Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Mac Juli, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I don't know Dutch- yet. But there are few languages (if any) harder than English, to be learned as a second or subsequent language. I know people who speak both and none of them except you would agree that Dutch is harder than English. I do know English, French and German (somewhat less) and I see no immediate problem with the Dutch Grammar system.

    I just had a 5-minute look at it. I knew what I was looking for. Well, sort of. I know grammar. Nouns have one more case than English (dative) which makes it exactly like German. (English uses a preposition plus objective / accusative case for the same function.) It has three genders, again like German and English. It has about the same tenses I had to learn in Latin, French and German - and Spanish and Italian for that matter. Except that Spanish has progressive tenses (I am reading, I was walking, etc.) constructed exactly like English ones. Italian has them (stare + gerund) but they are less frequently used. Getting out of the indicative mood (into the subjunctive) is beyond my ken in Dutch. I didn't even look.

    It has more than a bit of resemblance to German , both in grammar and vocabulary. Pronunciation differs quite a bit, though - particularly "G." I can read a bit of it - and years ago, I remarked to a friend at work who was born in Holland, that it seemed about halfway between English and German. He said no - it was more like three quarters of the way over to the German side. I took another look and yeah - he's right.

    Vincent, your English is excellent and I suspect that you might have learned some at home - either that or you went to a very good school and/or you were a terrific English student. My hat's off to you.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
    innen_oda likes this.
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    @TeacherBelgium Vincent, it may be of particular interest to you, to know this: It's said the closest language to English is the Friesian variety of Dutch. This goes back hundreds of years. In fact, there was a proverb in the Middle Ages: "Good butter and good cheese is good English and good Fries." There are a bunch of Youtube videos about this showing the closeness of today's Friesian dialect with Middle English and Old English (Anglo-Saxon). Conversations between Friesians and University students who have learned Old and Middle English. You might find it entertaining -- possibly sometime after your exams. Again, the best of luck.

    Oh, man, we're a long way from Mini-MBAs. Ok, back to our regular programming...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I've heard that Afrikaans is also very close to English, for similar reasons.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    U sê Engels is naby Afrikaans? Wel, miskien. Miskien nie. (You say English is close to Afrikaans? Well, maybe. Maybe not.) :)

    Our late friend, Uncle Janko could have sorted that out for us. He had some deadly puns in Afrikaans - and a dozen other languages. Maybe some day I'll grow up to be like him. :)
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    One language I can tell you is not the same as English is an English creole called "Cocoy" that's spoken in certain parts of Northern Dominica where there are descendants of Antiguans who came over a century ago. I had a taxi driver from there test me to see whether I could understand him, and I couldn't. It sounded tantalizingly close to intelligible, but just out of reach.

    (This is different from the French-related Kweyol that's much more widely spoken there, or the Kalinago language of the indigenous people. Along with English, that's a lot of languages for an island of less than 70,000 people, but... there it is.)
    Johann likes this.
  6. innen_oda

    innen_oda Active Member

    Almost all native speakers believe their language is one of the hardest to learn.
    But difficulty is a measure relative only to other languages, and is not (for the most part) an intrinsic feature of a language itself.

    For a Spanish speaker, Japanese is a nightmare.
    For a Korean, Japanese is far less so.

    For an English speaker, Dutch requires far less time to learn to competency, than if that same English speaker attempted Hungarian or Xhosa or Navajo. Same in reverse: Nederlands speakers will find English straightforward compared to Magyarul, isiXhosa, or Diné.

    And meanwhile, a Hungarian will learn Japanese with far greater ease than they will learn English.

    All of this is due to shared similarities or differences. There are a few exceptions, where one feature of a language provides uniquely difficulty to learners, but we've yet to uncover a language that is wholly more difficult than another.
    Johann likes this.
  7. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Ever heard of the computer language Malbolge? Tee hee... :)
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Here's the "Hello World" program in Malbolge:

    (=<`#9]~6ZY32Vx/4Rs+0No-&Jk)"Fh}|Bcy?`=*z]Kw%oG4UUS0/@-ejc:)'8dc //Honest, that's real! -J.//

    Sorry, can't run the demo. Don't have a Malbolge interpreter on this machine. :)
  9. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    That sentence in Afrikaans is so close to Dutch that it hurts :p

    "Zegt u dat Afrikaans dichtbij het Engels aanleunt? Misschien, maar misschien ook niet."

  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Je hebt gelijk. Het is duidelijk dichtbij. (You're right, Obviously, it's close.) :)
    Jy's reg. Dit is duidelik dat dit naby is. (Same thing - in Afrikaans)
  11. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    '' Ik krijg hoofdpijn van zoveel Afrikaans zo vroeg op de morgen. ''

    I get headache from so much Afrikaans so early in the morning (it's 6 am here)

  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Great lesson, innen_oda. Today, I learned. Oh, to be a Hungarian in Tokyo... :) Go Magyars! Banzai!
  13. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    '' Mijn taal is toch echt wel de moeilijkste hoor, Johann. Probeer maar eens Nederlands te spreken in Tokyo. Ze zullen moeite hebben om je te verstaan. ''

    '' My language is the most difficult though, Johann. Try speaking Dutch in Tokyo, I guarantee they would have a hard time understanding you. ''
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Soshite, anata wa sorera o rikai suru no ni kurō surudeshou.

    (And you would have a hard time understanding them.)
  15. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Definitely :)

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