https://www.duolingo.com/breadroll04

What's your Unpopular Language Opinions?

Questions in the title, what opinions about language learning that might start a heated debate :) for example: Benny Lewis is a fake polyglot , French isn't easy, you can't learn Japanese from anime...

2 months ago

169 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Vietnamese is so difficult, it is impossible. Even Vietnamese themselves say that. There are 6 tones and crazy consonants.

On the other hands: no genders, no "a" and "the" articles, no plurals, no goofy verb endings as it is 100% non-inflective (no word changes form), tenses can be learned in just a few minutes, you can skip words if context gives you meaning, same alphabet as here, spelling consistent and not crazy like English, you don't need no stinkin' grammar and vocabulary highly logical.

I have read and have been told you can become fluent in 3 months. In a couple of weeks I am going to test that by giving myself an additional 3 months for a total of 6 months living in Vietnam with locals. During that time I will trade in 1 Duolingo and a handful of helpful people in sentence discussions for 95 million Vietnamese who will be my teachers 24/7.

BTW, despite all my complaining about inconsistencies and errors of the Vietnamese course here, local Vietnamese that I hang around with in Central Florida have remarked that my Vietnamese has improved a lot for the past few months. Duolingo is an important tool in my Language Toolbox.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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I am considering moving to Vietnam and will want to learn the language if I do. I figure my pronunciation will probably be terrible, but I'll carry around a pad and paper and write down what I need to say if it gets too bad!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

You could easily get by without learning the language but then you would miss a large part of the experience. Lonely Planet puts out a useful pocket phrasebook that can get you started.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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I could never move to a country without at least trying to learn the language. It would violate my personal ethic.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Learning about the history is an essential component. I suggest reading the Declaration of Independence that starts with "All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness"

Did I make a mistake by quoting the US Declaration of Independence? Nope. This is how the Vietnam Declaration of Independence starts. It is an interesting historical document as is the circumstances surrounding it. Most people don't know Ho Chi Minh was supported, trained and financed by the US during WWII.

http://www.unc.edu/courses/2009fall/hist/140/006/Documents/VietnameseDocs.pdf

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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It's not entirely true that no word changes form, consider một/mốt, bốn/tư and năm/lăm. Also, there is grammar, it's just so insanely complicated you can't see it half the time. It's why tôi bị ghét bạn and tôi bị bạn ghét mean completely different things (the former meaning that I used to like you, but over time I came to hate you, the latter that I'm hated by you. The reason that I use hate is that it's apparently the only verb in the whole language that allows the former construction). Ah, have they taught you cute language yet? Rất hó nhóe

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Don't know if this is unpopular, but "Every child should have the opportunity to study at least one foreign language to near fluency at school (ie for free)". As a corollary, learning lists such as numbers, colours, or animals is NOT learning a language.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Merakiulus
Merakiulus
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My 10 Unpopular Opinions

  1. Russian and Ukrainian are as beautiful as Spanish, French, Italian etc.

  2. My native languages; English and Irish are interesting but really hideous languages.

  3. German sounds very intelligent.

  4. Asian languages are easy (in comparision to most other languages)

  5. Pimsleur and Babble are awful

  6. People who only speak English are lazy.

  7. Flashcards are effective but the novelty wears off very quickly.

  8. I don't like the sound of most Bantu languages.

  9. Most variants of Arabic are beautiful, Hebrew and Moroccan sound meh.

  10. Learning similar languages at once works well, but only over time and practice.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Merakiulus

I agree with you 100 percent! Especially on the first one. Slavic languages are so lyrical...

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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  1. Slavic languages sound nice to me, too!

  2. English is wonderful and the more I study other languages and teach it to other people the more I fall in love with my native tongue. That being said... I don't recommend other people study it. I think we should let it retreat back to it's native community and allow something more consistent to take it's place.

  3. which asian languages. I hear Khmer, Tagalog, and Bahasa Indonesia aren't too bad, but Korean and Chinese (pick one) are rough.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Merakiulus
Merakiulus
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Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese. I haven't come across a far east Asian language that apart from pronunciation/spelling (i.e. the very basics) seems difficult.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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That's great for you, honestly! I wish it was the same for most other people, because I put two years into Japanese in college and I've been living in Korea for several years and I can't say much in either language.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

"apart from pronunciation/spelling" - so you cannot speak or write the language - but otherwise it is "easy"? Actually I loved learning and writing Mandarin characters (which originally were NOT spoken) but the pain of the tones drove me from class.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elda_Mengisto
Elda_Mengisto
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  1. That is a fact, darling!

  2. Never thought about it that way. English I'm so exposed to that I don't know the intricacies of it and how hard it would be to learn. Irish sounds interesting, however.

  3. Kind of, depends on the speaker.

  4. Depends on the language. Based on my experience in Mandarin, the learning curve is initially rough, but the grammar is quite easy, once you get over how many ways you use 了 (a particle used to indicate completion).

5, 7, and 8: No opinion on either of them.

  1. I would like to say that, but that really depends on how one grew up. Is it because they aren't interested in languages in general, or do they not expect to work internationally? I agree that the United States needs to improve foreign language education in schools, but what could move people to start learning even though they may not work abroad.

  2. Agree with Arabic being beautiful, noooo to Hebrew sounding meh. That is something I cannot get behind.--it's really nice.

  3. I'm learning French and Romanian right now on Duolingo; they are different enough so I don't get confused, but I could sense the similarities here and there.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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  1. I'm not impressed when people learn all the major Romance and/or Germanic and/or Slavic languages at a conversational level just so they can claim to speak more than 4 languages. (the "cheap polyglot", because they want to save time by learning similar languages). However, I think it's pretty cool if you are actually very passionate about the language family and you want to/can speak 3+ of the languages in the family fluently, or add rarer languages in the mix.

  2. The Arabic and Hebrew scripts are easy to learn! They just don't bother with vowels in daily life and have some different pronunciations.

  3. Esperanto is one of the hardest languages I have tried to learn! Like seriously, there is so many grammar rules that are allowed you need to learn quite a bit to be C1 in the language. Plus all the non-universal sounds!

