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Other Languages that Have as Many Rules as English?


FartoTheWise
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I tried learning an African language because I had applied for a job with an Aid Agency and it was a prerequisite that you had to learn some Swahili. It's my firm belief that the grammar and sentence structure rules [of Swahili] are weirder than the ones that apply in English.

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What other languages have close to the amount of weird rules that English has? I would imagine some of the eastern ones.

I find English to have moderate amount of rules. Compared to Mandarin! It's just nuts with that language.

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I could not cite a specific language, but I'm sure that usually any other language that our mother tongue seems to have more complex grammar rules.

But obviously, there must me some other more complex that English, I suppose that Greek and Russian should be among those with the more difficult rules to learn.

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I find English to have moderate amount of rules. Compared to Mandarin! It's just nuts with that language.

I agree that the Asian languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, are much harder to learn than English. The grammar rules are not the only things you need to worry about when learning these languages, but learning how to write the characters too.  :confused:

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That is interesting to learn about the Chinese languages.  It may seem there are so many rules in English since native speakers learned them at a young age and they seemed overwhelming.  Suppose it is all relative but that was a fascinating question and as always the answers make you think about it.

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In terms of Grammar, Chinese is actually pretty easy.

The Chinese language almost entirely lacks inflection, which results in word forms only having one grammatical form (typically this is the case!)in. In order to express different verb tenses you usually just use particles.

Studying all the characters is another thing and is indeed very time-consuming. However, the accurate pronunciation of the words and syllables is probably the most challenging aspect when it comes to learning Mandarin Chinese (and also Cantonese of course, as Cantonese has even more tones than Mandarin).

An interesting  fact about Chinese is that in ancient times (talking about Classical Chinese), the Chinese languages was not tonal (therefore having no tones at that time). By the way, the Grammar at this time was really different as well. However, a lot of Chinese characters that we use today have already been used in very ancient times (sometimes having another meaning or a slightly different meaning than now).

The character 正 for instance has been used in ancient times to count groups of 5. So if you wrote down 正正正正 the meaning would have been 20. This method of counting things is still used in China up to the present day. Of course this is not the regular method for counting things but on some occasions people still use it.

I am willing to tell you more about 文言 in the chinese forums. If you have questions, please let me know  :grin:.

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I think the biggest issue with English is not the number of rules, but the amount of times that the language breaks its own rules. I guess people do consider the rule breaking to be exceptions or rules though. I am just glad that I didn't have to learn English as a second language. It must be so frustrating.

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I could not cite a specific language, but I'm sure that usually any other language that our mother tongue seems to have more complex grammar rules.

But obviously, there must me some other more complex that English, I suppose that Greek and Russian should be among those with the more difficult rules to learn.

I think Greek has less nuances and "rules" than English does. At least it seems that way to me. I think it's the same case for French, but French has a lot of weird things with verbs which are confusing to me.

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