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Squeegee Donating Member (577 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 08:31 PM
Original message
What's the easiest language you've ever tried to learn?
For me, it was Danish. It has very regular grammar, no cases, no verb conjugation for person, two grammatical genders, and a word order identical to English. The vocabulary was very easy because I had already taken six prior years of German (Danish cognates are obvious and the language has a ton of High German loan-words). The only thing hard about it was pronunciation. Stress, meter, and tone of words and sentences are not quite like something you find normally in English or German, and you have to talk like you have a mouth full of mashed-potatoes.
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ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Uhhh...English? I always thought that was pretty easy.
No, really, close to yours, tho'. Norwegian. Pretty much for the same reasons you listed. It's gotten so that I can now usually guess the cognate to a Norwegian word and get it right first time. I had some trouble with the genitive "case" (if you can call it that), until I realized it was just like the English possessive without the apostrophe.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. Pig Latin
iecepay of akecay.

Actually, for me it was French, but only because I'd already studied Spanish and Italian.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-18-05 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. Italian
My father is a native speaker but neverspoke at our home because that was the only place for him where he spoke English; I presume that my hearing relatives and him speaking when young was the key. I have been told that I have a great Italian accent, fwiw.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-05 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. Scots
I thought I was speaking English til I was at school. The nuns soon cleared up my misunderstanding, though. :(
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Stop_the_War Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-05 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. Spanish
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-06-05 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
6. Ancient Greek
Easy as pie...
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davidwparker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-02-07 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. LOL. I've studied koine because I wanted to read the original NT writings. n/t
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. Esperanto
Several studies have confirmed that it can be learned very quickly, since it has fewer grammatical rules than most national languages.

I learned it when I was 13, and was reading it on a high-school level within a year.

Far from the common impression that Esperanto has failed, it is a major langauge of literature with a large body of original work.

www.esperanto.org

--p!
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-05 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. So far, Italian because I speak a couple other Romance languages.
I really need to get back to my German studies one day... ist sehr schlect. :(
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Yellow Dog Blues Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. Danish
I have to agree about both the easy grammar and the tough pronunciation. I can read emails from my Danish in-laws and understand them, but it is still practically impossible for me to follow a conversation. I know people say that about every language, but with Danish it is true to the tenth degree. One of the few languages harder to pronounce, I'd imagine, must be English.

Does anyone know Norwegian? It seems similar to Danish but with a more straightforward pronunciation.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. Norwegian, for the same reasons that Squeegee gave for Danish
I already spoke German, and Norwegian seemed to be at a halfway point between English and German. I never became a proficient speaker, but I was able to learn enough from an old Teach Yourself book to communicate with my relatives when we visited Norway during my high school years.
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 05:24 AM
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11. this is very encouraging! :-)
I'm fluent in German and English after having spent this past winter and summer learning it in Germany. One of the girls in my class there was Norwegian and we would usually sit next to each other (she spoke perfect English, since she'd been an exchange student in California), and I would sometimes look through her German-Norsk dictionary. I was always struck by how many words in Norwegian basically looked like slightly modified English and German words, if not being exactly the same or nearly so (IIRC, "Arbeit" is "Arbeid"). Also, I saw recently an episode of the X-Files where these two characters are speaking Norwegian at length, and one guy says "First, let me go," in Norwegian, but he might as well have been speaking English! (The only reason I new that line was still Norwegian was because they subtitled it.)

It's good to see Norwegian and Danish (which I'm told are nearly mutually intelligible) are regarded by so many in this thread as being so easy, not least because I think I've now backed myself into a corner with learning Norwegian, as I've mentioned so often to Kristin, the Norwegian girl, how similar the languages look and how easy it should be for me to learn it. If I don't write her something in Norwegian soon, she'll probably call bullshit on me! O8)
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-07-08 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
30. Yes, that sentence in Norwegian would be
"Frst, la meg g"
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
12. dupe
Edited on Tue Nov-08-05 05:27 AM by progdonkey
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SunDrop23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-28-05 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
13. Spanish
Followed by Portuguese, then French.

