Subject: Re: Language learning
Hallo everybody, I'm new to this group and I found out this discussion to be very interesting. I'm a Czech of origin. Comparing to the USA we're very small country. That's one of the reasons why our people have to speak at least one foreign language. I like learning foreign languages and I'd like to share some of mine experience. I speak Czech, Slovak (of course, we used to be one republic), Russian (unfortunately it was compulsory to learn this language from our childhood because of our big brother:-), German (because of our big neighbour), English (because it was close to German), French (because 60% of English words come from French, so I could save my memory capacity), Italian (because it's just an easier French)and Arabic (because I wanted to speak some total different language). 1. English - To me the easiest language to learn was English - somebody told it is very close to German. It is true because the English used to be actually German language back more than 1000 years ago. But as you know, England used to be occupied by French for almost two centuries and French language penetrated into English. But the old English made that mixture of these two languages easier and cut almost all gramatical exceptions (which are really crazy:-) 2. German - You, English native speakers may recognize a lot of similar words and also pronunciation could be OK with you (they pronounce every letter, so you shouldn't learn every word with its pronunciation) but I guess the grammar would be difficult to you. Bad think is that you have to learn thousands of endings. That's a little bit disadvantage. But I'd say that this language would the easiest for you. 3. French - as I mentioned above, English words are about 60 % based on French. There should be not big problem with the grammar itself to you (for instance the plural ending is -s which is the same like in English) but you have to learn a lot of exceptions. The worst think is the pronunciation. 4. Italian and Spanish - these languages are very similar to each other. For Americans, the Spanish language would be more useful because of your neighbours and immigrants. Similar to Germans, they pronounce every letter and reading or speaking shouldn't be difficult to you. I don't know about Spanish but Italian grammar is not that difficult and I personally would say it is quite easy language. 5. Any Slavic language - all of them are very close and similar. I'd say, if Slavics speak slowly, they understand each other no matter where they are from. Pronounciation is not difficult (needs just a little bit training) but the grammar is more than difficult. I wouldn't recommend it as an easy language. You should also think about some more things - first, why do you want to learn foreign language, second - if you want just to be able to speak few words or if you want to be able to understand tv or read newspapers, simply said on which level you want to speak and third - very important - will you be able to use that language you're going to learn ? If I were American, I personally would learn Spanish or French. Both are spoken worldwide and both have something to do with English. And you can use both within your Northern American continent. Last advice - you have to start speaking your desired language very soon because it is the best way how to learn foreign languages.