A Look at the Hixkaryána Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Hixkaryána language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

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Waiwai

Hixkaryána is famous for being the only language on Earth to have basic OVS (Object-Verb-Subject) word order.

The sentence Toto yonoye kamara, or “The man ate the jaguar,” actually means “The jaguar ate the man.”

Toto yonoye kamara
Lit. “The man ate the jaguar.”
Gloss: “The jaguar ate the man.”

Grammatical suffixes attached to the end of the verb mark not only number but also aspect, mood and tense.

Hixkaryána gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.

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