The Major and Minor Races of Mankind
Repost from the old site that was shut down. This post is very long and complicated – it runs to 83 pages – but I have tried to make it as easy to understand as possible. Please feel free to dip into it at your leisure. Updated January 28, 2013. Regularly updated.
As you can see by the title, this is an awfully ambitious post. Those who believe that race does not exist, or that Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid and Australoid are outdated terms of no use, might as well bail out right now and save yourself the exasperation.
Recent prior attempts include the usual Mongoloid – Caucasoid – Negroid Three Race Theory, which is discussed below. The main problems with this theory are twofold: that it fails to classify a group called Australoids and that it fails to note the huge split between SE Asians and NE Asians.
From Cavalli-Sforza’s recent work comes an eight-race theory: European Caucasoids, South Asian and North African Caucasoids, Northeast Asian Mongoloids, Southeast Asians extending from Thailand to Indonesia and the Philippines, Pacific Islanders, Australian Aborigines, Negroids and American Indians.
This is not bad, but I would argue that there is no reason to put both Arabs/Berbers and South Indians in one race (see Cavalli-Sforza’s own map below). Genetically, they are quite distant.
From my World Book Encyclopedia 1990 comes a nine-race theory: Negroids, Caucasians, Asians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Melanesians, Aborigines, South Indians and Amerindians. To this I recently added three more very distinct groups, Khoisan (Bushmen), Pygmies and Negritos, to come up with 12 races.
But we can go further than this. If Polynesians and Melanesians are widely regarded as separate races, we should be able to distinguish races based on any other major grouping at least as genetically distant as Polynesians and Melanesians. When I finally found two hapmaps showing the distance between Polynesians and Melanesians, I got the idea for a new race theory based on genetic distance alone.
This theory in most cases is based only on genetic distance, and not physical appearance of physical anthropology. In a few cases, races were grouped into a major group based on appearance – for instance, genetically, Chukchis are in the Caucasian square below, yet they look anything but Caucasian.
Though many distinguish Melanesians and Papuans, Capelli’s (see below) genetic analysis puts them in one race. But see Figures 1-4 below which clearly put them in separate groups. Also, Melanesian and Papuan teeth are very different from each other.
Some people are likely to be upset by this theory.
Surely the Japanese will not be happy to learn that they are virtually identical to the despised Koreans. White Nationalists will not be happy to learn that Turks, Jews, Kurds and Iranians are included in the European race and that they cannot include South Indians with Australoids.
NE Asians and ignorant amateur anthropologists will be unhappy to learn that there is no reason to lump SE Asians with Australoids and that the hated Filipinos (which some refer to as the “niggers of Asia”) are very close to the high-IQ, high-achieving Southern Chinese and the Filipinos haven’t a trace of Negrito in them.
It is standard of NE Asian racialists and amateur anthropologists on the Net to say that the Filipinos are heavily-Negrito.
There are traces of Australoid (Papuan) genes in the Malay, some Indonesians, the Southern Thai and the Coastal Vietnamese, but these admixtures are not large, and the Filipinos haven’t any observable Australoid traces.
Filipinos are closer to Southern Chinese than any other race below, although they are also close to the Aeta Negritos. This is because the Aeta and Ati Negritos are not Australoids genetically but instead are related to SE Asians. Anthropomorphically, they are Australoids.
There is also a more substantial Melanesian component in many Indonesians (except those in Western Indonesia), but there is In fact, as Figures 1-3 below indicate, they are Asians and are most closely related to other Pacific Islanders. In fact, the distance between SE Asians and Australoids is greater than the distance between NE Asians and Caucasians.
Afrocentrists will be unhappy to learn that various dark folks like South Asians, Melanesians, Papuans and Negritos cannot be considered to be “Black” by any sane definition of the word.
This theory creates nine major races and 113 minor races. It is a work in progress.
Most of this document comes from Cavalli-Sforza’s haplogroup gene map of the human race below.
Figure 1: Cavalli-Sforza’s Principal Coordinate (PC) autosomal DNA haplogroup gene mappings of major human ethnic and racial groups. There are differences between a PC mapping and the tree mappings below.Much of the racial grouping below is based on this map – on genetic distance between groups, not on superficial resemblances between groups. The upper left square can be called NE Asian. The lower left square can be called SE Asian. The upper right square can be called Caucasian. The lower right square can be called African.Figure 2: Another Cavalli-Sforza map showing general genetic distance, with tremendous overlap with the map above. This map clearly separates out Papuans and Melanesians and also Filipinos and Thais. There is some confusion here regarding the placement of Northern Turkics with Amerindians and whether NW Amerindians should be cleaved off into a separate race.
This map is actually interesting because it implies that there are six major races of humans – not three – NE Asians, SE Asians, Oceanians (Australoids), Pacific Islanders, Caucasians and Africans. As you can see, the distance between NE Asians and SE Asians and between SE Asians and Pacific Islanders is greater than that between NE Asians and Caucasians. SE Asia is clearly an area of profound genetic diversity.
Figure 3: Yet another map, in this case a genetic tree. Once again, Papuans must be cleaved from Melanesians and Thai, and Chinese are clearly separated. This is the first tree that shows the Northern Chinese, and it seems clear it wants to put them with the Koreans and Japanese. This map shows five major races – Caucasians, NE Asians, SE Asians, Africans, Papuans and Aborigines.
Figure 4: More from Cavalli-Sforza showing genetic distance. This was apparently used to map one or both of the maps above. Based on this, I split the Thai off from the Filipinos. This map also shows that Aborigines are most closely related first to Mongolians and Siberians and second to Japanese and Koreans.
I usually wanted about 150 points difference to split off into a separate race, but in some cases I split off closer groups if they were distinguished somewhere else, like in any combination of Figs. 1, 2 or 3. You need to click on it to read it properly.
The initial impulse for this post was this paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics, A Predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania (Capelli et al 2001). If you look at Table 4 in Capelli, you can see that they carefully delineate out Polynesian and Melanesian groups based on Haplogroup mapping.
Since many scholars of race include both Melanesians and Polynesians as separate races, this table serves to delineate what the proper genetic distance between genetic groups needs to be in order for them to be separate races.
Based on Polynesians and Melanesians as separate races in Table 4 in Capelli, I was able to sort out four more groups in that table, if only to get some idea of the distances between racial groups.
First, an Indonesian Race was separated out, including all but the easternmost island groups such as the Alor that go into Melanesian. Javanese and Sarawak were later included based on Figure 5. Later, based again on Figure 5, the Toraja and Mentawi were separated out, each into their own groups. The Toraja are an ancient farming group in South Sulawesi. The Mentawi are the indigenous peoples of the Mentawi Islands west of Sumatra. They still live a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
A Lesser Sunda Race was also split out (see Figure 5), but the Alor were not covered, as they lumped more with Melanesians. The Lesser Sunda Race included the Lembata, the Lamaholot, the Manggarai and the Kambera. These people have mixed Indonesian and Melanesian ancestry. The Lembata and Lamaholot live on Lomblen Island east of Flores Island. The Kembara live on Sumba Island and the Manggarai live in the West of Flores Island.
Second, a Filipino-Ami Race, composed of Filipinos and the Ami, a Taiwanese aborigine group (the Filipinos are almost genetically identical to the Ami and are quite close to the Southern Chinese – see Figure 1 in Capelli) was split off.
Third, a South Chinese Race consisting of unknown groups that was later expanded below was split off.
Based on the distances between these clearly differentiated races in Capelli, I was able to plot plot racial distances in Figure 1 above to infer major and minor races based on distance.
All of the groups created via Capelli were then further chopped up based on Cavalli-Sforza here (p. 234-235). An Indonesian Race consisting of Sulawesi, Borneo and Lesser Sunda survived the cut, while the Alor of Lesser Sunda went into Melanesians. Malays themselves are distinct enough to create a Malay race.
The proto-Malay or Temuan, who have some of the most ancient genes on Earth of all of the Out of African peoples, are an ancient aboriginal group in Malaysia. They have an extremely diverse genetic signature (See Figure 5), enough to split off a category all of their own.
The Bidayuh or Land Dayaks are the indigenous peoples of Sarawak. Their genetics are wildly divergent (Figure 5), as we might expect from such an ancient people, hence, they form their own stock.
Some comments are in order.
Although separate NE Asian and SE Asian Major Races were created in order to account for both the vast differences between NE and SE Asians (the distance between NE and SE Asians is greater than the distance between Caucasians and NE Asians) it should still be noted that at a deep level, this is clearly one race.
The Gilyak and Ainu are leftovers from the original Proto-Northeast Asians. The Proto-Northeast Asian homeland was around Lake Baikal maybe 35,000 years ago. The Ainu themselves may go back 18,000 years to the Jomons, who arrived from Thailand. These people resembled Australoids.
In Figure 1 above, Northern Turkic forms a clear race with various Amerindians, yet in Figure 4, they seem to be quite distant. The Buryat have also been linked to Amerindians, even though anthropologically, they are linked to Mongolians and genetically they are close to Koreans.
The North Turkics are closest to the Northern Chinese and the Nepalese, both of which were split off into separate groups. The Manchu and Qiang were added to the Northern Han based on genetics for the Manchu and the fact that the Qiang have an origin in the north. The Yunnan Han, a southern group, oddly cluster with Northern Chinese, as do the Hui.
The Oroqen, a Siberian Tungusic tribe in northeast China that is genetically very divergent, was split off into its own group.
The Nepalese, consisting of Nepalis and Newaris, are genetically Asians, though they resemble Caucasians. They pretty much straddle the line between Caucasians and Asians. A lot of groups close to them – Turkics, Mongols, Northern Chinese, and Altaics, straddle the line between Caucasian and Asian.
Nepalis are closely related to South Indians. They are also close to Central Asians. The Central Asian Race includes the Kirghiz, Karalkalpaks, Uzbeks, Turkmen and possibly others. Although they are mixed Caucasian-Mongoloid people, genetic analysis shows that they can be included with Asians. However, other analysis (Table 2) shows that they are best placed in with Caucasians, though only barely.
Others, such as Kazakhs, are closer to Tuvans and also Mongolians (Table 2). The Kazakhs were placed into a Mongolian Race, somewhat arbitrarily.
The Sherpas were then further split off and placed in with the Yakut (p. 231). All of these splits were based on this data (p. 229). The Tuva were given a separate race based on data showing them splitting away from the Yakut-Sherpas (p. 229)
Northeastern Indians were put into the Mon-Khmer Race somewhat arbitrarily, since this is who they cluster with. There was some confusion. In one paper, the Naga, Apatani, Nishi and Nemang cluster with the Mon-Khmer, and the Adi go in with Tibetans.
The situation is somewhat contradicted by this Y-DNA graph (Reddy 2007), which puts the Apatani, Nishi and Adi, along with the Tripuri, Jamatia, Mog and Chakma, in a single Indian Tibeto-Burman Race. Because of this cluster, and because this group tends to separate somewhat from General Tibetan, I created an Indian Tibeto-Burman Race.
Note that the Tibeto-Burman Tujia, Yizu and Shan cluster away from Indian Tibeto-Burman to some extent. The Mizo and Yizu, Indian Tibeto-Burman groups, cluster more with General Tibetan. However, the Mizo are far enough away from the rest of General Tibetan to warrant their own stock (chart). The Garo also cluster with General Tibetan on Y-DNA, but on Mt-DNA, they are very different (chart) (Reddy 2007).
A group of the Mundas was split off as a Meghalaya Race on the basis of their differentiation on MtDNA (chart) (Reddy 2007). Some Indian Tibeto-Burman groups such as the Bai and the Pnar were included. This race includes the War Jantia, Bhoi, Maram, War Khasi, Kynriam, Nishi, Pnar and Bai. All of these groups are found in Meghalaya or over the border into China.
A group consisting of the Santhal, Naga, Munda, Kurmi and Sudra were split off from this group due to their dramatic difference on MtDNA (chart). This group also lives in NE India.
There is a group of Indo-European speakers in NE India that can be differentiated from the rest of the groups on Mt-DNA. This NE India Indo-European Race consists of the Mahishya, Bagdi, Gaud, Tanti and Lodha.
The Mon-Khmer are close enough to Thai and Southern Chinese in Fig. 4 to be included with the Tai, but they were split off due to the obvious distance in Fig. 1. The Mon-Khmer, Southern Chinese and Thai groups are clearly all closely related.
The Zhuang were split off from Mon-Khmer into a Munda Race on the basis of this autosomal DNA table (p. 235) (Cavalli-Sforza 1994). The The Austroasiatic Race consists of the Mon, Zhuang, She, Santhal, Ho and Lyngngam. Most of these groups are found in NE India, but the Mon are in Burma. Most speak Austroasiatic languages, but a some speak Tibeto-Burman or even Indo-European languages. The Nongtrai group with this race in Y-DNA (chart) but not on MtDNA (chart), where they may well form their own group.
The Zhuang are a group in Southern China. They left Central China for Southern China 5000 yrs ago. This group was originally thought to be part of the proto-Tai group in Southern China that later moved down into SE Asia and gave rise not only to the Thai, but also helped form many other SE Asian groups.
At the time of the split from proto-Tai to Tai, the Zhuang went to Guangxi Province and the Tai went to Yunnan. In 1200, the Tai moved down into Indochina and mixed with local groups, becoming the Thai, Lao and Shan.
The Senoi are an ancient group in Malaysia dating back about 4,000-8,000 years. From the close genetic relationship, it seems that the Senoi may have split off from the proto-Zhuang or an earlier group soon after the group left Northern China for Southern China. The Santhal, Ho and Shompen may also have been early split-offs.
The Shompen at least are thought to be a very old group. Originally it was thought that they were remnants of the early people (Negritos) who settled the area, but further research indicated that they are an Austroasiatic group, albeit an ancient one.
Although there is much controversy about the origins of the Senoi (Are they Negritos?) a variety of points of inquiry converge on the notion that they are related to SE Asians.
The Senoi are Veddoids, an ancient group with possible links to the Negritos and the original settlers of Asia 70,000 years ago. There is fascinating evidence for this as Senoi skulls cluster with skulls from the Andaman Islands, Coastal New Guinea and Tamils. Andaman Islanders are Negritos, the New Guinea population is Melanesian and the Tamils are thought to be Veddoid.
The Senoi speak an Austroasiatic language and are also thought to be related to the Vietnamese and the Khmer. Senoi teeth resemble SE Asian and Polynesian teeth. It is thought that the Senoi came down from Southern China and bred in heavily with the Negrito Semang in Malaysia. The Senoi have wavy hair like most Veddoids, though some have straight hair and a few have woolly hair like Negritos.
I recently split the Greater Andamanese and the Onge into two separate major races each based on new data showing that they are profoundly different from all other humans. Whether or not they get separate major races of their own each is open to debate and is determined by the depth of their differences.
