Poll: France / France - General

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re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By Zophia_May
On Sun Aug 30, 2009 08:04 PM
Hi!

Being a native French speaker, I can't say I find French difficult. (Sorry, guys :) ). I actually like all the tenses, because it allows for a subtility I can't quite reach in English when I write.

I have trouble with my English accent. Anyone ever heard a French speaker speaking English? It's anything but natural! I remember crying in my English class when I was ten because I was so shy.

But of course I understand that all those French names in ballet can be difficult for a lot of people. Feel free to pm me if you don't know how to write something!

I'm not doing anyone's homework, I've got enough with my own, but I can help...
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:22 AM
Edited by toroandbruin (202876) on 2009-09-01 00:30:37
Edited by toroandbruin (202876) on 2009-09-01 00:31:53
I doubt that any particular language is harder to learn than any other if you are starting as an infant.

A native English speaker knows many words with Germanic roots and many with Latin roots; so learning languages with either type of derivation (for example German, Norwegian, French, Spanish) is relatively easy. Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and other languages with fewer similarities should be relatively difficult (but maybe not -- see comments below).

I would think that learning English as a second language would be very difficult as it is such a mish-mash of other languages and you can't depend on the rules of grammar because there are so many exceptions. And as for spelling rules -- forget it! But many people do find English easy. I haven't figured out why. Maybe because it is SUCH a mess that nobody gets uptight if you make mistakes. You're simply being creative!

I should note that some time ago I studied a little bit of Japanese and found it quite easy to learn. For one thing, the grammar does follow the rules with very few exceptions. For another, although the iconographic kanji writing is unfamiliar to an English speaker, once you have learned the kana, the phonetic syllable "alphabet", you can write down anything and a Japanese speaker will be able to read it. Although there are more "letters" than in the English alphabet, what you see is what you get (almost always). There are no variations like "ie" sounds like "I" in "pie" but it sounds like "eeeeee" "in piece".

So if someone from, let's say, Mars, were trying to learn an Earth language I'd suggest they start out with Japanese.

As an English speaker, I find French and Spanish relatively easy. And, since Portugese is sort of half way between French and Spanish I once had an interesting conversation with a woman from Brazil on an airplane. I was sitting between her and a woman who spoke Spanish. The Brazilian lady would say something in Portugese. I'd understand and reply first in French, then again in Spanish. She understood me quite well, too. The Spanish-speaking woman had no trouble in the conversation, either. It was an interesting flight.
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By Merfi
On Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:33 AM
I don't find it too hard... but I often forget the grammar/spelling rules and exceptions. I started when I was 10 and now I'm 17, and I quite enjoy having a random conversation in French. My friends and I speak in franglais all the time, like yesterday we were going to a French-speaking competition and it went something like...
HER- Oooh there's gonna be refraichissements la!
ME- Hourra! Let's totally fete it out.
HER- Genial!
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By houndrfriendPremium member
On Tue Jul 31, 2012 09:18 PM
I learnt French for a year at school but I gave it up for geography.I could not study both.I can read some French.I have sometimes tried to read french and sometimes I watch French movies and I often watch the French news.I decided that since i know some French,I should keep learning it a bit as it would be a waste to forget it all.When i watch the French news,I can understand some of it but the French accent that the newsreader has is difficult to understand especially when he talks fast.I can read some French and speak some but the pronounciation is hard.many short words in English are not like French at all but many long words are.Thank you,William the Conq.,and the Norman French.
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By houndrfriendPremium member
On Tue Jul 31, 2012 09:21 PM
I could not agree that English is the hardest language,but maybe it is for some people in some countries.
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Aug 02, 2012 04:14 AM
Well I've done six languages. I'll not list English as it is my native language and learning as a child seems to be quite a different process.

My experiences.
Spanish: Quite easy for me, but it was my fourth foreign language and 20 years after I had a college course in it I found myself working in Mexico. Languages are a bit easier once you have learned the first foreign language. Nothing like survival skills to motivate a person. By far the easiest (for me.) The problem I have now is that the Hispanic population in our area uses really wretched Spanish...sub-standard, uneducated, highly slangy.

French: My academic major and probably my best language. I still read it quite easily. My oral and aural skills are a bit suspect. Not too bad once you figure out the pronunciation. This was also my first foreign language, taken when I found out I needed a language for my degree. I surprised everyone by eventually majoring in it. Never used it professionally (see below.) I amused French Canadians. As it turns out the only place I ever was in France was DeGaulle Airport. French actually got me hired for my career (see Arabic below) so I never became the teacher I expected I would be after college.

Italian: I can read it with a dictionary. When I majored in French, I found I needed to get my degree requirement in another language. Since I'm a musician and opera fan, Italian was the easiest default. I can understand it in an opera where I have essentially memorized the libretto.

Arabic: My professional language for the government. I was a translator for seven years. Didn't like the work of translating so changed career fields. This was hard to acquire and easy to forget. The nature of my work, the dialect we used (Modern Standard Arabic) and the impossibility of my going to the area (I had a security clearance at a time Americans weren't particularly welcome in the area) meant I never learned to speak it in any meaningful way. Despite the strange alphabet, it wasn't as daunting as one might think but there were no Greek, Latin or Germanic roots to fall back on. Dictionary use is extremely complicated. I have forgotten almost all the Arabic I ever knew. (Some of this forgetfulness was political...I didn't want to be assigned back in that area. I was doing better in my later assignments.)

Icelandic: I just went to Iceland and I have a close DDN friend there. Since I worked with languages at various times in my career, I thought it might be fun at my age to see if I could still pick up a language. There is also a free on-line course I could used (in fact there are several.) Since most Americans know very little about Iceland and it is a very low density language (only 330,000 speakers, almost all in Iceland) I felt it would be sort of unique. Among the languages I have studied, Icelandic is the hardest for me to pronounce and has by far the most complicated grammar. It actually is "Old Norse", brought to Iceland by the Vikings. A person fluent in Icelandic supposedly can read old Viking Sagas from the 11-12 hundreds. Being isolated for centuries Icelandic did not change all that much compared to the other Scandinavian languages. I am starting to read it a little bit. I am not conversant in any meaningful way and when I traveled there (and I knew this before) virtually everyone in Iceland knows English as well as I do. Their TV and movies for the most part are in English. I did use some Icelandic while there and the people I talked to said they had never heard an American even try to speak it. My conversations with the DDNer and her boyfriend were almost all in English though she did teach me some pronunciation rules. I'd probably get it if I spent more time there. I don't think I met any Icelander who didn't know English and most were quite fluent in it.

Jon
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By houndrfriendPremium member
On Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:13 PM
Pronunciation takes practice,but I can understand written French fairly well. For example,I saw posts from danseur-fr and etoile-filante,and they were writing public messages to one another and I could understand it all. The messages were in 2003. There were other things in this section written in French that I could also understand,but writing in french is harder for me. The question about how difficult you think the french language is, is a bit difficult to answer because it would also depend on how complicated the writing is.I suppose there is much more complicated French than what I read here.
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By ChristinePremium member
On Thu Sep 13, 2012 03:44 PM

So if someone from, let's say, Mars, were trying to learn an Earth language I'd suggest they start out with Japanese


This is an extremely interesting insight.

Keep On Dancing*
re: Do you think that the French language is easy or hard?
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Thu Sep 13, 2012 07:38 PM
French spelling is not so easy (what would be the sound of a silent letter?).

But the rest of it gave me no real trouble.

I pity the French if there is any truth in the saying that people who make faces will freeze that way.
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