The hardest and easiest languages to learn for native English speakers

English is a Germanic language too. Being part of the same language family doesn’t mean exactly as easy to learn.


I tried. It’s a cool language, but I hard a hard time finding people to speak with (Finns are notoriously mute, and my experience matched with the stereotype).


Solid purple.

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Especially when Icelandic is considered harder than German.

Maybe they factor in the intransigence of the person you’re trying to talk to…

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Turkish and Finnish certainly look a lot alike when written, but I think that’s just the Spinal Tap-level of umlaut abuse.


I don’t know but I’m going to speculate that English was heavily influenced by Norse and that influence is still strong in the language structure.

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umlauted letters in Turkish: Ö, Ü
umlauted letters in Finnish: Ä, Ö

breveted letters in Turkish: Ğ
caronated letters in Finnish: Š, Ž

Cediliated letters in Turkish: Ç, Ş

The turkish language also uses dotted and undotted i
see? totally different.


I don’t know, my Finnish host mom spoke a mile a minute and was very gregarious! But my hat is off to you, I haven’t picked up a bit of Finnish. (My host mom taught me German instead.)

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I was going to ask that too. I speak German and English, and I always think I can understand the gist of Nordic languages, but really, I think it’s just my imagination.


“Mastering” is relative. I’m 14 years into studying Japanese and I translate patent applications for a living, but I still have a long way to go.


I started one time, but I just couldn’t finnish…



Lots of the difficulty is dealing with the different “politeness levels”.


Agree completely. Anecdotally, even native Japanese who spend time abroad sometimes find it difficult to re-integrate into the rigid social mores of the culture. Not that they lose their vocabulary, but they come home having learned to speak more directly and not with all of the various levels of politeness.

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Very true regarding returnees. Some master it. The CIO at my current example seems to be able to code switch faster than the time it takes me to type this.


I’m one of these Finnish mutes. Our language is indeed quite hard to learn. Hungarian is a related language but we can understand nothing from it. The vocabulary doesn’t have much common with Finnish. But it does still sound somewhat similar.

Estonian however is very similar. We can have semi decent discussion with Estonian people. There are differences but they aren’t very large. Of course some words have very different meaning in our languages. One interesting thing is also teh fact that Estonian sounds quite funny for Finnish people.

I have some friends who have moved to Finland and learned our language. In couple of years you can learn our language well enough to have some kind of discussions in a subject that you know. But even after many years of living in Finland you can still recognize non-native Finnish speakers. You can learn Finnish but mastering it fluently seems to be nearly impossible.

One of the biggest obstacles is that the official Finnish is quite different than the spoken Finnish. The official Finnish is used for writing but it sounds really weird in spoken form. The normal spoken Finnish is “shortened” compared to the official. Only during very formal situations the official Finnish is used in spoken form. And for Finnish learners it’s a bit annoying situation because all language courses are given in official Finnish. But then you learn the language in a form that you cannot much use.

Of course nearly every area here has dialects. All differ from the official language but some are easier to understand than others. I have some relatives in one area where the dialect is very different to the ones I know. I have severe understanding problems with them.

We also make things difficult to Finnish learners that we easily try to switch to English if the other party seems to have lacking skill in Finnish.


In this case, I suspect that it’s because ASL speakers aren’t a group the US feels much need to send diplomats or spies after; and the Foreign Service Institute isn’t given too much leeway for research without application to training those.

Why people in general don’t, I’m not sure.

Could be a connection there? :sunglasses::rofl:

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a controller configured to insert the at least one first data unit into a respective location of the time-indexed array based on the associated timestamp value, partition a binary value of the timestamp associated with the first data unit into a plurality of sub-fields, each sub-field comprising one or more bits, use the plurality of sub-fields to generate a corresponding plurality of acceleration bit-strings for use in identifying the first data unit in the time-based array having a lowest associated timestamp value, extract the identified first data unit having the lowest associated timestamp value from the time-based array, indicate with a variable there is a valid data unit in the respective location, and designate the extracted first data unit as a next data unit to be transmitted over the network.

I pity you.


Somebody had way too much fun describing a FIFO (with QoS ordering) here.
Is this actually from a granted patent? Based on this extract any priority queing system would be prior art. And I do mean prior, e.g. “Me bigger caveman, cut in front of line!”.

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Curious. As a native German speaker, I found all aspects of the English language far more accessible than French.