However, the data does show that they are each completely separate branches on the human tree. As the Andaman Islanders were the first people to split off after we left Africa and they have been evolving for ~70,000 years in isolation, it figures that they would be extremely different.
I also decided to split Australoids into a macro race alongside Caucasians, Africans and Asians due to charts showing that they are extremely different from all other humans. This group would include for now Papuans, Aborigines and Andaman Islanders.
The Tungus, a group of mostly reindeer-herding tribes, including the Even and the Evenki, were given a separate group based on this map (p. 227). The Evenki are also close to various Tibetan groups, because these Tibetan groups came from NE Asia also.
Amazingly, the Yenisien (of which Ket is the last surviving member) Language Family has now (in 2004) been conclusively tied to the Amerindian Na-Dene Language Family, the first conclusive linking of a New and Old World language family. Even though the Ket presently reside quite a bit to the north of the Altai region where most Amerindians came from, the Ket used to live down near the Altai thousands of years ago.
Northern Turkics include such groups as the Altai, Hazara, Shor, Tofalar, Uighurs, Chelkan, Soyot, Kumandin, Tuva and Teleut. They are located around the Altai Mountains where China, Mongolia and Russia all come together. This is where most of the Amerindians came from.
Evidence for including the Hazara, who speak a language related to Persian, in the Northern Turkic group is a chart that shows the Hazara clustering with the Uighur.
Malay Negritos (the Semang) were given a separate race based on a recent study finding them highly differentiated from other Asian populations. The Jehai and Kensui are related Negrito groups in Malaysia (Figure 5).
Though Cavalli-Sforza includes Berbers barely into the African square, I include them with Caucasians due to their greater resemblance to Caucasians than African, and also due to genetic analyzes that show that they have little Black in them. However, some Berbers are clearly African. Analyses of the more-Caucasian Berbers find that, across the board, they are on average Tuaregs were given separate races because they are clearly separate from Berbers and all of the African groups in Fig. 1.
However, Tuaregs do cluster (p. 169) with Algerians and Bejas. Since Algerians are Caucasian and most Tuaregs are Africans (though they vary considerably), I had to separate them into major races based on appearance. This is one of those cases where genes flies in the face of physical anthropology.
Bejas are a mixed-race people living in northeastern Africa and speaking a Cushitic language. They look like Ethiopians. Ethiopians are about 5
Similarly, Nubians are grouped (p. 169) in with the Caucasian Berbers, although most people consider them to be Black people. With examples like this, you can see why Fig. 1 has Berbers on the border of African and Caucasian.
Figure 1 also puts the Chukchi in the Caucasian square, though they clearly resemble Asians. I lump them in with Asians due to their obvious resemblance to Asians. I included Aleuts with Chukchis due to a recent paper showing a linkage.
Siberian Eskimos were included for the same reason. The entire group was called the Beringian Race. The Koryaks were split into a separate group due to Cavalli-Sforza’s data. The Itelmen were later added to the Koryaks due to evidence showing that they are related. Both were combined into a Paleosiberian Race. The Reindeer Chukchi, apparently a more Siberian group, was split off due to its great (p. 228) genetic distance from other groups.
The Uralic Race was split into a Siberian Uralic Race including the Samoyed, Ket and Nentsy subgroups (p. 227). The Nganasan are an outlier (p. 229) in this group, and there was barely enough evidence to split them into a separate group.
Northern Na-Dene speakers were split from the North American Eskimos whom they resemble (p. 323), on the basis of this tree (p. 227). Similarly, Ge and Tucanoan (linguistic groups) Amerindians were split off from the rest due to great distance (p. 322) between them and the others.
A Fuegian Amerindian Race was created based on evidence that they exhibit extreme genetic differences with all other Amerindians. They are probably the ancestors of the original peopling of the Americas.
The Nootka, or Nuuchahnulth, were also split off due to the finding of a fifth major haplogroup lineage (p. 1166) in them in addition to the main four lineages – A-D – usually found in Amerindians. This line links back to ancient Amerindian remains and goes back to Mongolia.
I started out with a General Amerindian Race, but I decided to split it into four races – Northwest American, Northern, Central and Southern, based on Figure 2. It is true that I could not make these splits on the basis of Figure 1 or the genetic distance charts, but as most serious splits on Figure 2 went into separate races, I decided to split the Amerinds in the same manner.
Further, the Amerinds have some of the greatest internal genetic distances of any geographical group, far more, for instance, than the Europeans and Iranians, so the splitting seemed valid.
South Indians are included with Caucasians based on a general consensus that these are an ancient group of Caucasians. The reason being their resemblance in facial and body structure to Caucasians. In addition, Figure 1 clearly puts them in the Caucasian square, and the other three figures clearly show that they are most closely related to Caucasians.
Although genetic studies say that South Indians are all one race and there is good reason to believe this, Figure 1 delineates South Indians and North Indians into separate groups, though there is a clear transition from one to the other. Figures 2 and 3 reiterate the distinction between South and North Indians.
There is data linking Vietnamese genetically with Cantonese. Vietnamese genetics are very complex and it is all being worked out. They are clearly an Austronesian-Tai mix with heavy S. Chinese admixture and some undetermined amount of Khmer and Cham mixed in. Vietnamese does not include the Montagnards, who are the indigenous people and seem to be related to Negritos.
There is good evidence also linking the Vietnamese and related groups to the Tai, however, there seems to be better evidence linking to them to a small group of mostly Mon-Khmer speakers. The Deang or Paluang, the Jinuo and the Blang lump together with the Vietnamese (Lĭ 2006). The Mon-Khmer speaking Deang live in Yunnan, Burma and Thailand, the Tibeto-Burman speaking Jinuo live in Yunnan and the Blang also live in Yunnan. So the closest living relatives to the Vietnamese people are in Yunnan, and next in Burma and Thailand.
Since there is quite a bit more distance between Filipinos and Thais than between Filipinos and Southern Chinese, I split off Thais into a separate race. I also kept the Filipino-Ami Race above, but added the Guangdong Han (Guangdonren in Chinese) to the group based on evidence that they are linked to the Ami.
Based on Fig. 5, I further refined the Filipino portion of this group into Tagalog, Visaya and Ilocano speakers, while splitting off the Manobo into a separate group, as they are divergent (Fig. 5). Tagalogs are an ethnic group who live mostly in Luzon and Oriental Mindoro, while Visayan languages are spoken in the Visayas region in the central Philippines, encompassing the islands of Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar and Palawan. Ilocano speakers are located in the far north of Luzon.
A race called the Southeast China Race was created based on a tight clustering of the Minnan Nan, Hakka, and overseas Chinese of Singapore and Thailand. Based on Figure 5, the Cantonese Han (outside of Hong Kong) were added to this race.
A separate Taiwanese Aborigine Race was split off, based on Cavalli-Sforza’s work. This group, best seen as the principal Taiwanese Aborigine Race, consists of the Atayal, Bunun and Yami. Another Taiwanese Aborigine group, the Paiwan, was split into an Island SE Asian Race based on Cavalli-Sforza. Interestingly, the Paiwan, Atayal and Yami are also somewhat close to the Tai Race (see below).
The Taiwanese Aborigines have an interesting background, and their prehistory is in need of further research.
In addition to the Thais proper, I also include other Tai groups such as the Tai Lue, Tai Kern, Tai Yong and Tai Yuan on the basis of Figure 5. All are found in Thailand. Many groups are related to the Thais. They are the Lao, Shan, Dai, Lahu, Aini and Naxi. The Lahu, Dai and Aini were included on the basis of this report. All of them are found in Yunnan. This group is found in Southern China (especially Yunnan), Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Burma. The Buyei are also related to the Thai.
Two aboriginal groups of Thailand are so different as to warrant a separate stock each.
The Htin, or Mal, are ancient aborigines of Thailand speaking a Khmuic language. In Figure 5, they are different enough to constitute their own stock.
The Mlabri are a very strange group of hunter-gatherers in Thailand who are very poorly understood. They live very primitive lives. Their genetics is wildly diverse and suggests that they were founded from a small stock only 800 years ago or so. That is, they went through a genetic bottleneck. Some think that they are former farmers who went back to land for some reason. They are one of the most genetically wildly diverse people in Asia (see Figure 5).
Although Fig. 4 suggests that Southern Chinese and the Thai should be grouped together, Figs. 1-3 suggest otherwise. Clearly, the two groups are very close, but I decided to break Southern Chinese off due to the other figures above, especially Figure 1, that suggest they are a separate grouping.
I lumped a number of groups into a Southern Chinese Race, including the Dong, Yi and the Han living in Henan Province, China, based on evidence that they form a group with the Southern Chinese. These groups are found in the Southern Chinese provinces, including Henan, Guangxi, Sichuan, Guizhou, Hainan and Fujian.
I created a Hmong-Mien Race for the Hmong and the Mien, since, while they are close to the Southern Chinese Race, they are different enough to merit their own category (see Figure 5).
The Li is a genetically divergent Chinese ethnic group that forms it’s own outlier between the Southern and Northern Chinese. However, it trends more towards Southern Chinese. They also link up very closely to the Khmer. The suggestion here is that the ancestors of the Khmer were the Li.
What we are learning about Negritos is that instead of forming a distant group, they are often closest to the people they are living around. So the Philippine Negritos (Aeta) are closest to other Filipinos, and the Veddas are closest to other South Asians.
The Mamanwa, a Negrito group on Mindanao Island in the Philippines, are highly divergent from the rest of the Philippine Negritos. The Mamanwa are thought to be remnants of the original Negrito population in the Philippines.
The Palau, a Micronesian group, curiously cluster with Aeta and Agta Negritos, indicating that they may be the remains of the original settlers of SE Asia. The Agta and Aeta cluster together also (Fig. 5). The Aeta and Agta Negritos both live in mountainous areas of Luzon.
The Iraya Mangyans of the Philippines are also quite different, but they are close to the Ati Negritos, also of the Philippines (Fig. 5). The Ati live on Panay Island, in the Visayas Group. The Iraya are a Mangyan group living on Mindoro Island. The Mangyans are not Negritos, but they are still an indigenous group in the Philippines and are different from most Filipinos.
The Toba Batak, a tribe in northern Sumatra, curiously clusters with the Kanaka and Yap Micronesians. On Figure 5, the Karo Batak line up with the Toba Batak. They may be leftovers of the original Melanesian-Polynesian mix that populated Micronesia. The Kanaka is an old name for a The Veddas are clearly related to the Negritos as one of the sole remaining leftovers of the group that left Africa 70,000 years ago and populated all of Asia. There are interesting links between them and the Toala of Southern Sulawesi and the Senoi of Malaysia. Nevertheless, almost all Veddas except the Kerala Kadar cluster with the South Indian Race.
North Indians include the Punjabis, Central Indic, Punjabi Brahmins, Rajputs, Vania Soni, Mumbai Brahmins, Jats, Kerala Brahmins, Pakistanis and Koli.
South Indians include the Munda, Bhil, Maratha, Rajbanshi, Oraon, Parji, Kolami-Naiki, Chenchu-Reddi, Konda, Kolya, West Bengal Brahmins, Parsi and Gonds. Although many of these groups are thought to be related to Veddas or Negritos and part of the original people of India, they now resemble other South Indians.
Kerala Kadar are a highly diverse Vedda group who are probably the ancestors of the original people of India. They live in the forests of Kerala and resemble Australoids.
The Gurkha and Tharu are two highly diverse groups in Nepal. In Figure 5, the Ladakhi are close to them, so a Himalayan Race was created to encompass them.
The Kanet live in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat and probably have some Tibetan mixture. The inclusion of the Uttar Pradesh Brahmin with these people in unexplained.
The Nicobarese and the Senoi cluster with the Munda Race on Y-DNA, but on Mt-DNA, they are extremely different (chart here) (Reddy 2007), which is suggested by their ancient origins. Each got a separate race due to their extreme divergence.
The Khoisan were divided into three groups, the San, Khoi and Hadza. The Khoi are probably a creation of intermarriage between SW Bantus and San. The Hadza are an ancient group in Kenya and Ethiopia. The San form a separate race with the Somalis.
The Sara are a a very divergent Nilotic group from Chad, who form a race with Biaka Pygmies from Central African Republic. All of the African splits are from here (p. 169).
The Funji, a Nilo-Saharan group, was both split off due to their diversity (p. 169). The Bedik, a small group of 5,000 in Senegal, are also divergent. Though they are not divergent enough to be a race on the distance chart, they are on the PC and tree charts. The Funji, or Gule, live in Sudan on the Blue Nile near the Ethiopian border (p. 170). The Bedik are a small group in Senegal.
Three groups in Senegal, the Peul, Serer (650,000) and Wolof (2 million), were split off into a separate group although they they do not have enough distance in the distance chart to warrant that, similar to the Southern Chinese, Thai and Khmer. However, like these three groups, the Senegalese groups are quite different on the PC Chart and on the tree chart, so they were split off (p. 181-182).
The Peul (700,000) speak Fulani (Peul is just French for Fulani), but are settled African farmers, unlike the more pastoralist Caucasian – Berber group that roams across the Sahel.
Figure 1 appears to divide humanity into four racial squares – Northeast Asian, Southeast Asian, Caucasian and African. Although the difference between SE and NE Asians is deeper than that between Asians and Caucasians, it is clear that this is all one race – the Mongoloids. Inside of that group, all of the Chinese are related.
The homeland of the proto-Asians dates back over 60,000 years and is in northern Vietnam and southern China. We know this because the Vietnamese have the greatest genetic diversity in all of Asia. The split between the NE Asians and the SE Asians is at least 53,000 years deep. There is a Hmong-specific line alone that may date as far back as 26,000 years.
The traditional tripartite system favored today by racial minimalists – Caucasian, Mongoloid and Negroid – is appealing, but I could not reproduce it. As there is as much difference between Asians and Caucasians as between SE Asians and NE Asians, why should I create a Mongoloid Race?
Instead, I split it into nine separate major races. This enabled me to account for the fact that while Australoids are Asians (genetic analysis of various Australoids has proven this), they are definitely an extremely divergent group.
This analysis also recognizes the deep diversity of Australoids – the Aborigines are more distant to Africans than any other race (once again despite physical appearance), due to genetic drift in Australia for millenia.
At first I put Papuans into an Australoid Race with Aborigines, but later I split them off. The distance between Aborigines and Papuans is as great as between Caucasians and Asians, so why lump the two Oceanians together? At the same time, we should recognize that there is a Mongoloid super-group that does encompass Aborigines, Papuans and both NE and SE Asians.
Figure 1 puts Aborigines barely into the NE Asian square, Papuans on the line between SE and NE Asians and Melanesians further down in the SE Asian square. Figure 4 shows that Aborigines they are mostly closely related first to Mongolians and Siberians and next to Japanese and Koreans. This is due to the Ainu substructure in these groups.
