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zompist bboard • View topic - Most difficult aspect of your native language for foreigners

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:53 am 
Avisaru
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For English, definitely phrasal verbs... and unpredictable pronunciations.

Many of my Slovene friends also have problems with aspects and articles, although I've never had problems with this myself (probably due to my excessive mileage in idiomatic usage through reading).

And German word order is easy - it's gender that's difficult for learners, primarily because you have to master it "through use" (since most people are excessively lazy in learning languages, believing that they will succeed in it without Actual Use).

For Slovene, I couldn't really say. Probably the 5 different declensions, the dual, and idiomatic use of particles (such as pa) and the subtleties of turn-taking devices in the spoken language.

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Last edited by Travis B. on Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:19 am 
Lebom
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We had a "difficult things about English" thread recently, and I'll reiterate that one of the hardest parts is the tense/aspect system. Hopefully I will someday merely have been being confused by it. The spelling is obviously a nightmare, but even natives struggle with it so much that you never really feel too bad about it. I've heard it suggested that learning spoken and written English is akin to learning two distinct languages. Another thing is that English really does have a massive, massive vocabulary. I'm pretty sure I know far more English words than Norwegian words.

The hardest part of Norwegian is probably the whole [i] vs. [y] vs [ʉ] vs. [u] thing, and the pitch accent. V2 word order can be funky, but Dutch and German are even weirder in that respect. Most other things that could be said to be difficult about Norwegian can be answered with "Oh yeah, Icelandic has that too, and these five other things."


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:23 pm 
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Last edited by Io on Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:27 pm 
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giˈtaɹ.plɛɪ̯ɚ‿n dɪs.ˈgaɪz •
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On the surface, the hardest thing for most Persian learners is the phonetics. [G\ G] seem to particularly difficult, as does the /{ A/ distinction and [h] in the coda (take the butchering of Ahmadinejad's name for example). Second is the spelling, because so much of the vocabulary is borrowed from Arabic there's so telling which graphical representation of /h s z t <etc>/ to use without memorization.

The thing that tends to trip up people the most though is the verbage: eynak zadan "to apply glasses" rather than eynak pushidan "to wear glasses"; zamin khordan "to run into the ground" rather than zamin zadan "to hit the ground." I even have problems with this sometimes.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:09 am 
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In Serbo-Croatian, pitch accent. This is something that most second-language speakers (I don't know many, so I'm only guessing) probably never master. After going from native->near-native->barely fluent->non-fluent/conversational, I still maintained most of the pitch-accent system. After re-learning the language to fluency, I'm very glad that I didn't have to also re-learn pitch accent.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:49 am 
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Last edited by Guitarplayer II on Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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giˈtaɹ.plɛɪ̯ɚ‿n dɪs.ˈgaɪz •
And! (upd. 28 Sep 2010)


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Articles (especially the).

Tense/aspect.

Mispronunciations caused by irregular spelling.

[T] and [D] (especially if replaced by [s] and [z]: other options are better)

Vowel system (especially pronouncing TRAP as [E])


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I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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