Do foreigners find your local language difficult?

@Porcospino (17906)
Denmark
November 21, 2011 4:29am CST
Foreigners who want to learn the Danish language often find it quite difficult. We have 3 letters that don't exist in other languages and the soft d's are difficult to pronounce for foreigners. The most difficult thing about our grammar is the nouns. Sometimes we use "et" in front of the nouns and sometimes we use "en", but there are no rules at all. You simply have to memorize where you have to use "et" and where you have to use "en". My friends from other countries sometimes ask me how to learn the nouns, but there is not much I can say to help, because there is no system to learn, they have to memorize it. They often ask me: "Is this noun an "et"-word or an "en"-word?" and when they use the words durings our conversation I help them use the correct form. Which part of your local language do foreigners find difficult? Have you tried to teach your language to foreigners?
15 responses
@krajibg (11939)
• Guwahati, India
21 Nov 11
Hi Porspino, To learn a language one has to be in the homogeneous environment. as we are not familiar to the language, say Chinese. As I know theirs is a difficult language to learn. If not acquired in home situation, it becomes a lot hard to 'learn' the language. Though not fluent in spoken form one can write short notes, possible questions of that particular.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
I am not sure that I understand what you mean, could you try to explain it in another way? What do you think is required when we want to learn a new language like Chinese? I think that we can learn languages in many different ways. We can take classes or we can study on our own, but I think that it easier to learn a new language if we are able to spend some time in the country where the language is spoken. That is how I learned Italian. Most of my Italian friends didn't speak English, so I had to practice my Italian all the time, and that was a very effective way to learn it.
@krajibg (11939)
• Guwahati, India
22 Nov 11
Hi porcospino, It was quite simple.I meant to say is that in a multicultural situation when a new born is exposed and hears one person speaking differently with other people. It stimulates them to know how and why people speak differently. from the other ply mated a child learn a good number of language. thus he/she picks them up. Language learning is more difficult than aquaring them in the advance perioid. Why not if we try we can learn many languages. This si ot impossible andnot so easy eithr.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
Now I understand what you mean. I used to work in an international kindergarden and it was amazing to see how the children learned languages from eachother. Some of them didn't speak Danish in the beginning, but they learned it very quickly and most of the children spoke 2 or 3 languages even though they were only about 4 years old. I think that will it be an advantage for those children that they are able to speak more than one language.
@leeloo (1494)
• Portugal
22 Nov 11
I think all languages are difficult to learn in the beginning and all have their little issues. Then if a language is from a different family say learning and Japanese for and European because not only the sounds but the alphabet is different. I speak 3 European languages, and find that if say you speak one of the languages of a specific family say romance languages it is easier to pick up on the others eg if you speak Portuguese it is easier to pick up Spanish then someone who's mother tongue is from another family group like for instance Danish. I notice with things like in English the th sound is quite difficult to pick up for certain people where they will use a f or d sound instead. I am not sure if Danish has a 3rd person structure language in which if you talk to someone that is family you speak in one way with it's own pronouns and words while speaking to another the same thing will be expressed in a different way. I mean like this Woudst thou tell thy brother to await my arrival to dine. instead of Tell your bother to wait for me for dinner in English this form of writing has all but disappeared, but there are still languages that depending on who you talk to will still use the first type of language. It is good that you help foreigners with their questions about the language because it is always frightening speaking a language you are not certain of, because you just know you will make mistakes.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
I don't speak Spanish or Portuguese, but I always imagined that the difference between those languages would be something like the difference between Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. It is relatively easy for a Dane to learn Swedish and Norwegian because there are many similar words. I agree with the thing that you wrote about the different language families, and I think it is easier to learn a new language if the new language is from the same language family as your native language. In the Danish language we have a polite form of the word "you", but we don't use it very often. In past the past we always used the polite expression when we talked to strangers and the informal expression when we talked to a family member or a close friend. Some elderly people still use the polite form when they talk to strangers and they expect strangers to use that form when they talk to them, but the young generation use the informal expression all the time.