German kicked my ass.
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-09-06 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Spanish and Interlingua
I actually never tried to learn Interlingua, but it's a constructed Romance language, and basically if you know one, you can read Interlingua fluently :-)
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jonolover Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. I can't tell,
Edited on Wed May-10-06 01:53 PM by jonolover
because, I have "learnt" only one foreign language - French - as an adult. The other three languages I speak - English, Gujarati, and Hindi - I learnt growing up, so I didn't technically "learn" them, in my opinion. I found French pretty easy though. Now it is just a question of accumulation vocabulary, which happens over time. I would like to learn more languages though. For example, Japanese, one of many Dravidian languages, and one of many Scandinavian languages.
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Left_Winger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-26-06 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
16. Danish was not all that difficult to understand when spoken
As I learned German 25 years ago and teach it for a living, Danish was surprisingly easy to understand when I heard it. However, I have never studied Danish phonetics threfore I did find reading it to be difficult.

I was also trained in Russian before I began to study Polish. Here is where I found a problem: Everytime I was searching for a word in Polish, the Russian word would surface in my mind. Argh!
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racaulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-26-06 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. Spanish
I found the grammar to be very logical and, with the exception of the silent "h," words are pronounced more or less like they are spelled (and vice versa). It was a very easy language for me to pick up. I studied Spanish all four years of high school, and took enough Spanish in college for a minor.

Of course, this is the only language I have studied other than English. I'm considering picking up a third language, possibly another Romance language since I have a solid foundation with Spanish.
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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
18. French.
Got straight A's until we got to the plus ce que parfait and the conditional, then it got a little more complicated.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
19. Portugus
But that was after years of speaking Spanish and exposure to Latin, Catalan, French, and Italian.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. Swahili
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-22-07 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
21. Italian.
I came to it after having studied French, Spanish, and German. When we got to "irregular" verbs I almost fell out of the chair laughing. Even their "irregular" verbs are quite regular, at least compared to French or Spanish.
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k8conant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-30-07 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. ???????? Modern Greek -
My first husband was from Cyprus and it was easy to just listen in to friends and family.
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-28-07 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
23. Music, which was my second language.
Edited on Thu Jun-28-07 04:45 AM by Perragrande
I was reading English at age three. My mom read to me but I was basically self taught. I cannot remember not knowing what English letters meant.

The school shrinks were baffled because they needed to put me in school early. I blew their minds because I couldn't tell them how I could read. They put me in private school, first grade at age five, because you can't go to public school in my state until you are six.

I started piano lessons at age five, and learned to read music quickly.

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blondie58 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-29-07 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
24. It is a tie between German and Spanish for me
I studied both languages in high school and in college and have traveled abroad to use both of them. They are both very logical languages- sure, they have some exceptions to the rule, but for the most part. You can even tell how something is spelled from the pronunciation, as each sound is spelled a certain way.

I really feel sorry for those that learn English as a second language. It has to be very difficult- and one word can mean so many different things.

My big mistake though, was trying to learn them simultaneuously, as if I can't come up with the word in German, it pops up in Spanish- or vice versa!
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pink-o Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-13-07 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
26. Ancient Frisian...since it's so close to Beowulf...
...no, just kidding!!! Since there's no language that English speakers can transition to easily (like Spanish speakers learning Italian, or Maltese speakers with Arabic) I just brought that up. Basically, native English speakers are screwed cuz any other language we want to learn will be pretty alien to us. I'm happiest with Romance languages cuz I studied English etymology when I was in high school (not because it was an offered course, but because I'm just a huge geek).

So to answer the question, it's got to be Spanish. It's spelled logically, conjugated without too much brain pain, and luckily for us, only has about 7 prepositions. (The prep is the WORST part about learning English as a second language, according to everyone I know from somewhere else)

The problem with speaking my dubious Spanish (or Italian) to people in their native countries is they always want to speak English to me. That freaks me out, cuz when I lived in England in the 70s and first traveled to France and Germany, no one would speak English to us. Whole new generation out there!
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-27-07 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
27. Believe it or not, Russian
It may have been that I was really motivated to learn or that I had a great professor, but I breezed through basic Russian and became conversational quite early.

I regret that I didn't pursue it more thoroughly.
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geardaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
28. Mandarin
No conjugation or inflection of verbs.
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shenmue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-07 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
29. Italian
:hi:
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