https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo

How do people with speech difficulties work with more difficult languages?

TseDanylo
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My brother has a speech difficulty which means he can't really speak English that well. But despite what you think, it's quite interesting. For example, instead of saying "tomorrow" he says "after bed". But then I started thinking, English has no grammatical gender, simple verbs and no cases. Even little things like how plurals can be formed with just an -s. But what if we spoke Polish with its complex case system, German with its complex word order or Turkish with a system of joining words together using vowel harmony? Does anyone know how children function with more complex grammar?

1 year ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MouPeMantissa

Hi, I'm autistic. I'm very much like your brother in the sense that I use very alternative words to describe things - 'after bed' is an absolute classic, although I don't use it anymore.

I think it's less about your brother's speech difficulty and more so that he as an autistic person has a different perspective on the world than your regular neurotypical. When you're learning a language, you naturally become more restrictive of your speech because you're still learning about social etiquette, and things that would be weird in that language and normal in yours (and vice versa).

I'm Greek and I have no difficulty actually understanding the language. I just would rather not speak - many autistic people like to express themselves through writing, singing, dancing, and other ways that don't really require socialising. I think your brother probably falls into that category. Learning Dutch has absolutely changed my life - I feel warmer and more confident, and less awkward. I feel powerful now that I've got it in my system.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo
TseDanylo
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Very interesting. Not to ask anything personal but did you find difficulty with Greek cases/verb conjugations etc.? I'm just thinking as English usually only has two forms in the present where Greek has many.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MouPeMantissa

Honestly, no, I don't. But I think that's because I've been exposed to it. I don't know how your brother will find language learning; I think a lot of factors could come into it, like the languages he knows, what languages his friends speak, and the amount of official languages your country has. I don't think his autism will make it more difficult grammatically.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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"Does anyone know how children function with more complex grammar?"

Children learn grammatically complex languages the same way as they do less complex ones- practice, listening and correction from other speakers. A Polish child has no more difficulty learning their mother tongue than a Swedish child does.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eva33964

Does he stutter? There are techniques for that, or so I've noticed in people who have that difficulty. He could find out what those techniques are, apply them, and then not having to flinch at words such as 't-t-to-tomorrow' if this is his problem. You didn't say what his difficulty consisted of.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo
TseDanylo
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No, he's autistic and have difficulties with actually learning language along with some other problems too. He doesn't stutter but just gets confused. For example, he finds it difficult to get across meaning. I'm just wondering, how would a language (like Russian) affect his speech. How would he work with things like "voda", "vodu", "vody" etc.?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eva33964

Maybe he should learn Esperanto? It has clear rules, and that could suit someone on the autism spectrum. Nice hobby too, if you like languages, and let people get in touch with others all around the globe. Maybe it could help learning other languages, particularly the ones borrowed from when creating Esperanto.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo
TseDanylo
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Sounds very nice, thanks for the idea. But my parents would be worried he would get confused :)

1 year ago
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