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The Scariest Language

[deactivated user]

    In the spirit of Halloween, what is the language that scares you the most? It can be because of the way it sounds/looks, how difficult it is to learn, or for any other reason.

    Anyway, Happy Halloween, guys!

    October 31, 2017



    The spelling of Polish is intimidating to start out with

    [deactivated user]

      If you think that's bad, just wait until the exceptions to grammatical case spellings.


      I can imagine, I am fairly sure I don't want to learn it seriously anyway so it's not much of an issue but it would be helpful to have a basic understanding of it.
      So which languages do you find scary?

      [deactivated user]

        Chinese and Japanese intimidate me because of all the scary-looking characters I have to memorize. They sound quite nice when spoken, though. What about you?


        If you do it right they're actually pretty easy to memorise.


        You will never know true fright until you've been yelling at by someone who speaks a language with trilled r's or guttural noises (Spanish, Russian, German, Arabic, etc.).

        In all seriousness, because every language spoken harshly sounds scary, I personally find the examples listed above (Spanish, Russian, German, Arabic) very scary. But that doesn't mean I don't like the languages, I'm a Spanish native, and I take quite a liking to the others, haha.

        As for things like spelling and grammar, languages with cases and languages that have weird spelling like slavic languages and celtic languages are pretty heckin spooky.

        [deactivated user]

          I like your answer! d( ❛ᴗ❛ )b


          Out of the ten or so languages that I've been studying for at least some months (those with level 15 or above), Japanese is clearly the hardest for me (and German a clear second). Precisely I have written a little in German and Japanese, yesterday and today, so I will copy it here, what I wrote, so you can see how easy or difficult it looks (my Japanese text is very basic, my German one a bit more complex) :


          Hallo Bastian. Ich möchte dir einige Fragen stellen.

          Ich denke, du hast gesagt, du hast Deutsch gelernt, bevor du nach Deutschland gegangen bist. Ist das richtig? Ich kann mich nicht erinnern, woher du kommst. Holländer?

          Ich denke, dass du auch gesagt hast, dass du sich seit du in Deutschland lebst, viel schneller verbessert hast. Ich lerne Deutsch auf Duolingo und in letzter Zeit habe ich auch wissenschaftliche Artikel auf Deutsch gelesen. Ich fühle, dass ich ziemlich gut Deutsch lesen kann, aber da ich mit niemandem Deutsch spreche, bin ich mir sicher, dass ich jetzt nicht bequem sprechen kann.

          Es ist ein sehr seltsames Gefühl. Ich kann Deutsch lesen, aber ich kann noch nicht sprechen. Selbst wenn ich auf Deutsch schreibe, bin ich sicher, dass ich die Sprache nicht richtig benutze.

          Ich weiß, dass Lesen nicht ausreicht, um eine Sprache zu lernen. Ich denke, wenn ich anfangen würde, mit Leuten auf Deutsch zu sprechen, könnte ich mich ziemlich schnell verbessern, da ich schon leicht lesen kann.

          Kannst du mir sagen, wie es für dich war, fast jeden Tag Deutsch zu sprechen? Hast du in Tagen, Wochen oder Monaten eine große Verbesserung bemerkt?

          Note: you may say Korean is as difficult as Japanese, and it may be, but I have completed only the first five or six skills in the Korean course, so it is too early for me to assess its difficulty right now. I will share my opinion about Korean once I am past the middle of the course at least.

          [deactivated user]

            Japanese scares me too.


            Dein Deutsch ist fehlerfrei (zum Teil nicht ganz idiomatisch, aber nicht schlimm), abgesehen von:
            Ich denke, dass du auch gesagt hast, dass du sich seit du in Deutschland lebst, viel schneller verbessert hast.
            Ich glaube das wäre im Jiddischen richtig, aber auf Deutsch heißt das:
            Ich denke, dass du auch gesagt hast, dass du dich, seit du in Deutschland lebst, viel schneller verbessert hast.

            Ich fühle, dass ich ziemlich gut Deutsch lesen kann – Auf Deutsch verwendet man fühlen nicht so, sondern stattdessen ich habe das Gefühl.

            Ich kann Deutsch lesen, aber ich kann [es] noch nicht sprechen. – Ich bin mir sicher, dass du mit drei Jahren schon sprechen konntest, aber Deutsch (es) kannst du noch nicht sprechen. ;)

            • 2308

            Chinese and Vietnamese because I am too lazy to learn the proper tones!-)

            [deactivated user]

              The tones are scary!

              • 2308

              Yes, UNLESS you love singing every time you open your mouth AND are not tone death!-)


              Yep that scares me - I'm not exactly tone deaf (I've been told) since I can hear differences, but I struggle to reproduce them so the result is the same. I'd be worried about insulting someone or just not making sense because I'm singing a rising tone rather than a falling one.


              You don't sing them. Most of them are used everyday in English for example when you ask a question you rise the tone at the end and when you yell the tone goes down, these are 2/4 of the tones already that you probably use everyday


              Most languages when spoken/played backwards are terrifying.

              Never tested this on Japanese though, that one probably remains cute. (✪‿✪)ノ


              Espanto, of course!

              [deactivated user]

                Esperanto? Why?


                A pun. "Espanto" means "fright" in Spanish and probably also in other Iberian languages. It still sounds very much like "Esperanto".

                [deactivated user]


                  o espanto e muito bom.


                  The best comment!


                  Japanese because they use 3 (or 4?) alphabets

                  [deactivated user]


                    I agree, though, if they were alphabets it wouldn't be so difficult imo. Even the syllabaries wouldn't make the language hard, even though they are needlessly complicated. But the Chinese characters and their various readings really make the language a lot harder.
                    You could learn the syllabaries perfectly in a few weeks if you do it right but that won't be possible with the Chinese characters.