I also reluctantly split off the Kalash into a separate major race, inside of Caucasians, based on a stunning paper that differentiated the Kalash among groups such as Africans, East Asians, Oceanians, etc.
Based on Cavalli-Sforza’s six-race theory above in part, I split off Amerindians into a separate race inside of Asians. I also split off Pacific Islanders into a group called Oceanians, but contra Cavalli-Sforza, I did not include Papuans with the rest of the Pacific Islanders.
My Pacific Islander group includes Melanesians, Micronesians and Polynesians. Note that one group of Indonesians is included in each of the Melanesian and Micronesian subgroups. Therefore, there is no Indonesian race per se, as Indonesians encompass a variety of groups, although most can be put into a few SE Asian minor races.
That is based on genes. If you go by anthropometrics, you can get a group called Australoids that includes Negritos, Melanesians, the Ainu, Papuans, Aborigines, the Senoi, Tamils and Fuegian Amerindians.
The Andaman Islands Negritos are also profoundly different from other groups, and are said to have the “purest” genetic profile of any group, once again due to genetic drift and lack of outside inputs. Papuans, Melanesians and Negritos are also extremely distant from Africans, once again despite physical appearances.
The Khoisan (San and Bushmen) in Africa are the oldest race on Earth based on genetic signatures dating back 53,000 years, and this is what the original humans who came out of Africa 70,000 years ago may have looked like.
The various Negrito groups, the Aborigines and possibly the Papuans are also very ancient.
Australoid types and their ancestors are the original peoples of India , Burma, Thailand, The Bantu (or the Africans that we are familiar with) may go back much further – it has been up to 40,000 years since they split off from the Pygmies. There is a suggestion that they were distinguishable from Khoisan (Bushmen) even 100,000 years ago (p. 160). The ancestors of all Africans seem to have come from West Africa at least 35,000 years ago (p. 160).
Amerindians at the tip of South America are very different in head shape than the rest of the Amerindians – looking more like Australoids – and their genetics is also profoundly different.
The most ancient Europeans are the Saami and an ancient, isolated group of Sardinians. Among Caucasians, the Berber and South Indian Races appear to be very ancient, and both are extremely divergent within the Caucasian group. They may be surviving remnants of the most ancient Caucasians.
The South Indians are actually midway between Caucasians and Asians genetically and are only lumped with Caucasians because this is who they most resemble.
Europeans proper only go back 10,000 years or so, but the Saami (best seen as proto-Europeans) seem to go further back than that.
South Indians have been evolving in considerable isolation for about 15-20,000 years in the subcontinent. Prior to that, they appear to have come from the Middle East. The Berbers of today appear to be continuous with Berbers of up to The rest of the groupings mostly follow from Figure 1. More tables like Table 4 in Capelli would be very helpful in order to tease out more minor races.
A single asterisk indicates considerable genetic difference from related groups, two asterisks indicates a highly divergent group, and three asterisks is a profoundly divergent group. Major races are in red.
Some groups are not represented. I was not able to classify many groups with Negrito or Veddoid affiliations, such as the Tamils of South Asia and the Montagnards of Vietnam.
Mien and Qiang are Northern Chinese tribes, but the Mien have moved to the South lately. I could not find any good genetic data on the Qiang. The Nu were arbitrarily included in the Tibetan Race because they came from Tibet, but I don’t have good genetic data to prove that this is really a single unit. The chart here does not clarify things much.
The Bhutanese, though most closely related to Tibetans, were given their own race based on data showing that they are nevertheless considerably distant from Tibetans.
The Barya are a mixed-race group in Western Eritrea.
The Gilyak or Nivkhi are an ancient tribe living on the border between Korea, Russia and Japan that has ties to the Ainu. Ryukyuan is another name for Okinawan. They were given a separate race based on studies showing them intermediate between the Ainu and modern Japanese.
The Va (or Wa) are an ethnic group in Yunnan and Burma that seems to be distinct from the Northern, Southern and Tibetan Chinese groups. The Va seem to be about equally related to the Northern and Southern Chinese, indicating some sort of a dual origin. The Jingpo, or Karen, another Yunnan group that also occurs in Burma, were included with them based on this paper. The Lawa of Thailand were added to this group based on Figure 5. Interestingly, the languages of the Lawa and Va are also closely related.
A Southern Japanese Race was split off from the Japanese, Ryukuyans and Ainu. This group is made up of Kyushu Island, the southernmost island, and the Kinki region of Honshu, near the city of Kyoto. The Japanese in this area are highly divergent (p. 232).
The European-Iranian Race includes almost all Europeans except the Saami, Basques and Sardinians. The Saami and the Sardinians are very distant and the Basques much less so from the rest of the Europeans.
Although Cavalli-Sforza classes the Basques, Yugoslavs and Greeks as genetic outliers, there was not enough distance between the Yugoslavs and Greeks and other Europeans to split them into a separate group on the basis of genetic distance. Furthermore, the Greeks are clearly in the European group in Fig. 1 – they are quite close to English and Danes in the PC analysis.
However, I did split the Basques off based on their lying outside the European-Iranian cluster on the PC chart in Fig. 1. Most groups that were distinguished as independent units outside of clusters on Fig. 1 were given separate races.
The Greeks are interesting in that, while they are obviously a part of the Europeans on all charts, they are also the only Europeans that are are also close enough to most Middle Easterners to be included in their group. So the Greeks are a link between the European and Middle Eastern groupings inside the Caucasian Race.
The Iranian branch includes Jordanians, Iraqis, Assyrians, Druse, Lebanese, Kurds, Georgians, Caspians, Turks, Jews, and related groups in the area. It was difficult to decide whether to put the Turks in the Iranian subgroup or in the Central Asian subgroup, as they are close to both.
It was also very difficult to decide whether to put the people of the Caucasus, the Kurds, Turks, Caspians and Jews in the Iranian group or the Central Asian group as they cluster with both. I decided on sheer geographic grounds to put them in the Iranian group. The Russian Saami are closer to the Tungus and were included in that group.
Although some Arabs, West Asians and all South Indians were split off, this was somewhat arbitrary. Although they form separate groups on the Fig. 1, the Arabs are closely enough related to various Europeans, including Greeks, to be included with Europeans (Fig. 4). However, the Arabs were not as close as the Iranians.
Likewise, South Indians are close to Iranians, who are in turn close to Greeks and Italians – note that Iranians are also somewhat close to Danes and English (Fig. 4). As the Greeks link Europeans genetically with Middle Easterners, the Iranians link Europeans genetically with India. Arabs and South Indians were only split off due to the distance observable in Fig. 1.
West Asians were also split off due to their divergence. Based on this chart, they seem to be a compact grouping. This group includes the Pashtuns, Brahuis, Balochis, Makranis and Sindhis.
Further research shows that the Tajiks and Hunza, who at first appear to group with the West Asian group above, actually compose two groups divergent enough to be split into 2 different races. The first group is made of the Hunza of the Karokorams, the Bartangi of the Pamir Range and the Roma or Gypsies of Europe. So the Gypsies have a Himalayan origin.
The second group is made up of Tajiks, the Shugnan of the Pamirs, Bukhara Arabs and three groups in India – the Kallar of Kerala, the Sourashtran of Tamil Nadu and Yadhava of various parts of the region.
The Kalash, a strange, ancient, tiny tribe with Caucasian roots in northwest Pakistan in Chitral Province, are so diverse that they could very well form their Since making a macro race out of a tiny ethnic group in Pakistan is absurd, I decided to throw them as a major race subsumed under Caucasians, albeit on the grounds that they are an extremely divergent race. They were classed with Caucasians because there is a general consensus that this is what they are (last two links are racist).
Due to their divergence, Kuwaitis and Arabians – consisting of Saudis, Yemenis and Bedouins – were split off into separate groups.
The are numerous groups that are more or less recent combinations of various groups and do not yet deserve their own racial category.
Hispanics are in general a mixture between Caucasians (typically Iberians) and Amerindians. They have been evolving for a short time and have not had time to differentiate into anything suggesting a race yet (despite nonsense from La Raza demagogues).
There are other Hispanics who are heavily mixed with Blacks, Caucasians and Amerindians. This is especially seen in South America in Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia, and even in Central America and Mexico.
There are large Black-White mixed populations in the West Indies. In Singapore and Hawaii, there are rapidly mixing populations that defy categorization.
This paper is basically just a shot in the dark and is more properly termed a pilot or exploratory study. I welcome evidence-based inputs from any knowledgeable persons who wish to add to this preliminary grouping of the human races, major and minor. All suggestions coming from nationalists of various types, ethnic or otherwise, typically lacking evidence, will probably be rejected outright.
There are 4 macro races of man, 11 major races of man and 115 minor human races of man.
* = significant genetic distance from most other groups
** = major genetic distance from most other groups
*** = extreme genetic distance from most other groups
Asian Macro Race
Northeast Asian Major Race*
Japanese-Korean Race (Japanese – Korean)
Southern Japanese Race (Honshu Kinki – Kyushu)
Ryukyuan Race (Okinawans)
Ainu Race*** (Ainu)
Gilyak Race** (Gilyak)
Northern Chinese Race (Northern Han – Qiang – Manchu – Hui – Yunnan Han)
Oroqen Race (Oroqen)
Sherpa-Yakut Race (Sherpa – Yakut)
Nepalese Race (Nepali – Newari)
Mongolian Race (Mongolian – Inner Mongolian – Buryat – Kazakh)
Northern Turkic Race*** (Dolgan – Altai – Shor – Tofalar – Uighur – Chelkan – Soyot – Kumandin Teleut – Hazara)
Central Asian Race (Kirghiz – Karalkalpak – Uzbek – Turkmen)
Tuva Race (Tuva)
Tungus Race (Even – Evenki – Russian Saami)
Beringian Race** (Chukchi – Aleut – Siberian Eskimo)
Paleosiberian Race (Koryak – Itelmen)
Reindeer Chukchi Race (Reindeer Chukchi)
General Tibetan Race (Tibetan – Lisu – Nu – Tujia – Akha – Burmese – Yizu)
Mizo Race (Mizo)
Bhutanese Race (Bhutanese Buddhist)
Siberian Uralic Race (Nentsy – Samoyed – Ket – Mansi – Khanty)
Nganasan Race (Nganasan)
Uralic Race (Komi – Mari)
North American Eskimo Race (Inuit)
Amerindian Major Race*
Northern Na-Dene Race
Northwestern American Amerindian Race
Northern Amerind Race
Central Amerind Race
Southern Amerind Race
Ge Amerindian Race (Ge Language Group)
Tucanoan Amerindian Race (Tucanoan Language Group)
Nootka Amerindian Race (Nuuchahnulth – Makah)
Fuegian Amerindian Race (Ona – Yaghan – Kaweskar – Aonikenk – Alacaluf)
Southeast Asian Major Race*
Southern Chinese Race (Dong – Henan Han – Yi – She – Punu – Naxi)
Hmong-Mien Race (Chinese Hmong – Thai Hmong – Mien)
Li-Khmer Race (Li – Khmer)
Southeast China Race (Hakka – Min Nan – Singapore Chinese – Thai Chinese – Cantonese Han)
South China Sea Race (Tagalog – Ilocano – Visayan – Ami Taiwanese Aborigine – Guangdong Han)
Manobo Race (Manobo)
Philippines Negrito Race (Aeta – Agta – Palau Micronesian)
Mangyan-Ati Race (Iraya – Ati)
Mamanwa Philippines Negrito Race (Mamanwa)
Tai Race (Thai – Tai Lue – Tai Kern – Tai Yong – Tai Yuan – Lao – Lahu – Aini – Shan – Dai – Muong – Buyei)
Vietnamese Race (Vietnamese – Deang – Jinuo – Blang)
Mlabri Race** (Mlabri)
Htin Race (Htin)
Kachin Race (Kachin – Karen – Va – Nung – Lu – Lawa)
General Taiwanese Aborigine Race (Ayatal – Bunun – Yami)
Island SE Asian Race (Paiwan Taiwanese Aborigine – Sea Dayak – Sumatran – Balinese)
Bidayuh Race** (Jagoi)
Indonesian Race (Sulawesi – Borneo – Lesser Sunda – Sarawak – Javanese)
Mentawi Race (Mentawi)
Toraja Race (Toraja)
Lesser Sunda Race (Kambera – Lembata – Lamaholot – Manggarai)
Malay Race (Malaysia Malay – Singapore Malay)
Proto-Malay Race** (Temuan)
Austroasiatic Race (Mon – Zhuang – She – Ho – Lyngngam)
Nongtrai Race (Nongtrai)
Santhal-Naga Race (Santhal – Naga – Munda – Kurmi – Sudra)
Meghalaya Race (War Jantia – Bhoi – Maram – War Khasi – Kynriam – Nishi – Pnar – Bai)
Senoi Race (Senoi)
Shompen Race (Shompen)
Garo Race (Garo)
NE Indian Indo-European Race (Mahishya – Bagdi – Gaud – Tanti – Lodha)
Indian Tibeto-Burman Race (Apatani – Nishi – Adi – Tripuri – Jamatia – Mog – Chakma)
Semang Malay Negrito Race*** (Semang – Jehai – Kensui)
Oceanian Major Race*
Micronesian Race (Yap – Kanaka – Toba Batak Indonesian – Kora Batak Indonesian)
Polynesian Race* (Tonga – Western Samoa – French Polynesia – Cook Islands)
Melanesian Race (Fiji – Vanuatu – New Ireland – Papuan Melanesian – Nasioi – Alor Indonesian)
Australoid Macro Race
Australian Major Race***
General Australian Aborigine Major Race***
Queensland Aborigine Race***
Western Territory Pama-Nguyan Aborigine Race***
Papuan Major Race***
General Papuan Race***
Motu Papuan Race***
Sepik-Ramu Papuan Race***
Greater Andaman Islands Major Race***
Greater Andaman Islands Negrito Race***
Onge Andaman Islands Major Race***
Onge Andaman Islands Negrito Race***
Caucasian Macro Race
General Caucasian Major Race***
European-Iranian Race (Most European – Caucasus – Armenian – Jewish – Turk – Kurd – Iranian – Jordanian – Iraqi – Assyrian – Druze – Lebanese – Georgian – Caspian – Palestinian)
Basque Race (Basque)
Norwegian-Swedish Saami Race*** (Norwegian Saami – Swedish Saami)
Finnish Saami Race** (Finnish Saami)
Sardinian Race** (Sardinian)
Kuwaiti Race* (Kuwaiti)
Arabian Race (Saudi – Yemeni – Bedouin)*
West Asian Race (Pashtun – Brahui – Balochi – Makrani – Sindhi )
Tajik Race (Tajik – Bukhara Arab – Shugnan – Kallar – Sourashtran – Yadhava)
West Himalayan Race (Hunza – Bartangi – Roma)
Berber Race*** (Berber)
Egyptian Race (Egyptian)
North African Race (Moroccan – Libyan – Tunisian – Canarian)
Algerian Race (Algerian)
North Indian Race** (Punjabi – Central Indic – Punjabi Brahmin – Rajput – Vania Soni – Mumbai Brahmin – Jat – Kerala Brahmin – Koli)
Himalayan Race*** (Gurkha – Tharu – Ladakhi)
Karnet-Uttar Pradesh Brahmin Race*** (Karnet – Uttar Pradesh Brahmin)
South Indian Race** (Munda – Bhil – Maratha – Rajbanshi – Oraon – Parji – Kolami Naiki – Chenchu Reddi – Konda – Kolya – West Bengal Brahmin – Parsi – Gond)
Kerala Kadar Race*** (Kerala Kadar)
South Dravidian Race*** (Sinhalese – Lambada – Irula – Izhava – Kurumba – Nayar – Toda – Kota – Malayaraya – Tamil)
Kalash Major Race***
Kalash Race*** (Kalash)
African Macro Race
African Major Race***
Tigrean Race*** (Tigrean)
Amharic Race*** (Amharic)
Sudanese-Barya Race*** (Sudanese – Barya)
General Nilotic Race (Shilluk – Masai – Nuer – Dinka – Luo – Turkana – Karanojo – Mabaan)
Funji Nilotic Race (Funji)
Tuareg-Beja Cushitic Race*** (Tuareg – Beja)
Nubian Race*** (Nubian)
Wolof-Peul-Serer Race (Wolof – Peul – Serer)
General Bantu Race (Most Bantus)
Bedik Bantu Race (Bedik)
West African Race (Most West Africans)
Mbuti Pygmy Race
Sara Nilotic-Biaka Pygmy Race (Sara – Biaka)
San Khoisan-Somali Race*** (San – Somali)
Khoi Khoisan Race*** (Nama – !Ora)
Hadza Khoisan Race*** (Hadza)
Sandawe Khoisan Race (Sandawe)
Capelli C., Wilson J. F., Richards M., Stumpf M. P. H., Gratrix F., Oppenheimer S., Underhill P., Pascali V. L., Ko T. M., and Goldstein D. B. 2001. A Predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania. American Journal of Human Genetics 68:432-443.
