https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

The easiest language and the hardest one you've ever learned from the languages you're studying...

Personally, for me, it's definitely Italian. (I'm Puerto Rican and speak Spanish.) Though in Portuguese, most sayings and ways you say things are more similarly put like in Spanish than Italian with Spanish.

Also, in Italian you pronounce what's written, once you learn how letters are pronounced, like Spanish. In Portuguese, the letter "d" can also be pronounced "j" only before the vowels "i" and "e", but then there are some exceptions. Like the "t" and it also being a "ch" sound.

So Italian is easier when listening and pronouncing to me. And reading. So, yeah... It's altogether easier for me... but maybe it's because I started learning it a while ago and Portuguese I just started learning now. So, Italian would naturally seem easier for me. I don't know...

The hardest, however, is probably Hebrew, or maybe Turkish, since they're the most different in words and how they're worded and also in alphabet: Hebrew

I've babbled on for way too long... What are yours?? :)

1 year ago

60 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Easiest: No contest, Esperanto. Both in terms of being able to produce comprehensible Esperanto (even if the grammar is not perfect), and in terms of being able to understand it.

Hardest... I think the hardest ones I've tried to study, for me, were Arabic, Hungarian and Turkish. All of them were difficult enough that I felt completely at sea and didn't even progress to the point where things started to make sense! Hungarian and Turkish I tried here on Duolingo, and both of them started and stayed more or less incomprehensible to me. Turkish I went so far as to delete from my profile, because it made me feel like an idiot and like I'd forgotten how to learn a language! People tell me Turkish in particular is very logical and has few exceptions, but honestly, I couldn't seem to get to the point where I knew what was going on enough for the consistency to be helpful.

Arabic I've tried to learn off my own bat a couple of times, and never got very far. Maybe having somewhat got to grips with Hebrew, Arabic might no longer seem quite so daunting, though I think it retains some Semitic language features Hebrew has lost, so I suspect it will still present a challenge...

(Japanese is one I've not yet given up on but similarly haven't got to even an elementary stage with. Seems fairly logical and consistent, but is very foreign/works very differently to what I expect, little helpful borrowed vocabulary, and three writing systems... it's definitely hard enough that, even though I can't speak from real experience, I'd put it on this list.)

Hardest ones I've actually got to a point where the language is actually usable: Russian and Hebrew.

Of the two, I'd say Russian is the more difficult; it has the kind of similarities that you'd expect from an IE language, it borrows from English and French quite substantially and sometimes from other languages like German, so someone who's got one or more of those languages is going to recognise at least some vocabulary, albeit russified. The ты/вы distinction is familiar from other languages... it basically functions like a European language, even if it is one with idiosyncratic grammar and a ridiculous number of rules with an equally ridiculous number of exceptions! But... all those rules and exceptions are hard, and verbs of motion/aspect are tough for anyone who doesn't have that in their native language/another language in which they're fluent. Cases are not as difficult as is sometimes made out, but they're not a walk in the park, either.

Hebrew's difficulty lies more in how differently it works. It has relatively little borrowed vocabulary that's familiar, it has an entirely new script that functions mostly without helpful things like, ya know, vowels 8-o and it is altogether unfamiliar. It's also the one language with a different script that I've studied to a reasonably high level (I can have a decent conversation in it) where learning to read is not the relatively easiest bit. Not only do Hebrew letters have hardly any points of familiarity with the Latin alphabet, but the lack of vowelling in most printed Hebrew means that even if you know the letters perfectly, you can't accurately read it. In Russian, for example, it would be possible to read a passage without understanding but pronounce it just fine; in Hebrew, not so much! Usually, reading the language is the easy bit and speaking/listening is tough, but with Hebrew, my speaking and understanding (and even writing) in Hebrew is much better than my reading.

However... although Hebrew is very unfamiliar and doesn't work exactly how I'm used to languages working, it is internally fairly logical. It's not as heavily grammar-coded as Russian, but it is often reasonably easy to see if something is an adjective, verb or noun; the system of roots means you can sometimes figure out what a word means or at least get the gist even if you've no idea how to say it; the tense system is pretty user-friendly. Essentially, the hard stuff about Hebrew is mostly to do with unfamiliarity, not inherent complexity, so while it has a really steep learning curve, once you get a bit more familiar and have a reasonable vocabulary, it's really surprisingly user-friendly.

(All this said, the tense systems in Romance languages are absurd; I mean, they kind of are in English, but as a native speaker I don't have to think about it. In French, I can understand and make myself understood easily enough, but grammatically, I kinda stink LOL)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Simply outstanding explanations. I completely agree with the Hebrew and Russian part, as I tried to learn them for some time in the past, but have now completely dropped Hebrew and am saving Russian for last, along with Greek.