                    Any of the languages of the Caucasus are scary, the North Caucasian languages especially. Those languages have been described as "Japanese on crack," so it's bound to be scary. It's why I love those languages. <3

                    [deactivated user]

                      Even scarier than Japanese? Geez! 〜(><)〜


                      Which are they?


                      The Northwest Caucasian languages include Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Kabardian and the extinct Ubykh (which was the most notorious consonant language in the world outside Africa). The Northeast Caucasian languages include Aghul, Akhvakh, Andi, Archi, Avar, Bagvalal, Bats, Botlikh, Budukh, Chamalal, Chechen, Dargwa, Godoberi, Hinukh, Hunzib, Ingush, Karata, Khinalug, Khwarshi, Kryts, Kubachi, Lak, Lezgian, Rutul, Tabassaran, Tindi, Tsakhur, Tsez, and Udi.


                      That's some list! Thank you. Do they have their own alphabets, use Cyrillic, Arabic, Sanscrit style, Latin or a character-based writing script?


                      All are written in Cyrillic, except for Bats, which is written in Georgian script.


                      Emoticon is the scariest language. Like, look at these scary characters that are so hard to pronounce!

                      (˼●̙̂ ̟ ̟̎ ̟ ̘●̂˻) [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅5̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] ←~(o `▽´ )oΨ (-o-)/

                      Apparently there are many dialects;

                      Simple/English (I know, English is NOT simple!)

                      dialect's top 5 letters: :) :( >:( :D :P

                      Nose/Antarctic (I didn't pick any other region as so not to be insulting)

                      dialect's top 5 letters (same as above, but different looks/strokes): :-) :-( >:-( :-D :-P

                      Complicated/Cute/Martian (Yeah I finally gave up. Super biased...)

                      dialect's top 5 letters (same as those above, but different looks/strokes. This is in simplified; professional strokes include tables, fists, and bruises): ('o')/ /(-_-) (O-O)/ (O)/ -('-.')-

                      Jovian/Japanese/Martial/Art Form (Simply expressed with no alphabet; highly readable, understandable, and expressive)

                      1. How I feel about Halloween

                      (˼●̙̂ ̟ ̟̎ ̟ ̘●̂˻)

                      1. What I feel about Lingot Jumps


                      1. What I feel about playing chess

                      (o `▽´ )o

                      1. What I feel about learning French:

                      (<sub>~</sub> ' ▽ ` )<sub>~</sub>

                      1. What I feel about DuoLingo:

                      (˼●̙̂ ̟ ̟̎ ̟ ̘●̂˻) [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅5̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] (o `▽´ )o (<sub>~</sub> ' ▽ ` )<sub>~</sub>

                      I know, when I learn languages, I can really express myself!

                      -FrenchByte / :D


                      What about Standard Emoticon?

                      =] =[ =[ =U =R =| = =/ =U =A =O XD O.O @.@


                      Irish spelling, sound of Ancient Greek (not especially scary itself, but the idea of hearing the sound of a language whose speakers are so long dead...), grammar of many Native American languages.

                      [deactivated user]

                        I like your answer! d( ❛ᴗ❛ )b


                        For me, it would be German. I can barely remember two genders of French nouns, I can't imagine adding the neuter. Prepositions in any language scare me. They're so small, but so very important and they don't transfer from one language to another.

                        [deactivated user]

                          German sounds scarier than French, too.


                          Navajo. Because "they" say it can't be learnt unless you start at birth.

                          Which actually makes me want to try, but it's not on Memrise

                          Found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nccsMkfDauo "they" seem to be wrong!!

                          Guess I've found another one to learn!

                          [deactivated user]



                            Arabic has always intimidated me given its weird writing style. Also apparently the dialects vary dramatically so learning Arabic doesn't really mean you've learned it, only that you can talk to this ONE group

                            Apart from that probably Navajo, because it apparently contains countless irregularities and is agglutinative


                            High Valyrian, because who doesn't fear fire-breathing dragons?

                            [deactivated user]



                              I was told by my professor in Spain the villians in Spanish movies always have an Austurian accent. They pronounce J, or Jota, very strongly there; its a lot different than say like Colombia (but even then, there are a lot of ways Colombians speak).

                              [deactivated user]

                                Interesting! Here in the USA, a lot of movies have villains with a British accent.


                                In England they are often French or more commonly German


                                We in the UK noticed that about 20 years ago - when so many of our actors headed West.

                                Americans doing English accents can be scary....Robin Hood at the White Cliff of Dover: "Tonight we will dine with my faather in Naadin'Ham....LOL


                                They probably pronounce it like /χ/. Interesting.


                                Spaniards from Central and Northern Spain ("typical accent of Spain") have [χ] for /x/ in some positions. The simplest way of making fun of Spaniards' accent is "JJJJJoder GGGGGilipollasssssssh!"

                                [deactivated user]

                                  And what makes Arabic scary? (´。• ω •。`)


                                  I'm a bit late, but Arabic's alphabet... shudder

                                  I usually like learning new alphabets, but Arabic's is just insanely weird.

                                  [deactivated user]

                                    I don't know much about Arabic but I did see that. Yeah...that's scary.


                                    I’m always intimidated by Armenian. The subtle shifts between sounds and the similarity of many of their letters make it seem like a linguistic party to which outsiders are not invited.


                                    Any language which doesn't have a phonetic alphabet. Mandarin comes to mind, though it's not stopping me from learning it! (Also, the tones are intimidating.)


                                    Chinease. Just one word can mean so many different things.

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