  4. Bilinguals and trilinguals can be considered as polyglots. Probably "low tier" polyglots but they still speak more than one language (one or two many more than monolinguals.)

  5. Languages with different grammar systems aren't hard conceptually. Once you understand the grammar, every thing else is easier. Words are harder, haha... (me with Indonesian)

Debate away.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dinnernugget
dinnernugget
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Especially when the person who speaks French, Italian, and Portuguese is a native Spanish speaker (for example). Speaking three other near-dialects of your native language plus the universal language of English is really not impressive. My goal of being reasonably fluent in at least one Romance, Germanic, and Slavic language was inspired by this. And I'm almost there! Then, on to an Asian one to REALLY challenge myself like never before.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vannaty
Vannaty
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I don't see why those that learn similar languages should be degraded? I hope to learn Spanish and Portuguese and French. It won't be as difficult as learning radically different languages but it will still open the door to new skills, and cultures. It is still far more effort than the average native English speaker puts in. I would think it is still impressive, even if it isn't as impressive as learning Hebrew and Spanish.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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Like I said, if people actually love the language family, I don’t think it’s a bad thing if they want to learn multiple languages of the same family to a high level. However, it is a common trend for so-called “Internet polyglots” to learn all the major Romance and Germanic languages to just a high enough level to make a video speaking a basic paragraph or two in each language. If you watch many of these videos, it becomes apparent that most of the people learn the basics of as many easier languages as possible and have a harder time expanding beyond that. Learning any language well is hard, but it’s easy to get started in multiple languages that are very similar, which is why I think it’s more impressive to learn fewer languages well than more languages to a lower level.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

I agree about the Arabic script (providing we aren't talking handwriting or art lettering). Very logical and easy to remember the morphing. Knowing what vowels should go in to pronounce the words however takes a bit longer!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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The Hebrew alphabet is really easy too! (easier than Arabic from what I have read). Actually, I think Hebrew in general is easy and its difficulty is way overated.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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Poly means many. Would you say that a person with two apples has 'many apples'?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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A Warlpiri person would say “yes”.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nomadic.
nomadic.
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all indo-europan languages are difficult as hell and i feel like master yoda when i start to talk

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Djedida
Djedida
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-Esperantists are zealots and their claims on benefits and uses of Esperanto are mostly dogma.

-Difficulty of Slavic languages is greatly exaggerated.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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"Esperantists are zealots" is not an unpopular opinion.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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"I agree," isn't enough. Take many lingots while I find something between, "I full heartedly agree," and "Will you marry me?"

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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a big LOL ..to your comment..:-)))

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Difficulty of Slavic languages is greatly exaggerated.

Yup. I learned to curse in Slovak in under a week and have been mistaken for a native more than once (EDIT: in what I can actually say, for pronunciation reasons, and from hearing it constantly).

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

And how long before you could discuss (say) politics or review a play - using full sentences (with or without swearing). If you ask someone what they think of the current laws on (say) homosexuality - can you understand their answer? And can you read and write? All of these would need to be ticked off in my mind before I would consider someone able to be "mistaken for a native".

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Ahahaa, Judit....I don't intend to be fluent in Slovak (at least for now), and there is nothing wrong with having fun or mastering basics, which I have done in an upwards of 10 languages.....well, lepšia je hodinka na rozmýšľanie, ako rok na banovanie. But I estimate that I would be able to converse about the subjects you mentioned in a year or two, given that it has a lot of mutual intelligibility with languages I have already experienced/experimented with. I can listen to it in a conversation and understand 60-70 percent of what's going on. Same with Bosnian, etc.
I can't really tell how triggered you are, LOL.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Try things out is great. Go for it. And I am happy your pronunciation is good - that is a gift. But I don't think I over reacted assuming "mistaken for a native" is close to saying "fluent". Why is this a problem? Because the new learners come in assuming if you can become fluent in weeks so can they. Not only is it unrealistic but they may then blame themselves if they cannot achieve it - and give up.

Actually DL, does its own version of this upping the levels very fast at the start. You can get onto level 4 in under an hour - then it gets harder and harder to earn the next level.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Ahhh Judit....I totally agree, to be honest. And yet I don't think being mistaken for a native is synonymous with being fluent....it depends on how much the other person heard before they made an assumption. For example, I fired off a few short phrases in conversational Slovak with a relaxed attitude, but I save the "vocal waterfall" and "akkkhhhh" sound between words and stalling for my dearest friends...the things I have practiced to accuracy, though, I can say automatically.

In severe concurance with you, I detest and resent when a program acts as if you can be hanging with the native speakers incognito in a week. And personally, I get offended when someone buys into that concept. As someone who (frankly) worked their @$$ off to become a true Spanish speaker, I don't appreciate know-it-alls spouting off something to me....better approach it as a full and progressive experience around me or I will blow one's head sideways in Spanish explaining that they really don't have all the secrets.... And well...that's actually okay....as long as you don't overestimate yourself. I hope to follow the same path in Russian as Spanish, so one day I can truly be mistaken for fluent....because I will be!

Good luck to you! <3

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multi0Lingual4
Multi0Lingual4
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Interesting on your second point. What slavic languages have you studied/speak? I am currently learning Slovak and the spelling is a nightmare, and I have heard the same about other Slavic languages...

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Multi0Lingual4,

You are learning Slovak? My ex is Slovak, ahahah. It is very easy IMO if you have any experience with Czech, Russian....I can read it easily, though the pronunciation takes a bit of work. It's quite lyrical, and I hear it on a weekly basis at least..... Čas a trpelivosť ruže donáša. Keep learning and best of luck :)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
scarcerer
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I have heard that about Polish but Slovak spelling doesn’t seem like a nightmare at all. It’s very phonetical apart from its nedeľas but even that has a fairly clearly defined rule.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multi0Lingual4
Multi0Lingual4
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The reason I say nightmare is because there are too many strange consonants next to each other. I need vowels.