Thank you so much for sharing! That was an interesting and amazing read!! I hope the best for your language learning journey!! :D Good luck!!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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So far the easiest ones I've been learning are Spanish and Swedish. Spanish seems to be the Romance language that is both the easiest to learn how to pronounce and write, and the grammar seems most familiar to English speakers. Swedish is pretty close to English, sometimes I was able to guess entire sentences based on the English and even Spanish I already knew. (Swedish has quite a few French loanwords like "paraly", similar to Spanish "paraguas").

The hardest languages I have been trying to learn are Turkish, Welsh and Arabic. I find Turkish pronunciation a bit of a pain. Welsh grammar is pretty hard (I particularly have trouble with verbs) but I try my best to learn it because I love the way it sounds, plus I have ancestry from Wales. Arabic writing is not easy to learn and on top of that the grammar is very, very complicated. I'm not giving up on them because I'm a very stubborn person and I want to actually know those languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Easiest: Romance languages 3+ Hardest: Georgian

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BayernMunichLewi
BayernMunichLewi
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On Duolingo:

  • Easy: Esperanto, Spanish, Catalan (similar to Spanish) German, High Valyrian and French (pretty).

  • Hard: Vietnamese, Hebrew, Greek, Irish, Russian (real challenge) and Japanese (easy to speak and listen, hard to read and write).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Wow! Really interesting to see. I definitely would agree with you, though.

Thank you for sharing!!!! :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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The hardest I've studied in any detail is probably Georgian. Navajo also struck me as extremely grammatically complex and irregular. My erstwhile urge to learn some Avestan was also halted by the sheer number of rules that needed to be committed to memory before being able to translate the simplest of sentences (although this might have been down to poor pedagogical presentation on the part of the book). I'm sure there are even more complex languages out there, however; I don't have books on everything. The grammars of languages like Abkhaz and Karbardian sound pretty nightmarish.

Easy: Swedish, Norwegian (a little less so), Danish (but pronunciation very much less so) and Esperanto (it does what it says on the tin). Making oneself understood in broken Romance languages takes very little effort, but mastering all the subtleties of the tenses is considerably more difficult.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anne6395010_2048
Anne6395010_2048
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In my opinion,

easiest : English, French, German, Chinese, Swedish, Dutch

hardest : Hebrew, Greek, Russian

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jorno1
jorno1
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Chinese easy? Even with all the caracters?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anne6395010_2048
Anne6395010_2048
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I am a native Chinese speaker, I can speak it well.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/runner2468
runner2468
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I disagree with English and French. English has very irrational grammar, which I say as a native speaker, and a spelling system that makes less-than-no sense. I've studied some French, and I would put it number ten, because I have trouble with the grammar and how it crunches down words into things I can't understand all over the place, similarly to English. However, I find French surprisingly easy to pronounce, substantially easier than Spanish. I've studied a little hebrew, and reading the script right-to-left instead really trips me up.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Patrick.-
Patrick.-
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The easiest languages I've found were Esperanto, Portuguese and Catalan. And the hardest ones, were Hungarian, Hebrew and Japanese.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Esperanto is really that easy as everyone says? Nice to know!

But nice answer! Keep on learning! :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Patrick.-
Patrick.-
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Yes, It's Suuuuper Easy, You should give it a try!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Interesting.. Thank you. I'll keep it in mind. :D

Good luck and never give up on all those languages!!! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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easiest: Spanish

hardest (of the ones I'm learning): Romanian (but still pretty easy)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Nice! :D

And yeah, probably since it's a mix of romance and slavic. That's why I find Romanian so unique and fascinating!!

If you need any help with Spanish, let me know! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Romanian is a rather delicious mixture :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RudolfJan

Easy: English and German, mainly because my native language is Dutch and these languages belong to the same language family. Hard: French Hardest: Kiswahili because each word is so strange

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katred2
Katred2
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Well, my ideas about what's easy fluctuate a bit, but generally:

Easy: Spanish Difficult: Polish

Easier than I thought it would be: Hungarian (the different cases are not causing me as many problems as I thought they would)

Harder than I thought it would be: Dutch (I can't pronounce it properly.)

