Languages that are hard to learn: Russian, English, etc.

The thing I noticed in my semester of Russian class is that every rule came with a huge list of exceptions that made the rule almost pointless. So very Russian

And English…

True. And they both contain a ton of borrowed words from other languages that sometimes don’t conform to any rule or exception for extra fun. Like computer and businessman in Russian, are just computer and businessman with a Russian accent.

Perhaps: “Hey, let’s invent an entirely different grammar for verbs of motion.”

Yeah, don’t pretend your imperialist English language is logical. Do you know how hard it was for me to write the word “bureaucracy” in my previous post? Why the hell is it written like that? If you want “ate” and “eight” to sound the same then have the decency to write those words in the same way!

Now take a tour of all the words that end in or include ‘ough’ and how they’re pronounced.

I’m not. English is a total shapeshifter of a language, and I actually think this is one of its strengths - it is able to easily absorb other words and concepts :)

Back to the thread, I watched this:

Ukraine invasion: Videos show locals confronting Russian forces - BBC News

and I have to say, it shows remarkable restraint on the part of Russian soldiers.

And then, there are those videos of looting, to balance things out.

I am wondering why the Russians have these white bands on their right legs…

There’s one, I kid you not, of a Ukrainian man punching a Russian soldier in the face. The Russian, who has been holding off the agitated Ukrainian for some moments finally loses his temper and puts two rounds into the ground. As someone noted, more restraint than a US policeman.

The third gender in Russian is the women’s Olympic teams. German acquired a third gender via East Germany’s women’s Olympic teams back in the day.

Yeah I was thinking of that post and video when I was using the words restraint.

Respect where it is due, and part of why I almost feel bad for the soldiers.

Related, and not seen in this thread yet afaik (mindful of Tom’s request to read before posting):

Ukraine conflict: Terrified but coping, residents of Dnipro jolt into action - BBC News

English has two sets of vowels and no way to know which way a word is pronounced. Like common law, it’s down to “whatever people feel like”. The entire English language is just urban dictionary for 1000 years. AT LEAST USE UMLAUTS or whatever those funny marks are.

But what about my CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS to spell however the hell I want! Don’t tread on me!

Russian is far more logical than English. I think if Russian was as nutty as English the Defense Language Institute’s Russian course would need to be longer than a year.

I’ve heard a claim that some linguists now classify English as a creole language, but that’s out of my jurisdiction.

All you need to know about English is that it’s easier for an English speaker untrained in any other language to read French, supposedly not related, than it is to read German or a Scandi language, which grammatically English is said to be closer to.

Trying to teach my daughter to read, things like this are top of my mind lately!

When I was working on my Master’s Degree, I worked for a time with international students in ESL courses. It was always great fun trying to explain, for example, why for most purposes saying “they went up the road” or saying “they went down the road” meant exactly the same thing.

Admittedly, English spelling is a mess, due mostly to the fact that the Dark Age Christian monks had to adapt the letters originally from Latin to languages completely alien to those Mediterranean climes. Then of course there were Viking invasions which insured that the resulting basic grammar of the language came from the Germanic limb of the Indo-European tree + the Norman invasion (the big one) that eventually gave us a huuuge number of words from Medieval French like “beef” and “mutton” although I’m pretty sure “bureaucracy” came along much much later. ;-)

Off topic, and I know anecdotes aren’t data, but I found Swedish far more congenial than French. (Admittedly, it was in a college context not just reading and I took a year of HS Spanish and a semester of French before doing Swedish. Sadly, now I need to try to find second-year college Swedish somewhere for my PhD language requirement.)

I also had a prof from Finland who claimed that English was far easier to learn than Russian. But he was, um, unique, so I take that with a grain of salt.

Blame the French for that one. We ALL hate that word.

My experience 30 years ago was the same. Swedish is incredibly easy for an English speaker to learn, at least for reading, as long as you can pronounce that sj- sound without whistling.