But I'm sure it'll be easier as time goes on.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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Are you saying that Esperanto isn't easy to learn? Or what's the dogma?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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I believe he is saying that how helpful it is is the dogma. And "what it could do for the world" is surely conjecture at best.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ppelk
ppelkPlus
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Here's a controversial one: Languages are mainly de facto borders between people. Humanity would be better of if we all spoke the same language.

Imagine that the starting point would be that all people would speak the same language initially. Then some nutter cult-leader would come and say, "We're going to exclude our clan so well from the others that we're going to invent our own language that no-one else understands!". It's an idea in the same ballpark as setting the calendar to year zero.

I think the statement is true in many ways. I still like the linguistic diversity of say, Europe, and enjoy learning languages.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/headache_booth

Then some nutter cult-leader would come and say, "We're going to exclude our clan so well from the others that we're going to invent our own language that no-one else understands!".

The Church of Latter-day Saints did something similar at some point on a small scale with the Deseret writing system. It wasn't a different language, but it was done so Mormons couldn't read things that they weren't allowed to read for one reason or another, essentially. That's a kind of dulled-down explanation, though, I think.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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That's the goal of IALs (including but not limited to Esperanto): to provide a language that's easy for everyone to learn as a second language.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sens44
Sens44
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I think German is easier than Romance languages. I once said that here and people got rabidly angry at me, foaming at the mouth and pounding their keyboard because they thought German was hard so I was "obviously wrong". But really - German grammar never gave me anywhere the amount of fits as French grammar has, and even Italian sometimes. French makes no sense at all in my opinion. German is way more logical than either of them.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Djedida
Djedida
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I think Germanic languages in general are easier (Frisian, Afrikaans, Scandinavian languages), but German is entirely on a level of its own and a beast to tame.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carrhae
Carrhae
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It probably also depends on what those people their native language is. Italians probably have an easier time learning French than German, whilst Dutch speakers probably have an easier time learning German than French (Generally speaking).

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewjeo
Rewjeo
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I agree wholeheartedly. Does German have a lot of rules? Sure. But then you just follow them, and really they're mostly pretty simple.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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what is easier about German than Romance languages?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sencez

People always say German starts out easy and gets hard as you actually learn.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewjeo
Rewjeo
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I've actually heard the exact opposite - the rules are intimidating, but once you learn them, you can speak German. As opposed to English, where the rules are really simple... until you realize that the rules hardly ever apply and then you're just memorizing a bunch of one-off exceptions.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emma_L_a

Is it bad, as a native, that I actually don't at least consciously know any rules and it's like "this is what everyone says it like and what i gathered from half-paying attention in class: this is how i say it." The only rule I really know it that i before e except after c but... science? conscience? not following rule?

and there's also the rule about names in sentences. It's supposed to be (for example) Lilly and I but at the end of a sentence it's me but most people just say me and Lilly.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

As I noted somewhere else in this post, the "i before e except after c" rule only works (reliably) if the vowel sound is "eee" ("i" in Europe). It is sigh-ance not see-ance so it is spelt "ie".

"Lilly and I" or "Lilly and me" depends on whether the two of you are the object or subject of the sentence. "Lilly and I go into town" - this is the subject (nominative case). If Lilly wasn't there you'd say "I go into town". "She gave a present to Lilly and me" - in this case it is the object. Dropping Lilly you get "She gave a present to me".

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ria___
Ria___
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As a native English speaker, I've never thought about the rules surrounding "and I" and "and me" before. I've always just used them correctly (I hope) by habit. I'm a little bit mindblown after reading your second paragraph. Why did that never occur to me before?! lol

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Here go my most offensive "unpopular" opinions (take them with a grain of salt...). Let 'er rip:

Monolingualism is a disease and the main symptom is cultural unawareness that can only be cured by languages

Russian is not hard. Everyone quit quitting on Russian.

German does not sound "harsh." Quit hating on this beautiful language.

French does not sound romantic (to me). Quit swooning over French. It's just another language.

Serbo-Croatian is really sexy. Shoot me.

Polish accents are some of the best.

Korean sounds like Mongolian.

Dead languages are dead.

Portuguese is Spanish spoken with a Russian accent.

Chinese at high pitches can cause brain damage.

People should quit experimenting with 10 or 12 languages all the time and set some goals. Otherwise in 5 years they will complain that they aren't fluent in everything. There is beauty in a one-track mind.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GedacktBourdon

Haha I agree with all of this. Portuguese DOES sound like Spanish spoken with a Russian accent! I can literally read most Portuguese on text without ever having studied it because of my Spanish abilities, but spoken I can't. And honestly yeah, I think monolingualism among people who have the means to learn another language is a cultural disease, plain and simple.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emma_L_a

Oh my gods, yes.

Many people who speak Cantonese, yelling is like talking at normal volume then screaming is like shouting for them.

I should know, my mom speaks Cantonese (her original dialect, she's from Hong Kong which is Cantonese hub)

Now imagine that high-pitched?

Gods, I think I would be deaf by now.

Also as someone who has many asian relatives, you must not listen to either Korean/Mongolian a lot? Korean sounds nothing like it...

And I agree with your last point. How are you to focus on them if you're learning them all at the same time? Not how you become a polyglot

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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The deep state invented Russian so that they could scare Americans into supporting war in Jamaica and every time you learn it the beaches of Tajikistan grow dirtier! Just kidding, I don't believe that, nor do I understand the question. What could really be a controversial opinion on this one?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/breadroll04

for example: Benny Lewis is a fake polyglot , French isn't easy, you can't learn Japanese from anime...

