Jump to content
Linguaholic
Improve your knowledge of any language online

Easy vs hard, is it really worth mentioning it?


宇崎ちゃん
 Share

Recommended Posts

You hear it a lot when learning a new language: "it's difficult" and "it's easy".
But how seriously should you take this?
I'd say not at all!

Read more on my language blog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it worth mentioning? Absolutely. Every bit of information I can get about a language is helpful. Benny Lewis's obsession about getting people to ignore useful information about the languages they are learning amazes me. I say give the people the information, and let them to decide what to do with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Wanda Kaishin said:

Is it worth mentioning? Absolutely. Every bit of information I can get about a language is helpful. Benny Lewis's obsession about getting people to ignore useful information about the languages they are learning amazes me. I say give the people the information, and let them to decide what to do with it.

My point is that all languages have something easy and something hard.
It wasn't meant to go like "fuck this shit, everything is easy", that would be Benny's task.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Blaveloper said:

My point is that all languages have something easy and something hard.

Well then, you shouldn't have said "The only real function this whole easy vs hard discussion has, is to discourage you from learning a language." What's discouraging about receiving information? If a learner decides to be discouraged, that's his problem, not yours.

I'd also like to point out that your blog post contradicts itself. You say that languages aren't inherently hard or easy, but then you go on to list "components" that are hard or easy. You can't have it both ways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Language learning is either hard or easy for a learner, depending on many factors, mostly on the will, motivation and basic knowledge of at least grammar notions of his or her mother tongue. Moreover, it depends on the initiative, the understanding or the ability to understand differences, sounds, and the ability to make associations, remember, process and eventually use in utterances. Learning a language is a long and very hard process. I know this from many people around me that coped with learning a foreign language. Plus, it also depends on the teacher - teacher influence is somewhat of a big importance (it was for me, at least).

For me individually, there is no an easy language. They are all hard, and it just depends on the learner - whether it will take longer or shorter period of time for the learner to acquire it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, learning Arabic is really hard, not only because it is required for our elementary school curriculum, but also because I have neither any interest nor desire to learn it.  Other than little knowledge of Arabic greetings as well as certain words, I I just can't bring myself to like the language.  I remember at one time when a man who spoke only pure Arabic mistakenly called us on the telephone line, and because I spoke only English, he said in Arabic that he can't speak in English.

Learning Japanese is neither easy nor hard for me, but I am constantly practicing my Japanese language skills.  Recently I have began looking back at my Japanese language notes as well as exercise materials.  Next year, I'm planning to enroll in Elementary Japanese 2, and possibly 3, so I am eligible to take the JLPT N5.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting blog post, it does make sense,  every language has something that makes it easier and harder at the same time ;)  But you have to admit that those components vary a lot depending on the learner's mother language.  Like for example me learning Japanese or Chinese.   I think it's good we all know our limits (I know mine), I've drawn my limits at those languages, but not Russian or Hebrew ;) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends. If the person I’m talking to has already learned about three new languages and this is language number four I’d take it pretty seriously. If it’s the first new language they’re learning I wouldn’t pay much attention to it. Easy and hard are relative words. For someone who has only had easy work, work of medium level will be hard to them. To a person who has only had hard work, work of a medium level will be easy to them. As such, the more languages they have studied the more weight their opinion holds for me. Their opinion however, will not discourage me from learning a new language if I am interested in it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PERCEPTION.

Labeling a specific language as 'hard' or 'easy' does influence a person's perspective on the target language. Hearing other people tell you that this and that language is hard/easy can somehow influence your perspective on the 'learnability' of a certain language. I get what you're saying that IT really is NOT worth mentioning as it can be a factor that can discourage people from learning the language. But the thing is we people will always have an opinion on things and we all know that opinions differ. So.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@takibari To be honest, I sometimes enjoy this endless "hard" vs "easy" discussion.
When I hear or read how other people say language X is hard and language Y is easy, I always get excited to learn language X.
The more they agree that language X is hard, the better.
The harder they rate it, the more likely it is I want to learn that language.

People all around me are like:
"I know Dutch" = "that's obvious".
"I know Polish" = "oh, OK".
"I know English" = "everybody knows".
"I know German" = "too easy".
"I know Japanese" = "WTF?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! IT'S THE HARDEST LANGUAGE EVER"!
"I'm currently learning Chinese" = "YOU'RE INSANE! NOBODY CAN EVER LEARN CHINESE"!

And at that moment I feel very proud on what I have achieved, even though I don't believe in the whole "hard" vs "easy" discussion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand what you are saying, but as a dyslexic, I can honestly say there are things that honestly do make a language harder or easier for people.  I took French in high school, because everyone else said that French was harder to learn than Spanish and I wanted a challenge.  French was so easy for me!  I scored no less than a 90 on my tests and I only got the 90 because I was out with the strep throat for over a week before the test.  Spanish is more difficult.  I don't know why.  But that doesn't mean I'm going to give up. Easy and hard are real things, but you shouldn't allow them to discourage you.  If you want to learn a language, do what you can to learn it.  It may be hard, but you will have such a sense of accomplishment when you have conquered the beast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...