Cavalli-Sforza L. L., Menozzi P,. Piazza A.. 1994. The History and Geography of Human Genes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Chu J. Y., Huang W., Kuang S. Q., Wang J. M., Xu J. J., Chu Z. T., Yang Z. Q., Lin K. Q., Li P., Wu M., Geng Z. C., Tan C. C., Du R. F., and Jin L.. 1998. Genetic Relationship of Populations in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 95:11763-11768.
Harihara S., Saitou N., Hirai M., Gojobori T., Park K. S., Misawa S., Ellepola S. B., Ishida T. and Omoto K. 1988. Mitochondrial DNA Polymorphism Among Five Asian Populations. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 43:134-143
Lĭ H., Pan S., Donnelly M., Tran D., Qin Z., Zhang Y., Cheng X., Yin R., Lin W. and Hoang V. 2006. Dermatoglyph Groups Kinh Vietnamese to Mon-Khmer. International Journal Of Anthropology 21:3-4, pages 295-306.
Lin M, Chu CC, Chang SL, Lee HL, Loo JH, Akaza T, Juji T, Ohashi J, Tokunaga K. March 2001. The Origin of Minnan & Hakka, the So-called “Taiwanese”, Inferred by HLA Study. Tissue Antigens:57(3):192-9.
Omoto, K. (1984). The Negritos: Genetic Origins and Microevolution. Acta Anthropogenetics 8(1-2):137-47.
Omoto K., Ueda S., Goriki K., Takahashi N., Misawa S., and Pagaran I. G. (1981). Population Genetic Studies of the Philippine Negritos. III. Identification of the Carbonic Anhydrase-1 Variant With CA1 Guam. Am J Hum Genet. 33(1): 105-111.
Reddy BM, Langstieh BT, Kumar V, Nagaraja T, Reddy ANS, et al. 2007. Useem, John. 1948. Posted on
In 1972, we were in the fourth year of Nixon’s stupid “Vietnamization” slow withdrawal, otherwise known as “peace with honor.” This idiot’s peace with honor crap got another 20,000 and God knows how many hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese dead. So Americans could have honor. 500,000 human beings dead so Americans could feel honorable. You know what? Fuck that. I was a sophomore in high school at the time.
I remember my father hated Nixon and Vietnamization. The Paris Peace Talks were going on all this time too. (((Henry Kissinger))) (The Evil One) was representing the US, so of course almost nothing got done. Nixon was bombing North Vietnam all this time. The Vietnamese had good anti-aircraft weapons (often manned by women!) and they shot down quite a few of our planes.
In addition, they had a lot of Russian MIG fighter jets. I’m not sure if it was Russians or Viets flying them, but they were very good. They were move than a match for our F-15’s and F-16’s, which were very good jets by the way. A lot of our jets got shot down in dogfights with MIGs. I believe he mined the harbor at Haiphong too. The schmuck even invaded Cambodia. I remember that. My father was livid.
This was also the time of My Lai. And the POW’s making broadcasts in North Vietnamese prisons.
Of course, over South Vietnam, we ruled the skies and our jets were never shot down. But we also used helicopters for air cover, and those things did get shot down a lot by Vietnamese troops on the ground. There was the Ho Chi Minh Trail, not really a road but endless paths cut through the thickest jungle on Earth. We flew planes over that trail all the time bombing it, but we never could shut it down, and the Viets still moved an incredible amount of men and equipment through that trail. The vehicles were often camouflaged with leaves.
Keep in mind that the Viet Cong (the South Vietnamese Communists) were basically wiped out by the Tet Offensive. After Tet, the North Vietnamese took over the war and they were a much more formidable opponent – a real army – than the Viet Cong, who were also very good but specialized in guerrilla war.
We were also bombing the Hell out of Laos at the time. Most of the bombing was focused on the Plain of Jars in the north. A number of our jets got shot down over Laos too. I’m not sure how they did it. POW’s were not just in North Vietnam. The Pathet Lao (the Laotian Communists) held quite a few US POW’s too. Neither they nor the North Vietnamese treated the POW’s well, but the Pathet Lao were probably worse. One small group of POW’s managed to escape a Pathet Lao prison camp. It is quite an impressive story.
In Laos, we recruited the Hmong, primitive tribesmen who didn’t understand the meaning of the words communism or capitalism and couldn’t have cared less even if we did. We paid these suckers and bribed them to be our mercenaries.
The CIA also smuggled a vast amount of opium out of this area called the Golden Triangle via the Nugen Hand Operation.
In 1968, I walked precints with my father for the antiwar candidate, Gene (Clean Gene) McCarthy. I was 10 years old. I think my father supported the war but he turned after the Tet Offensive. That’s when US support for the war dipped below 5
Westmoreland kept telling us that we were winning all the time, getting closer and closer to total defeat of the enemy. The phrase “light at the end of the tunnel” was used many times. Then Tet hit. The Viet Cong attacked every significant city and US military base in South Vietnam simultaneously. They infiltrated Saigon where there were guerrilla battles everywhere. They invaded the US embassy and almost took it over. The Marine guards shot the invaders, who lay on the front lawn, but some of the attaches had to retreat up to higher floors to be rescued.
This was the enemy, that was on its last legs, nearly defeated. Yeah right. Tet showed this for the massive lie it was. Light at the end of the tunnel my ass. Slowly getting better my ass. People had had enough. There was already an antiwar movement, but it really took off after Tet.
Back then we had an actual free independent First Amendment style media, unlike the stenographers, hacks, and state controlled media we have now. Journalists would actually get on TV and criticize a US war! It was during Tet that the great Walter Cronkite (yes, I saw him on TV many times) said the war was hopeless and he was withdrawing support for it. Can you imagine any US TV presstitute saying that about any US war nowadays? Hell no! A free press was a beautiful thing. Too bad we haven’t had one for a very long time in this country, a good 30 years, maybe more.
Polar Bear: I wonder if Hmong ruled before Han. I have no clue but Ancient Hmong were said to have many fair heads, which is an interesting visual.
The Hmong never ruled the Han.
But if you go back far enough, the Hmong go ultimately back to Xinjiang long ago, the home of the Uighurs. I recall that Queera post the poster linked to the other day claiming that the Hmong homeland was in the Yangtze River Valley, but anthropological studies imply that they were in Xinjiang before then.
I know this because I read a thorough 300-page ethnography about the Hmong written in 1953, and it went over the homeland issue extensively from an anthropological point of view.
I believe Xinjiang was much wetter back then. It has since very much dried out. I read a report of a British expedition to Xinjiang around 1906 and it was fascinating. Even back then, Xinjiang was seriously drying up. I’m not quite sure the reason. Since then, it’s gotten even worse. There are vast lakes there that are dry or drying up, along with a lot of dry of intermittent watercourses.
The Uighurs are half Caucasian and half Asian, even split. Some look as White as I do; others look Chinese. There has long been mixing between Caucasoids and Mongoloids in this part of the world, going way, way back even 15-20,000 YBP.
This is the “Caucasoid” in Siberians and Amerindians. It’s not really Caucasoid genes. It’s ancient Caucasoid ancestry, and those ancient Caucasoids in that part of the world didn’t look like White people. As best we can tell, they looked like the Amerindians of the Washington coast. So ancient Caucasoids didn’t look like us. They had a Mongoloid appearance.
Keep in mind that the Tocharians, a certainly-Caucasoid Indo-European group, also lived in this area. Remember the mummies that have been found in this part of the world dating back thousands of years? A number of them have been found with blond and red hair, and their genes indicate that a number also had blue eyes.
Yes, any Hmong will tell you that a very Caucasoid looking baby will at times pop up in the Hmong world, the legacy of some old recessive gene no doubt. There are many stories of blond, blue-eyed Hmong babies, and I actually have some pictures of some of them that I can put up if you wish.
I asked the Hmong I knew whether these people had recent Caucasoid ancestry, and they were adamant that they were pure Hmong. So this is an ancient trace of Caucasoid-Mongoloid mixing in the Proto-Hmong-Mien homeland of Xinjiang thousands of years ago.
If you study primitive peoples, you find that their traditional knowledge says this or that about whatever aspect of human biology or behavior. It’s based on their observations over centuries, knowledge of which traditionally rested with the elders. Hence why elders are so respected in these cultures.
And you will notice over and over that their traditional knowledge lines right up with what modern science, psychology, or medical science has discovered, except these folks figured this out way before science did. We think those people are stupid, but they’re not as dumb as you think.
An interesting sidelight. Many to most modern cultures have pretty insane attitudes about teenage sexuality or even the sexuality of young adults. Basically, it’s banned in most human cultures, and it’s even banned to a great extent in our own culture. My mother is still opposed to premarital sex to this very day. I’ve always been resentful of that, but that’s how she was brought up, so hey.
But if you study primitive cultures, you often find that they have very sane attitudes towards sex and young people. Typically, girls may start having sex at age 13-14 in most of these societies, and they often choose boys that age to have sex with.
However, they can choose older men, usually younger men but sometimes quite a bit older. In traditional Blackfoot culture, the typical initial marriage was between a 15 year old girl and a 35 year old man. I believe the world’s oldest man in the Current Year is a Somali man who is over 115 and recently acquired yet another wife, a 15 year old girl! Three cheers for the old dog!
In prior eras, no teenage girl or boy in the history of mankind was ever harmed by having sex with an adult. The notion that such things are harmful or damaging to young people is a new idea, and frankly it’s a conceit because it goes against thousands of years of human knowledge.
Coming of age ceremonies in many of these cultures take place around age 15. You complete the rituals of your gender, and then at age 15, you are either a man or a woman and are expected to behave like one. Our notion of adulthood at 18 or 21 or whenever is obviously completely arbitrary.
In the Middle Ages, children were seen as “little adults” and treated as such. They often did adult work and chores. I’m not sure if they acted any more mature than they do now, but if you expect a kid to act like an adult, he might act a lot more mature. Hence we had strange things like boy kings and whatnot. Romeo and Juliet were both only 13 years old.
Getting back to the Hmong, these people, unlike most modern civilized people, figured out that young people are horny as Hell and are not going to be satisfied with mere masturbation. They realized that young people desire independence and wish to be away from the parents. Modern societies continue to resist this notion.
Hence the Hmong allow young unmarried people aged 18-20+ to go off away from the village in the evenings. They have little places in the jungle where they gather and have whatever fun they wish to have among themselves.
The Hmong realize that at least some of these young people will be having sex in their evening hangouts, but unlike many modern cultures, they’re ok with that. Sex is completely allowed in these circumstances, but if a pregnancy occurs, the couple must get married.
If you have ever looked at teenage girls very much (and I know all of you perverts have, quit lying now) you will notice something interesting. Girls from age ~16-~18 have very interesting bodies. In male fantasy, these bodies are absolutely perfect.
For it is mostly in girls this age that you see the male dream of a girl who is quite thin with the most outrageous curvy body! Normally it just doesn’t work that way. Small body, small tits. You want the big tits? Fine. Resign yourself to a big lady. Big tits come on big women. Big tits don’t come on skinny women except if she has plastic surgery, but then she has created a type of human that does not exist in nature other than in the teenage girl.
These girls look so great because their bodies are completely abnormal! Those bodies are not adaptive at all. Forget it. That body is very poorly adapted to womanhood. This simple reason for that is that a girl in that age range still has a somewhat immature body, believe it or not. Most believe that we quit growing around age 17, but while that’s true for height, it’s not so true for development. Because a 16-18 year old girl has a body that is poorly adapted for pregnancy!
Yes, a 16-18 year old girl has hips that are not wide enough yet to carry a baby to term properly. This is one of the reasons for the increased rates of pregnancy complications among girls this age.
And at ages 18-19, a girl’s hips finally widen to the proper width of a grown woman’s. Only now is she fully adapted to carry a baby to term. So you see what turns us on so much is a body that is not even really normal for a human being! It’s immature and completely non-adaptive. We are being attracted to an illusion, an impostor, a fakery.
I have always marveled at the intelligence of primitive peoples. I did a lot of ethnographic work on the Hmong at university. In fact, I read an entire ethnography (cultural history) of the Hmong – ~300 pages. An ethnography is to anthropology what a grammar is to linguistics. A grammar is a complete record of the language of a people, and an ethnography is a complete record of the culture of a people.
A lot of the work was done in the 1950’s. At this time the Hmong had almost no exposure to any sort of modern anything. They still lived very primitive lives as hunter-gatherers and swidden agriculturalists. Most of their knowledge of people and even medicine was traditional.
According to Hmong tradition, pregnancy in women is best delayed until ages 19-20. Before that, the Hmong feel that the pregnancy is more likely to have problems. What is fascinating about this is that this is exactly the age at which a woman’s hips widen enough to properly carry a baby. Before those ages, as noted, a female’s hips are not wide enough to properly carry a baby.