@leeloo (1494)
• Portugal
23 Nov 11
The polite 'you' that is exactly what I meant, it is extremely complicated to explain that to some of my friends who don't have that system in their own language, it is interesting how it seems to be disappearing in Danish as the younger generation does not seem to use it, maybe in a few years or decades it will be like English that also got rid of the polite you, because as a friend told me while complaining about his French classes is that it is as if you have to learn two languages instead of one.
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@leeloo (1494)
• Portugal
22 Dec 11
Thank you for the best response and I hope you are enjoying the holidays.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
22 Nov 11
We have a lot of foreign here speakinh in English,but they have hard time to speak oour langauge. We can spek English easy,but to them is to hard to say a word that we use too.. It takes time to learn.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
It must be an advantage for the foreigners in the Philippines that the locals are able to speak English. In my country many of the foreigners speak English in the beginning, but after a while most of them try to learn the Danish language. Today most Danes speak English as well as Danish and that is a big advantage for the foreigners who don't speak Danish when they arrive. The Danish language is not that easy to learn because we have some sounds that don't exist in other languages and the grammar is a little complicated as well.
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• Philippines
22 Nov 11
What is danish??can you try speak here?
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
24 Nov 11
"Jeg hedder Porcospino, jeg er 35 aar gammel og jeg bor paa en dansk oe der hedder Langeland" (= My name is Porcospino, I am 35 years old and I live on a Danish island called Langeland)
@fannitia (2170)
• Bulgaria
21 Nov 11
Hi, Porcospino, I live in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian is one of the Slavonic languages. The problem for most Westerners is that we write with Cyrillic letters. I've heard that our grammar is not easy too. I can't say nothing about it, but I've learned the French grammar for about 12 years, so... I think that the rules make things easier and when I have to memorize it's hard for me. But I think also that if you want to learn a language you can do it even if it's as distant to us as the Japanese. Good night!
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
I visited Bulgaria last year, I enjoyed the time that I spent in your country, but I found it hard to walk around in Sofia, because I wasn't able to read the signs. I had a map, but it was written in latin letters and I wasn't able to "translate" the cyrillic letters in the signs to the latin letters on the map. I asked for directions instead of using the map and I managed to find the places that I wanted to visit anyway. I am trying to learn to Cyrillic letters at the moment. I want to learn some Russian before I visit Russia, and I think that will make it easier for me to read the Bulgarian signs when I visit Bulgaria next time
@fannitia (2170)
• Bulgaria
22 Nov 11
I'm very glad that you know my country. I hope that you had no others bad memories from Sofia, because my city has many problems:)) Bulgaria is a small country but now we have more and more tourists. Maybe it's time to follow the example of Greece. I've visited Athens and it's easy to move around there because the names of the streets are written in Greek and Latin letters. If you learn Russian matbe you'll be able to understand a little bit Bulgarian too, when you come here next time. I'd be glad to learn your language but now I don't have enough time. Maybe I'll be able to do it when I get my retirement. And - who knows? - maybe I'll visit your country!
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
24 Nov 11
I would be happy if you want to learn my language and visit my country om day Unfortunately I was ill while I was in Bulgaria and I didn't get the chance to do as much sightseeing as I planned, but I want to return another time and visit other parts of Bulgaria. The language was difficult but I aside from that I only have good memories from Bulgaria. I didn't know that they street names in Athens are written in both Greek and Latin letters, but it would make things a lot easier for tourists who aren't familiar with the Greek alphabet. Last year when I visited Bulgaria I also visisited Thessaloniki in Greece and I had the same problems there as I had in Bulgaria, because I couldn't read the signs.
@SIMPLYD (79764)
• Philippines
22 Nov 11
It's amazing that some foreigners who visits our country, Philippines , would always learn some of our spoken national language. I think our language is simple to learn because grammars are not that much of a bother when speaking them. What is important is you get to say the important words that can convey the meaning of what you are saying.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
25 Nov 11
I would like to learn a bit of your language before I visit the Philippines. I think that travelling is a lot easier when you understand a few of the common words. I can't afford my trip to Asia yet, but I think it will be possible one day. Some of the foreigners who visit my country also try to learn some of the words but the pronounciation is often difficult for them because some of the letters don't exist in otber languages.
