Which is the Easiest Language to Learn? Rating the 14 Most Popular Course Offerings

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Which is the best language to learn? Which is the easiest?

Two different questions, often uttered in the same breath. But that’s okay, because there will be only one answer. Whichever language you wholeheartedly choose to study will be both the best and the easiest. However, here’s some help choosing.

The choices.

Here is the Modern Language Association’s 2002 list of the most commonly studied languages at university level in the United States. I have not included ancient languages like Latin, Biblical Hebrew, or Sanskrit, special purposes languages like American Sign Language, or U.S. heritage languages, like Hawaiian or Navajo since the choice of those languages follows a different dynamic:

1. Spanish

2. French

3. German

4. Italian

5. Japanese

6. Chinese

7. Russian

8. Arabic

9. Modern Hebrew

10. Portuguese

11. Korean

12. Vietnamese

13. Hindi/Urdu

14. Swahili

Difficulty, according to Uncle Sam

First, consider some cold facts. The U.S. State Department groups languages for the diplomatic service according to learning difficulty:

Category 1. The “easiest” languages for speakers of English, requiring 600 hours of classwork for minimal proficiency: the Latin and Germanic languages. However, German itself requires a bit more time, 750 hours, because of its complex grammar.

Category 2. Medium, requiring 1100 hours of classwork: Slavic languages, Turkic languages, other Indo-Europeans such as Persian and Hindi, and some non-Indo-Europeans such as Georgian, Hebrew and many African languages. Swahili is ranked easier than the rest, at 900 hours.

Category 3. Difficult, requiring 2200 hours of study: Arabic, Japanese, Korean and the Chinese languages.

Will you get a chance to practice this language?

Now, consider another important factor: accessibility. To be a successful learner you need the chance to hear, read and speak the language in a natural environment. Language learning takes an enormous amount of concentration and repetition, which cannot be done entirely in the classroom. Will you have access to the language where you live, work and travel?

The 14 most popular courses according to a combination of linguistic ease and accessibility.

1. Spanish. Category One. The straightforward grammar is familiar and regular. It is also ubiquitous in the Americas, the only foreign language with a major presence in the insular linguistic environment of the U.S. Chances to speak and hear it abound. It is the overwhelming favorite, accounting for more than fifty percent of language study enrollment in the MLA study.

2. French. Category One. Grammatically complex but not difficult to learn because so many of it’s words have entered English. For this vocabulary affinity, it is easy to attain an advanced level, especially in reading. It is a world language, and a motivated learner will find this language on the internet, in films and music.

3. German. Category One Plus. The syntax and grammar rules are complex with noun declensions a major problem. It is the easiest language to begin speaking, with a basic vocabulary akin to English. Abstract, advanced language differs markedly, though, where English opts for Latin terms. It values clear enunciation, so listening comprehension is not difficult.

4. Italian. Category One. It has the same simple grammar rules as Spanish, a familiar vocabulary and the clearest enunciation among Latin languages (along with Romanian). Italian skills are easily transferable to French or Spanish. You might need to go to Italy to practice it, but there are worse things that could happen to you. It is also encountered in the world of opera and classical music.

5. Russian. Category Two. This highly inflected language, with declensions, is fairly difficult to learn. The Cyrillic alphabet is not particularly difficult, however, and once you can read the language, the numerous borrowings from French and other western languages are a pleasant surprise. It is increasingly accessible.

6. Arabic. Category Three. Arabic is spoken in dozens of countries, but the many national dialects can be mutually incomprehensible. It has only three vowels, but includes some consonants that don’t exist in English. The alphabet is a formidable obstacle, and good calligraphy is highly valued and difficult to perfect. Vowels are not normally written (except in children’s books) and this can be an obstacle for reading. It is ubiquitous in the Muslim world and opportunities exist to practice it at every level of formality.

7. Portuguese. Category One. One of the most widely spoken languages in the world is often overlooked. It has a familiar Latin grammar and vocabulary, though the phonetics may take some getting used to.

