https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

FSI changed their estimates for German and French and added Haitian Creole to their S3/R3 table

Thomas.Heiss
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Hello everybody, ein freundliches Hallo an alle,

I see we have another current thread "Rank every language you've studied from easiest to hardest in your opinion" going: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/29513613

This is the old coloured Voxy chart - without German but French put in the first 575-600h category I table: https://www.lingholic.com/hardest-languages-learn

FSI (Foreign Service Institute) Update

  • Haitian Creole has been added as 36 weeks / 900 classroom hours

  • German (36 weeks, 900 hours) and French (30 weeks, 750 hours) estimated classroom numbers were updated by FSI for S3/R3 proficiency level: https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/sls/c78549.htm

For some reason the * asterisk markings from some category III and IV languages (from the two charts below) have not been added in the offical FSI table.
Is there another offical table?

..(...)..

DLI (Defense Language Institute) also rates German as a category II language with approximately 35 weeks (article from 2010): https://www.ausa.org/articles/dlis-language-guidelines
Are there any newer offical DLI language tables?

Ich möchte daher als Muttersprachler jeden Deutsch Lernenden ermutigen sich bei dieser Mission dabei Zeit zu lassen und nicht zu früh aufzugeben!
Steter Tropfen höhlt den Stein!
I would therefore like to encourage as a German native speaker every German learner to take their time on this mission and not to give up too soon!

Old charts

ILR proficiency level 1 + 2 table (speaking, listening, reading)

You can find a chart about the lower ILR 1+2 levels (vs FSI/DLI S3/R3) and listed language categories here: https://valespa1.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/language-difficulty-ranking/

You have to scroll down a bit to the fourth picture chart!

Germanic vs Romance languages

However, it is hard to believe (for me as a German native speaker and Portuguese learner since two years) that Romance languages - like Portuguese - with that difficult grammar (e.g Subjunctives) and pesky verb tense stuff should have the same difficulty rating as Germanic languages like Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch?!?

Does any learner of those four Germanic languages want to comment and compare to Romance languages like Portuguese, Spanish and French?

..(...)..

I think that was maybe one of the reasons why in the above two (old FSI S3/R3) charts those Germanic languages were listed once with needed 23(-24) weeks and 575(-600) classroom hours?

I am well aware that Romanian would be more difficult to learn than Spanish or Portuguese because of the additional Slavic influences.


Wünsche Euch noch einen schönen und erholsamen Sonntag!
Have a nice Sunday!

Unfortunately there is no sun shining here in Germany and it is quite cold already :-(

Hat jemand von Euch vielleicht das Vergnügen irgendwo auf der Welt heute (Kite-/Wind)surfen oder Wakeboarden zu können?
Does anyone of you have the pleasure to do (Kite-/wind)surfing or Wakeboarding anywhere in the world?

Best regards / Viele Grüße aus Deutschland

1 week ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

The FSI chart addressed something I always suspected - hours given are classroom hours. So Hungarian (for example) is 1100 classroom hours plus a minimum of 660 hours preparation (homework). Not sure if DL qualifies as "classroom", "preparation" or somewhere in between.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/01LearnFrench01

I've been here, FL Keys, often but don't do those watersports.

I'll share a little about this location:

Portuguese is in high demand here because this area does a lot of business wth Brazil.

I've known many people who have moved to other countries for a different way of life. Some just sold everything and went, trusting they would figure it out when they got there. Others singned up for an educational program and then employers sponsored them for temporary residency after graduation. Others requested an international assignment from their current company and then convinced them to sponsor them for a permanent residency card. There are a million ways. This is a hot button issue in the US. I encourage you to follow your dreams the sooner the better wherever your heart leads you.

There is quite a labor shortage in the US and you seem very well educated, you would have no problem.

Bon courage et Bonne chance!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/antonmo
antonmo
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It is interesting that they reclassify languages. The nature of the language itself does not change. Is it that the students performances have changed?