@SIMPLYD (79764)
• Philippines
28 Nov 11
I think your language is indeed difficult to learn.
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@enelym001 (8333)
• Philippines
21 Nov 11
Our Tagalog language in the Philippines is very easy to for foreigners to learn and understand. In fact I have seen a lot of them speak the way we do. Even when I worked in another country, there were foreigners I have met before that can speak our language or even know some words. I was more fascinated with those who can speak our language straight and sometimes even using the terms we rarely or never used as it was what we called 'deep Tagalog'. I have tried teaching some terms or phrases to foreigners because they're really eager to learn our language.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
21 Nov 11
It is fascinating to meet foreigners who speak our language very well. Most foreigners find the Danish language quite hard to learn, but I remember one Japanese woman that I met. She had only been in Denmark for two months, but she spoke Danish almost like a native Dane, and I was really impressed. I like to help my foreign friends learn the Danish language. I don't know Tagalog at all, but it could be interesting to learn a bit of it before I visit the Philippines.
@enelym001 (8333)
• Philippines
22 Nov 11
That's amazing how the Japanese woman you met can speak like a native one! I even think it's really hard to learn your language. French language is what I always loves to learn - I don't know if it has a small similarity in Danish language, I notice that the word like et is used there as well. That's really good of you to help those who'd like to learn your language. Tagalog is really very easy especially if you know some Filipino there and try to speak with them in our language. I'm sure in a month you will know a lot of words.
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@KOSTAS499 (1625)
• Greece
22 Nov 11
It's all Greek to me....Have you heard that? Foreigners made it up fro Greek. I think Chinese or Japanese would be difficult.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
25 Nov 11
I have heard that expression before. To me Greek seem like a difficult language, but that is probably because the alphabet is different from the alphabet that I am used to. Before I visit Greece next time I would like to learn a bit of your language. I love languages and a language with a different alphabet might be more difficult to learn, but at the same time it would be an interesting challenge.
@veejay19 (3592)
• India
22 Nov 11
Unlike your country where there is just one language, my country,India has several local languages and several dialects which make it very difficult for any foreigner to lear,However the national language Hindi is spoken throughout the country and since its script is different from the English script, a foreigner has to live in the country for a long period to pick it up.However in the cities English is understood and spoken too so most foreigners can get along without much trouble.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
24 Nov 11
I am reading a book about India at the moment. I don't have the money for a trip to India at the moment and I know it will take a while before I will be able to fulfill my dream about a trip to India, but I still like to read about it, because I am very interested in your country. One of the things that is mentioned in the book is the number of language that exist in India. That it very different from my own country, because we only have one language. We have different dialects and then can be hard to understand for people from different parts of the country, but the differences are limited compared to a country like India.
• Indonesia
21 Nov 11
Well, foreigners in my country find that it isn't that hard to learn Bahasa Indonesia. I think it is not too difficult too, and the only difference with English is the pronounciation. Bahasa Indonesia pronounces the word as it is. But sometimes foreigners complain how to make /th/ sound, because they don't have it in English :D
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
I have an Indonesian friend who lives in my country and she has taught me a little bit of the the language. It is very different from the Danish language, but it was interesting to learn some of the words. I want to learn a bit more of your language before I visit Indonesia. It will take a while before I will manage to save up the money to the Asia trip that I have been dreaming about for a long time, but I think that it will be possible one day.
