English is such a hard language :-)

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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Catch-up » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:39 pm

The Mad Collector wrote:Love the poem though :D , Americans as opposed to Brits (two countries divided by a common language) can't do that right all the way through and as a lot of English taught outside the UK is their pronunciation by implication a lot of people taught English as a second language are also going to struggle.


Hmmmm...... :P ;)
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby AuntyVague » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:01 am

I'd probably fall into the class of 'foreigners who don't try hard enough', even though I'm and English speaker :D

Then again, I've been trying to master the pronunciation of 'squirrel' in German for a good six months now and still can't get the hang of that!
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby hattie » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:46 am

squirrel..in German or in Austrian dialect?? :-)
Eichhörnchen in German and Oachkatzl in Austrian dialect. All the Austrians try to get foreigners to say Oachkatzlschwoaf (squirrel tail)...it's sooo funny when everyone tries :D
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:57 am

Hey, don't blame all us english speakers, whenever we try to make things easier the Grammar Third Reich descends upon us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Conforumist » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:16 am

I'm more the opposite now, in that, I'm tried to hold on my German (first language) and English in any capacity is not much of a problem. My only really problem is with the writing/typing part, in that, I'm a little dyslexic. I will type "let" for "tell" someones, and few other things like that. But when I proof read it, I almost always catch it.

Maybe I'll ask Broc' for some German lessons. :think:
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Conforumist » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:18 am

hattie wrote:squirrel..in German or in Austrian dialect?? :-)
Eichhörnchen in German and Oachkatzl in Austrian dialect. All the Austrians try to get foreigners to say Oachkatzlschwoaf (squirrel tail)...it's sooo funny when everyone tries :D


Are you able to post an audio clip of how the word sounds?
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Ridcully » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:55 am

http://nl.forvo.com/word/oachkatzlschwoaf/

Great word Hattie! :clap:

Can we, may be, get audioclips of you guys trying to pronounce this? :D
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Conforumist » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:17 am

Ridcully wrote:http://nl.forvo.com/word/oachkatzlschwoaf/

Great word Hattie! :clap:

Can we, may be, get audioclips of you guys trying to pronounce this? :D



Hmm, I would not have guessed that the "Oach" part would make a "Wa" sound. The rest is not too bad, but then, I have the German. I'll get wifey to try it! :)
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby AuntyVague » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:48 pm

hattie wrote:squirrel..in German or in Austrian dialect?? :-)
Eichhörnchen in German and Oachkatzl in Austrian dialect. All the Austrians try to get foreigners to say Oachkatzlschwoaf (squirrel tail)...it's sooo funny when everyone tries :D


Um...I was struggling with Eichhörnchen, I don't even want to attempt Oachkatzl, let alone Oachkatzlschwoaf :shock: :D
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby ChristianBecker » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:12 am

I think Eichhörnchen might be harder than Oachkatzlschwoaf, since th "ch" is a sound that doesn't come easy to most English speaking people I have met. And there are two "ch" in Eichhörnchen, and only one in Oachkatzlschwoaf.
Another favourite (especially for the French, someone told me) is "Streichholzschächtelchen" (diminutive of match box).
I'll see if I can get you a sound recording of that later. :D
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby AuntyVague » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:49 am

I'd have forgotten where I started by the time I got to the end of 'Streichholzschächtelchen' :shock:

But then again, I'm not the best person to talk about mastering another language. Apart from trying to say squirrel in German, it took me several weeks to master "I'm sorry, I can't speak German, do you speak English?" and the only phrase I remember from school is "Where is the pencil?" which turns out to have little practical use when travelling. Luckily the Germans I met were very kind to Australian tourists :)
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Oberon » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:28 pm

I'm terrible at foreign languages. I was bottom of the class in French at school. I did try to learn Russian about 30 years ago and that seemed to make a lot more sense than English. At least the spelling made sense.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Will of Lancre » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:59 pm

Sadly the languages that have sensible spelling systems are difficult for other reasons.

Russian - 3 genders and a different alphabet. German - 3 genders and lots of endings, also strange word order (because it not always very easy is to know where one the verb put should :D). Italian - 2 genders and you have to guess which syllable to stress. :roll: Finnish and Hungarian - no genders but also no hope of recognising the words from anywhere else because they are only related to each other (and not even very closely at that :shock: ).

The advantage of English - once you have got round the crazy spelling - is that it is very easy to put words together so that they mean something.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby raptornx01 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:36 pm

Japanese is by far one of the worst.

THREE, written languages, one containing literally thousands of words (no seriously, most kids will learn about 2000 different Kanji by the time they leave school)

not so much in the way of genders, but everything is contextual and based on levels of respect. just saying mom, brother, etc has a completely different word depending on who you are talking to and who's mom/brother/etc you are talking about. They take the idea of formal vs informal language to the extreme.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Oberon » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:55 pm

I have heard it said that one reason Britain remained politically liberal in the 1930's when the rest of Europe was turning either fascist or communist was that the English language is naturally so ironic that it won't allow bombastic oratory. People won't take it seriously.
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