I’ve been wondering which language has the toughest pronunciation for foreign learners - specifically for English speakers?
For my part, I reckon I’ve yet to find something worse (from the learner’s perspective!) than DANISH.
I’m not knocking it - it’s a lovely Germanic language with a relatively simple morphology, and a kind of soft yet guttural sound. But trying to reproduce those sounds…like, seriously?! :-0
The soft d (among other things) make me doubt whether even a master of pronunciation like Luca Lampariello could ever come close to a native speaker?
(If I tried to pronounce Danish sounds, I have no doubt that I would end up sounding like an alcoholic Geordie who has just suffered from a severe stroke…)
Mongolian sounds quite hard to pronounce to me (+ the script and the fact it doesn’t have European roots).
I was thinking more about the pronunciation. There are LOADS of languages which have a different/harder script, have a far more complex morphology, and have non Indo-European vocabulary.
I would even say that written Danish is relatively easy for me - given the Germanic vocabulary and simple structure.
But the pronunciation…hmm…not so easy!
What are you even talking about? Luca is good but not a master and try arabic or thai. Even spanish for an english speaker.
Let’s take into consideration the Pima Indian language.
It has been noted that every vowel distinguishes three degrees of length: long, short, and extra-short, and that vowels and nasals at end of words are devoiced.
In 150+ years, has there been even one English speaker who has entered and reached the depths of this old language?
Well, Luca’s pronunciation is pretty good (I won’t say 100% perfect) in English, French, German, Russian. His Chinese seemed pretty convincing to me in a video he once did with Steve Kaufmann. And I think he’s into Japanese too?. So, unlike many in the Youtube crowd, he has stepped outside of the Indo-European pool.
Arabic and Thai (especially the latter) would challenge him no doubt. Maybe one of them will be next on his list?
Tbh i dont even know a polyglot who speaks Dutch like advanced (sound) or will smith did poor doing a nigerian accent so even some english dialects are very hard
Here is the official list.
- Vietnamese (by a wide margin). Learn Vietnamese - How to Introduce Yourself in Vietnamese - YouTube
- Danish or Swedish (swedish is also ridiculous)
Also, while definitely not the most difficult to learn to pronounce… German I find exceptionally difficult to master. I have practiced and practiced and I just can’t get close to that authentic, german, tight, piping sound… I can’t escape my wavy, flexible american accent. I just can’t sound like a german.
Hochdeutsch with Southern German accent maybe isn’t so bad
With cleavage like that, who cares a fig how she sounds?
(Feminists feel free to skin me alive - I’m just being honest!!)
Not that my Danish is any good, but it follows very predictable rules of pronunciation. There’s no melody, and it’s relatively flat compared to its nearby relatives. There’s hardly any differences between how it is spelled and how it’s pronounced (like English). It’s just a matter of training your ear on the dipthongs.
Here’s a video about rythm and stress that was really helpful to me. It helped me to recognize patterns when listening, and it greatly improved my pronunciation.
This woman also has other videos that were equally as helpful.