I doubt if the Hmong figured out about the hips widening, but they had figured out via the wisdom of the ancients (knowledge of which is now completely trashed as bigoted and stereotypical by SJW’s) that it was better to wait until 19 or 20 to have a kid versus before those ages. Ancient knowledge of which has now been conclusively proven by modern medical science. But they figured it out on their own.
Repost from the old site. I made an error in a prior calculation of the Hmong IQ on this blog. It was pretty easy to do. If you look at this link, it seems to be a link describing a study on Hmong students that came up with an IQ of 96.44. But I just went back and looked at it again and the site actually references two separate studies both measuring the same thing – the correlation between the K-BIT and WISC intelligence tests. One study used students in Florida and came up with the 96.44 IQ score. Another study with a similar title was referenced at the bottom and discussed Hmong students. I did not understand that two separate studies were being referred to here. Here is the link if you want to see how I made the error. Anyway, I just chased down the real Hmong study and it found an IQ of 82.15 for Hmong 9-year old immigrants in the US. That strikes me as way too low, but that is all we have to go by now. There was an extreme divergence between Performance = 95 and Verbal =74 (!) IQ scores. The verbal score strikes me as far too low, and indicates that the students may have had a hard time with the English language. I have spent quite a bit of time working with Hmong adults of various ages in Fresno, and my impression was that they are not stupid at all. In fact, I felt that they were some of the more intelligent of the SE Asians. A friend of the family in Davis, California has worked a lot with the Mien, a group that is probably very closely related to the Hmong. The children live amongst incredible deprivation there but are often star students. I feel that as the Hmong stay in the US longer, their IQ scores are sure to rise. A similar thing occurred with Italians in the US. Around 1920, Italians were scoring about 77-78 on IQ tests and exhibited considerable social pathology such as high crime rates, school failure, gang membership, etc. Much ink was expended on the genetic unfitness of Southern Europeans in general and Italians in particular. These popular attitudes were an impetus for the 1924 Immigration Act that limited immigration from Southern Europe. Anyone who has spent a lot of time around Italian-Americans these days knows that none of these things are true anymore. Although studies are lacking, it appears that Italian-Americans score around the US White average of 100. In Europe, Italians are one of the highest-scoring groups on the continent. The paper on the Hmong IQ (the only study of the Hmong IQ ever done, to my knowledge) is here. Prior posts referencing the incorrect score have been revised accordingly.
- Smith, Douglas K., Wessels, Richard A., Riebel, Emily M. August 1997. Use of the WISC-III and K-BIT with Hmong Students. School Psychology Training Program University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
Repost from the old site.
A question from the comments about the Are SE Asians Australoids? article:
Aren’t Khmer a little more Australoid than people in Vietnam (at least Northern Vietnamese), most Thai, and Laotians? There seems to be a clear cline in Southeast Asia, the areas bordering China seem to have more NE Mongoloid Admixture than those of the Malay archipelago and the Khmer. I’m basing this on appearance and not genes, which you pointed out, rightly so, as being misleading.
This question keeps popping up because so many folks are convinced, based primarily on appearance, that many SE Asians are part-Australoid.
First of all, the Vietnamese, Filipinos, Thai and Khmer are all quite close to the Southern Chinese genetically. Of these, believe it or not, the Filipinos are possibly the closest of all. The Vietnamese are also very close, but I don’t have any figures. Both the Filipinos and the Vietnamese are very close to the coastal Southern Chinese of Fujian and Guangdong Province bordering the Taiwan Strait.
Next come the Thai, Lao and the Khmer. These groups are much closer to the Southern Chinese than Malays or Indonesians. All of them are about the equidistant from the Southern Chinese. Filipinos are much closer to the Southern Chinese than these three groups.
The Thai and Lao are primarily a Southern Chinese group called the Tai that came down into that area in a massive wave about 800 years ago. To some extent they bred in with whatever people were already there. This Tai group came from Yunnan.
The Vietnamese are very closely related to the Southern Chinese. A huge wave of Southern Chinese poured into Vietnam 2,200 years and bred in with existing people. This group came from the Taiwan Strait – the area north of Vietnam along the coast.
The Khmer came down into the area possibly 5,000 years ago with the first wave of Austroasiatics. They also came from Southern China, probably Yunnan once again, but longer ago than their neighbors the Thai, Lao and Vietnamese. The Austroasiatics are considered to be some of the original people of the SE Asia.
The Zhuang of South China are probably the purest relatives of the original Austroasiatics. They came from Central China (possibly originally as the Dai) to Yunnan about 5,000 years ago. One line went to the Zhuang in Guangxi in Southwest China and another line went to the modern Tai-Dai in Yunnan.
Also, the Khmer bred in much more than their neighbors with people from India who came about 1,500 years ago. So, the Khmer contain more of the original Austroasiatic group and less of recent Southern Chinese mixture than the Thai, Lao and Vietnamese. This accounts for their appearance.
Filipinos are closer to Southern Chinese (Guangdong) than any of the groups above except maybe Vietnamese. They are also very close to Taiwan aborigines. Most people have a hard time understanding this because they look so different from most Southern Chinese. But there are Chinese from around Fujian and Hong Kong who look quite dark and, to my mind, SE Asian-looking.
Malays are Taiwan aborigines in large part (Austronesians), and are also are made up of Southern Chinese who came down 4,000 years ago as Austroasiatics.
The Austronesians came through the Philippines, down into Borneo and Sumatra and then up into Malaysia about 2,000 years ago. The Malay do have some Papuan genes, but so do the Southern Chinese and the coastal Vietnamese. Once again, the Malays have less recent Southern Chinese admixture and more archaic Southern Chinese admixture (Austronesian and Austroasiatic).
Malays also definitely have Australoid ancestors in the Semang, the proto-Malay and the Senoi, although we can’t see it in their skulls or much of it in their genes.
The Indonesians in the Center and East of the country have quite a few Melanesian Australoid genes, but the ones in the West have almost none. The ones in the West appear to be Taiwanese aborigines similar to Filipinos.
It’s really a common fallacy that there is such a cline in SE Asia, with folks becoming more Australoid and less Chinese as you go south. What there is is that in some places, you find more recent Southern Chinese mixture and towards the South, you get more archaic Taiwanese and archaic Southern Chinese mixture.
A modern Southern Chinese woman from Chengdu Province. Isn’t she beautiful? God I love this kind of woman. It’s possible she may use some sort of skin whitener to make her skin look more white, or she may just stay out of the sun. White skin has been highly valued for a long time, and my blogging colleague Dragon Horse (feel free to check him out – he’s smart as Hell) notes that it had been highly valued long before Chinese even knew much about Europeans.
In other words, Chinese were not trying to look like White Europeans – they hardly even knew who they were. A preference for lighter skin was simply an independent development in China based on their own considerations and values. Many will look at this woman and say she has a NE Asian facial type. Well, that may be so, but Caucasians are closer to NE Asians than she is as a Southern Chinese. The genetic distance between Southern Chinese and Northern Chinese is vast.
We only find a few Australoid genes in SE Asians and even then only in Southern Chinese, coastal Vietnamese and Malays. Skull-wise, nothing exists, except that the Senoi of Malaysia do have Australoid skulls.
I guess people say this based on appearance. There is a SE Asian native type characterized most prominently by Malays, Khmer, Filipino, Western Indonesians, etc. that people think looks a bit primitive, and they associate that with Australoids.
Really it’s just a native indigenous development, although it does seem to represent a more archaic type – either archaic Taiwanese or archaic South Chinese – and has nothing to do per se with Australoids.
Recall however that the whole region slowly transitioned from Australoid types to modern SE Asian types about 5000 years ago, and that’s later than most groups. Maybe that is what people are seeing. But there’s nothing we can measure in genes or skulls.
Thai, Lao and Vietnamese don’t have any NE Asian mixture that we can see. There is a Southern Chinese look that can resemble Northern Chinese, but the two groups are very far apart. Even Southern Chinese don’t have much northern mixture, but there are some groups that are more northern than others.
A Hmong woman. We have a huge Hmong population here in the Central Valley. By and large, they are good people and I like them a lot. The Hmong are interesting among Southern Chinese in that they have more Northern Chinese than most of the rest of the Southern Chinese. They also have a unique genetic line going back up to 42,000 years (!). It’s pretty incredible that some sort of proto-Hmong have been evolving for that long.
The website I got this off described Hmong as partly Australoid, but I think that’s silly. They are saying this by looking at the faces and saying that the face looks somewhat Australoid. The Hmong are probably less Australoid than that Chengdu woman above.
I find some of these Hmong women, like this one, to be really beautiful. They definitely look different. They have round, moon-shaped faces, and short, stocky, bodies. Character-wise, they are very Chinese-like.
Their IQ in the US is only 82.5 (lower than US Blacks) but that must be due to language difficulties. Their verbal IQ was insanely low, while their performance IQ was quite high. The Hmong have also been living like hillbillies for centuries, so there is probably a lot of potential for Flynn Effects in the US. That’s a traditional costume she is wearing.
Caucasians are closer to Northern Chinese than Southern Chinese are.
I can’t see much difference in phenotype between her and the Southern Chinese beauty above, but maybe folks who understand Asian phenotypes better can see these things. These people are also quite close genetically to Amerindians. Koreans, Japanese and NE Chinese are all quite genetically close, although I guess they mostly hate each other and would not want to believe that.
A Tajik man. Boy, does he look Jewish or what? These people are quite closely related to NE Asians and also to Northern Indians. They are closest to Iranians. A very interesting people, they are thought to be the original Aryans. Funny how Aryans White Power types go back to Aryan dudes who look like nice Jewish boys. Wonders never cease.
People base so much popular anthropology on superficial appearances, but that’s not really scientific.
Repost from the old site. This is follow-up to an earlier post – Black Crime and Intelligence – An Intrepid Investigation. No matter how much Leftists and liberals deny it, there are clear differences in racial crime rates in the US. US Hispanics and Blacks have higher crime rates than Whites in the US in the same way that Asians have lower rates. It is neither controversial nor racist to report on this observable fact. The usual Left explanation for elevated Hispanic and Black crime rates is poverty, lack of opportunity, unemployment, low rates of educational attainment, lack of government investment and poor schools in poor Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. The general rationale behind all of these is said to endemic White structural racism and discrimination against Blacks and Hispanics. Another argument is that Blacks and Hispanics do not have elevated crime rates – it is only that racist police racially profile Blacks and Hispanics to stop and search them more often, resulting in higher arrest rates, while Whites who are just as criminal are let off the hook. These appealing arguments are becoming harder and harder to sustain in the face of new evidence and rapidly decreasing White racism in US society. This decline has occurred in tandem with harsh penalties – social, occupational and monetary – against Whites who discriminate against non-Whites, continuing affirmative action programs, quotas and goals, judicial mandates for ethnically diverse schools and workforces, etc. All of this has resulted in a White population whose recent thinking has been molded by anti-racist discourse and who consciously try to avoid overt anti-White discrimination and even bigotry most of the time. This is actually a good thing. Each and every human being should be evaluated and treated on their individual merits or demerits, race be damned. And, regarding crime, the judicial system should be fair with regard to suspects and arrestees. One problem in getting a handle on racial differences in crime rates is that it has been very difficult to find good ethnic breakdowns of US crime rates, mostly because law enforcement agencies usually refuse to count Hispanic offenders at all or in any rational way. The Color of Crime, a report by the frankly racist New Century Foundation, is nevertheless an excellent document that has managed to dredge up some good figures for Hispanic, American Indian and Pacific Islander (in the US, they are about 5 Samoans and Hawaiians are Polynesians, but Chamorros are Micronesians. Hawaiians are well-known to have an elevated crime rate in Hawaii. For instance, Hawaii has the highest rate of theft, larceny and property crime of any state. It is a good guess that much of this stealing is being done by native Hawaiians. In (independent) Western Samoa itself, recent reports describe a over-represented in juvenile hall in San Francisco, and across the bay in Alameda County, Samoans have a higher crime rate than Hispanics. And in Micronesia, on Guam at least, the crime rate has gone through the roof since the 1960’s, whereas previously it was quite low. The breakdown of the nuclear family and the introduction of a money-based economy has been blamed for the crime explosion on Guam. Saipan is also now reported to have a high crime, and even murder, rate. The reasons are not known. It has been idiotically bashed all over the Left as “racist”. Here is a typical argument, this one from Wikipedia:
One New Century Foundation’s publication, The Color of Crime, makes various claims about the relationship between crime and race. The publication concludes that black people are more dangerous than white people, just as “young people are more dangerous than old people” and “men are more dangerous than women.” It claims that is logical to take precautions around black people.
The SPLC has led attacks against the report authored by the execrable Heidi Weiss, leader of an attack force against the fine scholar Kevin MacDonald. The attacks by Tim Wise on ZNet are quite sophisticated. An excellent rebuttal of many of Wise’s main points can be found on Global Politician here. Bottom line is that Wise appears to be disputing what seems obvious to most any non-Leftist with a brain: Black people have a dramatically elevated crime rate, and one is more likely to be victimized by Blacks than by Whites, no matter what one’s race is. Furthermore, Wise’s characterizing of Jared Taylor as a “White Supremacist” is as problematic as calling 9 Wise is an anti-racist activist. I am an anti-racist too, but facts are facts. Despite the fact that The Century Foundation authored the report, The Color of Crime is excellent, and attacks on the report do not do it service. Those opposed to the report are asked to logically rebut its arguments or hold their tongues. The best figures are towards the middle of the report. Of most interest are the overall Hispanic and Black crime rates. The report states that the Black crime rate is 7.4 times the White rate, the Hispanic rate is 2.9 times the White rate and the Indian and Hawaiian rates are about 2 times the White rate. From another study, Masking the Divide, by the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (actually a liberal think tank), the figures are a bit different: the Black crime rate is 9.1 times the White crime rate and the Hispanic crime rate is 3.7 times the White crime rate. Combining the two reports, we get a Black crime rate 8.2 times the White rate and an Hispanic crime rate 3.3 times the White rate. The Color of Crime found that poverty, unemployment and lack of education add little to the Black and Hispanic crime rate differentials compared to the White rate – that is, when Whites, Blacks and Hispanics all live in poverty, have the same low educational variables and the same unemployment rates, the differential between Blacks and Hispanics as opposed to Whites remains pretty much the same. The report also effectively deals with familiar complaints from the Left that the Black crime rate is so high because police selectively target Blacks for arrest while ignoring White criminals. A careful examination of the data in the report, shows that, actually, looking at the whole picture, if anything, the system is somewhat prejudiced in favor of Blacks and against Whites. There is a suggestion that Blacks are actually underrepresented, and Whites, overrepresented, in the nation’s prison population as compared to their actual crime rates. Hence, prejudice and discrimination does not appear to be a significant factor in Black crime rates. Further, Blacks are much more likely to target Whites as crime victims than vice versa. An incredible anecdote: In a 3-year period in the US, there were 9,000 cases of group Black on White sexual assaults – about 10 per day. In that same 3-year period, Whites, with a 4.5 times greater population, committed exactly zero group sexual assaults on Blacks. That figure alone is simply stunning. The Left loves to talk about hate crimes, but the only hate crimes they are interested in are White hate crimes against non-Whites. The report makes it quite clear that Blacks are much more likely to commit hate crimes against Whites than vice versa. What is fascinating is that the media plays up White on Black hate crimes for weeks on end as the crimes of the century, while Black on White hate crimes are met with deafening silence. That right there would seem to give the lie to the notion that the US media is hopelessly prejudiced against Blacks and in favor of Whites. If anything, the opposite seems to be the case. I have no idea why Whites are so much less likely to commit crimes than Blacks or Hispanics, or even why the lesser differential between Whites and Amerindians and Hawaiians exists, nor why Asians commit crimes at dramatically lower rates than Whites. Some will talk about genes and others about culture. Lining up IQ with crime rates seems entirely logical to me. Groups with lower average IQ’s should commit more crimes than those with higher IQ’s on an ascending linear scale. Unfortunately, the results do not pan out very well. Let us look at some racial IQ scores followed by racial crime rates in the US:
IQ scores: East Asians:1 106 (link) Whites: 103 (link) Hispanics: 89 (link) American Indians 87 (link) Blacks 85 (link) Polynesians 85 (link, link and link).