@boyuancy (1709)
• India
21 Nov 11
"en" and "et" are a part of french I guess which I had learned (Had a hard time learning). Yes foreigners learn a few words like "Namaste"-greeting and "Tora tora" - little bit (Not well pronounced). That's almost about it I have any foreigner speak Hindi.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
I hadn't thought about that, but it is actually true, "en" and "et" also exist in France. The way that we use them are different in Danish though. We use them in front of the nouns and after the nouns, for instanse "et hus" and "huset" (a house and the house) I have heard about the "Namaste"-greeting, but I aside from that I don't eally know much about your language. I hope to visit your country one day
• Philippines
21 Nov 11
My uncle who is a Dutch finds our dialect very hard to pronounce but actually like the post I have read below, most people here in the Philippines know how to converse in English so it is not that difficult for most of us to talk to foreigners whenever needed or not. We have around 170 dialects that even people in our country don't comprehend each other when we are speaking with our native tongues but we understand one another when we talk with our national language which is Tagalog or when we speak English, which is one curriculum we have to take while studying, and that every single grade or level, we have to study English and for me, it's a great way for us to talk to the world. Happy MyLotting!
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
22 Nov 11
170 dialects that is a lot and I can easily imagine that it is hard to understand eachother when there are so many different dialects. English is also an important subject in my country. Very few people know our local language so if we want to communicate with the world around us we have to learn English. I am very happy that I have learned English because travelling and many other things would have been very difficut without English.
21 Nov 11
Of course they do,very few speak in my language cause it ain't popular.People in my country(Georgia) can speak other languages much easier then foreigners in our country.The reason its like this is its diffrent from other languages.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
21 Nov 11
Hi Gosha and welcome to Mylot! You are the first member from Georgia that I have seen on my Mylot and I am happy to see you in my discussion. My language is also different from other languages in some ways for instanse because we have some letters that don't exist in other languages. Foreigners usually find it difficult to pronounce words that contain those letters, because they are different from the letters that the foreigners know from their own language.
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
21 Nov 11
Hi Porcospino In India there are many languages and dialects. And the biggest difference comes up when you travel south (for a north Indian) or north(for a south Indian). The languages are so very different that it becomes impossible for even Indians when they change states. In our local language (oriya) we too have some issues. The sh, s are both pronounced as s. And the V is almost always pronounce as Bh... that makes it difficult many a times. The foreigners who visit India, I have found, almost all of them stick with either English or if they know, some Hindi. English is understood by many educated people and even if not, there are always some people who will act as Interpretors for them. This is possible only because the foreigners do NOT travel to interior places and the places they opt for are of course Tourist Places.
@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
21 Nov 11
Even in a small country like my own we have different dialects in the south and in the north of the country. The people who live there use words that don't exist in other parts of the country and I find it hard to understand them if they speak in their dialect. I can imagine that it is even more difficult in India because you have more languages and dialects than we do. When I visit I India I would like to travel around for some time and visit some places in the north as well as the south. It is good to know that it isn't difficul to find someone who speaks English.
@beamer88 (4268)
• Philippines
21 Nov 11
I'm not really sure if foreigners find our language difficult. I'm from the Philippines and English is our second language. So when there are foreigners, we easily communicate with them by conversing in English. There's however a problem in our dialects, which we have lots of. Filipino or Tagalog is our national language but there's a big percentage of us who speak different dialects, and these I think are harder to learn. But we have lots of words that are Spanish-influenced, having been a colony of Spain for a few centuries. Malay forms the bulk also of our language. So it really depends on one's country of origin. I mean, if you're from a Spanish-speaking country, I think it wouldn't be that difficult to learn our language.
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@Porcospino (17906)
• Denmark
21 Nov 11
I am happy to know that English is your second language and that you communicate with foreigners in English, because they would make travelling much easier. I plan on visisting the Philippines one day when we get rid of our debt and manage to save up the money for a trip to Asia I didn't know that you have many Spanish words in your language. I can imagine that it would it easier for people from Spanish-speaking countries learn to your language.
@AJsMom (157)
• Philippines
22 Nov 11
I think any language is difficult to learn at first. They need to familiarize with it in order to learn. But once they get accustomed to it, then learning becomes easier. A word is easier to remember when you know the meaning of it. Yes they learned to speak my language but some find it hard to pronounce it properly. But it's alright, in time they'll learn better.
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