Author Topic: Polish is the hardest language to learn...  (Read 11368 times)

Torq

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... according to the article by Mark Biernat.

Quote
The hardest language to learn is: Polish – Seven cases, Seven genders and very difficult pronunciation.
The average English speaker is fluent in their language at the age of 12, in contrast, the average Polish
speaker is fluent in their language after age of 16. (...)
Formula for difficulty in a language = O*(G+V+(w*.1)+(A*2.0)+S+V(1.5))
(...)



http://claritaslux.com/blog/the-hardest-language-to-learn/



Ironside

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #1 on: 5 years ago »
that is bs like mark
IS

Bratwurst Boy

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #2 on: 5 years ago »
It's the missing vowels...  8)

But harder than japanese/chinese? I tried my hand with learning japanese once (okay several times because I'm a sucker for kanjis) but that might be more about unfamiliarity than difficulty...
 

bzibzioh

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #3 on: 5 years ago »
Quote from: Bratwurst Boy
It's the missing vowels...  8)

nah, that would be Serbo-Croatian, some words have not a single vowel.

Polish is a soft sounding language; bit rustling to it but lovely.

I know Hungarian is very difficult, I once tried to learn it but it was excruciating.

Aurelia

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #4 on: 3 years ago »
It's the missing vowels...  8)

But harder than japanese/chinese? I tried my hand with learning japanese once (okay several times because I'm a sucker for kanjis) but that might be more about unfamiliarity than difficulty...

Yes, Japanese/Chinese are difficult because of Kanji letters. I'd managed to learn Hiragana - Japanese letters, there are 24, I think, plus combinations (not many), but they also have Katakana, which is used for foreign words and is similar to Hiragana - this only makes the matter worse. And Kanji... the letters are so complex, they're more like drawings. I'd not managed to remember a single one, I always mess up something. Japanese as spoken isn't that difficult, but written... but let's face it: you can't learn a language if you can't write it down.

The missing vowels... hmmm, you must be talking about words such as trn (thorn), srp (scythe), crn (black), grm (bush)
But you'll notice they're all short. We do have complex consonant groupings... of even up to 4 consonants, but I can't think of an example now.

Seven genders in Polish?!? Which? Masculine, feminine, neuter... I'm missing... four. Do you mean plural + dvojina/duet/double? Or something else?

bzibzioh

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #5 on: 3 years ago »
Yeah, it's difficult to learn for foreigners but has a good aspects as well.

You read the way you write. You don't have to guess. English is a nightmare in spelling/pronunciation as there are no rules and you need to memorize the sound of each and every word. When I first heard the word "weird" I wanted to check what it means but I had no clue how it's spelled. The same with "journey" - why it starts with J instead of G?

Every vowel is the same length. There is no ship and sheep.

The accent is always in the same place, on the 2nd last syllable.

The word order is not very important.

Plethora of diminutives. As long as you don't use diminutives from the name of nationalities as they express disregard. English diminutives, in comparison, are lousy.

English is build for compact communication. Polish is more flamboyant but more precise language.


Aurelia

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #6 on: 3 years ago »
You read the way you write. You don't have to guess. English is a nightmare in spelling/pronunciation as there are no rules and you need to memorize the sound of each and every word. When I first heard the word "weird" I wanted to check what it means but I had no clue how it's spelled. The same with "journey" - why it starts with J instead of G?
I get your point. Until I had the “Phonetics” class, I really didn’t understand much either. It gets easier once you know how certain vowels and consonants react when in combination with others, but you’re never really sure. If you ever feel like it, read something about phonetics of English. That was really helpful to me.

Every vowel is the same length. There is no ship and sheep.
The accent is always in the same place, on the 2nd last syllable.
The word order is not very important.
These rules actually sum it up very nicely. Take for example Croatian - our accent is never at the same place!! There are rules, of course, but they’re so complex and with so many variations and exceptions (I say that a good rule has little to no exceptions, or else there is no point in making useless rules that only succeed in complicating the matters further...). The accent is so different, especially nowadays. I speak clear Croatian, without jargon and without dialect variants, but I’ve heard words pronounced so differently it’s a nightmare. To me, televizija is with the accent on the second part, that is vi and with a rising intonation: tele’vizija
However, some people say te’levizija which is terrible!!! The part “tele” is a Greek prefix, how can you break it into two parts? It’s even worse with the accent at the very beginning... Sorry, I can get easily distracted...
I like it that vowels don’t have different lengths. It’s actually a rarity. Are there only five (a, e, i, o, u) or more? English has 20 variants of vowels... talk about being complex.

