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Ant: Re: Most challenging features of languages?

From:Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 16:43
--- Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...>

> From: "Joseph B." <darkmoonman@GMAIL.COM > <mailto:darkmoonman@...>> > Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 7:13 PM > Subject: Most challenging features of languages? > > > I'm curious to know which feature of a language > > (nat-, con-, or aux-) that individuals here found > > the most difficult to understand and/or master. > > Thanks. > > I am still having problems with English's use of > the perfect aspect. German has no perfect in that > way, or rather, it has no perfect *aspect* anymore. > Today, you use the perfect *tense*, which has > nothing perfective anymore to it, to express past > tense in spoken language.
When I was first learning German (~5 years ago), that threw me off big-time; I felt pretty stupid when I figured out that the use of the German preterite versus the German perfect tense was more a stylistic register thing than anything actually meaningful. With German, the biggest thing that throws me is word order, especially the proper usage and placement of 'nicht' versus 'kein' (e.g. 'ich will kein Arzt sein' versus 'ich will Arzt nicht sein') and complex verb phrases in subordinate clauses; I have to draw it out in my mind, when I want to say something like "I should have had him help me when he was here" (ehh... 'ich hab ihn lassen sollen, mir zu helfen, wenn er da war'..?). Still, no one complains, either in real life or on the Kunstsprachen list, so I guess despite my clumsiness with German, it still works fine...
> Also, I often forget which gender goes with which > French word (no, I know about the stuff with nouns > in -tion always being female and so on) and I also > far too often forget to make the adjectives agree > in gender and number with their nouns.
Oddly enough, gender doesn't throw me off as badly as I think it should in either language; I tend to remember it pretty well in all cases (much more reliably in German than French, though; I have a better 'feel' for German). Nevertheless, I still can't help to say 'die Affe' instead of 'der Affe'. I just can't bang it into my head that final /-e/ doesn't _always_ mean feminine gender (I hear German children have that problem, too).
> Due to that, my French class tests are usually more > read than blue when I get them back. I also needed > to get used to "dont" = de que, "du" = de le > and "des" = de les.
Oh, dear God, I _still_ haven't figured out what construction to use in what case! 'Je n'ai pas de fromage' or 'je n'ai pas du fromage'? Frustrating! ___________________________________________________________ Gesendet von Yahoo! Mail - Jetzt mit 1GB Speicher kostenlos - Hier anmelden:


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