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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very interesting..I always found that French was considered by most NOT easy..So your example in this case is not controversial or unpopular ,just the opposite...:-)) French is a very difficult language..not like Russian or Hungarian, but still harder than Spanish and Italian from same language group.. French grammar is super difficult for foreigners and French pronunciation and writing is even more challenging for many.. As for Benny Lewis..and Japanese from anime, I simply do not know enough about these subjects.. interesting post though..thank you..!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/antonmo
antonmo
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I know people studying it 6-7 years and still saying they are not comfortable with it. But here on Duolingo where people are good at languages, I believe French is thought of as relatively easy.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Weird. I always thought French was pretty easy. In the third year at school we were reading simple books (easy - but not kids' books or cartoons) and we often spoke it instead of English outside of class (mostly to annoy non-French speakers). Not saying it was perfect but after not studying it for four years with a short brush up I was able to use it in Europe.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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French grammar is not harder than Spanish grammar and in many parts even easier (for example there's no ser/estar or por/para)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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French is very easy, far easier for me than Spanish or Italian, significantly so. If you speak like most of the cool Shonen characters I imagine you would be laughed at even if you could learn Japanese from anime. And Benny Lewis is not somebody I know exists, therefore he is fake in general. The last one is a joke, but these are my genuine beliefs on language learning.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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It is good for you if you find French easy, then you are like me..(for me French is very easy..I am from French ancestry and studied it..) but for many people it is not. French is not phonetic, like Spanish or Italian..and French conjugations and word forms as well as pronunciation are a lot more complex.. but it is all a matter of opinion of course..and I certainly respect yours..:-)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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I have Cajun family, and while they sadly don't speak it, I sort of used their accent as a crutch to teach myself the nasal sounds at the ends of words. And once you're over the pronunciation hump, I've found the grammar pretty easy. I would love a further break down to see past my own biases though, because that's how we learn awesome things.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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Cajun background-wow that is very interesting..you are very fortunate, that is quite rare.. Good for you, once again!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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Are you from the state of Louisiana , then? Isn't that where most Cajun French population settled? They have such an interesting history, and originally they came from Canada, only from the Eastern parts..from former Acadia..

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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@Giovanna-Louise I am from Ohio, my family were pretty actively travelling trappers, and moved up to the mountains to catch squirrels, skunks, and possums. The distance from Louisiana is likely why I am the family's first French speaker in like, four generations. I have some family still in the South, but I haven't met any of the ones in Louisiana, nor do I know if they are still there.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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Andrealphus , your family history is fascinating, and i admire that you returned to your French roots like this being a new generation.. That is awesome , I wish you best of luck on your language journey..

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Keikou_
Keikou_
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I don't think languages are an exciting,life-changing journey.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

"If you live in (insert country) then you should only speak (that language). " Unfortunately, I hear that a lot in the enlightened country I live in. And plenty of examples in media of people going Full Nut Brain on people in public places speaking a different language.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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:-)) ..then why do you study them? :-) почему так грустно?(why so sad? ) :-)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Keikou_
Keikou_
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Because 1. my mom speaks Russian and I don't always understand what she says, I just nod and smile, and 2. I need good grades lol. It's basically just a lot of tedious repititon and embarrassing mistakes until you are fluent.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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Hmm..I see..What you need then ,is to find a language and a reason to study is that you would be personally very passionate about..Whatever that reason might be! I found studying English very tedious and unmotivating chore while growing up, because my parents forced me to it.. But as an adult I discovered that this language connected me to the whole world and to many subjects that I was passionate about

All of a sudden I had a huge motivation to remaster English..and now I am at the native speaker level in it..

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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I actually didn't know this opinion existed.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArpsTnd
ArpsTnd
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Filipino is different from Tagalog. Change my mind.
North Korean is [a bit] different from South Korean. Fight me.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
scarcerer
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I don’t see why the second one would be controversial. There are dialects in every language (though perhaps not living ones if the language has less than 10 speakers).

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/headache_booth

North Korean seems to be more than just a bit different from South Korean to me because of how difficult it is for defectors from the North to understand and speak to speakers from the South at first.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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Filipino should've been different from Tagalog. It was meant to be a hybrid language, taking elements from all the many languages of the Philippines, to put all the diverse peoples on an equal footing and give everyone a common language which would be equally easy to learn for all of them. Unfortunately, the project was hijacked by Tagalog nationalists, and as any honest Filipino will tell you, Tagalog and Filipino are 99% identical.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rdlk10
Rdlk10
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That Swedish is an easy language. It has a lot of exceptions and the spelling is very illogical.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Solfyr
Solfyr
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  1. Anime Japanese and classroom Japanese are still fundamentally the same language and there is nothing wrong with treating them that way. If anime motivates you to learn the language better than flashcards and vocabulary lists do, that's perfectly okay.

  2. Learning a language that is already near mutually intelligible with your native language is not something to brag about. (That's for you, Spanish and Portuguese.)

  3. Foreigners are weirdly obsessed with monolingualism in the US when 90% of Americans would have no practical use for a second language. I have to wonder how many of those people actually took optional, non-English language classes themselves.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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  1. Yeahhhhhhhhh dude, informal language like, so kawaii, go talk lik dat in ya job interview bruh
2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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Esperanto isn't a real language

there's no need to save dying languages

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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Haha... well done, yeah those count as controversial all right (or more properly just plain silly) Esperanto is used (spoken/written/read) by plenty of people, ( hundreds of thousands if not millions) Far more than those who use some other well known minority languages and has been for well over a century, as long as modern hebrew... of course is a language.

And as for the preservation of dying languages... failing to preserve them if you can is the same as saying art and history have no place in the modern world... as dumb an idea as i have encountered in a while.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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Esperanto can have all of the speakers in the world, it doesn't really compare culturally to any of the languages that aren't constructed, and that may be what was meant. It is backed by nothing.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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Esperanto as old as Hebrew? Hebrew is thousands of years old and modern Hebrew does not differ than much from ancient Hebrew (another unpopular opinion of mine I suppose, modern Hebrew is not a separate language from biblical Hebrew)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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MissSpells..I politely disagree.I happen to be a person who studied and spoke Hebrew fluently in the past a part of my languages studies.I lived and worked in Israel for some time too. Modern Hebrew is VERY different from Old biblical Hebrew. Yes one can read Bible and recognise the words but the language has been reconstructed and it is an amazing feat..

