is the most difficult foreign language for native English speakers to learn. Not only does it have different written and spoken codes, it also has three different writing systems. Furthermore, Japanese syntax is left branching, which is the complete opposite of English syntax, which is right branching. Learning a foreign language is never easy (although some people seem to have an easier time than others), but it's not impossible with enough time and effort put into it. Here are a few more links about learning foreign languages.
- A father spoke to his son in only Klingon for the first three years of his life. He was apparently interested in whether his kid, who was just going through his first language acquisition process, would pick up Klingon just like any human language. And, yes, the kid did start to learn it. [url]
- What it takes to learn Chinese, or any other foreign language, is simply lots of hard work. You don't have to be talented. Just follow the "10,000 Hour Rule," and practice, practice, practice. [url]
- Scientists in China think they've figured out a better way to teach Chinese. Using network theory, they developed a learning strategy that exploits the structural relationships between Chinese characters, which are actually composed of a fairly limited number of sub-characters. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post