What is unique in your language and your language use?

Finnish!
Credits: to the rightful author(s)

From left to right:

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From right to left:

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From right to left:

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Idiolect

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It’s actually not true that Finnish is closest to Hungarian. They are both Fenno-Ugric languages, so they are related, but Finnish is from the Finnic branch and Hungarian from the Ugric branch.
Estonian is much closer to Finnish than Hungarian (and so are some less known Finnic languages).

Language:
Finnish: kieli
Estonian: keel
Hungarian: nyelv

Dog:
Finnish: koira
Estonian: koer
Hungarian: kutya

Cat:
Finnish: kissa
Estonian: kass
Hungarian: macska

human (being):
Finnish: ihminen
Estonian: inimene
Hungarian: férfi

I am:
Finnish: Minä olen
Estonian: Ma olen
Hungarian: én vagyok

Finland:
Finnish: Suomi
Estonian: Soome
Hungarian: Finnország

But, as expected, even between Finnish and Estonian you can find some remarkable differences:

I love you:
Finnish: Rakastan sinua
Estonian: armastan sind
Hungarian: Szeretlek

Thanks:
Finnish: kiitos
Estonian: aitäh
Hungarian: köszönöm

Estonia:
Finnish: Viro
Estonian: Eesti
Hungarian: Észtország

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While in Chinese you can use the same words for most characters in the adjective, noun, verb, present, past, future form with some minor characters added. :smiley:

However, what I really like about Chinese(you can see I’m being sarcastic here) is that for a simple word let’s say “valuable”, there’s a billion ways you can say it depending on the context. Most of the time, the words are not interchangeable they all have a specific time when they should be used. You could say 珍贵、宝贵、珍惜、珍、价值、重视,etc all for the one word “valuable”. It depends on how “valuable” something is or the part of speech of the word described. You could say “珍惜时间”(value time),“珍贵的礼物”(valuable gift),“重视你”(value a person), or ”宝贵品质“(value character or quality of a product) and there’s so much more. And for synonyms to “valuable” like “important”, there’s a billion other ways you can say that something’s important (there’s different phrases for an important person, job, discovery, decision, event, blablablah etc, if I continued I could be here for hours :zzz: ).

Also in Chinese, every noun has a classifier(there’s hundreds), you just have to memorize which nouns have which and there’s a ton of them. Basically, if you want to say “one dog” you must say “一只狗”, “one kdrama” = "一片韩剧” and it’s so difficult to memorize most of them because there’s so many nouns and so many classifiers. Plus, you can’t really say anything if you don’t know the classifier for the noun. You could say “个”, I know many people do that, but it makes you sound really uneducated.

Finally, there’s thousands of Chinese idioms(成语). Schools make you memorize many of them, but you never use half of them in your life ever. We even have several dictionaries specifically just for all this stuff: idioms, phrases, individual characters, Chinese-English and vice versa, dictionaries for synonyms, almost-synonyms, and antonyms, proverbs, terms with many meanings, allegorical phrases dictionaries, dictionaries specialized for law, business,etc.

But otherwise, I love Chinese and seeing people do calligraphy(I wish I could do that; I’m very bad :sob: ). I think it’s a beautiful language even though it is really confusing at times.

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Well, I think it’s not really something unique but I haven’t seen it in any other language so I will mention it.
In Arabic, you can start your sentence with either a verb or a noun. Both are correct.
Also, in most languages I’ve seen, you have verb conjugations for I, you, he, she, we, they (masculine and feminine versions) and you in plural (like the French “Vous”). However, in Arabic, we also have two for when you’re talking to only two people or when describing only two people or objects, one for masculine and one feminine.
That’s all that came to my mind now. I will post again if I remember any more. :slightly_smiling_face:

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it’s really pretty and sophisticated to look at :heart_eyes: but WOW it’s hard to learn(speaking from experience :slight_smile: )!

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you know all three languages? :astonished:

No, I don’t really know Hungarian. I studied Fenno-Ugric languages, but with Finnish as main language (we had to choose between Finnish and Hungarian) and Estonian as an elective course. My Finnish is better than my Estonian.
I also studied Nordic languages (with Swedish as main language) and a few other languages “on the side”.
But my mothertongue is Dutch.

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This really made my day ^^ :rofl:
Even I am confused as heck if I translate a hard & long sentence into German and I need to reed it 3 times to say, that’s okay. :sweat_smile:

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Looking at the examples I think German is not that hard as most people think/say :smiley:

On the other hand I think I can learn Chinese signs but I can’t imagine how to read Arabic letters because I see only lines, curves and some circles so I always think the language is way harder to learn than e.g. Chinese.

(Some days ago I read an article about which language is the hardest to learn language for Germans and the easiest one… easiest one was Dutch and English (they said English and Dutch is so similar to German that you don’t have to learn much … :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: - I need way more time to learn English than French or Latin but okay…) and the hardest to learn language in their ranking was Chinese and before Chinese Japanese and Korean (again I’d say Japanese and Korean are harder but well…) and before these 3 Asian languages they put Russian and Arabic in the ranking of hardest languages (because of Cyrillic letters and Arabic because it is read from right to left but they didn’t mention the special look of its letters).

