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Mauro_TB

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 07:39:13 PM »

Italian wiki-page also says eight:

Serbian/Croatian, Bosnian, German, French, Italian, English, Spanish and Russian.
You just can't put Serbian and Croatian in one cup, as basically the same... and Bosnian separate from them. There are lots of differences between the two, Bosnian is just a mixture of those.

We understand each other very well, we lived in a same country until 21 years ago, but it's not the same. Some scientists here claim there is more common words in Danish and Norwegian then in these two. You guys from up there would know better how much do you understand each other, but i doubt you will say it's the same language.
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LofL

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 09:10:02 PM »

Italian wiki-page also says eight:

Serbian/Croatian, Bosnian, German, French, Italian, English, Spanish and Russian.
You just can't put Serbian and Croatian in one cup, as basically the same... and Bosnian separate from them. There are lots of differences between the two, Bosnian is just a mixture of those.

We understand each other very well, we lived in a same country until 21 years ago, but it's not the same. Some scientists here claim there is more common words in Danish and Norwegian then in these two. You guys from up there would know better how much do you understand each other, but i doubt you will say it's the same language.

Don't blame me, blame Wikipedia. I just copied their list  :twinkle:
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BoDz4

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 10:05:33 PM »

While we`re on languages  :supsmile: In my opinion,english is the easiest language that I know..My native language is Serbian,so then I understand Croatian,Bosnian and Macedonian...currently I study Greek,also understand Spanish and French very well,and little Italian,because of Lazio :D I would like to meet somebody who`s native language is english,and who learnt Serbian(or Bosnian,Croatian etc.),Greek or Russian...I find it very difficult to learn all declinations,konjugations,tenses etc..

About Slavic and difference between Serbian,Croatian etc.. Well,I agree with Mauro_TB that Serbian and Croatian are not known as same language..But I don`t agree that they are so different..You maybe can`t understand some different expresions like we call months differently,but the language is the same..We can understand eachother perfectly,pure example is that in NEBESKOPLAVI forum,where are Laziali from ExYU,we never had language dispute..As linguist,my job is to know languages..War destroyed everything here,once we were brothers,and now there is lot of hate and discord unfortunately..
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Cash

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2012, 11:46:08 PM »

I often use the South Slavic languages (Western sub-group) in comparison to the languages spoken in Scandinavia during classes when I teach. Many interesting things can derive from such discussions with the students (usually not old/experienced enough to have become too cynical or too stubborn) who are mostly still shaping the identity of their language. One very good discussion today actually derived out of the assumption that the divisions between languages (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic...Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, and the  dialect (or own language) one spoken in Serbia (Vojvodina)/Croatia which I unfortunately cannot remember the name of atm) is more political in nature than linguistic. Very nuanced discussion, you all should have been around :beer: Add to that the existence of Finnish as well as Greek in the above mentioned geographical areas and you have made yourself a great class :)

I would really like to know why people think that English is a fairly easy/hard language to learn. It is a very weird statement to me, even though I believe I understand what one really considers when saying so. I believe personally that there is no such thing as easy/hard languages to learn. A conclusion on the matter would need for us to find the people (preferably clones) out there who are completely blank linguistically and then put them through ... what kinds of tests? Added to that, how would you quantify? Qualitatively you might be able to do some kind of analysis at an advanced state of perception/production, but where and when would you start?
A completely different discussion is the one about how long it takes to learn different languages...but also that one will suck us into trying to do something that we should maybe keep at a quite simplistic level. Like: What is easier to learn for a speaker of French? Italian, Romanian, Spanish?
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LofL

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 12:04:28 AM »

English is "easy" because people are exposed to it all the time now with Internet, TV and movies. I'm sure most of us have learned a lot on this forum over the years.

I can't even remember a single word of the German I learned back my early school days. I also studied Russian and the year I spent abroad I learned SO much more compared to the years with it here in Norway where I studied it at the University. Living in a country where they speak the language really is the best way. You could learn the language pretty well in just 2/3 months.
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Caxi

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 12:13:21 AM »

I studied Irish for 13 years, and French for 5. I probably know more Italian than those from trying to translate articles for LazioLand. I find Italian easy due to it's similarities to English through Latin (I am good with word meanings and learn by association so I can pretty much figure out any Italian word). German is a tough one for English-speakers as I am sure Latin languages ahve more similarities with English than the German language.

Difficulty in learning languages is pretty much governed by sound. For example, there are no sounds in English that are in the Korean language and vice versa, so a Korean will struggle badly with English and someone who speaks English will struggle with Korean.
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Caput Mundi

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 02:48:24 AM »

Caxi is correct on the last point.

