Tatsu no Ou-sama wrote:...would Japanese still be considered one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn? I suppose this same question can be asked about Chinese or any other language with an incredibly hard script. Every time people talk about hard languages, Japanese and Chinese always come up because of the writing, but this seems rather unfair in a sense. The writing system is merely there to represent the language and isn't technically part of the language itself since various different writing systems could be used to write Japanese/Chinese in theory.
So according to this Japanese is the most difficult, but would it still make it as one of the 5 most difficult languages to reach proficiency if it were romanized?The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State has compiled approximate learning expectations for a number of languages. Of the 63 languages analyzed, the five most difficult languages to reach proficiency in speaking and proficiency in reading (for native English speakers who already know other languages), requiring 88 weeks, are: "Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean", with Japanese being the most difficult.
So what's your opinion? Except for the writing system, what makes Japanese so difficult if anything? And if it is still difficult, is it safe to say that it is still one of the hardest (top 3 or top 5 perhaps) for English speakers ? And if without the writing system Japanese ISNT considered the hardest anymore, than what would take its place as the "supreme" language to learn?
PS-I realize that since this is a Japanese forum most people here won't know anything about Chinese, but if you do, please share your insight.
I don´t think that Japanese language is as hard as a lot of people think it is. Japanese writing system is very hard, but grammar isn´t hard at all, it is even easier than English grammar... But, word order in Japanese sounds a little bit weird, because verb comes at the end of a sentence, so you have to get used on it. I personally learn and speak several languages (English, German, Spanish, Japanese and of course my own native language Croatian). The hardest language of those seems to be German and Croatian.... I have some friends from Austria and Hungary who learn Croatian, and they say that it is one of the hardest language in the world; So if you get used on Japanese, it shouldn´t be hard at all....