Things I like of each of the languages I'm learning

9/2/2020 - 3 min read

This is a list of some stuff I enjoy from some of the languages I'm learning. I'll keep adding more as I find them.

Before anything else, I know that I'm learning far too many languages at the same time and that this is not optimal, and I'm certainly learning at a slower pace than if I studied each of them on their own, but I don't mind it too much. I don't really need to be fluent in any of them, it's more about the fun of learning.

German

I like how "easy" it is to pick up if you already know English.

I find it amusing how many words have more in common with Spanish or Catalan than with English. Makes me think about the evolution these languages have had.

I find separable verbs impressive and very confusing, when right when you finish the sentence you realize which verb was actually used. I know separating verbs is not strange in English, after all phrasal verbs do it too, but German takes this to an extreme, with both halves being as far apart as possible.

Chinese

I like that even though you can have multi-syllabic words, each of the composing syllables is it's own word.

I like how simple the grammar seems at first, but how difficult it actually is

I like how because there are no conjugations, so looking up verbs in the dictionary is really easy.

I love Pleco. It has spoiled me, and now any other dictionary software seems incredibly clunky in comparison.

Some people might not agree, but I think Hanzi are really cool! After learning a bunch of them, you can get a feeling for what a new one's pronunciation might be, if you have seen the radicals before. Radicals also let you understand the meaning of a word, with help of the context. They might be hard to learn and you might need a lot of rote memorization, but I think it's worth it. Another strength is how they decouple meaning from sound, so by learning them you can kind of get the gist of a sentence in some other language that also uses them, like Japanese or Cantonese.

Korean

I like how it feels like I'm building with Lego blocks every time I compose a sentence, adding particles to the end of word to change their meanings slightly.

I love Hangul. It's the cleanest looking alphabet, in my opinion.

I think the phonology is pretty good. It's one of those languages that are pleasant to listen to.

Hebrew

I haven't dived too deep into it yet, but the 3 root consonant system sounds like a really exciting concept.

It's my first Right-to-Left language, and even though it's not something extremely interesting, I think it's fun. I'm surprised how easy it had been adapting to this change.

Toki Pona

I'm quite surprised at how well it works for simple conversation, given the astounding low number of words it has.

I enjoy the ease of picking up vocabulary, as most words have some correspondence with another language, like seme being "what", like 什么 (shenme), open being "open", and kule being "color".

I also like how a surprising number of compound words just make a lot of sense, like loje laso (red blue) being "purple", or jan lili (person small) being "kid".

© 2020 Guillem Caballero Coll