Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Today I received a text message from my old Slovak tutor in Zilina. It read:

Hi, I just wanted to tell you that there was a research of almost 8000 languages in Berlin. The easiest was Spanish and the most difficult Slovak.

You can imagine my joy/despair from reading this! I felt joy because of the validation it gave me: "I'm not crazy, this language is freaking hard!!!" But I also felt despair: "Great. I'm trying to learn the hardest language ever. Yeah. That's going to happen."

Anyways, upon further research I found this:

On September 27th a linguistic consortium in Paris has come up with following results:

the easiest languages to learn:

10. mongolese

09. aramaic

08. greek

07. norwegian

06. italian

05. romanian

04. croatian

03. bulgarian

02. english

01. the easiest language in the world spoken by more than 300 million people is spanish

the most difficult languages: (linguists examined complexity of grammar, syntax, historical development, pronunciation, orthography, letter styles, signs, etc.)

10. german

09. french

08. chinese

07. japanese

06. korean

05. persian

04. arabic

03. finnish

02. hungarian

01. the most difficult language is Slovak

The most difficult is grammar structure. Slovak language is the only one with seven grammar cases (nominativ, genitiv, dativ, accusativ, local, instrumental, vocativ), exquisite words, soft and hard "i", declension of adjectives and verbs, in other words almost each and every word in this language is being declinated. There are many other characteristics which are not found in other world languages. It is said, or estimated, that it takes about 12 years to learn it completely, but the linguists say, that there is no one on this earth who can speak this language perfectly knowing all the grammar rules.

So, this new nugget of information comes to me at the perfect time. Today I start studying Slovak again. I've been on a break for the past few weeks due to moving, but tonight it all begins again.



Anonymous said...

Vela stastia pri uceni slovenciny :o)

Jarrot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jarrot said...

Hey FYI, I don't think spanish is easier than english. They might be tied in my opinion, like spanish has like 14 or so verb tenses. ALL of which are completely different from the other in spelling. Where as in english all you do to some of them is add a be verb. WHICH by the way spanish don't really have, because they're found in the verb tenses. Being able to speak with the tone you want I feel like is crazy hard. But good luck learning that wacky language!

Anonymous said...

Dear Laura, I want to encourage you, the information about Slovak language being the most difficult of all is a hoax, i.e. a total lie. There was no such research done and Slovak is by no means the most difficult language, is is actually one of the slimpler slavic languages. For example Czech is more difficult because it is an older language.
So, don't let someone who deceives honest people ruin your enthusiasm for Slovak!!!

Mr. Moose said...

I just stumbled across your blog (the "next blog" tab is my hobby...) and I would like to know how you ended up studying Slovak. You look like you're enjoying your experience, so I say keep it up!

BritBoat said...

Validation that Slavik languages are the toughest to learn! I actually heard Ukrainian and Russian were right up there. Super.
I am now teaching 6th graders how to say "I'm a beautiful flower" in Ukrainian. Gotta keep practicing! :-)

Hours of Operation said...

Hey, it's Elisabeth! So, I like that French is in the top 10 hardest languages to learn and that Spanish is the easiest, b/c I felt like such a tard when we went to Puerto Rico and I was the only one who wasn't speaking Spanish. Everyone else thought they were bad a, but apparently anyone can do it. Now, if I ever go to France I can say, "In yo face" or "Dans votre visage", b/c it's harder. What the crap am I talking about? I just got into blogging in one of my classes, so I'm getting obsessed. Love you!

Lauren said...

oh you.

ZuzkaMoravcik said...

well .. to learn language completely is not possible, there are so many slovaks not knowing the language well .. so it is with english and all the other languages, everyone everywhere speaking whatever language makes mistakes or makes the language simplier just beacuse we are like that - we are breaking rules and making things more simple :) so do not worry, look i've been learning english for almost 18 years and i can't really do it 100% or maybe not even 50% :) it is a journey, enjoy it :) keep it simple and it will be alright ..