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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https://qr.ae/TUhFC0 https://qr.ae/TUhFFy Is word order completely different. Cannot be considered they the same language. Is Modern Hebrew an extremely Germanified version of Biblical Hebrew, at best.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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none of these people have Esperanto as their native language and usually people speak it "just for fun"

and I didn't say it's not a language but that it's not a real language

and can you explain the second point? does art not exist anymore because the language of the people who did it has died?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qqqqqqqqzzzqqqqq

Actually there are about a thousand people do have Esperanto as a native language:

https://www.ethnologue.com/language/epo

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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LICA98 Actually you are incorrect..There are over a thousand people today, if not more ,because by now there are more children in those families, who are fully native Esperanto speakers from birth. I 've seen videos of these people and their interviews, and being a linguist myself that impressed me, they are naturally fluid and fully fluent in Esperanto and they do not sound robotic or artificial..they are vibrant and intelligent young people who often speak few languages in addition to their native Esperanto. Also I must object that people do not study Esperanto just for fun... I ve seen hundreds of comments on utube and on the internet written by esperantists and they are very dedicated and thoughtful and even though i do not know the language i can see that they are proficient in how they use it..(i am a linguist like i said, and Esperanto has elements of languages that I am familiar with)..i think those people who choose to follow through with Esperanto do it for it's ideology/philosophy..and it is not up to us to judge them..unless we make an effort to study or understand their language better.. It is certainly not like Klingon or other conlangs..which are mostly for fun..

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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This is a nice comparison by Langfocus. While I am less knowledgable about Hebrew, I studied it casually for most of my childhood and pretty much agree with his summary. https://langfocus.com/language-features/how-different-are-modern-hebrew-and-biblical-hebrew/. The main reason I see them as the same language is anyone fluent in Hebrew can read the bible no problem. I also studied both for years, though at a beginner level, and never felt like there was a big difference. As far as I understand, it is a bit like reading Shakespeare, sure, it is sometimes tricky even if you are fluent in English, but not a separate language. I have never met an Israeli who has problems reading the bible. Anyways, like I said, I know my opinion is not the popular one. This could probably be a whole other discussion. Because Hebrew was revived, I actually think it changed less over time.. than other languages, like English, that changed with common use. Anyways, I agree to disagree.. but I do think equating the age of 'modern hebrew' to esperanto is ridiculous.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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Actually I fully agree with your last point..Hebrew came from ages old tradition and a very solid language/culture that already existed for milennia.. and was simply revived and modified to suit the modern reality of those in Israel.. Esperanto was created anew based on elements of multiple languages.. Langfocus videos are always superinteresting..i love them..thank you for the link..

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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Define "real language" and "need" and that will determine whether or not a lot of people will agree or disagree.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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not constructed

if a language is dying it is often because the people themselves don't teach it to their kids and prefer to speak some other language

so if they themselves don't view the language as important why should anyone else do anything about it?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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Not constructed is kind of an arbitrary condition. I mean, I live in a skyscraper. Definitely constructed, definitely real. But if that's how you're defining it, I won't argue with your definitions, because there's no point. That's not a very unpopular opinion, though.

Many people avoid teaching their children their native language because they don't want them to be victims of ethnic persecution. In many cases children are taught the language of their ancestors and are then openly punished for speaking it anywhere outside of the home. I don't think conforming to a dominant culture as a victim of prejudice counts as consensual behavior.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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All languages are constructed to some degree. It's just a question of whether one is aware of what's going on.

I guess you're unfamiliar with linguacide, and have never looked at studies on what happens to groups that relearn their dying languages.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sencez

I agree with the dying languages. Everyone thought a Navajo course would challange them or help make duolingo 'better' however it seems hardly anyone is rushing to learn it like they thought, just judging by the low levels of the language and how the majority of people rather learn Hawaiian.

Plus those who do learn Navajo but never even plan on using outside of Duolingo, in my opinion, are helping nothing, like they think.

However I am a hypocrite since I want to learn some Uralic languages that are endangered and a great motivation for me is the fact they are endangered.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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Speaking for myself, one of the reasons that I'm not learning Navajo or Hawaiian is how short the courses are. If I can't actually learn the language from Duolingo, and since the courses seem to be mainly publicity stunts (I don't trust them when they say that more will be added later, I've seen plenty of courses abandoned before) why bother at all?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vannaty
Vannaty
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I actually do want to study Navajo, I think it is incredible that they have added it. Unfortunately, I am so new to learning languages, only started Spanish at the start of August, that I started Navajo and felt like it would be to great of a hinderance until I got more Spanish practice out of the way.

I have real life goals with the languages I hope to learn, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. I want to use them in my career path. Unfortunately this means I need to prioritize them until I can comfortably practice other languages. I doubt I am the only one in a situation like this. Navajo was literally just added, and is not very conductive for learning yet. But I have been collecting information on resources that have been introduced in the forums, to start when I can. I am sure there are many others that will try it once it is more formed, or it fits into their goals, and plans. But Navajo was introduced suddenly, it was not something the average learner had accomodated into their schedule.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EthanGrey314
EthanGrey314
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Minority languages are mostly useless.

I hate that I have this opinion, but I can't help but think that learning a language like Galician is useless if I know Spanish, or that learning Hawaiian is better than studying French.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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In your life they likely are, but for guys like me who like to trace where languages come from, how they evolved, how they relate to one another, the minority languages can serve almost like missing links! Also, they are pretty important for social workers. There are plenty of indigenous and immigrant poor people who don't speak the majority language of the country. These languages are often pretty rare, and being the one who speaks them can make you a life saver.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GedacktBourdon

I highly disagree. Learning a language is not just based on utility. One can learn a language because of the passion they have for it. I do agree that one shouldn't learn a minority language if one has no opportunity to speak it, but if someone has the goal of going to a country to speak a minority language I applaud them for revitalizing the culture. The diversity of human languages is arguably the very core of what makes us appreciate the beauty of language. If everyone spoke the top 5 languages, it would be very boring. You need to realize that there are 7,000 estimated languages in the world and ALL of them have worth and all of them have a soul.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vannaty
Vannaty
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I think it depends, I want to do nonprofit work, and I know that reaching out to target demographics in their language helps them tremendously. There are many minority languages I would like to study conversationally just to help build some bridges for oppressed individuals that need assistance.

