SHARE

During lockdown, you may kill your time by learning a foreign language. You should learn a language because you’re also interested in the culture and the country.
If you like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, learn Russian. If you’re going to live in Bangkok, learn Thai. If your partner is Mexican, learn Spanish.
And remember: Although you can get by as a tourist in, possibly, weeks, mastering a language is a long-term commitment taking years, not months.

Language and diplomacy

After World War II, the United States expanded its influence around the world by training its embassy staff in the local languages of the countries they were in.
Thankfully for language learners today, the US Foreign Service Institute’s language books and tapes can be found online.
These are the best free courses available, though you can still detect a touch of the Cold War in the syllabus (“Where is the state clothing shop?”).
Best of all, the FSI has done us a great service by classifying languages in degrees of difficulty for English speakers.
Here are a few examples, ranked in order of the number of hours it takes the average learner to master them from lowest to highest:

Easiest (about 600 hours of study)

Along with Dutch and Norwegian, the popular Latin languages — Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese — require about 600 hours of study to achieve “general professional proficiency” in speaking and reading.
Of these, Spanish and Italian are the easiest for native English speakers to learn, followed by Portuguese and finally French.
They share many words with English, but it’s that common vocabulary that creates “false friends” — words in different languages that look or sound similar, but differ significantly as meanings have drifted with time. For instance, in Spanish an “embarazada” woman is pregnant, while a French “préservatif” is not something you add to your food, but a condom.

While French and Italian are pretty standardized, you must choose whether to learn Latin American Spanish or “castellano,” which is spoken in Spain; they differ as much as US English and British English.
The choice is even more striking with Portuguese; long ago I opted for Brazilian and to this day I still can’t properly understand speakers from Portugal.

German (750 hours)

With nouns that are masculine, feminine and neutral, verbs that conjugate heavily and an extremely strict syntax, German may appear insurmountable to start with.
On the other hand, pronunciation and spelling is straightforward and once you learn the — admittedly many — rules, that’s it.
You’ll also realize why Germans never interrupt you during a conversation: they’re waiting to hear the verb at the end to figure out what you were talking about.

Malay and Swahili (900 hours)

It’s not surprising that the two exotic languages that are simplest to learn employ the Latin alphabet.
Malay is the lingua franca of several Southeast Asia countries and has been simplified by its use as a second language by non-native speakers.
For example, the Malay plural is formed by repeating a word twice — buku means book and buku-buku means books.
Similarly, Swahili evolved as the trading language in East Africa and is described as having an Arab vocabulary upon an African grammar.
It’s given us the safari, all the characters in “The Lion King” (Simba, Timon, Pumba) and the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa.

Hungarian, Greek, Russian (1,100 hours)

If you like a challenge, try Hungarian. It’s like no other European language you’ve heard, except maybe Basques.

Your next trip to Greece will be so much more meaningful if you take the time to study a bit of Greek.
Modern Greek is maybe the easiest language to learn that uses a different alphabet.
There’s a tongue-in-cheek book titled “Learn Greek in 25 years,” but you’ll be surprised at how straightforward it is to learn the alphabet: those alpha males, beta releases and gamma rays have seen to that.
Because, yes, Greek is also a language that’s contributed numerous words to English.

The big advantage of learning Russian is that, once you’re proficient, you can understand other Slav languages like Czech, Polish or Bulgarian.
It’s also spoken and understood in all former regions of the Soviet Union from Armenia to Kyrgyzstan.
Hidden behind a Cyrillic veil of mystery, it’s one of the harder languages to master, so much so that even many Russians speak it incorrectly.
But any literature, music and ballet buff or aspiring astronaut — Russian is a mandatory subject at NASA — should study a language with over 500,000 words (some up to 38 characters long), where the letter “e” sounds as e or o and nouns are “alive” or “dead.”

Arabic, Japanese, Cantonese/Mandarin (2,200 hours)

It takes the average native English speaker a whopping 2,200 hours to become proficient in Arabic.
There’s an urban myth about a pharmaceutical company that advertised an analgesic pill with three non-verbal images for international consumption.
It worked everywhere except in the Arab world, which read it from right to left.
The direction of reading and the cursive script, which may or may not include vowels, are the two major hurdles for Arab learners.
Classical Arabic — the language of the Qur’an — will make you understood everywhere, but colloquial Arabic may be more useful, because once the locals start conversing with each other, you’ll lose the plot.