Special mention in the difficult category to Swahili and Hebrew. So many words that sound really similar makes it tricky for me.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fischerfs
fischerfs
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I agree with Hungarian. It's easier than a lot of people say, as well as the fact that the 'scary cases' don't need to rely on gender or plural etc, all it is, is vowel harmony which itself is an easy concept to grasp. Of course it's not the easiest language, but it's not the hardest if you have the right mindset for it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraCha360905
BarbaraCha360905
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The easiest was Spanish and the hardest was Chinese. I'm a native speaker of English.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jovanuno
jovanuno
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Easiest: Spanish. Hardest: German.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/runner2468
runner2468
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I agree with you, it is the hardest for me out of the languages you've studied on Esperanto, barring Irish.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisWrigh963934

easy: spanish hard: russian (the one i mainly study)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alpicos
Alpicos
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German words are extremely long and hard to pronounce

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/runner2468
runner2468
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That's what seems to be the hardest thing about it. I haven't gotten to very long words yet, because I'm only level 5.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nusete
Nusete
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From English, German, French, Japanese.. For me German is the hardest to remember vocabulary.. Too long words. But I don't think I am learning really hard or easy languages. There are equal most of the time, I think. They have just other difficulties.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mariachara
mariachara
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Easiest : Spanish Hardiest: Russian

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Merrowmic
Merrowmic
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The easiest for me was Esperanto.

The hardest for me was Hungarian.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanJho_

I am also a Spanish native speaker and I find German pronunciation easier than the English one!

Easiest: Portuguese, English.

-: German.

Hardest: Russian, Arabic.

Those are my interested languages and i order by that way.

P.S: Of course there are a lot of hard languages but i am just interested on learning these ones.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Easiest: Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin. I literally tested out of some levels in Portuguese by, if I didn't know the word, I wrote what it was in Spanish, and most of the time I was correct.

Hardest: Vietnamese. I only did ONE of the BASICS lessons, and even that was extremely hard. I also preferred learning Spanish and French, so I just deleted it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rajabrahon12
Rajabrahon12
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In my opinion, I think Hungarian is the hardest language and Vietnamese is the easiest. At first, Vietnamese made me crazy because of the letters and the pronounciation, it's really difficult to pronoun a word in Vietnamese. And some words like : bun cha , pho , ao dai , ... are not appear in my language. But I have kept learning, I tried to practise Vietnamese everyday , I tried to say a word even though I know that I cannot speak that word clearly like the native Vietnamese speaker , when I had a golden owl, I keep improving my Vietnamese on the other accounts. Then after more than 8 months practise on Duo , finally I can write, read, speak ( a bit clear ) and listen ( I only can listen the slowly voice ) Vietnamese. Yes, I know that many people think that am I a lier ? I cannot speak and write , read in Vietnamese because it is really really hard but they were wrong. So now , the easiet language is Vietnamese. I have tried a lot.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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I certainly think that you are a lier; I very much doubt that you sleep standing up.

Vietnamese grammar is certainly pretty simple (just word-order and particles); remembering the vocabulary and correctly executing the pronunciation is much less so. The spelling is tolerably regular, however. I really must revisit it (one never knows when one might encounter a Vietnamese ferris-wheel-operating firefly), but Japanese is distracting me at the moment.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rajabrahon12
Rajabrahon12
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If you think that I am a lier so you can test me. Yes , I cannot speak this language fluently like a native Vietnamese speaker. I have a few problems about this language , too. Like I don't understand when do we use tr, ch , s, x. I am not a genius of language but I the truth is I can write , read , listen and speak Vietnamese, but not 100 %. And I don't like lying people.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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But completing the Duolingo Vietnamese course is very much a case of getting the correct strings in the right order: are you, by any chance, a lyre?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rajabrahon12
Rajabrahon12
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I don't understand what are you talking about .

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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Never mind; 'liar' is the word you were looking for.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rajabrahon12
Rajabrahon12
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Hm. Ok, whatever. You can think anything you want or test my Vietnamese skills.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_Wesley
Thomas_Wesley
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"Liar" means someone who does not tell the truth. He was making a joke - by calling you a "lier", he was saying that you lie down (when you sleep, for example).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rajabrahon12
Rajabrahon12
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Thanks for you explaination

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rivoska_04

i think the easiest should be italian i have tried to learn it a little in my other account ^^ and im pretty sure that the hardest languages in the world are chinese and arabic ,, even that i am a native arabic speaker but it stills hard from the high number of the words and the confusing grammar but it is also the most beautiful language in the whole world. i wish the good luck for every one trying to learn these languages ^_^

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Liseses

I heard that Italian has a pretty easy grammar... but I never tried it out. (I will :))

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

If you know another Romance language, it'll be even easier for you! So, to me, it's pretty easy, yes. And it's easier than Portuguese when it comes to speaking Italian.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_Wesley
Thomas_Wesley
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For me, from easiest to hardest: French, Ancient Greek (attic), Japanese, Hebrew

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fischerfs
fischerfs
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Easiest: Esperanto (no brainer)

Hardest: Turkish or Polish. Turkish is different so it takes a while to stick in my head. The grammar isn't hard to get it's just it takes a while for me to remember it. With Polish, I went in too quickly and didn't pay much attention to the cases and looking back now I'm still not too good with it. The cases are harder than in Turkish and Hungarian because they require the ending of the word to change and also rely on gender and number, so it was difficult to an English speaker who at the time was new to languages other than GCSE French and German.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/XD29
XD29
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Easiest: English
Hardest: Japanese
(Native: German)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Thank you all so much for your comments! I got to learn so much from everyone's point of views. It's so interesting to see what others are learning and what's hard and easy for them depending on their situations.