But if you are not interacting with anyone of those languages, then it would be less worthwhile to you.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Djedida
Djedida
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Learning minority languages should be a personal, local endeavor. There's pretty much no point in learning Occitan, Galician, Venetian, etc as an American. However, if you live in France, Portugal/Spain, or Italy, those languages could be useful.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carrhae
Carrhae
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Even then you could ask yourself whether it's worth the hassle. Why waste time learning a language you can speak with the ten thousand people living in the nearby province, whilst you can learn for example Japanese to understand anime or better your English? Chances are those ten thousand people will probably learn for example French instead to communicate with you.

Only guys like maybe local merchants could have a use for it then. It's far more usefull for Spanish people to learn French or English than say Basque or Catalan even those living in border regions.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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yeah and probably everyone who speaks the minority languages also speaks the main language of the country

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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There's a pervasive belief that if everyone is going to learn a language they should pick something like Chinese because 'it's useful in international business'. Well, not everyone works in international business, most of those who do won't need to understand everything said in Chinese (only one member of the team does), and not all international business is done with China.

Galician has 2.4 million speakers, about 10% of which are monolingual. Hawaiian has 2000 native speakers and 24,000 total fluent speakers. The average person knows (meaning, genuinely knows details of what's going on in their lives) about 300 people, and has only one or two truly close friends. Both Hawaiian and Galician have far more speakers than you can realistically meet, and as the saying goes 'speak to a man in a language he understands and you speak to his head, speak to a man in his own language and you speak to his heart'. Me encanta o galego por certo, é unha lingua fermosa.

I could tell you all about the proven economic benefits of minority languages, such as improved sales for products with text in minority languages (eg having Scots Gaelic on whiskey lends it an air of authenticity which attracts more customers), but I'll keep my argument simple instead, with the point that I initially made.

Ramo de froles parece

Muxía a das altas penas

con tanta rosa espallada

naquela branca ribeira,

con tanto caraveliño

que relose antra's areas,

con tanta xente que corre,

que corre e se sarandea

ó son das gaitas que tocan

e das bombas que rebentan,

uns que venden limoada,

outros augua que refresca,

aqueles dulce resolio

con rosquilliñas de almendra;

os de máis alá sandías

con sabrosas sirigüelas,

mentras tanto qu'algún cego

ó son da alegre pandeira,

toca un carto de guitarra

para que bailen as nenas.

¡Bendita a Virxe da Barca,

bendita por sempre sea!

¡mina Virxe milagrosa

en quen tantos se recrean!

Todos van por visitala,

todos alí van por vela

na súa barca dourada,

na súa barca pequena,

dond'están dous anxeliños,

dous anxeliños que reman.

Alí chegou milagrosa

nunha embarcaçón de pedra.

Alí, porque Dios o quixo,

sempre adoradores teña.

A pedra, bala que bala,

sírvelle de centinela

e mentras doormen os homes

ela adoraçón lle presta

con aquel son campanudo

qu'escoitar lonxe se deixa

e a quen o mar con bramidos

humildosos lle contesta.

Cando as campanas repican

e a música retumbea,

cal nun ceo, polas naves

da recollidiña igrexa;

cando os foguetes estalan

nos aires, e voces frescas

polo espaço cas gaitiñas

e cos tambores se mescran,

estonces a pedra bala

tan alegr'e tan contenta

qu'anqu'un cento de presoas

brinca e salta enriba dela,

coma si fose mociña,

máis que unha pruma lixeira,

alegre com'unhas pascuas

salta e rebrinca con elas.

Choven estonces presentes,

choven estonces ofertas

que lle traen os romeiros

en feitiñas carabelas

diante da Virxe bendita,

ós pés da sagrada Reina,

e por eso alí lle cantan

cando se despiden dela:

"Nosa Señora da Barca

ten o tellado de pedra;

ben o pudera ter d'ouro

mina Virxe si quixera".

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sencez

Someone once told me language is all input so for a long time I just consumed content but then when it came time to actually try and communicated (on a more working on something level, then a conversation) I found it real difficult to organise my thoughts, therefore I believe language is not just input and have even found more success with just output.

I also consider Serbian and Croatian the same language, don't even try debating with me on this.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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I also consider Serbian and Croatian the same language, don't even try debating with me on this.

That's why most people say Serbo-Croatian. And as someone who knows a heck ton of Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats, all I have heard is that "Serbian," "Croatian," and "Bosnian" are really all largely the same. The only reason people will balk at this is because of something political. So, when you are in Bosnia it is Bosnian, Croatian for Croatia, and so on :D

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/antonmo
antonmo
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before listening to someone doublecheck the facts. even if seemingly an expert tells you double or triplecheck it and not only once

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sencez

Many different polyglots had the idea and practice it. I wasn't going in blind.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryanaissance
  1. Cases in Finnish or Russian are actually pretty easy to learn. Just think of them as conjunctions with well defined-rules.

  2. Danish is the hardest European language to pronounce, and I've tried every one I've heard of. It's harder to pronounce than Arabic (I did a year of it formally), and in many ways its harder to pronounce than Chinese or Vietnamese, which are about as hard as it gets for an English speaker. It might just be me.

  3. Finnish ties with Persian as the most poetic languages. Calm down, Urdu.

  4. German is the master language.

  5. Venetian is the best Romance language.

  6. You can learn multiple similar languages at the same time without mixing them up. Just learn the sounds of each first.