8. Swahili. Category Two Minus. It includes many borrowings from Arabic, Persian, English and French. It is a Bantu language of Central Africa, but has lost the difficult Bantu “tones”. The sound system is familiar, and it is written using the Latin alphabet. One major grammatical consideration is the division of nouns into sixteen classes, each with a different prefix. However, the classes are not arbitrary, and are predictable.

9. Hindi/Urdu. Category Two. The Hindustani language, an Indo-European language, includes both Hindi and Urdu. It has an enormous number of consonants and vowels, making distinctions between phonemes that an English speaker will have difficulty hearing. Words often have clipped endings, further complicating comprehension. Hindi uses many Sanskrit loans and Urdu uses many Persian/Arabic loans, meaning that a large vocabulary must be mastered. Hindi uses the phonetically precise Devanagari script, created specifically for the language. Predictably, Urdu’s use of a borrowed Persian/Arabic script leads to some approximation in the writing system.

10. Modern Hebrew. Category Two. Revived as a living language during the nineteenth century, it has taken on characteristics of many languages of the Jewish diaspora. The resultant language has become regularized in grammar and syntax, and the vocabulary has absorbed many loan words, especially from Yiddish, English and Arabic. The alphabet has both print and script forms, with five vowels, not normally marked. Vowel marking, or pointing, is quite complex when it does occur. Sounds can be difficult to reproduce in their subtleties and a certain amount of liaison makes listening comprehension problematic. It is not very accessible outside of a religious or Israeli context.

11. Japanese. Category Three. Difficult to learn, as the vocabulary is unfamiliar, and the requirements of the sound system so strict that even the many words that have been borrowed from English, French and German will seem unrecognizable. With three different writing systems, it is forbiddingly difficult to read and write. Also, social constraints may impede useful interaction.

12. Chinese. Category Three. Whether your choice is Mandarin or Cantonese (the MLA survey does not make a distinction, oddly enough). It is the most difficult language on this list. It includes all of the most difficult aspects: unfamiliar phonemes, a large number of tones, an extremely complex writing system, and an equally unfamiliar vocabulary. Personal motivation is absolutely essential to keep the student on track. On the positive side, it is easy to find, since Chinese communities exist throughout the world, and Chinese language media, such as newspapers, films and TV, are present in all these communities.

13. Vietnamese. Category Three. This language belongs to an unfamiliar family of languages, but it does borrow much vocabulary from Chinese (helpful if you already speak Chinese!). It has six tones, and a grammar with an unfamiliar logic. It’s not all bleak, however, Vietnamese uses a Latin derived alphabet. The chances of speaking this language are not high, though there are 3 million speakers in the USA.

14. Korean. Category Three. Korean uses an alphabet of 24 symbols, which accurately represent 14 consonants and 10 vowels. However, the language also includes 2000 commonly used Chinese characters for literary writing and formal documents. Speech levels and honorifics complicate the learning of vocabulary, and there is liaison between words, making them hard to distinguish. The grammar is not overly complicated and there are no tones. It borrows many Chinese words, but the language is unrelated to other languages of Asia.

The most important factor of all: personal motivation

The third, most important factor is up to you. The easiest language to learn is the one that you are most motivated to learn, the one you enjoy speaking, the one with the culture that inspires you and the history that touches you spiritually. It is useless to try to learn a language if you are not interested in the people who speak it, since learning a language involves participating in its behaviors and identifying with its people.

So, consider all three factors: motivation, accessibility and linguistic ease, in that order, and come up with the final list yourself. The bad news is that no language is really easy to learn, but the good news is that we humans are hard wired for a great amount of linguistic flexibility, as long as we know how to turn on the learning process. If the rewards and benefits of the language are clear to you, you will be able to get those rusty language synapses sparking in your head and start the words rolling. Bonne chance!