Thank you so much!! :D Much love! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EGMSncortez2

Hola soy Puertoriquena tambien, de que parte de Puerto Rico eres?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Nací en Arecibo y viví con mis padres y abuelos en Aguadilla por un año y algunos meses antes de mudarnos yo y mis padres a los Estados Unidos. Así que tuve un año y pico cuando nos mudamos para acá. Así que voy a la escuela en inglés y así aprendí el inglés cuando tuve 3 años más o menos, como en casa siempre se ha hablado, se habla, y se hablará siempre el español. XD Pero a la edad de 3 años, estuve apunto de empezar a ir a la escuela. Así que la televisión y algunos libros me ayudaron. Y mis padres también aunque no sabían mucho en ese tiempo. De hecho, mi papá habla más inglés que mi mamá, ¡pero mi mamá lo sabe más que él! XD Todavía no se atreve a hablarlo mucho, hasta esta fecha. :,(

Y sí, esa es mi historia.. XD

¿Y tú?? ¿De dónde eres y dónde vives ahora?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sparkle903

So far, Spanish is the only language I've studied and I think that Spanish is easy. (I'm a native English Speaker.) Does anyone know what the top 2 easiest languages to learn from English is?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

The top two are actually:

2 - Dutch

and

1 - Frisian

Yes, Frisian is the closest language to English alive! It's sort of a dialect from Dutch, but it's a language on its own. It's spoken in the northern part of the Netherlands, but only half a million people speak it. Which is why learning Dutch would be more useful, since they probably know Dutch too. But the downside to learning Dutch is that literally almost every single person that knows Dutch, or lives in the Netherlands, knows English very well.. :/

So, the next best option if you don't want people to switch to English when they notice you struggling a bit in their language is Swedish. :)

But I say, give Dutch a try!!! Plenty of people speak it anyway, so, why not if it's the closest language to English, disregarding Frisian?! :)

Here's a video of the top ten easiest languages for English speakers! It's really interesting. Check it out!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gIvzFHCU9xU

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sparkle903

Thank you! I'll check it out!!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

Of course. No problem!! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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https://www.duolingo.com/rivoska_04

Italian and spanish i think ^_^*

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multi0Lingual4
Multi0Lingual4
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I've tried many languages, but for the sake of simplicity, I'll only say the ones I got a decent level in that I've since deleted, which would be Turkish, Russian and Irish. (I got to level 10 in Russian and 11 in Turkish and Irish.) Russian wasn't so bad. Irish and Turkish were nightmares, and I can't figure out which one is worse. Probably Irish. I'm sure if I tried to understand the rules Turkish would be easy, but it was not for me.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maughanster_
Maughanster_
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Easiest: Spanish, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Italian

Medium: German, Welsh, Ukrainian, Greek

Hardest: Vietnamese, Japanese

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
bookrabbit
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Easiest: Hungarian mainly because I have got a lot better at learning languages and it is the most recent one but its pronunciation is very regular and it is highly logical too.

Hardest: Irish. It just wouldn't click before. I am having another go, I hope it will go better this time.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/runner2468
runner2468
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Esperanto, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Portuguese, Italian, German, French. Esperanto is a big winner, rivaled by Norwegian, because it has minimal grammar and a simple spelling system without exceptions, so once you learn one word, you've just unlocked ten other words. Norwegian has been so easy, because the word order mostly is unchanged from English, meaning you can focus on vocabulary, which very often includes cognates. I put Swedish here for the same reasons, but the vocab is harder for me to get at. Dutch is a similar language to English, but the word order changes. Spanish has less exceptions than English, and is quite similar. Hardest: Klingon, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Hungarian, Czech, Turkish, Indonesian, Welsh Take my hardest list with a grain of salt, because I haven't studied those ones much. First, let me say how frustratingly hard Klingon is. I haven't been able to memorize/understand any of it, and the grammar is far harder than anything I've studied. Klingon seems to have very complicated grammar rules. I don't get Korean letters at all, despite it being an alphabetical language. Also, I find pronouncing Korean a pain. The Japanese script is totally foreign to me, though it has an easier pronounciation in my experience. I like studying Chinese more, because the it is even easier to pronounce, and it is easier to break up the script into parts you can understand.

4 weeks ago
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