  7. There are degrees of fluency, but to earn the title in my book you need to be able to think in the language as you can in your native language. Being conversational is not necessarily being fluent.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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Brilliant!..agree with last 2 points..right on!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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No one will need to learn languages in the very near future thanks to translation technology and this translation technology is a wonderful thing for which we should all be grateful, as it may be the third best thing after sliced bread and the internet. Learning languages is just a hobby, it does not make anyone a better person. Also, being bilingual or multilingual is not a big deal, and does not make anyone a better person. I guess these opinions are somewhat tied. On the flip side... I think that learning Latin, Ancient Greek or High Valyrian is just as valuable as learning Spanish.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MasterZsword

It may be hard for people who aren't American to understand, but the point about multilinguals not being special may come from the fact that the monolingualism in America, particularly in English, is often shamed. I have been in many classroom settings where teachers would talk down Americans for only knowing English while foreigners are trying to learn other languages, including English. Therefore, for some of us (definitely not everyone), being multilingual is perceived as a special skill. And, that could equate to being a "better person" since monolingualism is often perceived here as the opposite. Oh yeah, and I guess that's where my unpopular opinion comes in: there is nothing wrong with being monolingual for your entire life.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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Shaming is generally not a very inspiring teaching technique in general. I think everyone has different skills, abilities, and often especially what languages a person knows are the result of circumstances and luck. What matters whether someone knows one or one million languages is if they are kind and respect others.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewjeo
Rewjeo
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On the other hand, I think learning another language (or, really, culture, but language gets at that) has the potential to really change a person for the better. It forces you to open your mind to new perspectives. My understanding of the world, and thus of people, is a lot deeper and more nuanced for knowing foreign languages.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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"No one will need to learn languages in the very near future thanks to translation technology" This is actually a very popular belief. People always try to tell me that I should just use Google Translate instead of learning any language. But my view is that we've been about 5 years away from perfecting machine translation for about 50 years.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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People were saying decades ago how translators would go obsolete, how computer translation would take over. It hasn't, and I have many stories about Google translate fails, such as when it translated 'a little lake of chocolate' as 'a chocolate lobster' (this for Spanish, for Vietnamese it's much worse). There was also the time that it translated 'hi, how are you?' in Arabic as 'I love you'. Even when a text is translated broadly correctly, it's usually very inelegant. There seems to be a lack of understanding among people who haven't reached a high level in multiple languages of how language is not just conveying technical documents, it's also puns, poetry, cultural references, and so many other things.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
OmegaGmaster
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Spanish is really lame.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GedacktBourdon

Literally fight me.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/infinityhappycat

I don’t want to study Spanish myself, but I see no reason to call the language lame. That’s just mean-spirited. What if someone called your favorite language lame?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karmagith
Karmagith
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Learning grammar is not necessary to learn a language.

All languages are basically just as difficult to learn as each other if approached the right way when taking writing out of the equation. Writing systems can cause additional difficulties, however.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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I think you win for having the opinion that is actually the most unpopular and not just mean-spirited or controversial or something.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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Pretty sure this isn't controversial, largely just objectively wrong.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karmagith
Karmagith
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Can you point to a language in which children take a longer time learning than others? I have not heard of such a thing.

Grammar instruction just fools people into thinking they are learning something concrete while not giving any aid to speaking the language. It is useful for editing, but that is a different thing.

I think explicit grammar instruction is what holds people back from learning languages they perceive as harder because of 'more complicated grammar rules.

I could be proven wrong of course, but there is nothing objectively right or wrong about language learning. People who study this sort of thing actually do differ on the grammar point so I would say it is very much controversial academically.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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Yes. English children lag up to 2 years behind their Italian counterparts in reading ability, because of the phonetic irregularity in English spelling. Don't get me started on how long it takes Japanese and Chinese kids to learn their respective writing systems.

If you're talking purely about speaking, I have no doubt that languages which use genders and cases (e.g. Russian) take longer for children to learn/absorb their rules than languages that don't. The same goes for irregular verb conjugation. Just today my son said "tooken", for instance. That kind of error simply doesn't exist in some languages. How could it not take more time to learn a language that has more complicated grammatical features?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
Giovanna-Louise
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very good points..especially true about Chinese /Japanese kids and Russian..

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/betsys2003
betsys2003
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Who the heck says that "French is easy" and gets into fights about it?

There are people who apparently learn English from watching TV/movies, so I don't see why you couldn't do it the other way around with Japanese, though I've always thought that seemed unlikely without at least some base to start with.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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Have you ever spoken to people who learn English soley from watching American and British media? It is usually PRETTY ROUGH. You can definitely use those things to supplement though. A close friend of mine from Pakistan learned basic English at school, and then got his slang and expanded vocabulary from Supernatural, Naruto, Pokemon, and a lot of American and Canadian pop music. Sometimes he speaks in slang and it is super close to sounding natural, like he'll go for something smooth sounding and come off like the "almost integrated immigrants" in Family Guy.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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The problem with learning Japanese from anime is that the language used is childish and extremely informal. Imagine talking to everyone you meet in baby English

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ash.Purple

Scots is not a language. It's English with a terrible accent and slang.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HerrArbo
HerrArbo
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If Swedish is a different language to Norwegian then Scots is a language.

On a side note, calling an accent that isn't your own terrible requires quite a bloated ego...

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sencez

As if one can judge their own accent.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewjeo
Rewjeo
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I don't think it's terribly unpopular to say that Scots isn't a language anymore, having pretty well merged with English. Though, to be honest, it was probably always part of a dialect continuum with English, anyway.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryanaissance

On paper Scots is easy for a English speaker to understand. Spoken...very different story.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SpaceDoggi
SpaceDoggi
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Oddly, I have an easier time understanding spoken Scots than written Scots.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MacIomhair
MacIomhair
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English is just a dialect of Scots - a dialect whose speakers can't even spell their own dialect's name p Anglish.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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I surely can't understand what they're saying half the time when they are speaking English, unless they know they are addressing Americans or speaking in some official capacity, I am lost.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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The English subjunctive isn't rare.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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Technically true, it's just that most of the time the subjunctive and the indicative are the same