English is obviously my native language, Italian being my parents native language. I also grew up with the Neapolitan language, which is a crazy blend of Italian, Spanish, French and the odd Greek and Arabic word. Its grammar is completely different to Italian and I think this, more than anything, is why I find Spanish and Portuguese so easy to learn.

 I recently spent time in Brazil and made an effort to learn some Portuguese for the trip. It got much better while there and I was able to chat to taxi drivers about football in Rio with no problem (although using the Italian word when the Portuguese one slipped my mind). I actually met some Brazilian girls in a nightclub recently and was able to hold a basic conversation. It is very hard to practice Portuguese here though, so it may take a while for me to learn.

I also had a lot of Croatian friends at school and I found their language quite simple although I never tried to learn it properly so that's more of an observation.

In contrast, three years spent studying Japanese and I can't really say anything at all.
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Weninho

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 02:48:37 AM »

Let me drop De Silvestri's name. He speaks German, English, Spanish, Italian and French - and the guy is 24!

I have to agree with Caxi that Italian is pretty similar to English in some senses. When I write, talk or reed in Italian I automatically "think" in English when having to stop and look for a word. Probobly because I studied Italian in English but also because several Italian words, as Caxi mentioned, are not hard to figure out if you think in English rather than Swedish. I studied Italian from time to time in 10 years but I've learned the most from reeding articles, forums, books and especially from stays in Rome. I still have a lot to learn about the grammer but compared to for example Swedish, that I've studied in detail, I think it's much less complicated once you learn the basics.

A question to Caxi and other English speaking members and Italians as well: am I right to think that many Brits have problems pronouncing Italian names correct by linguistic nature? Or is it that just the commentators? Sometimes I hear the most horrendous examples...
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Caput Mundi

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2012, 02:56:35 AM »


A question to Caxi and other English speaking members and Italians as well: am I right to think that many Brits have problems pronouncing Italian names correct by linguistic nature? Or is it that just the commentators? Sometimes I hear the most horrendous examples...

Native English speakers in general are very bad with other languages. Maybe it's because the accent sticks out more but I've never heard a native English speaker who has perfected Italian sounds, particularly 'gli' and the rolling 'rr'.

I find the Serie A commentators who are British of italian descent have the most horrid accents I've heard when they speak Italian.
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Cash

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Re: Re: OFFICIAL: Benvenutto alla Lazio sig. Petkovic
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2012, 08:41:59 AM »

None of you are discussing if a language is easy or hard to learn, but how long time it takes, how many points of reference you would have depending on which other languages you know and last, but not least, the impact of the cultural hegemony as well as the linguistic environment. We should try to seperate these things, despite them obviously being interlinked. For someone studying these phenomena each impact plays a different role and is important for different areas of the learning.

English is particularly interesting to study when it comes to the role it has in the world today. Probably the first lingua franca working on as many levels that English does, never have we seen a language dominate in all social cathegories, for example. The impact of this is closely linked to your question Johan, why English commentators struggle with Italian names (for example). In the western world, and major portions of other areas too, it is no doubt so that anglophone speakers are the speakers studying, knowing and developing least additional languages. A basic assumption is that one can go through the full educational system in for example England without learning a second language to the extent where one can be said to have reached the level of fluency. This is not the case anywhere else, even though we might argue for example the level of profficiency of English in Italy, France, Spain and some other countries.

Regarding the English language itself it is also highly intriguing to study its development. If for example Johan, knowing Sweding, would study Old English (read Beowulf, for example) he would have a far easier time understanding that than maybe even a native English speaker. This indicates the roots of the language being more Germanic and having been derived from Old Danish. In the more contemporary English use the language is flooded by Latin, an indication of the impact of the Francophone dominance in Europe somehow overtaking the Germanic dominance during later times.

Caxi is correct regarding sounds, but this is not a very big issue when learning a language. Might be a bit of a tell when people speak, but by no means a problem of more serious character if trying to learn a language. Sounds we can make, we just have to learn to make the ones we have never used. A typical example is l/r for the Mandarin speakers, or p/b for Arabic speakers...

To round things off, one great debate in relation to what we have been discussing above is the concept of grammar. Many try to identify how we learn grammar, with some scholars suggesting that we are gramatically shaped by our environment and therefore we can master an unlimited number of languages if we are exposed to them early on in our lives, while others (Chomsky maybe being the hardest advocate around) claim that we are born with grammatical rules and understandings. One more recent view is the one that we learn while we are still inside our mothers - further raising the question of when we start learning a language and when we can be said to understand it...
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