Thread: In Perspective, Planet: Ehancing the brain!
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Old November 5th, 2012, 09:26 AM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88

Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
Measuring the effect of knowing the English language on the "felt difficulty to learn the Russian language" would be rather tricky...
Statistics is an amazing thing: subtle, malleable, complex (nearly indecipherable at times- which is probably why so many people use it so poorly, and why most of the rest of us can't tell when it's being used well). I wonder if it might be easier, in an odd way, to look at "felt difficulty," because it is an experience and so, I think, would primarily be a matter of talking to people- through questionnaires, most likely- and applying the appropriate statistical analysis. You might even be able to account for the fact that some people find it easier to learn languages generally (again, you ask them). To try to asses "real" difficulty in learning language would require the community to first agree, to some extent, on the markers of language acquisition, and then on appropriate tools of measurement. And therein lies many long-standing arguments in science.

In any case, I'm not aware of any such study, either (though my not being aware is statistically meaningless). I am jealous of you bi- and multi-linguists, as I've not been able to learn a second language (some would argue I've barely been able to learn a first one).
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