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Source by Dominic Ambrose

Need for Speed Most Wanted Uninstall Help – How to Uninstall Need for Speed Most Wanted

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Need for Speed Most Wanted is a popular video game. So how to uninstall Need for Speed Most Wanted becomes a hot topic. If you also want to know an effective way to remove the game from you computer, you can read to learn more. I sum up 3 common ways to uninstall Need for Speed Most Wanted.

Method 1 Windows “add/remove programs list”

You can uninstall and remove the program in the add/remove programs list entering from the Control Panel.

1. Shut off the program

2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

3. Click Add or Remove Programs.

4. In the list of currently installed programs, click the program you want to remove, and then click Remove.

5. Follow the instructions to uninstall the program.

6. You should reboot your PC after the uninstall.

Method 2 built-in uninstaller tool

Step 1 Open Windows Start Menu, Click “All programs” and find the Need for Speed Most Wanted Directory.

Step 2 Not long, it will show you a window to ask you whether you plan to use the program in the future. If you do not want to use it any more, Choose the below one please.

Step 3 Select the removal mode and then you will uninstall the game from your computer.

Method 3 A third party uninstaller

In fact, the above two methods usually fail to uninstall Need for Speed Most Wanted from your computer. Even the Method 1 and Method 2 remove the program successfully, there is a great disadvantage. That is the related registry entries will not be removed with the program. After some time, the useless registry entries will generate other computer error, such as runtime errors and failure of uninstall other program.

Therefore, the best solution for uninstalling Need for Speed Most Wanted is to remove the program through a third party uninstall program. Such programs can force uninstall tough programs and even a corrupted one.

There are so many uninstall programs on the market. Do you know how to choose a great one to uninstall Need for Speed Most Wanted? Or do you want to know how the other computer users choose for their computer? Best Uninstall Tool is a popular choice for common computer users. 

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Source by Jessica Teddy Jones

What’s New in Xcode 8 for a Swift App Development Company

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Customer experience would be the key business differentiator in the coming years. Brands and their business decision-makers, customer service analysts and scholars around the world share this common opinion when it comes to exploring ways of gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The same endeavor found a reflection in the Apple’s modus operandi in the concluding WWDC 2016. With the announcement of iOS 10, which is expected to hit the market by the fall of the year, Apple plans to fuel its customer experience strategy and make a bigger impact in the market. Undeniably, it’s not going to materialize without the active support of every Swift app development company and their development teams.

Let’s take a look at the prominent resources made available by the company in its latest IDE (Integrated Development Environment), i.e. Xcode 8.0 Beta to favor the development of iOS 10-compatible apps.

Source Editor Extensions

Xcode 8 adds support for Xcode Source Editor Extensions. Application Extensions provide additional commands in the Xcode Editor menu. The extensions can be used to modify texts and selection areas. Swift app developers may use the Xcode Source Editor Extension Target Template in the macOS Application Extensions section before getting started with any project.

Interface Builder

Migration to auto layout is easier with the built-in Interface Builder. No longer a developer is in need to generate implicit constraints for views without constraints. He or she can also zoom in and zoom out the interface across iOS, tvOS, and watchOS, as well as edit the coding. Xcode 8 offers a completely redesigned workflow for working with trait variations (for example, size classes) and favors designing UI in terms of a real device size rather than by using intentionally abstract rectangles. The canvas let developers watch interactions between iOS views as they appear at runtime, including accurate compositing of UIVisualEffectView.

Runtime Sanitizers

Xcode renders a new Thread Sanitizer feature to help Swift developers with compiler instrumentation and runtime monitoring. This will help in detecting and eliminating data races and other concurrency bugs in Swift or Objective-C programs. It can also catch memory corruption errors that get triggered by using types such as UnsafeMutablePointer.

Static Analyzer

It helps in checking nullability violations at both aggressive and less aggressive levels. The more aggressive level examines nullability violations in all calls. It stays active by default for new projects. The less aggressive level checks for nullability violations in calls to project headers. However, it fails to do so with system headers.