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Interesting take. I will go boldly on and submit that it's not rare even confined to the cases that it's distinct from the indicative.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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That's basically just was/were though (Were I to go there, I'd meet that person, subjunctive)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Well, that's the (oddly named depending on how you look at it) English past subjunctive. My original comment was preponderantly in regards to the English present subjunctive. I understand that its frequency varies between English dialects (see the article I linked), but since we're being controversialists in this thread, I just went with a broad phrasing :)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

True - the subjunctive is quite common. However most English speakers have a very poor grasp of their own grammar and don't recognize the subjunctive.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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I wonder how you would react to the second batch of examples here. It's sort of set up as a US vs. UK English exercise, but obviously those aren't the only kinds of English out there.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/antonmo
antonmo
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I just noticed two of your flags are missing. Or are those the made up ones ?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewjeo
Rewjeo
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Are they the last two, both level 8 (as of now, I guess)? They're Navajo and Hawaiian, which still seem to not show for some people.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeterPan173079

This is because the flag patterns are all on one picture file that maps different parts to the circles. When they added the languages, they just swapped that picture with a new version including the two new patterns without changing anything. That makes your computer think it's identical with the version in your cache so it will continue using the cached version. You can force a refresh of all the cached content on a page by doing a complete reload of it (shift-F5 instead of just F5). Seeing that there are still people browsing around with this "issue", maybe it's not a bad idea to post this as a separate discussion.

tl;dr: hit shift-F5 to turn the grey circles colourful

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Didn't work for me :( Any further thoughts?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arachnje
Arachnje
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I don't know if the problem has to do with your browser or your account, but I can see the Hawaiian and Navajo flag on your profile. They don't look like gray circles to me (Chrome 70.0.3538.77).

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emma_L_a

ARMYs; it doesn't matter if you learn Korean and move to Korea and become a k-pop idol, BTS still won't notice you or date you unless you are super great and fit their ideal type; most of you on here are too young for them anyways... And Jungkook likes girls who are older than them so I'm sorry but not gonna happen

Anime fans; I love anime too but learning Japanese doesn't automatically make you a famous manga artist or immediately make you eligible to become a voice actor for anime or for a japanese girl/guy to fall in love with you.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aloha_aroha

Lol, I'm an ARMY. That was harsh, but you're 10000% nicer about it than kids at school

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Freja-Wolf
Freja-Wolf
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I think I have a few fun things to contribute here. ;)

For voices with higher pitch I prefer the English accent but for voices with lower pitch I prefer the American accent. I don't know why.

Nordic languages are the greatest for music even though I really love Romance languages for that too. ❤︎

Slavic languages are frightening and nauseous to me. They sound and look like something evil witches and wizards would use in curses. Usch!

I love the simple grammar and vocabulary in Esperanto but it does not sound that nice to my ears. After learning some of it I will probably study one of its successors.

German has the potential to sound angry and severe but most of the time it does not sound that way.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maughanster_
Maughanster_
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Nordic languages are the greatest for music

I so totally agree with this statement.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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Learning English for any reason other than the love of it is a waste of time.

There has to be a better way to promote international communication.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
scarcerer
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I do not know anyone who learns English for the love of it. It’s always for practical reasons. But maybe my perspective is warped by the fact that English is pretty much a required school subject here.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karmagith
Karmagith
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I think a much better reason than "the love of it" is the availability of interesting to do in English. I know several people who have learned English to be able to watch movies or play video games. In my opinion interest in things to do the language unlocks for you is more important than the love of the language.

I actually think the love of a language alone is a bad reason to learn any language.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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Fair and nuanced. Strong desire to use the language for personal reasons counts as a good enough motivation to learn the language even if you don't care much for it on its own.

I just encounter a lot of people who study English because they are made to or because they think they are supposed to. Their progress is very slow because they never dedicate free time to study, because it's a chore.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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Because Esperanto will help you land jobs across the world or open you up to more countries than any other? English is established. French was once established, and we've had and still have more pocketed lingua franca, but right now nothing touches English in spread.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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I didn't say anything about Esperanto.

English is "established" but still has less than 20% global penetration. There is a gap that has yet to be filled.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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Learning a major language for practical reasons is not pointless, is my point. It really can expand your horizons.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandlicker
Sandlicker
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It absolutely can if you get any good at it. What I've found, to further clarify my point, is that people who don't have any real interest in English will often not become any good at it even if they put in a lot time simply because their heart is not in it. I wrote my original post a bit more extremely, because it's how I feel and it would make it more unpopular ;)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aloha_aroha

Jpop is all Anime openings and all ends up being Japanese rock music in the end

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stephen_zissou
stephen_zissouPlus
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There is no such thing as an easy language. Sure, it's easier for a native English speaker to learn to ask for directions in Spanish than in Mandarin. But, to have a proper conversation with a friend in Spanish, about dreams/hopes/fears, is just as difficult as it is in Chinese.

Corollary: Almost all opinions about how easy a language is are incorrectly based upon very superficial characteristics. A novice thinks Spanish is easy because it uses the Roman alphabet in a phonetic way and there are lots of cognates to English, and the same novice thinks Chinese is hard because of tones and characters. But Chinese is not agglutinative or highly declined. And in Spanish you have to learn "si + imperfect subjunctive clause + conditional clause" as a very common structure!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
Roman_Huczok
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https://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty

As someone who has actually gained fluency in Spanish (C1 level), and is struggling through Vietnamese, believe me that for a native English speaker absolutely every level of language learning is harder with, say, Chinese than it is for Spanish. Spanish has a massive number of cognates with English, which help enormously at every level of learning. With Vietnamese nothing comes easily, ever. You pick up some things over time which help a lot, but never to the same degree as Spanish. Having studied Vietnamese for approximately two years, I am finally able to see a word and pronounce it correctly 99.9% of the time. Yay me. At this point with Spanish I was living in Madrid (for a month) and communicating entirely in Spanish. There were things that I didn't understand, there were things that I said ungrammatically or haltingly, but I was functional in Spanish. If I went to Vietnam I could probably express most basic things if I pulled a face and spoke slowly, but I would likely understand next to nothing of what people around me said unless they either wrote it down or spoke really, unrealistically slowly.

2 months ago
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