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https://www.duolingo.com/Crisp_by_Yosi

Lexical similarity extent of languages

Lexical similarity is one of indications of mutual intelligibility between languages.

Lexical similarity coefficient (LSC). It's already calculated for pairs of languages. Talking about major european languages, the most high similarity is between Spanish and Portuguese and Italian and French - the coefficient is 0.89. (where 1 is the fully the same vocabulary).

So what's interesting is that "percentages higher than 85% usually indicate that the two languages being compared are likely to be related dialects".

I think from pragmatic side it's very reasonable to learn the closest language because of simplicity. You don't have to spend a lot of time cause you'll become fluent pretty quickly. What do you think?

Here are some other pairs of Languages and LSC:

Spanish - Portuguese: 0.89; Italian - French: 0.89; Russian - Belarusian: 0.86; Russian - Ukrainian: 0.86.

Spanish - Italian: 0.82; Russian - Polish: 0.77.

Spanish - French: 0.75; Portuguese - French: 0.75; Russian - Slovak: 0.74; Russian - Czech: 0.74; Russian - Bulgarian: 0.74; Russian - Slovenian: 0.74; Russian - Serbian: 0.71; Russian - Macedonian: 0.70; English - German: 0.60.

3 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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I agree. I learned multiple similar languages pretty easily, and now can understand Slavic languages because I know Russian, and Germanic languages because I know German and English. Also Roman languages, as I speak Italian, French and Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Crisp_by_Yosi

Isn't it awesome? :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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Yes it is :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1848emilyb
1848emilyb
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I was taught spanish from a young age and while I'm far from fluent, I've found that having a good foundation in spanish has made learning french pretty easy. I'm working on fluency in french and I'm also studying other romance languages because I think it's interesting to compare/contrast them.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Franulele

Fascinating information!

Do you have any lexical similarity statistics on:

English-Frisian, English-Dutch, English-Spanish, English-French, Polish-Czech

?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BeCreative__
BeCreative__
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What about portuguese to Itallian?

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RG710
RG710
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That's interesting, I never know that most Slavic languages actually that similar to each other I thought it only happen with Romance languages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/malkin50

Here is a fun image of a language family tree: http://mentalfloss.com/article/59665/feast-your-eyes-beautiful-linguistic-family-tree

There are other more scholarly ways to describe the relationships, but the tree is visually quite nice, I think.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Franulele

Nice tree. Too bad they didn't give Basque a little twig or leaf somewhere!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinaLock
AlexinaLock
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Basque isn't related to any of those languages so it wouldn't appear on there

4 months ago