Playgrounds

Xcode Playgrounds aimed at macOS will now run with open-source Swift toolchains from Swift.org. However, Playgrounds targeting iOS or tvOS will rely on Xcode 8.0 toolchain. The video tag associated with Playgrounds will also render support to remote URLs.

Hope this latest IDE in association with the powerful Swift 3.0 language will help Swift app development companies and their developers to build quality apps matching the needs of their clients. Undeniably, the focus must not dilute the comfort and convenience of end-users as Apple is not going to take any hit on that front.

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Source by Dindayal Gupta

Applying the Classics to Modern Events

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Many of the plays of long ago were written as political statements that were designed to appeal directly to the masses and depict current events in a sort of parody of events that were actually taking place. Interestingly, these productions continue to be applicable to the events of today’s world in so many ways. When one looks at Tartuffe by Moliere, one has to think of Osama bin Laden and his hypocritical religious fervor. Lysistrata, by Aristophanes, depicts mass protests. And, George Bernard Shaw’s, Major Barbara is idealism at its best.

Osama as Tartuffe has an agenda that is neither rational nor based on any existing rational manifesto and it certainly has nothing to do with any accepted faith as the nation of Islam has projected it. Much like Tartuffe, bin Laden has sandbagged many people into believing that his religious fervor is rational. He draws believers with his assertions that he is truly religious. It could be that Tartuffe was Moliere’s warning across the ages to be on guard against those that are overzealous about religion, and of those who are overzealous in presenting themselves as pious individuals. “Cleante questions Tartuffe by asking, “But if this noble and religious zeal, is quite as perfect as you’d have us feel, How is it that it waited to appear, till you were caught embracing Madame here”. Moliere accomplishes two objectives by these particular words, first he shows that Tartuffe is only pretending to be a pious individual, that when he is alone, or thinks he is alone, with Orgon’s wife he immediately makes a play for her which a truly righteous individual would never do, and secondly he shows that Cleante realizes what is really happening, because he knows how a truly righteous individual would act in that situation, and that Tartuffe is not doing so. A wise world questions Osama bin Laden the same as Moliere questioned Tartuffe’s motives.

Lysistrata, written by Aristophanes more than 2,000 years ago, is about a woman who grows tired of the constant warring of men. She gathers other women who decide to take action by withholding what they feel men desire most. Relating Lysistrata to current events certainly invites the whole “sex as power” theme, but that seems to simplistic. Although one could also compare Lysistrata to modern-day feminists, they are better compared to any group or groups of individuals who protest or try to effect change together. Certainly, one could compare Lysistrata’s adventures to those of the 1970’s. But they are also applied to the current issues that surround the world’s inability to get along; a West vs. East type of struggle, just as above with Tartuffe and Osama bin Laden. It’s amazing how classical productions remain pertinent even two thousand years after they were written; or, at least, their message does. Lysistrata and her cohorts protest, they realize success, and they celebrate. Doubtless, the coming together of the global community would elicit a similar reaction. However, Aristophanes used a little tongue-in-cheek freedom in his writing of the plot. Women withholding sex from their warring men would end battling communities just about as effectively as a sit in would negate the struggles between the developed Western world and the resistant Eastern realm. It’s just not that easy. Still the lesson is clear. Everyone has an innate power to end war, struggle, or any other undesired behavior or state, be those individuals men, women, group, or nation. The humor that Aristophanes uses merely makes the message easier to stomach. In today’s world, the message is less about feminism, power, and control, than working together as a group to achieve social change. Lysistrata’s protests are against a war that is unnecessary, just as the struggles between the United States and its allies and the nations of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden have become. The comparisons between both of these fruitless struggles are hard to ignore. There is no doubt that Lysistrata would elicit a discussion about the needless of war, especially in today’s world of globalization.