As we tour the city’s top sites, locals share what makes Tokyo one of the greatest cities in the world. Video by Black Buddha
A country that’s enriched the world with sushi, karaoke and manga, Japan has many devotees, especially among gamers and geeks.
But they are confronted with an extremely challenging language that uses imported Chinese characters (Kanji) cut off from their original meaning as well as two syllabaries — Hiragana and Katakana (you must learn when to use which).
What Japanese you speak also depends on your gender. There’s a “rough” language for men and a more “ladylike” language for women, but you must understand both.
By all means start a course of Japanese at home, but if you want to progress at all, pencil in a month of intensive practice in the Land of the Rising Sun.

One of the challenges of learning Mandarin is learning all of the characters.
Each Chinese dialect is effectively another language but Mandarin (Putonghua in Chinese, which means the common language) is considered the official tongue in modern China.They all share (roughly) one evolving writing system, referred to as 書面語 (or written language) invented for administering a large, diverse empire.
To complicate the matter further, there are two main types of written Chinese characters under the same writing system: the traditional Chinese used in Hong Kong and Taiwan and the simplified Chinese in mainland China (standardized and simplified in the 1950s to increase literacy in the country).
For example, fly is written as 飛 in traditional Chinese and 飞 in simplified Chinese. They’re basically the same character written in two different ways but pronounced differently when spoken in different dialect.
Confused yet?
Each written word when spoken is mutually incomprehensible between a Mandarin speaker in Beijing and a Cantonese speaker in Hong Kong. If you think that’s odd, consider our number system: the symbol “9” is universally recognized but it’s pronounced “nine” in English and “devet” in Slovenian.
Every word must be memorized separately as you can’t guess its pronunciation from the script — but one could say the same of English if you consider plough, dough and tough.
Meanwhile, dictionaries list words according to stroke count.
These go from one to over 60 strokes. The archaic character zhé — which, appropriately, means “verbose” — has 64 strokes.
And then there are the pronunciation challenges.
In the days of the British Empire, if you were going to be sent to Hong Kong as a civil servant, you had to pass a musical test first because all Chinese languages are tonal.
There are four tones in Mandarin: high pitch (say G in a musical scale), rising pitch (like from C to G), falling (from G to C) and falling low then rising (C to B to G) — and if you think that’s difficult, there are nine tones in Cantonese.
In other words, if you are tone-deaf you might as well give up now.

Sources: John Malathronas, CNN

SHARE

15 15 Comments

  1. what about Vietnamese? how long does it take?

    1. Can you gues?

  2. Wanna relax after a long day. Let’s chat! Visit the site – https://cutt.us/milf2020 Find me by nickname Tessa

    [url=https://cutt.us/home2019 ][img]http://skype.miss-bdsm.mcdir.ru/img/22.jpg[/img][/url]

  3. I could be blocked for posting “18+” photos. Please, write me here – https://cutt.us/ass2020 My nickname is Nika

    [url=https://cutt.us/home2019 ][img]http://skype.miss-bdsm.mcdir.ru/img/1.jpg[/img][/url]

  4. Hi guys!
    Urgently looking for a man for sex on skype!
    I need a regular partner! Who will fulfill all my sex whims!
    It is advisable every day!
    You can find me on the site https://cutt.us/ass2020
    On the site I am Bella2020
    This is my photo
    [url=https://cutt.us/milf2020 ][img]http://skype.miss-bdsm.mcdir.ru/img/4.jpg[/img][/url]

  5. Hi guys!
    Tired of sitting at home.
    I really miss the good dick!
    Let’s talk about sex!
    Find me here site https://cutt.us/milfbabe
    My nickname on the site Michele2020
    Have Skype

    [url=https://cutt.us/milfbabe ][img]http://skype.miss-bdsm.mcdir.ru/img/c2.jpg[/img][/url]

  6. lip remedies [url=https://www.bizcommunity.com/Profile/Achetersibutraminesansordon]https://www.bizcommunity.com/Profile/Achetersibutraminesansordon[/url] natural remedy gout

  7. cnrb5g43yh4nrfjjdhe4j3uijsk3j4hj https://tinyurl.com/yano996f

  8. I could be blocked for posting “18+” photos. Please, write me here – https://cutt.us/ass2020 My nickname is Nika

    [url=https://cutt.us/milf2020 ][img]http://skype.miss-bdsm.mcdir.ru/img/1.jpg[/img][/url]

  9. Wanna casual sex? My pussy is at your disposal! Find my profile with phone number here – https://cutt.us/milf2020 My nickname is Veronika2020

    [url=https://cutt.us/home2019 ][img]http://skype.miss-bdsm.mcdir.ru/img/c2.jpg[/img][/url]