In the end they mention that anyone could learn any language because it also depends on the learner/interest/spent time :rofl:)

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Arabic does seem very difficult. I don’t know how I would ever be able to write right to left and the letters are so intricate which make it even harder. I saw some Arabic and to me the letters look very similar to each other. An accidental dot could result in something completely different. I searched it up on wikipedia and the z and d with a line under it look extremely similar. Same with q and f.

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I would say that the easiest language for Dutch people to learn, would be Afrikaans. I never learned it, yet I already understand it! :wink: Then again, I heard they have complicated grammar …

My Estonian teacher (who by the way was a German with an Estonian mother) used to say that Estonian was easier than Finnish. My fellow students and me didn’t agree, but maybe our minds were clouded by the fact that we had already been exposed to Finnish for a few years before we started learning Estonian. Still, Estonian has a lot of Russian influences, one hard to pronounce letter (õ) and you don’t always know where the stress of a word is, like in Finnish (in Finnish the stress is ALWAYS on the first syllable, even in loanwords where in the original language the stress is elsewhere, but Estonian has exceptions to this rule), Finnish words are longer, so easier to hear, pronunciation is easy, etc., etc.

What makes Russian hard, is not the Cyrillic alphabet. If that was the case, then a whole lot of other languages that just happen to be written in that alphabet, could take its place.
Cyrillic is not that hard. Of course a different alphabet is a bit of an extra obstacle, but usually not the worst one. Although I don’t agree with those who claim you can learn it in half an hour. Sure, you can learn it in half an hour, but after that you forget it again. :rofl: It takes time to get really comfortable with it, even when technically you “know” all the letters. And you also have to learn to write them and written letters look different from printed letters.
What makes Russian most difficult, would probably be the grammar. Pronunciation too, it’s more complicated than pronunciation in other Slavic languages. But they are an Indo-European language and they do have lots of loanwords, so maybe it’s not that bad after all.

But in general, I’d say that those lists are not to be taken too seriously. Your mothertongue is not the only thing that influences which languages are hard for you. Interests, talents, other languages you’ve learned …

Haha, if only reading from left to right would be the problem! I think a bigger problem is that while the calligraphed Arabic letters are big and obvious, the kind of tiny scribbles you have to decipher on a computer screen are a whole different ball game. And pronunciation is complicated as well. Plus all the different versions.

Here’s an example of Iraqi Arabic:

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Thank you for showing the sign’s because I learned to read those as a child because as a muslim I can/could read this but can’t understand which is a shame if you ask me. The language itself is very beautiful, maybe I will try to learn this is after I can say that my turkish is perfect (mother tongue u know). Even last time my mum said that I should learn arabic because I am affine to learn languages like I learned korean since few days. Maybe I am wrong but you can correct me I will write how you pronounce those:
Elif, be, te, se, cin (like turkish c), ha, hi,
dal, zel, dat, ze, sin, shin, … dang I really forgot those

ke, le, mim, nun, ha, we, ye

So I could speak aka read everything but couldnt understand it at all :sweat_smile: But like any language if you dont use it or practice you will forgot it like I did.

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Maybe you could use a Turkish studybook/learning method to learn Arabic. That way you work on both and will improve in both.

One of the things of my language, which is kind of unique or at least not that many languages use this, ist the “r” rolling in the throat. For German you don’t use you tongue to form the “r”, but you roll it down like you would try to gargle this consonant. ^^ Depending on the German dialect more or less. And if you managed to learn this, you will learn, that we have a silent “R” which you don’t speak :slight_smile: like “Vater” “Tür” this sounds like “Vata” and “Tüa”.

Later I learned that Italian and Spanish uses the tongue for the “R” and my old Spanish teacher let us practize “Jerez” the Spanish town, famous for Sherry. This is a tongue twister “Chhhhherrrrreeeeeth” :slight_smile: And if you learn Asian languages, you have to learn to use your tongue, too.

Please ignore her heavy German accent ^^

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You know a lot of languages, but I am not arabic so I wouldn’t know if those pronunciations were right. You would know more about it than me. So Arabic is kind of like English. I can read everything, but there are words I won’t know but still be able to say it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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And now that we’re learning alphabets, why not the Hebrew one as well?

Lol, I was once trying to learn the Hebrew alphabet and searched for an easy method on YouTube. I ended up knowing the song by heart, but still can’t read it. :joy:

Good idea! I will try to look this up ^^

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And I thought you would know it XD but it’s never to late to learn a language if you ask me ^^

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Well, for me, I think Chinese is impossible to learn. XD Arabic is not something you memorize like Chinese, it is just letters. I admit they do look different but in school, we learn them all at the age of 5. :smiley:
The thing that makes it seem to you that it’s complicated is that you stick all the letters next to each other so it seems like one big bulk to you.

Each of these shapes is a letter.

Fun fact: When we write it, most people don’t put the dots as dots because putting each dot individually takes more time. Instead, if it’s one dot, you put a dot, if they’re two, you put a horizontal dash, if they’re three, we use a shape like this one ^.

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