to do that seeing as everyone else already got what I was saying...

I mean, China is a HUGE territory? Really? I had no idea they had the world's largest population either... because I didn't mention them having over a billion people to their population either...
 

Hawkeye

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I think you should learn the language of manners ^^
 

Jennywocky

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To be honest, claiming ignorance would have been less embarrassing.

In other words, you know a bunch of shit but don't actually think when you post. Nice. This means anything else you say is likely to be dubious in accuracy as well.

Sometimes it's better to just take the hit, you know?
 

Hawkeye

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How about learning Qwghlmian?

It consists of a mere 16 consonants. :D
 

TimeAsylums

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To be honest, claiming ignorance would have been less embarrassing.

In other words, you know a bunch of shit but don't actually think when you post. Nice. This means anything else you say is likely to be dubious in accuracy as well.

Sometimes it's better to just take the hit, you know?


tbh, it would have been better if like everyone else you realized I had already understood this and you wouldn't have had to bring it up at all...

In other words, I don't need to explain every little bit of information to everyone because there are people that already understand.

Redundancy is boring

//Also, tbh + would have been less embarrassing sounds so pompous on your part...What makes you think I personally care about embarrassment or your "tbh" opinion?
 

Hawkeye

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Have you ever thought of creating a language?

You can make the grammar/spelling/pronunciation as challenging as you want.
 

TimeAsylums

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Have you ever thought of creating a language?

You can make the grammar/spelling/pronunciation as challenging as you want.
Nah, Esperanto is close enough haha. Not made up ik but still
 

Hawkeye

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Nah, Esperanto is close enough haha. Not made up ik, but still.
ALL languages are made-up :p

How about the more nerdy languages like Sindarin?

I mean if you're not using it for anything other than to expand your "understanding" of languages, why not attempt to learn as many as possible?
 

TimeAsylums

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So this thread is pretty much redundant as you've answered your own query in the opening post.
:pueh:

"What Language Should I learn" (right now/immediacy) should be understood, seeing as I also mentioned upcoming classes in a few weeks.
So, if you'd read all the posts, you wouldn't have to ask so many redundant questions.
If you'd like to toy with me, I really don't mind, but be more creative.
 

Thurlor

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I've always thought I'd like to learn Korean. I'm especially fond of the word structure used in Hangul.
 

Thurlor

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Does anyone know of any languages with more vowels than consonants? I've done a quick google search but haven't found anything yet.
 

Hawkeye

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:pueh:

"What Language Should I learn" (right now/immediacy) should be understood, seeing as I also mentioned upcoming classes in a few weeks.
So, if you'd read all the posts, you wouldn't have to ask so many redundant questions.
If you'd like to toy with me, I really don't mind, but be more creative.
The irony amuses me.

Based on what you're after, the answer is obviously any language you find challenging... It's a daft question to ask because only you yourself know what you find challenging.

If the topic was related to something other than challenging yourself, then third party input would be useful. It is the precise reason your teachers didn't give you a comprehensive answer.

Silly goose.
 

TimeAsylums

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only you yourself know what you find challenging.
Did you not see the picture I posted in the OP? There are generalities made from a specific point of view that I stated was a native English speaker. From that point there are generalities that deal with what one who speaks that language might find challenging.

I'm not answering redundant questions anymore, just read the posts...
 

Hawkeye

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Did you not see the picture I posted in the OP? There are generalities made from a specific point of view that I stated was an native English speaker. From that point there are generalities that deal with what one who speaks that language might find challenging.
I'm not answering redundant questions anymore, just read the posts...
*cough*

Hawkeye said:
So this thread is pretty much redundant as you've answered your own query in the opening post.
 

TimeAsylums

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I'm not one to try to convince someone else of circular logic. I already explained away your second quote.

Hawkeye's Signature said:
Never take me seriously; it causes all sorts of problems.
I'm out
 

Jennywocky

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Interestingly, one of my INTP friends can speak Esperanto and taught his oldest daughter (probably INTJ) some of the language as well.

He learned Creole down in Haiti and I guess he got ambitious.
 

redbaron

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I was going to answer, but you already answered your own question for us in the OP. How boring.
 

TimeAsylums

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I was going to answer, but you already answered your own question for us in the OP. How boring.
How did you manage to escape that electric fence I set up, internet dog?
Yes I sure did in the OP, I specifically stated the one language I was going to learn, it was all one massive rhetorical thread question.
 

Polaris

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An ENTP seems to have the astounding ability to present rhetoric questions in the form of never-ending monologue. Any intput from others would have to be completely of a commentary nature, such as : "Yeah!"; "Cool!", and "Shoot!"; or in order to comply with the format of the communication, present an equally rhetoric monologue in response.

I have an ENTP friend just like that. I just sit there and listen until she stops to ask me a non-rhetoric question; because by this time she would have talked herself into a circular-logic loop and is thence stuck, and desperately needing my input.

It's hilarious.

:D

Edit: I studied Japanese for a while, but gave up as I had no-one to practice with. It was a surprisingly logical and easy language to learn. Korean is fun too, and equally intuitive/logical.
 

TimeAsylums

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An ENTP seems to have the astounding ability to present rhetoric questions in the form of never-ending monologue. Any intput from others would have to be completely of a commentary nature, such as : "Yeah!"; "Cool!", and "Shoot!"; or in order to comply with the format of the communication, present an equally rhetoric monologue in response.

I have an ENTP friend just like that. I just sit there and listen until she stops to ask me a non-rhetoric question; because by this time she would have talked herself into a circular-logic loop and is thence stuck, and desperately needing my input.

It's hilarious.


:D
They (we) don't yet consciously recognize that we have the answer, as Ne is unconscious and doing all the work, by talking out aloud/to others, even without reciprocation, we come along the answer, and to others it may seem like we have had it all along, OddlyDevelopedTypes(I think) suggested it was that we "enjoy bouncing our ideas off of people." seems true enough.
TA, would you please increase your font size? My eyes are hurting....and I'm wearing glasses... :ahh:

Edit: hey, you edited....now I've got a double-post....grumble...
Yeah, as if my PPD weren't high enough
 

Polaris

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TA, would you please increase your font size? My eyes are hurting....and I'm wearing glasses... :ahh:

Edit: hey, you edited....now I've got a double-post....grumble...
 

redbaron

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just george

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Personally I don't see the point in learning a language that you aren't going to use, but if you want to do something good at the same time as having a massive challenge, learn the oldest language you can find that has a significant amount of translatable material.

Ie Sumerian and cuneiform script.

Not only would it be hard as hell, being a dead language, but you wouldn't have any teachers whose opinions were worth any more than yours, and you would be the first to read some of the most interesting things in the world.

That or Sanskrit.

I know that you don't care about what to do with the idea, but there is serious, serious money in ancient languages. When some billionaire art collector asks you to translate what is written on his beautiful and very expensive artifact, you get to charge whatever you like.

At that point, I would start my own currency too. "I don't accept dollars, I only accept Ferraris. One tablet, one ferrari! 3 tablets, bulk discount - two ferraris!"
 

walfin

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Esperanto! Bonvole lernu do ni povas interparoli cxi tie!

I mean, why learn something harder when Esperanto is proven to speed up your rate of learning new languages in the future? :p Though I realise it's not on your list :(.

Oh BTW I agree with you that Cantonese and Mandarin are both dialects of Chinese (I speak both). There are other languages in China which truly are different languages, such as Uighur or Yao.
 
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