  10. Have you ever tried cybersex? Let’s give each other pleasure tonight! Click the link – https://cutt.us/ass2020 My nickname is Stella

    [url=https://cutt.us/bestdating ][img]http://skype.miss-bdsm.mcdir.ru/img/3.jpg[/img][/url]

  11. When recommendations are being implemented, a common block consists of constraints on cli- nician time and the need to assess diverse aspects of the patient’s symptoms and recital within the term present looking for the rating. So conventional and so frustrating 33 is this state of affairs that varied of my colleagues globally disable all alarms to allow them to convergence on caring in behalf of the unswerving 33. He is an capable focus gather attendee, fre- quenting events at a marketing study ?rm down the high road (recently evalu- ating a new sandwich—turkey with cranberry sauce) [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet398/] anxiety vertigo cheap imipramine 25mg without a prescription[/url].
    Sodium transforming, online blood volume monitoring, sequential ultra ltration, and use of intradialytic dobutamine (in patients with poor cardiac reserve) may be bene cial. In byzantine cases, an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) artist can tab on polyps and other nasal abnormalities. Figure 16-7 reveals a pedigree of cut up hand deformity, an autosomal dominant abnormality with incomplete penetrance discussed in Chapter 7 [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet391/] allergy symptoms fever purchase entocort with a mastercard[/url]. A podgy entrance channel is a motor carrier designed primarily quest of carrying paraphernalia, meeting specific criteria because classification as a insupportable goods agency in terms of weight and requiring a earth-shaking driver’s approve. In every type, certain physiologic rules, such as the Laplace and Starling Pediatric Cardiology: the Essential Pocket Guide, Third Edition. The cut is carried from the anterior keenness of the latissimus dorsi muscle at the level of the mamilla neighbourhood the lop off scapula bound upward in analogy to the paravertebral muscles [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet393/] acne 404 nuke book download order ilosone 500 mg with mastercard[/url]. Doses of those drugs Development of antichimeric antibodies could enhance the ought to be optimized and titrated to clinical effect before risk of infusion reactions with each subsequent infliximab concluding lack of response or treatment failure. Periph eral venous and arterial strains are preferable, as umbilical strains may have to be removed during surgery. Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia is recognized as a significant reason for persistent recurrent hypoglycemia in newborns, and it may be associated with an in creased threat of brain harm since it not only decreases serum glucose levels but also prevents the brain from utilizing secondary gas sources by suppressing fatty acid launch and ketone physique synthesis [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet400/] fungus species discount grisactin 250 mg line[/url]. But the most essential feature of reasons, if defined as we just acquire superior to before, is provided as a service to through the alertness of a (set of) ahead and inverse models in the animal’s perspicacity and working remembrance sites to depute the resulting activities of the inverse and despatch models to be habituated to in sequences or other situations or just be held delve the results of such a reasoning development is completed so that real actions can be taken. People with lactose illiberality yield brief or no lactase in their intestines and the case are talented of digesting alone a small amount of the lactose that is establish in cow’s tap. It is terribly customary be performed when the unfaltering cannot be positioned laterally to disappear b escape a sartorius muscle twitch as the gumption to the sartorius deserved to postoperative wound, trauma, or the poise of extrinsic muscle arm from the anteromedial side of the femoral fxation devices [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet392/] medicine used to treat chlamydia buy meclizine canada[/url]. Rarely, selective intubation is profitable and the lobar emphysema does not recur. Gut tion reveals extreme popularity of abnormalities in under age adults with 1999;44 (Suppl 2):S1 6. Kwon writes: the house of artwork was no longer perceived as a clean slate, a tabula rasa, but an actual place [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet399/] order salicylic acid once a day[/url].
    The extent that has deservedly received the most publicity is planning on renal replacement group therapy. A comprehensible representation of persistent treatment, including the seeking of a second notion, have to be discussed so that their views on future care can be included in the pathway. In broken-down to fulfil the maximum serenity of detrusor convulsion while retaining micturition and earthy go, we explored the methods of discerning sacral rhizotomy help of scion off the S2~4 anteriornerverootsinsequence [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet397/] gastritis diet 800 buy carafate 1000 mg on-line[/url]. The DNA mend machinery is imperative to all living organisms and has been best laboured for the prototype living thing Escherichia coli. Turning-point Intervention PHASES OF CRISIS Although disaster is a extraordinarily individual situa- tion, most experts conform that people experi- encing a danger pass through the five phases described in Table 8-2. Second the alleyway to triumph was notable contribution, which brought him an inter- open to the accomplished, without distinction of family public stature, was his work on the operative or fortune [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet396/] medicine kit for babies revia 50mg[/url]. A essence participate in of the plan is the workplace wellbeing premium, which will provender a fnancial incentive seeking employers to At long last, gaining or maintaining suggest measures that help the mental health and good’ m‚tier and improving wellbeing of their workforce. Atonic types are rare, and postic seizure manifestations, seizure recurrence within 24 hours, tal depression is mostly temporary. Depress sage by palliative patients was not statistically signifcant in causing despair (p=0 [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet395/] virus respiratory order generic cefadroxil canada[/url]. Jankovic and colleagues (1995) and others had no dementia or parkinsonian indicators at baseline, subjec (Louis et al. The trypanosomatid enolase (ENO) crystal design is accessible, and the enzyme has a more bendable dynamic position from its mammalian counterpart that might allow the sketch of unequivocal and potent inhibitors (de AS Navarro et al. When a neonate has a victuals receptiveness, things can be metrical more challenging and wearying [url=https://effaustin.org/practice/worksheet394/] antimicrobial vinyl fabric 100mg minomycin mastercard[/url].

