Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

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AlexTG
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby AlexTG » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:21 am

vogeltje wrote:
Montmorency wrote:And when did it change the pronunciation? it must be like Dutch, for the spelling, for exmaple

dochter = daughter

I suppose the GH in English was like the CH in Dutch.

also

Knie = Knee

but in Dutch the K is pronounced, and in English it isn't

and

Twee = Two
in Dutch the W isn't silent.

These three were all pronounced like Dutch at least during the Middle English era, which ended around 1500. After that people gradually stopped spelling phonetically which makes it harder to pinpoint when pronunciation changes occurred.

GH is still pronounced as the Dutch CH in Scots, and I suppose in strong Scottish accents as well.
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby IronMike » Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:28 am

vogeltje wrote:
And when did it change the pronunciation? it must be like Dutch, for the spelling, for exmaple

dochter = daughter

I suppose the GH in English was like the CH in Dutch.


A great book to read on this subject is David Crystal's The Stories of English.
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby Montmorency » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:12 am

I had been thinking it would be interesting to try to compare changes seen in Old English texts to the times of Viking/Scandinavian occupation or influence. e.g. if we could still see the "non-simplified" grammatical forms in text produced after the "Danes" had "gone home", then we could perhaps discount Scandinavian influence on the language somewhat. However, I had forgotten quite how long that period was.

Even right up to the Norman conquest, Norse forces were still trying to conquer Britain (i.e. Battle of Stamford Bridge), and according to one historical timetable I read there was at least one attempt after the Norman conquest.

I imagine there must have been trading and other non-hostile contact as well, over the years, so there was plenty of time for Old English to have been influenced by Old Norse. And of course, some "Danes", never did "go home". :)

(According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_ex ... tish_Isles the last planned attempt was 1085, but it never actually was carried out).
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby vogeltje » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:32 am

AlexTG wrote:
vogeltje wrote:And when did it change the pronunciation? it must be like Dutch, for the spelling, for exmaple

dochter = daughter
I suppose the GH in English was like the CH in Dutch.
also

Knie = Knee

but in Dutch the K is pronounced, and in English it isn't
and
Twee = Two
in Dutch the W isn't silent.

These three were all pronounced like Dutch at least during the Middle English era, which ended around 1500. After that people gradually stopped spelling phonetically which makes it harder to pinpoint when pronunciation changes occurred.

GH is still pronounced as the Dutch CH in Scots, and I suppose in strong Scottish accents as well.


It's interesting that it's still CH in Scots. Where can I hear it, I mean for example if you know a Youtube video etc

Yes, someone told me or I read that English was like this until Shakespeare approximately. I find this Dutch background of English so nice and I really want to know more. i work in the café in a university, so I can access things, especially when I'm in the library café haha
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby vogeltje » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:34 am

IronMike wrote:
vogeltje wrote:
And when did it change the pronunciation? it must be like Dutch, for the spelling, for exmaple

dochter = daughter

I suppose the GH in English was like the CH in Dutch.


A great book to read on this subject is David Crystal's The Stories of English.


Thanks for the recommendation :)
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby vogeltje » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:37 am

Montmorency wrote:I had been thinking it would be interesting to try to compare changes seen in Old English texts to the times of Viking/Scandinavian occupation or influence. e.g. if we could still see the "non-simplified" grammatical forms in text produced after the "Danes" had "gone home", then we could perhaps discount Scandinavian influence on the language somewhat. However, I had forgotten quite how long that period was.

Even right up to the Norman conquest, Norse forces were still trying to conquer Britain (i.e. Battle of Stamford Bridge), and according to one historical timetable I read there was at least one attempt after the Norman conquest.

I imagine there must have been trading and other non-hostile contact as well, over the years, so there was plenty of time for Old English to have been influenced by Old Norse. And of course, some "Danes", never did "go home". :)

(According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_ex ... tish_Isles the last planned attempt was 1085, but it never actually was carried out).


Yes, this would be great!!!

Then after the Normans to see how the French langauge's influence developed, or more precise the Norman one.
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby AlexTG » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:42 am

vogeltje wrote:It's interesting that it's still CH in Scots. Where can I hear it, I mean for example if you know a Youtube video etc

58 seconds into this video the lecturer says "Both Old Angles and its dochter, Scots"
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby L-1809 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:29 pm

Interesting comments.

Before I started studying Norwegian I thought it would be easier than say a romance language, mainly due to the fact I always heard people say 'it's very similar to English'. I must admit I have found learning Norwegian harder than Spanish. I'm not sure if it's because there are fewer resources in the language or what, but I have found learning it a difficulty (although I love the language). I think generally there's not one specific language that is the easiest to learn for an English native speaker, a lot of it comes down to terms such as motivation, reasons as to why you're learning it, resources in the language etc. It's a heck of a lot easier for me to get hold of Spanish resources compared to Norwegian.
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby smallwhite » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:52 am

If you haven't learnt both languages to at least a B2 level, you can't really say which language is easier to learn, because all you'd be doing would be a partial comparison of mainly beginner's stuff.

But I'm going to do just that myself. I've completed 2 waves of Hugo Dutch in 3 Months now. I find German hard and Swedish easy, Norwegian likely easy as well, and now I find Dutch closer to German than to Swedish. More specifically, Dutch has what I find hard in German (strong verbs, verbs hard to remember), and its other elements don't seem easier than Swedish's. I haven't even seen all the tenses yet.

And Dutch doesn't look or sound pleasing to me. I think I should go back to Swedish!
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Re: Is Norwegian the easiest for an EN native speaker?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:08 am

smallwhite wrote:
vogeltje wrote:also Dutch must be very easy for English speakers.

This is a dangerous thread to read. I borrowed "Hugo Dutch in 3 Months" from the library last night :roll:


I've been re-reading this thread and I'm smiling as I re-read this post :) You fell under the spell of Dutch smallwhite and have remained enchanted since ;)

And looking at the research supplied by IronMike (partic. the last link):


......I've concluded, smallwhite, I want to now tempt you with Afrikaans- as the linguistic distance between Dutch and Afrikaans is half of that between English and Dutch! Or you could try Norwegian for me, and report back, since now with Dutch and Swedish experience and being a speaker of English, you'll get there in no time! :)
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