Major Barbara, the most recent of the works, written by George Bernard Shaw, and first produced in 1905, depicts the apparent incompatibility between those who do good and those who do evil. Major Barbara of the Salvation Army wonders how an organization such as the one she advocates can warrant accepting funding from organizations such as that which her father represents; a gun manufacturer. Morality and its relation to the immoral comes into question as highlighted by Shaw. In today’s world, business, war, and social institutions continue to be intertwined and the association continues to be somewhat stunning and questionable. How do you warrant social services paid for by a gun manufacturer? How do you reconcile war, good, bad, and society? Should capitalism exist as a funding source for salvation? Shaw’s play is an ideological exploration of such conflicts. But, can idealism be set aside in favor of the pursuit of better things? Again, related to the drama taking place on the world stage, it’s hard to ignore the comparison that can be made between Shaw’s play and the conflict created by terrorism as perpetrated by misplaced religious fervor, resistance, and a desire for vindication and control. As the United States and her allies move into the Middle East in an effort to reform the governments of those countries, they have also attempted to provide aid. One has to remember the aid drops that took place near the beginning of the conflict when the U.S. dropped care packages from the air. As these packages floated to the ground, the people who they were meant to aid must have been wary at best and terrified at worst. There is a certain irony in one’s invader providing aid.

The lessons of Moliere’s Tartuffe, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, and Shaw’s Major Barbara, although they were created in different ages, display the reality of time. Essentially, the years may change, but the issues remain relatively static. Right or wrong, good and bad, and comedy and reality, continue to be completely relevant regardless of what year a great playwright creates the work. Perhaps it is this relevance that makes such plays as Tartuffe, Lysistrata, and the brief Major Barbara remain so popular among theater goers, actors, and college courses!

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Source by Rebecca Stigall

What Your Nails Say About Your Vitamin Intake – Top 6 Signs That You’re Deficient

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Your nails are more porous than your skin, so they are vulnerable to environmental pressure, such as detergents. But nails are also dependent on your nutritional intake to remain strong and grow smoothly. So if your nails become weak or discoloured, it could be a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Here are the top six signals from your nails that you are running low on essential vitamins or minerals.

Nail Biting

Nails are a natural depository of minerals, so if you are compulsively biting your nails, you could be low in nutrients and turning to the closest source! Rather than rely on your nails for you nutritional needs, expand the range of fresh foods in your diet, or try a supplement of Vitamin C, zinc or B-complex vitamins.

White Spots

If you consistently see white flecks (or leukonychia) on your nails, this could indicate that you are low in zinc or Vitamin C, as both these nutrients protect your body from free radicals. The B-complex vitamins, particularly B6 and B12, help strengthen your nails which will prevent white spots caused by trauma to the nail.

Brittle Nails

If your nails are fragile and peeling, and you have ruled out environmental trauma, you could be lacking in iron. Iron is essential to manufacture haemoglobin, which generates the oxygen necessary for nails to strengthen and grow. As Vitamin A is necessary to transport iron around the body, a Vitamin A deficiency can also lead to weak, brittle nails. Zinc is another important nutrient for strengthening nails.

Horizontal Ridges

Ridges running across the nail are a clear indication of nutrient deficiency. The B-complex vitamins are essential for growth of the nail, so lack of any of these vitamins will flaw the nail’s growth, leading to ridges. An iron deficiency can cause horizontal ridges accompanied by white flecks on the nails.

Beau’s Lines

These indented ridges running horizontally across the nail usually indicate there was a temporary interruption to the nail’s natural cell division. This interruption might have been caused by trauma, such as physical injury or chemotherapy treatment. Beau’s Lines are not always directly caused by nutritional deficiency; however, if they are resulting from long-term illness, extra nutrients could be beneficial for overall health.

Spoon Nails

With this extreme condition, the softened nails are raised at the edges to make a spoon shape. The nail can scoop up enough to hold a small level of liquid. Spoon nails (or koilonychia) usually result from anaemia (iron deficiency) in relation to conditions such as heart disease or hypothyroidism.

Vertical Ridges

Don’t panic! Vertical lines, running parallel from the base to the tip of the nail are normal and healthy. They will become more prominent with age.

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Source by Kirsten Ehrlich Davies