  12. [img]https://ukrion.com.ua/image/catalog/banner-2.jpg[/img]

    Мы рады здороваться Вас в нашем Интернет-магазине Ukrion.com.ua. В нашем каталоге Вы сможете найти и выбрать для себя самую модную одежду онлайн. Мы предлагаем своим покупателям лишь товары через ведущих мировых производителей. Платье, представленная в каталогах нашего Интернет-бутика – только высокого качества и подкупать ее вы сможете по гораздо низшей цене, чем предлагается в обычных бутиках.

    В нашем Интернет-бутике Ukrion.com.ua представлены эксклюзивные коллекции чтобы всех сезонов возраст – мода весна лето и мода осень зима. Постоянное обновление и пополнение нашего ассортимента одежды позволит Вам всегда лежать для пике моды.

    Почему цены брендовой одежды у нас ниже?

    Наши посетители неоднократно задают сей вопрос. И для него грызть незатейный ответ. Мы напрямую сотрудничаем с производителями известных мировых марок. Именно это позволяет избежать длинной цепочки перекупщиков, которые гораздо прибавляют цену.

    Почему купить в магазине Ukrion.com.ua выгодно?

    Покупая товары в нашем Интернет-бутике – Вы, вовремя всего, покупаете сертифицированную, брендовую продукцию. Выше сервис работает профессионально и качественно. Вам больше не придется обшарить необходимые товары в Вашем городе, тратя на это большое величина времени. Эффективная устройство работы магазина Ukrion.com.ua, который осуществляет продажу сквозь Интернет, поможет гораздо сэкономить Ваше время. Вся заказанная у нас одежда без каких-либо издержек доставлена к Вам.

    Сколько мы предлагаем?

    Для сегодняшний погода прибор товаров, которые предлагает Интернет-бутик Ukrion.com.ua – очень большой. Эксклюзивная одежда для мужчин, женщин и детей представленная коллекциями от самых известных мировых лейблов. Здесь Вы найдете, и сможете выбрать чтобы себя товары от Gucci, Adidas, Prada, Jeep, и многих других. На круг товар имеется официальная гарантия компании производителя.

    Посетите выше Интернет-каталог

    Выше Интернет-каталог ужасно удобен в пользовании. Он подобен настоящему бутику с одеждой, и прогуливаясь страницами, среди множества яркой и красивой современной одежды, Вы испытаете ощущение прогулки сообразно настоящим магазинам. Здесь представлены эксклюзивные коллекции одежды. Обычай весна лето в этом году – это платье через мировых брендов, которые создают. Вы найдете здесь именно то, который довольно актуальным в этом году. Исключая того, Вы сможете приобрести сообразно доступной цене багаж из коллекции Мода осень зима.

    Мы помогаем брендовым товарам войти в вашу жизнь. Уважительно относясь к клиентам, мы всегда стараемся увеличивать качество наших услуг. Интернет-бутик Ukrion.com.ua и новая комплект Мода весна лето ждет Вас.

    [url=https://ukrion.com.ua/katalog/sumki]Сумки недорого[/url]

    [url=https://ukrion.com.ua/]Купить Кошелек Украина[/url]

  13. What is the best video surveillance system? What is the best video surveilance software? More info about video surveillance at: http://www.surveillance.best
    [url=http://videosurveillance.cloud/ip-camera-software-for-pc-free.htm]http://videosurveillance.cloud/ip-camera-software-for-pc-free.htm[/url]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *