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Daniel44 wrote:

>I chose Finnish as a role model for an IAL as I know that many people have
>spoken of Finnish's many obvious pluses, including writer Tolkien and
>linguist Marco Pei. A recent EU survey suggested that Finnish children
>learned to read and spell their language more quickly and easily than
>children from any other native language in the European Union.

Why do I experience a nagging suspition that this has more to do with the
relative quality of school systems than with the relative difficulty of
languages?

While quantifying language difficulty may be strictly impossible, I'm
convinced there must be better ways one could try to achieve it than to look
at how quickly children acquire basic reading and writing competense. Also,
since learning to speak a language fluently is much harder than acquiring
said competense, one may wonder if it's even relevant.

Also, I guess that the greatest troubles for a foreigner learning Finnish
would be the many cases and the phonolgical weirdities like consonant
gradation and vowel harmony - things that Finnish schoolchildren will have
no problems with.

                                                 Andreas

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