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Question: Which language is easier for the typical English speaker to learn?
French   -13 (39.4%)
Spanish   -20 (60.6%)
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Total Voters: 33

Author Topic: Which language is easier for the typical English speaker to learn?  (Read 2379 times)
A18
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« on: November 12, 2009, 11:21:50 pm »
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I'm not fluent in either, but I would wager that option 1 is the correct answer.

Compare a French work with its English translation, and you can instantly spot the French passage that corresponds to its English counterpart. Not so with Spanish.

And as a side note... are there any monumental works penned in Spanish? French and German seem to be grossly overrepresented in that respect.
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Alexander Hamilton
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 11:23:26 pm »
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spanish
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 11:24:44 pm »
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French. I took some in high school... And while I can't speak it and probably couldn't understand most spoken French language, I can still read a lot of it just because it's similar enough to English.

Not to mention the obvious fact that English borrowed a ton of words from French. Spanish? Not so many.
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Joe Republic
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 11:24:56 pm »
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And as a side note... are there any monumental works penned in Spanish?

Don Quixote.  After the Bible, it's the second most translated work of fiction book in the world.
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 11:29:24 pm »
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French
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 11:31:13 pm »
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French.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 11:33:36 pm »
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Spanish
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Ronnie
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 11:38:23 pm »
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French. I took some in high school... And while I can't speak it and probably couldn't understand most spoken French language, I can still read a lot of it just because it's similar enough to English.

Not to mention the obvious fact that English borrowed a ton of words from French. Spanish? Not so many.

What are you, nuts?  There are tons of English-Spanish cognates.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 11:43:19 pm by Ronnie »Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 11:41:36 pm »
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Monumental works in Spanish?  Besides the aforementioned Don Quixote, I think a shout-out must be given to the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 11:44:38 pm »
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French, I tried learning both french and spanish and I found french easier.
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 11:52:56 pm »
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I tried learning both and Spanish is far easier, not to mention more logical, at least in my mind.
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2009, 12:20:02 am »
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How did I know that these would be the options?

French. I know nearly as much French as Spanish, and I'm in my fourth year of Spanish in school.
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2009, 12:31:44 am »
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This is a double edged sword.

Spanish will beat you up less in learning the basics, because Spanish, similar to English, has fairly stream-lined grammatical rules, and few peculiarities... I know this flies in the face of what you typically hear about English, but the people who preach the "complexity" of English are ridiculously wrong and usually pretentious, or repeating what they heard pretentious people say.  French, on the other hand, while no less packed with oddities, and complexities than any normal language, has far more than either English or Spanish... there is also a significant divorce between spoken and written French... the same could be said of English, but that is beside the point.

On the other hand, once you get past the basics of vocab and grammar, French is easier by a mile, because of the number of terms for more complex ideas that English borrowed from French.  For upper-level vocabulary all you really have to do is Franco-phone familiar English terms.
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2009, 12:43:30 am »
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On a side note, I decided to attempt to take up Italian, and even bought the expensive Rosetta Stone software.  I regret it.  Italian is a great language.  But I have enough trouble learning languages as it is, and Italians sound system is brutal.
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2009, 12:45:55 am »
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I mean, it is lovely to the ears, but it is brutal for an English speaker to try to replicate, because the cadence and the way they put sounds together is very different from any English I'm familiar with.  That's something you have to consider too, when looking at a language.
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2009, 12:55:30 am »
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     French, most definitely. Pronunciation is probably the hardest part of learning French.
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2009, 12:55:30 am »
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On the other hand, once you get past the basics of vocab and grammar, French is easier by a mile, because of the number of terms for more complex ideas that English borrowed from French.  For upper-level vocabulary all you really have to do is Franco-phone familiar English terms.

Yes. Abstract concepts are very easy in French.
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2009, 12:56:51 am »
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Spanish; much easier phonology and the vast majority of the common words are latin root. Both have equally screwed up grammar, and spanish has more cognates *when spoken*, which is where the most efficient language learning happens.

(I learnt french through high school and spanish at uni. I can't speak french, and i'm passable at spanish)
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2009, 01:25:43 am »
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The one that doesn't sound like Swines.
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2009, 01:26:02 am »
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    French, most definitely. Pronunciation is probably the hardest part of learning French.

That's funny, because I have always thought that French was kinda easy to pronounce, for an English speaker.  Now, if you are reading French aloud, yes they have a very peculiar sound system compared to English, but I have never had any trouble mimic the sounds of French... and I don't mean mocking the sounds, either.  I've actually had many people mistake me for someone who is a fluent, when I actually don't know any of it, except a very basic words, and the English-French cognates.

This could possibly vary for an English speaker, based on dialect differences.  Where I am from, we use alot of soft sounds, and diphthongs, in our speech, so it might just seem more natural to me than the "rapid fire consonants" of Spanish.

Edit: I meant to say "monothongs" meaning the we monothong things where in most other parts of the country they are diphthongs.
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2009, 01:48:17 am »
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     French, most definitely. Pronunciation is probably the hardest part of learning French.

That's funny, because I have always thought that French was kinda easy to pronounce, for an English speaker.  Now, if you are reading French aloud, yes they have a very peculiar sound system compared to English, but I have never had any trouble mimic the sounds of French... and I don't mean mocking the sounds, either.  I've actually had many people mistake me for someone who is a fluent, when I actually don't know any of it, except a very basic words, and the English-French cognates.

This could possibly vary for an English speaker, based on dialect differences.  Where I am from, we use alot of soft sounds, and diphthongs, in our speech, so it might just seem more natural to me than the "rapid fire consonants" of Spanish.

Edit: I meant to say "monothongs" meaning the we monothong things where in most other parts of the country they are diphthongs.

     I also find French to be very easy to pronounce. However, I have known several people who after a year of taking French couldn't even pronounce their vowels. I try not to give the typical English speaker too much credit, you see.
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Хahar
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2009, 02:08:04 am »
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French I can apparently pronounce decently (albeit with a German accent), but I cannot understand the spoken language one bit.
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2009, 02:16:28 am »
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Both are romance (that is, Latin - aka 'roman' - based) languages, so they are pretty similar in a lot of ways.  They are closer to each other than they are to English, and both are closer to English that various eastern languages such as Japanese or Chinese.

I'd say that they are pretty much the same, though around here it is a lot easier to find fluent Spanish speakers to practice with (a situation perhaps reversed in or near Quebec).
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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2009, 04:34:59 am »
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And as a side note... are there any monumental works penned in Spanish?

Don Quixote.  After the Bible, it's the second most translated work of fiction book in the world.
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Swedish Cheese
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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2009, 04:46:47 am »
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Screw both Spanish and French.

You people should lean Swedish, the singing language.

Det är det vackraste språket i världen och så likt engelska att ni inte kommer ha några som helst problem med att lära er det.

 
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