Language Difficulty Level

Avenus

New Member
There is a chart that goes into the difficulty level of languages here:

http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty

This is specified for English speaking learners, which is kind of bad for people who grew up speaking Romance languages(like me) or people who grew up speaking Chinese for example.

Now the time tables it says for general proficiency reading and speaking.

So how long did it take you guys to reach that level(in terms of the level shown on chart)? What is your native language? Do you know any other languages? If you do then what do you compare Latin too in terms of difficulty?

I am obviously a beginner so I don't really know how long it will take me. My native language is Spanish. I know Italian, Spanish, Russian, and English.

Latin is almost as hard as Russian grammatically, however I would say that Russian has a lot more resources for learning it, and an obedience of native/near-native level speakers. Furthermore, Russian is a lot easier to grasp once you have a sense of the grammar. Especially with all the slang around St.Petersburg. Obviously reading is much harder, as is writing do to the Cyrillic alphabet.

Italian is easier than Latin because of the pronouns. Plus the relationship between Spanish and Italian for me, was very easy to grasp. The grammar in Italian wasn't too complicated, and I felt like it was very similar. This may be due solely to my native language. But it is no where near as difficult as Latin, in any aspect really.

English was pretty easy for two reasons, one because I lived on the border of Guatemala and Mexico. A large percentage of people who lived on the border spoke English and while they didn't use it too much I got to hear the sounds fairly often. Two, mi abuela was from California. And I am sure she knew English as if I remember correctly she would slip when she was watching TV or cursing. Plus the large amount of slang in English is fairly easy to pick up. Going to school here helps as well.
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Interesting.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned (but rather on the subject of how easy or difficult it is to get to some certain language level) is that the other mentioned languages (the living ones) are inevitably easier even if their grammar from the perspective of a foreign learner were much much more difficult (e.g. Finnish) than your target dead language, since you meet them (the living ones) almost always and invariably in their casual and rather colloquial form (and even if it is a form used in some official news, it is usually very close in style, syntax and lexicon to what you would hear in a normal/casual conversation - it is quite regular). So that + high regularity and therefore also easier predictibility of the syntactic structures / phrases + lots of native speakers + lots of resources (= also modern movies and modern literature + other media) + modern/present/every day context close to your perception of the world (unlike reading ancient texts) makes whatever living language very much easier than a dead language (and as I said: that's not even talking about the grammar from the foreigner's perspective).
<- some languages are hard of course in respect to their writing system (Chinese, Japanese...), but I'm focusing now rather just on the language itself

Also this is why I would deter any learner of the Ancient Greek to go and try to learn the Modern Greek before they achieve some considerable level in the ancient one. Because in the modern one they will just start getting the reward for learning (i.e. understanding and ability to speak/write in some manner) too quickly just from the fact that it is a living language (as I mentioned the reasons earlier) and they will want very reluctantly to come back to their difficult studies of the ancient one where the reward comes very slowly and sometimes never. (I added this paragraph Avenus :) )

Anyway, this is just me adding some observation of my own - maybe slightly off-topic... there is surely much more to say on this topic and I hope somebody will :)
 

Avenus

New Member
Interesting.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned (but rather on the subject of how easy or difficult it is to get to some certain language level) is that the other mentioned languages (the living ones) are inevitably easier even if their grammar from the perspective of a foreign learner were much much more difficult (e.g. Finnish) than your target dead language, since you meet them (the living ones) almost always and invariably in their casual and rather colloquial form (and even if it is a form used in some official news, it is usually very close in style, syntax and lexicon to what you would hear in a normal/casual conversation - it is quite regular). So that + high regularity and therefore also easier predictibility of the syntactic structures / phrases + lots of native speakers + lots of resources (= also modern movies and modern literature + other media) + modern/present/every day context close to your perception of the world (unlike reading ancient texts) makes whatever living language very much easier than a dead language (and as I said: that's not even talking about the grammar from the foreigner's perspective).
<- some languages are hard of course in respect to their writing system (Chinese, Japanese...), but I'm focusing now rather just on the language itself

Also this is why I would deter any learner of the Ancient Greek to go and try to learn the Modern Greek before they achieve some considerable level in the ancient one. Because in the modern one they will just start getting the reward for learning (i.e. understanding and ability to speak/write in some manner) too quickly just from the fact that it is a living language (as I mentioned the reasons earlier) and they will want very reluctantly to come back to their difficult studies of the ancient one where the reward comes very slowly and sometimes never. (I added this paragraph Avenus :) )

Anyway, this is just me adding some observation of my own - maybe slightly off-topic... there is surely much more to say on this topic and I hope somebody will :)


That is very interesting, I am actually a participant in Judo and Sambo and its funny to hear you say this. I learned a little bit of Japanese from the classes and some minor independent study. Japanese almost behaves as if it were a once dead language except that it has been revived. The isolation of Japan(Sakoku) from the outside world might have something to do with this.

I think this is why foreigners have such a hard time learning Japanese. While they can learn colloquial phrases(similar to Latin actually) on a fairly easy level, some of more technical words and translations aren't clear because for years Japan didn't have contact with the outside world and therefore had limited vocabulary entering into the language. Furthermore, this made translating a problem as many words for technology may translate directly into something unrelated. I had a friend who was a translator and she was translating a Auto Manual into Japanese but there a word that directly translated into a different car part even though the meaning was Engine or something similar.

While, Latin isn't really like that, coming up for words in a language that doesn't adapt really is difficult. But I think I like that. It makes it a challenge.


I have always wanted to learn Greek(Ancient) but I want to learn Latin first. How similar is Ancient and Modern Greek anyway? Is it like a whole different language? Or is it like Old French/Modern French, Old English/Modern English. I know there were many delects of Ancient Greek too. Like Doric and Koine.
 
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