Thread: Ideas Are Easy
View Single Post
Old 07-28-2018, 02:39 PM   #468
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Ideas Are Easy

Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Second Babel
The US Foreign Services Institute has a ranking of world languages in terms of how difficult they are to learn for native English speakers, ranging from about 600 hours (Romance languages, Dutch, Scandanavian) to 2200 hours (Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin) for proficiency. (That is, rank 3 on their scale of 1-5, "professional working capability" in between "basic travel and courtesy" (1) and "native" (5).) Maybe 1/3rd of that time for rank 1.

Does anything prevent people from re-learning pre-existing languages? Same question for the concept of an alphabet and how writing can be used to stand in for verbal language sounds. That conceptual hurdle may be the biggest one.

The value to reusing previous languages would be the quantity of existing learning materials (all the way down to pre-K levels) for those languages, as well as avoiding inventing a new one. (It's possible someone will invent a completely regular language and alphabet that actually makes sense from the ground up, which could become popular if it weren't merely a good idea, but didn't have to work to supplant existing languages with their historical debris.)

If you still have the concept of a written language, or better yet, remember that you used to speak one, then just head off to your local kindergarten and elementary school. Crank up a copy of Rosetta Stone or some old Sesame Street clips on YouTube. Use the language that matches all the signs and books around you, which is probably the same one all those kids' materials are for. You could get basic conversational fluency in a few months, at most.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 07-28-2018 at 08:58 PM.
Anaraxes is online now   Reply With Quote