Crime rates: Asians: 7 Whites: Baseline Amerindians: 10 Polynesians: 10 Hispanics: 23 Blacks: 72
The racial IQ scores and racial crime rates do not line up very well; there are some correlations, but there are also some problems. The small difference between East Asian and White IQ’s in the US would not seem adequate to explain an Asian crime rate that is a mere 2 The Hispanic crime rate is 6 In these cases, there is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between IQ and crime. There is a modest correlation between crime and IQ between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, but the differences are completely out of sync with what we would expect merely based on IQ. In particular, the Black and Hispanic crime rates are far higher than expected by IQ compared to Whites2 (especially looking at the Polynesian and Amerindian figures), and the Black crime rate that is 2.5 times higher than the Hispanic rate is dramatically higher than expected by IQ compared with Hispanics. Furthermore, we can completely rule out IQ-crime links in Hispanic mestizos . How is it that Amerindians have a crime rate 2 times that of Whites, yet White-Amerindian mixed race people (Mestizos with an average of only 1/3 Indian blood and probably a good amount of heterosis) have a crime rate of 3.3 times that of Whites? That makes no sense whatsoever. One would expect White-Amerindian mixed-race US Mestizos to have a crime rate median between Whites and Amerindians and probably closer to Whites, say 1.35 times the White rate, considering that Mexicans and Chicanos in the US are about 6 Also, from 1960-1995, the Flynn Effect3 has been causing steadily increasing IQ’s in Americans of all ages and ethnic groups. During this period, the US population increased its IQ by 9 points. At the same time, crime exploded from 1960-1980 and has continued at a very high level ever since. How is it that a steadily rising US IQ has coincided with a skyrocketing crime rate? The Flynn Effect has had its most noticeable effects at the lowest end of the IQ range – precisely the people that are most likely to commit crimes. Nevertheless, wild crime increases occurred in tandem with a progressive loss of those very people most likely to commit crimes – those with the very lowest IQ’s. All of this seems to indicate that whatever in God’s name is causing racial differentials in US crime rates, IQ does not seem to play a huge role. Perhaps other biological factors could be involved, but that seems dubious. For instance, there are recent suggestions that Polynesians (the study looked at Maoris) may be predisposed to violence due high rates of an a gene that codes for low levels of a component – MAO inhibitor – that breaks down neurotransmitters in the brain associated with violent and impulsive behavior. With lower levels of the MAO inhibitor, Polynesians have higher levels of catecholamines that tend to cause violent and aggressive behaviors. It is likely that Polynesians selected for aggression during their colonization of the Pacific Islands. Without an aggressive temperament, they may not have been able to undertake mad, near-suicidal journeys on boats to colonize those islands in the first place. Once on the islands, individual tribes of South Sea Islanders, especially on Fiji and New Zealand, were continuously locked in the most horrible tribal warfare with most of their neighbors, in addition to having downright brutal and vicious societies of their own. No evidence has yet been presented of a Black or Mestizo genetic propensity to violence. How is it then that the Polynesian Polynesians, with their low rates of MAO-inhibition, have a dramatically lower crime rate than Blacks and Hispanics, who have no provable genetic links to crime? Very well then. Having disposed of biological arguments, let us move along. I am inclined to fall back on the old environmental standby – culture. Even if poverty, lack of education and unemployment have little to do with high Black and Hispanic crime rates and the role IQ is not dramatic either, there is yet another explanation: There is a possibility that in recent years, both Blacks and Hispanics have developed an underclass culture that is simply criminogenic in and of itself. The hows and whys of the development of this underclass can be debated at length, but it’s existence seems uncontroversial, and whatever caused this sick culture, IQ or race itself do not seem to be at work. See this website, Brown Pride , for an example of a depraved, wicked and amoral subculture operating in the Hispanic underclass. This Black and Hispanic underclass contrasts with large numbers of Blacks and Hispanics who have “made it”, assimilated to proper US society, are employed and out of poverty, and have relatively low crime rates. 1. The only data available for Asian IQ’s in the US are for East Asians. This group logically includes Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Ainu, Taiwanese, Mongolians, Tibetans, Hmong, Mien and some smaller groups, but we do not know if all these groups were included. Studies in the US usually focus on the first three groups. It is quite difficult to draw a line showing where “East Asians” end and “Southeast Asians” begin. 2. Let us suppose a linear relationship between Hispanic and White IQ’s and crime rates. Extrapolating that to Black IQ, we should get a Black crime rate 4.9 times higher than the White rate; instead the rate is 8.2 times higher. Assuming a linear relationship between Black and White IQ’s and crime rates, we should get an Hispanic rate that is 5.4 times the White rate; instead it is 3.3 times the White rate. Differentials between White, Hispanic and Black rates alone cannot be fully explained by IQ. Either the Black rate is higher than expected, or the Hispanic rate is lower, or both. 3. The Flynn Effect has been subjected to a lot of criticism, typically emanating from those White Nationalists who refuse to believe that anyone, especially the Blacks and Browns they dislike, is getting smarter. A number of arguments have been put forth, one of the most powerful of which is that the Flynn Effect does not show an increase in intelligence; it just shows that people are getting better at taking tests. Yet the Flynn Effect shows up as early as 4 years old. One wonders just how many rigorous tests the average 4 yr old has been subjected to? Furthermore, Flynn himself presents some interesting arguments that cast doubt on the test sophistication argument. Furthermore, in dismissing the Flynn Effect as simply measuring “some abstract test-taking ability”, these same detractors pour cold water on IQ tests themselves, the results of which they so cherish, as they show the delightful 10 and 15 point gaps between Whites and Browns and Blacks respectively. The consensus now is that test-taking skills cannot explain the Flynn Effect. Another argument is that the Flynn Effect is having little effect on “g”, a hypothesized, supposedly heavily genetic or biological factor of purported pure, raw intelligence. However, the Flynn Effect is greatest on the most heavily loaded g tests, and much less on the least g-loaded tests. Either “g” means nothing, or “g” is also increasing. Note that there is good evidence that “g” is in fact increasing, and a good theory is that it is related to improved nutrition. More evidence linking nutrition to IQ is found in studies linking IQ with micronutrient levels, namely iron , in the blood. This is because height has been increasing prime driver of the Flynn Effect. Heterosis has supposedly been increasing in modern society as more isolated, rural and ethnocentric populations move to urban areas and have children with those outside their ethnic group. But Flynn himself completely pours cold water on the heterosis theory. A very long (24 pp.) discussion about whether or not the Flynn Effect is valid and what it is measuring is here. The American Scientist also took a look at the subject in a much-quoted article. Steve Sailer wraps it up in a recent post, suggesting that the Flynn Effect shows people are definitely getting smarter, but only in certain ways. Sailer is not even really a White Nationalist, as he advocates “citizenism” as opposed to ethnic ethnocentrism. This is close to the universalism advocated by this blog. His site is always interesting, and it worth a read.
Repost from the old site. The IQ scores of Southeast Asian groups are not well-known. The best source, and it is not very good at all, is Richard Lynn’s chart from IQ and Global Inequality. Richard Lynn is a hardcore racist, typical of most hereditarian IQ researchers. Let us look at some of the scores he has come up with:
IQ World average 88 Laos 89 Cambodia 90 (est.) Thailand 91 Vietnam 95 Hmong --
The Vietnam score is quite suspect. I don’t know exactly how he did it, but he seems to have averaged scores from surrounding countries to come up with his score. Lynn needs to do this because he has some strange theories about how IQ developed. He thinks that IQ is shaped by going through the Ice Age. Philippe Rushton, another hardcore academic racist, goes along with this. Their followers claim that Europeans went through two ice ages, one 70,000 years ago and another 10,000-20,000 years ago. Truth is that the Toba Volcano explosion in Indonesia 73,000 years ago not only wiped out all the pre-Europeans, but also killed every other human being west of the explosion, through Asia, the Middle East and even Africa. It is thought that a group as small as 5,000, probably situated on the western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, made it through the explosion and ensuing decade of frigid nuclear winter. In addition to killing the humans, most other forms of life were probably also killed by this explosion. A few years after the explosion, humanity seems to have gone through a serious bottleneck. No doubt major changes took place, including selection for intelligence. It is at this time that we see something called The Great Leap Forward in Eastern Africa. Art, language, and a huge cultural explosion take place in only a few years. Humanity then explodes out of Africa to populate the world. We have no way of knowing what any race’s IQ was 10,000’s of years ago, and it is silly to even guess. Furthermore, European-type Caucasians do not appear until about 10,000-13,000 years ago, probably in the Middle East and then spreading into Europe. Earlier than that, proto-Caucasoid skulls do not look much like modern-day Europeans. So it appears that the “European race” (that doesn’t really exit, see here) didn’t even go through any ice age in Europe anyway. That neato White skin comes later. Over in Northeast Asia, we have a different story. Supposedly, these high-IQ folks evolved in the frigid cold of Siberia. The problem with that is that modern NE Asians Aborigines or the Ainu. They are also said to look like Negritos and Polynesians. These specimens were from the Zhoukoudian Cave in Northern China. The Ainu, who are also said to have Aborigine features, are thought to be the proto-NE Asians. The proto-NE Asian group seems to have had its homeland around Lake Baikal about 35,000 years ago. So it looks like the people we call NE Asians today did not go through any Ice Age either. But, getting back to the Vietnam score. Richard Lynn’s theory will not support highly intelligent Asians, not to mention SE Asians, since they did not go through his famous Ice Age. However, all Asians came out of the proto-Asian homeland in Northern Vietnam and Southern China around 60-110,000 years ago. From there, they fanned out across SE Asia, Southern China and NE Asia. The crucial point is that SE Asians, including Southern Chinese, did not go through Lynn’s famous Ice Age brain gauntlet. Therefore, they cannot be real smart, according to Lynn. Except that some of them, which causes a problem for Mr. Lynn’s theory. Indeed, Lynn puts SE Asian IQ at 87 and considers them about the 4th most intelligent group on the planet, behind NE Asians, European Caucasians, and Eskimos. Lynn’s theory also presupposes a relationship between latitude and race. So we can’t have any smarties down there in the hot weather. They all have to come from frigid land, where their IQ’s got nice and refrigerated. Problem is that evidence shows that Central regions actually produce more geniuses than Northern or Southern regions. In order to fit the facts into his dubious theory, Lynn plays a lot of games. He refuses to note that Southern Chinese are some of the smartest people on Earth – their IQ is thought to be ~105, or possibly higher. The Chinese provinces around Hong Kong have often produced some of the brightest Chinese cohorts in the land. Further, we can’t have any real bright SE Asians either, for the same reasons as for the Southern Chinese, and also so as not to mess up his SE Asian IQ of 87. Which brings us to the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese IQ of 95 is incorrect, and Lynn is apparently deliberately distorting it to move his fake theory along. I think he got it by dividing the Thai IQ by the Chinese IQ, which he falsely puts at ~100 (The urban IQ is something like ~105, and Lynn dishonestly assumes that the rural areas have a 10 pt lower IQ, so he divides and gets 100). Nice trick, huh? Interestingly, Southern Chinese, though presumably high IQ and though they dominate the economy of Vietnam as businessmen, reportedly do found an IQ of IQ of 101. The 2006 study found an IQ of 98 . Averaging the two together gives us a Vietnamese IQ of 99.5. That is quite respectable, and smashes Lynn’s clever little theory to bits. Based on that high IQ, the future looks hopeful for both the nation of Vietnam and Vietnamese in the US. Vietnamese in the US often perform very well. In Orange County, California, they are reportedly the highest performing ethnic group. Another interesting group is the Hmong. The Hmong are a primitive tribe in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and China. They helped the US fight Communism in Laos and were persecuted after the war by the Pathet Lao regime. The Hmong really didn’t give a damn about Communism or capitalism or any of that, as they were just swidden agriculturalists up in the north of Laos near the Plain of Jars. They also did a bit of hunting and gathering. Their cultural level was not very high. They were considered the “hillbillies of Asia” and to some extent, they still are. Many NE Asians look down on them, as they look down on SE Asians in general. One NE Asian on a forum described the Hmong as “the worst of all. We would rather marry a White person than one of them.” Well, I beg to differ. I have worked with these people in the past teaching Hmong adults ESL and I really enjoyed them. Actually, I enjoyed all the SE Asian students. They have some problems here in the US, as they came here after years in refugee camps with little more than the shirts on their backs. I recall an anecdote I heard about the Hmong at an educational conference. They were living in these squalid refugee camps amidst some pretty bad conditions. But in one building in the camp, English was being taught. There was not enough room for the Hmong of all ages to be taught there, so many could not get in. So they went home? Forget it! Mobs crowded around the windows, trying to see the teacher and listen to the lesson. As you can see, an intelligent group or individual, even when exposed to an impoverished environment, will often seek out stimulation wherever they can find it. I recall another story from India about a boy in a small village who was very bright. There was nothing going on in the village, so he walked hours every day to a bookshop in a nearby town and spent all day there reading books. High IQ seeks out stimulating environments, which then enrich the mind further, which then drives further stimulation-seeking. In this way, genetics and IQ drive each other, for better or worse throughout life, and it is for this reason that it is almost impossible to untangle genetics from environment in intelligence, not to mention a host of other things. Well, I finally found a report on the Net of a test of Hmong IQ. This is apparently the first test ever made on the Hmong IQ, and I’m going to publish it here and get all the laurels. The test was done in the US in a school district, and the Hmong students scored quite low, an 82.15 IQ. There were however extreme differences between a Performance IQ of 95 and a verbal IQ of 74. Even the normal Asian gap between performance and verbal IQ is generally not that great. Furthermore, my friends who have worked with the Mien near Davis, California, say that the children do very well in school while living in profoundly deprived conditions in the home. The Mien are probably very closely related to the Hmong. The fact that the children may have had difficulty with the English language cannot be ruled out. The 82.15 IQ is the lowest among mainland Asians and is below that of US Blacks, Hispanics and Amerindians. It is also below Samoans and Melanesians. I have spent years teaching in the public schools and taught thousands of Black, Hispanic and Samoan students in the Los Angeles area. I have also spent some time with Hmong adults of all ages and a bit of time with Hmong children. My opinion was that they are highly intelligent and I find it very hard to believe that their IQ’s are lower than US Blacks (no attempt to put down the IQ scores of US Blacks, Hispanics or Samoans was made here). I feel that as the Hmong stay in the US longer, the IQ scores will rise quite a bit. Keep in mind these students typically come from extremely deprived environments. The Hmong may have more NE Asian genes than any other group in SE Asia, which makes the low IQ score even more suspect. Two recent studies have been done on Thai IQ. One came up with a score of 87.5 and the other came up with a score of 92. In the latter test , scores were much worse in the North. The mean of the two tests is ~90 IQ. This is not far off from Lynn’s score. On the Thai fora where I tracked the scores down Thai-Americans were disappointed in their performance and wished they could do better. I found similar things at Khmer and Lao forums, where some of the higher IQ groups were baiting the SE Asians for having IQ’s “lower than the average human”, as if this was a bad thing. Actually, according to Micheal Hart, average human IQ is 88. Thailand does have a lot of malnutrition and it is well known that this depresses IQ scores. Further, the government is actually getting serious about IQ and trying to raise national scores. I will toast to that one. Thai and Cambodian IQ is 90, the same as Albania, Bosnia and Croatia. The Lao score is 89, the same as Turkey. Let’s redo the IQ chart with the additions and emendations to Lynn’s dubious calculations. Note that the Lao and Khmer scores are from the ethically-challenged Professor Lynn. I searched all around for a good IQ study on the Khmer and Lao, but I could not find one. I did fight a report on mental health in Laos where a Laotian psychologist was working on preparing a version of the WISC of Lao youth. However, the Lynn figure for Lao IQ at least represents two actual tests in Laos, one that found an IQ of 90 in village children in Laos not living in abject poverty. The second was a similar study done on their mothers that found an IQ of 88. The average, then, is 89.