I found the FSI levels here before: https://www.atlasandboots.com/foreign-service-institute-language-difficulty/

There are midlevels denoted as asterisks in this link which I thought came from FSI but now seeing your link, obviously not.

Interesting Pashto has moved to the toughest category. The military should know that one.

I wonder if other countries have categorizations too...

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/guntunge
guntunge
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I've read that Japanese people find Chinese and Korean not that hard, but have trouble with English or any other European language. Is Arabic for them maybe also easy/easier, or is that also a hard (level IV) language for them?

I guess some languages are rather hard or complex (German, for Indoeuropean standards, Basque & Hungarian for European standards), but they are maybe more "accurate" in their possibilities, while the others are easier but have more wiggle room for (mis)interpretation.

Of course each individual will have different experiences and preferences, just like with the only universal language math, where some people struggle at basic concepts and others never have a problem to understand everything.

Such an approximation or average hours lists from several start languages would be very interesting, because that would probably show which language is inherently hard for practically all others (and their natives too) and which language prepares you to tackle certain languages but not with others.

3 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cleanthe3
Cleanthe3
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Thanks for the links . The "valespa" one has some intersting/funny pictures about differences in languages or culture . "international arrivals " , the image with a man and a bier, how to say "surprise" in different languages (in german haha !! ) are good ones ;)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ngraner42
ngraner42
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It looks like they basically moved French into its own category, but did not want to renumber the categories. French does seem harder than say Spanish simply based on it being harder to hear.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angus390025
angus390025
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Interesting post Thomas. So it seems that the most salient change was that they combined the old categories 2 and 3 into a new category 2, and now there are only four categories instead of five, and German is no longer alone in its own category.

I also noticed that the asterisks are gone, and that French is the only language with an asterisk. Well, not an explicit asterisk, but it has a parenthetical statement which is the equivalent of an asterisk.

Also, this brings the FSI in line with the US Department of Defense categories. Well, except for Pashto. FSI considers that category 3, whereas DLI has it in category 4.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gothicsquirrel
gothicsquirrel
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However, it is hard to believe (for me as a German and Portuguese learner since two years) that Romance languages - like Portuguese - with that difficult grammar (e.g Subjunctives) and pesky verb tense stuff should have the same difficulty rating as Germanic languages like Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch?!?

Does any learner of those four Germanic languages want to comment and compare to Romance languages like Portuguese, Spanish and French?

I'm currently actively learning Norwegian and German (I'm English). I find Norwegian on the whole easy. German is quite challenging for me, but I am determined to reach at least a basic conversational level.

In the past I have learnt French and Portuguese. French I found very easy. I had to put in some work, but I can't say I ever struggled and I got the highest in my GCSE (leaving school exams) without very much effort. However I found Portuguese quite hard, even with a friend helping me. Again, the grammar proved challenging, and eventually I gave up when the friend went back to Portugal (this was pre-internet days so our only contact was by letters).

Portuguese is one of the languages I'm going to tackle here on Duo. I started it a while back, but I felt it would be more beneficial to focus on the German first and Portuguese later - too much grammar to remember studying both together (plus Old English which is also quite grammar heavy).

So to answer your question, I have found French and Norwegian to be fairly easy to learn, and German and Portuguese both of similar difficulty, and certainly more diffiult than either French or Norwegian.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
Thomas.Heiss
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@gothicsquirrel

Hi,

thanks for your interesting feedback.

Seeing your full quote I found a little error in my text which a reader might misinterpret too easily.

Quote T.H: However, it is hard to believe (for me as a German native speaker and Portuguese learner since two years) that....

I have now added "German native speaker" :-)

I guess those are the language subtleties which can give a paragraph a new meaning...

My German language flag is only there because of my Portuguese->German (and English->German) reverse tree(s), but I do not have to learn German but instead of I pratice Portuguese writing.

..(...)..

Thanks for your confirmation that Norwegian grammar is easier than the two Romance languages French and Portuguese (verb conjugations, tenses, Subjunctives, etc.).

Viele Grüße

1 week ago
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