Plethora of diminutives. As long as you don't use diminutives from the name of nationalities as they express disregard. English diminutives, in comparison, are lousy.
English is build for compact communication. Polish is more flamboyant but more precise language.

That’s good to know. We don’t really have diminutives for nationalities. I’ve never heard someone use one, but now you made me wonder and I was trying to create a diminutive and it sounds odd in Croatian. We use diminutives a lot in everyday speech, for example it’s always better to use a diminutive than say “little house” (kućica instead of mala kuća), but we don’t like putting words with the meaning “little” in front of a diminutive (so, mala kućica is incorrect as diminutive already as the meaning of “little”). Is that the thing in Polish as well?

Jybrael

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #7 on: 3 years ago »
I have tried my hands at Croatian once but even till now I didn't manage to understand a single of the rules...I agree it is indeed very complex.

Aurelia

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #8 on: 3 years ago »
It's worst when you have rules that confuse more than they explain. Rules should be clear, simple, relevant and to the point. Too many of them just make the matter more obscure, definitely not a good thing.

By the way, what do you mean with "fluent by the age of 16"?
Do schools teach various tenses in elementary school or only later on? What about pronouns and nouns? Do children make mistakes in cases? Is it more grammatical or speaking fluency? Or is it about writing?

The schools here are... well, suffering. I am curious as to what happens in Poland. How much emphasis is there on studying your native tongue? I know I had classes of Croatian in school and it was half-literature, half-grammar... alright, more literature than grammar, but both components were necessary. How does the system work in Poland?

grinface

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #9 on: 3 years ago »
Well, to be honest, some languages will be more complicated than others because of their history. I know that English was developed to be the communication language, so it is amusingly simple in its grammar and its word formation. French, on the other hand, was the language ŕ la mode a few centuries back, and it was an "elite" language. To speak it proved how sophisticated you were; for this reason, they added a lot of rules and exceptions.

I cannot figure out for the life of me what possible reason Polish would have to be so complicated! And I mean, I'm not sure it is *the* most complicated language, but it's probably for sure up there. Everyone I heard try to learn it still struggle with it seven years after they start to learn!

For some reason this thread makes me want to try to learn Japanese. Again. XD

Isiyup

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #10 on: 3 years ago »
I'm fluent in Japanese and have been studying it for many years, and I can say for sure Polish looks much more intimidating than Japanese ever has to me. It's very beautiful and intricate but absolutely incredibly complex. I'm not sure if I even want to try my hand at it, but not doing so would be betraying myself  since I love learning new languages so much. Hopefully it isn't actually harder than Japanese because Japanese is tough.

kapustnik

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #11 on: 3 years ago »
It's the missing vowels...  8)

But harder than japanese/chinese? I tried my hand with learning japanese once (okay several times because I'm a sucker for kanjis) but that might be more about unfamiliarity than difficulty...

I'm a native Polish speaker and I found Japanese to be easier to learn pronunciation wise. The Japanese language structure is completely different from anything I've ever seen though, so it's really difficult to get used to. I think both Polish and Japanese are spoken from the front of the mouth, rather than the throat like English and German.

I wonder if speaking Polish means it's easier to learn other languages?  ;)

steph84

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #12 on: 3 years ago »
I always thought that character based languages like Japanese and Chinese were way harder to learn. You learn something new each day! It probably is the vowels thing that trips people up!

bzibzioh

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #13 on: 3 years ago »
It probably is the vowels thing that trips people up!


...ummm... what vowels thing? The vowel pronunciation, as I already mentioned above, it's the easiest aspect of the Polish language.

Torq

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Polish is the hardest language to learn...
« Reply #14 on: 3 years ago »
:)

"There is one thing I like about the Poles – their language. Polish, when spoken by intelligent people, puts me in ecstasy. The sound of the language evokes strange images in which there is always a greensward of fine spiked grass in which hornets and snakes play a great part. (…) When [the Poles] spoke to one another, sometimes in French, sometimes in Polish, I sat back and watched them fascinatedly. They made strange Polish grimaces, altogether unlike our relatives, who were stupid barbarians at bottom. The Poles were standing snakes fitted up with collars of hornets. I never knew what they were talking about but it always seemed to me as if they were politely assassinating someone. They were all fitted up with sabers and broadswords which they held in their teeth or brandished fiercely in a thundering charge. (…) They hissed their long polychromatic words through tiny, sensual mouths whose lips were soft as geraniums. These furious sorties with adders and rose petals made an intoxicating sort of music, a steel-gibber which could also register anomalous sounds like sobs and falling jets of water.”

Henry Miller