IQ Hmong 82.15 World average 88? Laos 89 Cambodia 90 (est.) Thailand 90 Vietnam 99.5
As we can see from these comparisons and the fact that most SE Asian scores surpass the world average, most SE Asians surely have the brains to develop in a modern, Western-type society. Furthermore, there are large numbers of malnourished people in all those countries. It is important to be above the world average. Although White Nationalists and some Asians rebuke groups who score at around 89-90 IQ, this blog is going to take the humanistic position that the average human is not a complete idiot. You are welcome to disagree. Therefore, this blog will never call an IQ of 88 or above a “low IQ” – an implicitly misanthropic stance. Scoring at least at or above world average IQ ought to be sufficient to make a nation competitive economically with other nations, even if there are no other benefits. The future looks bright for SE Asians in both their lands and in the US. Things haven’t been totally on the up and up for Asians in recent years. They have suffered stereotyped in similar ways by Whites. SE Asians have much lower college grad rate and higher unemployment rate than NE Asians, but some (Vietnamese) are doing quite well in some places. In that same area (SF Bay Area), many Asians, especially SE Asians, are forming gangs.There are now Mien, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean and Khmu gangs in California. At one Alameda County school, Asians went from typical high-achievers to having many delinquents in just 15-20 yrs. In Alameda County, Vietnamese (IQ 99.5), Lao (IQ 90) and Samoans (IQ 86) have considerably higher crime rates than Hispanics (IQ 89). There is a very high crime rate among Vietnamese and Lao youths in Richmond, second only to Blacks. You can see, there is no relationship between IQ and crime here. A Second Generation theory has been proposed – the 2nd generation of immigrants has a high crime rate and rejects their parents’ values. In the US, 2/3 of Hmong and Lao, 5 That “low-crime Asians” could have the potential for disorganized violence and crime is not surprising in light of my previous post documenting very high crime rates amongst Euro-Whites at various times in the past. Even peaceful Taiwan has seen a sharp increase in crime in recent years. Who knows why that is occurring. Criminology is a notorious graveyard for dead theories that never pan out.
- Smith, Douglas K., Wessels, Richard A., Riebel, Emily M. August 1997. Use of the WISC-III and K-BIT with Hmong Students. School Psychology Training Program University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
I guess there are no wonderful races. Every race has its garbage and its gangster and banger types. Like most Asian mobs though, these idiots mostly prey on their own kind. Pretty much the same thing with Asian gangbangers in Fresno. There are Hmong, Lao, Vietnamese and Cambodian gangsters and the gangs are often mixed between one or more of these groups instead of being ethnically pure. They mostly just prey on their own kind or attack rival gang members. Most of the parents seriously hate it, unlike the Latrinos* in this area I live in, where their parents were probably bangers too.
*Well, there’s Blacks and niggers, Whites and White trash, so there’s got to be Latinos and Latrinos. I’m cool with that. Every race has its garbage. There are no great races. Most groups range from a little bit bad to incredibly and unbelievably bad. The lens of humanity is a prism, and the ranges are a spectrum, not black and White Manichean dualities.
Repost from the old site.
Always-perceptive commenter James Schipper makes some astute, terse and cut to the chase comments on my post, The “New Anti-Semitism.” In it, he moves beyond the typically vulgar anti-Semitism that much modern anti-Zionism descends into and offers a perfectly logical explanation for the dual loyalty accusation leveled at Jews.
He also brings up some very difficult questions about the differences between Judaism and Zionism and whether there is really any difference at all.
If criticism of Israel = anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism, then we should be proud to call ourselves anti-Semites.
What is really wrong with Israel? It is not such a bad country for Jews, or even for the Arabs in Israel proper. I would rather be a Jew in Israel than an Arab in any Arab country. Israel was born in sin, but so was every country in the Western hemisphere. Israel is oppressive in the occupied territories, but by historical standards, this oppression is hardly unique.
The real reason for opposing Israel is that it does not see itself as the country of its citizens but as the country of all the Jews in the world. According to Israel, Jews in other countries are living in exile, are really Israelis and should be loyal to Israel.
In other words, Israel expects the Jewish citizens of other countries to behave like Israel’s fifth-columnists, and that is exactly what Zionists outside Israel are.
No political party outside Israel should accept Zionists as members, and no government outside Israel should appoint Zionists to a senior government job. Instead, Zionist should be encouraged to put their bodies where their loyalties are: in Israel.
Suppose that Italy saw itself as the country of all Catholics in the world and expected Catholics everywhere to defend Italian interests, then it would be behaving exactly as Israel does. That would also be a good reason for non-Catholics in other countries to look at Catholics with suspicion and to regard Italy with hostility.
The late Arthur Koestler wrote in an essay that after 1948 all Jews should choose one of two options: go to Israel or abandon Judaism altogether. He is right insofar as Judaism implies Zionism.
Judaism has always posited that Jews are a people and that Israel is their promised land, which is also the position of Zionism. If Judaism implies Zionism, then Jews outside of Israel, it they want to remain Jewish, should emigrate to Israel or else detribalize and deterritorialize Judaism, which may be denaturing it.
Theological question: Why does Obama allow bad things to happen and evil people to prosper?
More seriously, why did Obama appoint a hard Zionist as his chief of staff? It is not a good sign.
I agree with several things in this post.
First of all, he attacks some of the usual broadsides leveled at Israel and dismisses them.
What I find disturbing, and many Zionists have noted this, is the particular vehemence many Israel-critics level at Israel’s oppression of Jews inside Israel, while they are silent or even supportive of even worse oppression by states against minorities outside Israel.
White nationalists think it’s awesome for Whites to treat non-Whites like shit, except when it comes to White Jews versus “muds” in Israel. Kurds in the Arab World are treated awfully bad, Berbers less so but still poorly, and the Shia are oppressed all over the Arab World. There is open oppression and violence against Christians in Egypt and Iraq.
Baha’i are treated horribly in Iran, Sunnis less so but still poorly, and the Ahwaz have some good beefs. Turks treat Kurds horribly in Turkey. Russia has massacred 2
Japan treats its Koreans, Burakumin and Ainu pretty badly. The Hmong are still treated like shit in Laos, and the Montagnards are not done well by Vietnam. Pygmies are openly genocided and cannibalized as a matter of custom in Zaire, and the Khoisan are nearly murdered at will in SW Africa.
There is a real genocide of Arabs against Africans in Darfur, and another one, Arabs versus Christians, has just ended in South Sudan. Africans are routinely enslaved by Arabs in the Sahel.
We could go and on, but you get the picture. What is disturbing about all of this is that most Israel-critics are either indifferent to, ignorant of or even supportive of, the maltreatment of minorities above. Zionists are correct that this is either ignorance or anti-Semitism.
All, or most all, modern nations were born in sin.
This was due to the nature of the modern nation-building exercise, which typically involved ethnic cleansing or some sort of mass killing or genocide of any existing indigenous people, sidelining, subjection, forced assimilation (cultural genocide) or outright genocide against anyone not part of the dominant nation of the nation-state, and forced destruction of all languages but the one chosen by the nation-state or that is the dominant nation.
The Modern Left in the West, which has adopted Third-Worldism, minority-hugging and European hatred with gusto, errs in singling out Europeans for particular abuse in terms of nation-building. It’s been bloody and awful everywhere and at all times.
Schipper also points out that although Israel is oppressive in the Occupied Territories, by comparative standards, they are relatively mild. Considering the outrageous provocations and attacks of the Palestinians, I am amazed Israel has gone as easy on them as it has.
Arabs do not believe in fighting wars in a civilized manner, and the Geneva Conventions are regarded by them as Western comedy. Any Arab state faced with Palestinian-type provocations by non-Arabs would have been vastly worse than Israel.
Truthfully, just about every nation fighting an insurgency has been more horrible that Israel by orders of magnitude.
Consider this: according to counterinsurgency doctrine, enshrined by the US military and state and promoted by the US media and both US political parties, any civilian who “supports” an insurgency needs to be arrested, beaten, tortured and killed. All counterinsurgencies supported by the US have routinely massacred, mutilated and tortured to death insurgency “supporters.”
This has been true in every counterinsurgency in Latin America, in Indonesia in 1965, the US counterinsurgencies in SE Asia during the Vietnam War, the counterinsurgencies in Mozambique, Algeria and Angola, Russia’s counterinsurgency in Chechnya, India’s counterinsurgencies in India proper and Kashmir, in Sri Lanka against the Tamils, in Indonesia against the Acehese and East Timorese, in the Philippines against the NPA, and in Nepal’s recent Civil War.
In these counterinsurgencies, hundreds of thousands of “supporters” of insurgencies were murdered, tortured and mutilated, while the US cheered, poured in money and looked the other way.
In contrast, almost 10
Considering the provocations of the Palestinians, Israel has fought one of the cleanest counterinsurgencies in modern times.
Zionists are correct that these criticisms of Israel, combined with support for to indifference to much worse behaviors by non-Jews, are evidence of either ignorance or anti-Semitism.
But Schipper does hit it on the head.
The reason to oppose Israel is that it is not a state of its citizens. Israel openly says that it is the state of all Jews on Earth, not of its citizens. Hence, it is perfectly reasonable for non-Jews in every nation on Earth containing Jews to look upon their Jews as possible traitors and dual-loyalists. Dual loyalty, rather than being an “anti-Semitic canard” as many Jews shrilly screech, is actually grounded in immaculate reason.
Schipper also suggests that the wall between Judaism and Zionism may be little more than a wall of sand, and one that has been hit by so many waves that there’s almost nothing left.
Although anti-Zionist Jews offer various reasons for their non-support of Israel, the fact remains that Judaism has always said that Israel is the land of the Jews. Assuming the Messiah returns tomorrow, even Naturei Karta is willing to head to Israel and become fervent Zionists.
Hence the uncomfortable notion, typically parroted by ferocious anti-Zionists and some vulgar anti-Semites, that it is not just Zionism that is the problem, but Judaism itself, is lent some troubling weight. I don’t want to go near this thesis because to be honest, I’m a pussy when it comes to the Jewish Question.
Schipper finally suggests that the Jews of the world either renounce Judaism or practice what you preach and head to Israel. Once again, troubling stuff.
There’s nary a trace of anti-Semitism in Schipper’s comments, but the issues he raises are toxic as Hell.
Just some thought-meals.
In race realist circles, much is made of a so-called short curve in Asian IQ. That is, Asians are said to have few geniuses and few idiots – there are few Asians below 70 IQ (gifted) and few above 130 IQ (gifted). So, while Asians are highly intelligent, it is said that they lack a large number of the sort of extreme geniuses that really move a society forward. On the contrary, European Whites are said to have a long curve.
Quite a few geniuses and idiots, and therefore more likely to produce truly innovative and forward-looking societies. White Supremacists have jumped all over this, as they are stung by IQ studies that show NE Asians scoring about 5 points above European Whites. By emphasizing the short Asian bell curve, White Supremacists fight back by arguing that European Whites are in fact the most superior race of them all, and NE Asians are inferior to them.
There are a lot of problems with this data. For one thing, it is not holding up well in the US. Our very top universities are overflowing not just with Ashkenazi Jews (IQ = 112) but also with NE Asians (IQ = 108). One would think that the competition at top schools such as the Ivy League would be among the most high IQ of them all.
Let us also look at the data below regarding gifted programs in the US. As you can see, Asians, especially but not exclusively NE Asians, have a higher
The graph below is confusing. It shows what
I have no explanation for some of the results below. Why do Amerindians have more gifted than Hispanics? Why do Hawaiians and Guamanians have so many gifted, but Samoans and other Pacific Islanders have fewer, when both groups have the same IQ?
The IQ scores may seem confusing. They are set at the new ranking of US IQ = 100. Scores were formerly set at US White IQ = 100. The new ranking pushes US White scores up to 103, and pushes everyone else’s score up 3 points. But the scores are still the same; only the scale has changed.
Asians are overrepresented in the gifted programs in the US, contrary to WN propaganda about narrow Asian SD and relative lack of gifted students.
For 1997, according to the Office of Civil rights (1999), 5.6
Examination of data for those assessed and those who qualified for GATE during the 1998-99 school year indicated that of 14,778 students tested during the year, 3,108 (21.0
Examination of data for Asian subgroups showed a wide range in percentages of children who qualified, with Chinese (50.4
APA Subgroup Chinese 50.4 Koreans 47.44 108 Asian Indians 45.45 109 Japanese 41.30 108 Vietnamese 29.76 102.5 Hawaiians 28.00 90 Filipinos 28.00 97 Other Indochinese 25.00 93 Guamanians 21.95 89 Total Including non-APAs 21.03 100 Laotians 15.79 92 Hmong 14.12 85.5 Cambodians 12.58 92 Samoans 7.32 89 Other Pacific Islander 5.56 89
In conclusion, it is not yet proven that Asians have a short bell curve relative to European Whites, and there is considerable evidence against the hypothesis.
- Cheng L. L., Ima K. & Labovitz G. 1994. Assessment of Asian and Pacific Islander Students for Gifted Programs. In S. B. Garcia (Ed.), Addressing Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Special Education (pp. 30-45). Reston, VA: The Council for Exceptional Children.
U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. 1999. 1997 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Compliance Report. National and State Projections. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
Caution: This post is very long. It runs to 200 pages on the Net. Updated January 17, 2016.
This is a continuation of the earlier post. I split it up into two parts because it had gotten too long.
The post refers to which languages are the hardest for English speakers to learn, though to some extent, the ratings are applicable across languages. Most Chinese speakers would recognize Spanish as being an easy language, despite its alien nature. And even most Chinese, Navajo, Poles or Czechs acknowledge that their languages are hard to learn. To a certain extent, difficulty is independent of linguistic starting point. Some languages are just harder than others, and that’s all there is to it.
Method, Results and Conclusion. See here.
In this case, 73 non-IE languages were examined.
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.
Time needed: Time needed 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.
Here is a list of the ratings for the languages below as a handy reference.
Northeast Caucasian, Northwest Caucasian and Kartvelian
Of course the Caucasian languages like Tsez, Tabasaran, Georgian, Chechen, Ingush, Abkhaz and Circassian are some of the hardest languages on Earth to learn.
Chechen and Circassian are rated 6, hardest of all.
NE Caucasian languages have the uvulars and ejectives of Georgian in addition to pharyngeals, lateral fricatives, and other strangeness. They have noun classes like the Bantu languages (but usually fewer). Nevertheless, they have noun class agreement markers on verbs on adjectives. One thing NE Caucasian has is lots of case. Some languages have 40+ cases. They are built from the ground up via two forms – one a spatial form such as in, on or around and the other a directional motion form such as to, from, through or at.
Tsez has 64-126 different cases, making it by far the most complex case system on Earth! It is one of the few languages on Earth that has two genitive cases – Genitive 1 (-s) and Genitive 2 (-z). Genitive 1 is used when the genitive’s head noun is in absolutive case and Genitive 2 is used when the genitive’s head noun is in any other case. It also has four noun classes. It is said that even native speakers have a hard time picking up the correct inflection to use sometimes.
In Tsez, you need to know a lot Tsez grammar to communicate at a basic level. The sentence:
English: I like your mother.
Tsez: Дāьр деби энийу йетих. (Dǟr debi eniyu yetix.)
In order to speak that sentence in Tsez, you need to know:
• the words themselves (word order is not as important) • that the verb -eti- requires the subject to be in the dative/lative case and the object to be in the absolutive • the noun class for eniyu (class II) • the dative/lative form of di (I), which is dǟr • the genitive 1 form of mi (you), which is debi • the congruence prefix y- that corresponds to the noun class of the absolutive argument of the phrase, in this case mother • the present tense ending for vowel-final verbs -x
Tsez is rated 6, hardest of all.
Archi has an extremely complex phonology and one of the most complicated grammars on Earth. The extreme fusional aspects and the verbal morphology are what make the grammar so difficult. Every verb root has 1,502,839 possible forms! It is also an ergative language, but there is irregularity in its ergative system.
Some verbs take the typical ergative/absolutive case (absolutive for the subject of an intransitive very and ergative for the subject of a transitive verb – where the direct object would be in absolutive). In others the subject is in dative rather than the expected ergative/absolutive case. These are usually verbs of perception like love/want, hear, see, feel, and be bored. For instance, the verb:
-эти- = to love/want must have its subject in dative case instead of the expected absolutive or ergative case.
Among non-click languages, Archi has one of the largest consonant inventories, with only the extinct Ubykh having more. There are 26 vowels and between 76 and 82 consonants, depending on the analysis. Five of the six vowels can occur in five varieties: short, pharyngealized, high tone, long (with high tone), and pharyngealized with high tone.
It has many unusual phonemes, including contrasts between several voiceless velar lateral fricatives, voiceless and ejective velar lateral affricates and a voiced velar lateral fricative. The voiceless velar lateral fricative ʟ̝̊, the voiced velar lateral fricative ʟ̝, and the corresponding voiceless and ejective affricates k͡ʟ̝̊ and k͡ʟ̝̊ʼ are extremely unusual sounds, as velar fricatives are not typically laterals.
There are 15 cases, 10 regular cases, five spatial cases and five directional cases. The Spatial cases are Inessive (in), Intrative (between), superessive (above), Subessive (below) and Pertingent (against). The directional cases are Essive (as), Elative (out of), Lative (to/into), Allative (onto), Terminative (specifies a limit) and Translative (indicates change).
There are four noun classes:
I Male human II Female human III All insects, some animates, and some inanimates IV Abstracts, some animates, and some inanimates that can only be seen via verbal agreement
Archi is rated 6, hardest of all.
Samur Eastern Samur Lezgi–Aghul–Tabasaran
Tabasaran is rated the 3rd most complex grammar in the world, with 48 different noun cases.
Tabasaran is rated 6, hardest of all.
Ingush has a very difficult phonology, an extremely complex grammar, and furthermore, is extremely irregular. Ingush also has a proximate/obviate distinction and is the only language in the region that has this feature. Ingush along with Chechen both have a closed class of verbs, an unusual feature in the world’s languages. New verbs are formed by adding a noun to the verb do:
shoot – do gun
Ingush is rated 6, hardest of all.
One problem with Georgian is the strange alphabet: ქართულია ერთ ერთი რთული ენა. It also has lots of glottal stops that are hard for many foreigners to speak; consonant clusters can be huge – up to eight consonants stuck together (CCCCCCCCVC)- and many consonant sounds are strange. In addition, there are uvulars and ejectives. Georgian is one of the hardest languages on Earth to pronounce. It regularly makes it onto craziest phonologies lists.
Its grammar is exceedingly complex. Georgian is both highly agglutinative and highly irregular, which is the worst of two worlds. Other agglutinative languages such as Turkish and Finnish at least have the benefit of being highly regular. The verbs in particular seem nearly random with no pattern to them at all. The system of argument and tense marking on the verb is exceedingly complex, with tense, aspect, mood on the verb, person and number marking for the subject, and direct and indirect objects.
Although it is an ergative language, the ergative (or active-stative case marking as it is called) oddly enough is only used in the aorist and perfect tenses where the agent in the sentence receives a different case, while the aorist also masquerades as imperative. In the present, there is standard nominative-accusative marking. A single verb can have up to 12 different parts, similar to Polish, and there are six cases and six tenses.
Georgian also features something called polypersonal agreement, a highly complex type of morphological feature that is often associated with polysynthetic languages and to a lesser extent with ergativity.
In a polypersonal language, the verb has agreement morphemes attached to it dealing with one or more of the verbs arguments (usually up to four arguments). In a non polypersonal language like English, the verb either shows no agreement or agrees with only one of its arguments, usually the subject. Whereas in a polypersonal language, the verb agrees with one or more of the subject, the direct object, the indirect object, the beneficiary of the verb, etc. The polypersonal marking may be obligatory or optional.
In Georgian, the polypersonal morphemes appear as either suffixes or prefixes, depending on the verb class and the person, number, aspect and tense of the verb. The affixes also modify each other phonologically when they are next to each other. In the Georgian system, the polypersonal affixes convey subject, direct object, indirect object, genitive, locative and causative meanings.
g-mal-av-en = they hide you g-i-mal-av-en = they hide it from you
mal (to hide) is the verb, and the other four forms are polypersonal affixes.
In the case below,
xelebi ga-m-i-tsiv-d-a = My hands got cold.
xelebi means hands. The m marker indicates genitive or my. With intransitive verbs, Georgian often omits my before the subject and instead puts the genitive onto the verb to indicate possession.
Georgian verbs of motion focus on deixis, whether the goal of the motion is towards the speaker or the hearer. You use a particle to signify who the motion is heading towards. If it heading towards neither of you, you use no deixis marker. You specify the path taken to reach the goal through the use or prefixes called preverbs, similar to “verbal case.” These come after the deixis marker:
up a- out ga- in sha- down into cha- across/through garda- thither mi- away c’a- or down da-
up towards me = amo-. The deixis marker is mo- and up is a-
On the plus side, Georgian has borrowed a great deal of Latinate foreign vocabulary, so that will help anyone coming from a Latinate or Latinate-heavy language background.
Georgian is rated 5, extremely difficult.
All NW Caucasian languages are characterized by a very small number of vowels (usually only two or three) combined with a vast consonant inventory, the largest consonant inventories on Earth. Almost any consonant can be plain, labialized or palatalized. This is apparently the result of an historical process whereby many vowels were lost and their various features became assigned to consonants. For instance, palatalized consonants may have come from Ci sequences and labialized consonants may have come from Cu sequences.
The grammars of these languages are complex. Unlike the NE Caucasian languages, they have simple noun systems, usually with only a handful of cases.
However, they have some of the complex verbal systems on Earth. These are some of the most synthetic languages in the Old World. Often the entire syntax of the sentence is contained within the verb. All verbs are marked with ergative, absolutive and direct object morphemes in addition to various applicative affixes.
These are akin to what some might call “verbal case.” For instance, in applicative voice systems, applicatives may take forms such as comitative, locative, instrumental, benefactive and malefactive. These roles are similar to the case system in nouns – even the names are the same. So you can see why some call this “verbal case.”
NW Caucasian verbs can be marked for aspect (whether something is momentous, continuous or habitual), mood (if something is certain, likely, desired, potential, or unreal). Other affixes can shape the verb in an adverbial sense, to express pity, excess or emphasis.
Like NE Caucasian, they are also ergative.
NW Caucasian makes it onto a lot of craziest language lists.
These are some of the strangest sounding languages on Earth. Of all of these languages, Abaza has the most consonants. Here is a video in the Abaza language.
Ubykh, a Caucasian language of Turkey, is now extinct, but there is one second language speaker, a linguist who is said to have taught himself the language. It has more consonants than any non-click language on Earth – 84 consonant sounds in all. Furthermore, the phonemic inventory allows some very strange consonant clusters.
Ubykh has many rare consonant sounds. tʷ is only also found in two of Ubykh’s relatives, Abkhaz and Abaza and in two other languages, both in the Brazilian Amazon. The pharyngealized labiodental voiced fricative vˁ does not exist in any other language. It often makes it onto weirdest phonologies lists. Ubykh also got a very high score on a study of the weirdest languages on Earth.
Combine that with only two vowel sounds and a highly complex grammar, and you have one tough language.
In addition, Ubykh is both agglutinative and polysynthetic, ergative, and has polypersonal agreement:
Aχʲazbatʂʾaʁawdətʷaajlafaqʾajtʾmadaχ! If only you had not been able to make him take it all out from under me again for them…
There are an incredible 16 morphemes in that nine syllable word.
Ubykh has only four case systems on its nouns, but much case function has shifted over to the verb via preverbs and determinants. It is these preverbs and determinants that make Ubykh monstrously complex. The following are some of the directional preverbs:
- above and touching
- above and not touching
- below and touching
- below and not touching
- at the side of
- through a space
- through solid matter
- on a flat horizontal surface
- on a non-horizontal or vertical surface
- in a homogeneous mass
- in an upward direction
- in a downward direction
- into a tubular space
- into an enclosed space
There are also some preverbal forms that indicate deixis:
j- = towards the speaker
Others can indicate ideas that would take up whole phrases in English:
jtɕʷʼaa- = on the Earth, in the Earth
ʁadja ajtɕʷʼaanaaɬqʼa They buried his body. (Lit. They put his body in the earth.)
faa– = out of, into or with regard to a fire.
Amdʒan zatʃətʃaqʲa faastχʷən. I take a brand out of the fire.
Morphemes may be as small as a single phoneme:
wantʷaan They give you to him.
w – 2nd singular absolutive a – 3rd singular dative n – 3rd ergative tʷ – to give aa – ergative plural n – present tense
Adverbial suffixes are attached to words to form meanings that are often formed by aspects or tenses in other languages:
asfəpχa – I need to drink it. asfəfan – I can drink it. asfəɡʲan – I drink it all the time. asfəlan – I am drinking it all up. asfətɕʷan – I drink it too much. asfaajən – I drink it again.
Nouns and verbs can transform into each other. Any noun can turn into a stative verb:
məzə – child
səməzəjtʼ I was a child. (Lit. I child-was. child-was is a verb – to be a child.)
By the same token, many verbs can become nouns via the use of a nominal affix:
qʼa – to say
səqʼa what I say – (Lit. That which I say – my speech, my words, my language, my orders, etc.
Number is marked on the verb via a verbal suffix and is only marked on the noun in the ergative case.
However, it does lack the convoluted case systems of the Caucasian languages next door and there is no grammatical gender.
Ubykh is rated 6, hardest of all.
Abkhaz is an extremely difficult language to learn. Each basic consonant has eight different positions of articulation in the mouth. Imagine how difficult that would be for an Abkhaz child with a speech impediment. Abkhaz seems to put agreement markers on just about everything in the language. Abkhaz makes it onto many craziest language lists, and it recently got a very high score on a weirdest language study.
Abkhaz is rated 6, hardest of all.
Burushaski is often thought to be a language isolate, related to no other languages, however, I think it is Dene-Caucasian. It is spoken in the Himalaya Mountains of far northern Pakistan in an area called the Hunza. It’s verb conjugation is complex, it has a lot of inflections, there are complicated ways of making sentences depending on many factors, and it is an ergative language, which is hard to learn for speakers of non-ergative languages. In addition, there are very few to no cognates for the vocabulary.
Burushaski is rated 6, hardest of all.
American Indian Languages
American Indian languages are also notoriously difficult, though few try to learn them in the US anyway. In the rest of the continent, they are still learned by millions in many different nations. You almost really need to learn these as a kid. It’s going to be quite hard for an adult to get full competence in them.
One problem with these languages is the multiplicity of verb forms. For instance, the standard paradigm for the overwhelming number of regular English verbs is a maximum of five forms:
steal steals stealing stole stolen
Many Amerindian languages have over 1,000 forms of each verb in the language.
Yet the Salishans (see below) always considered the neighboring language Kootenai to be too hard to learn. Kootenai also has a distinction between proximate/obviate along with direct/inverse alignment, probably from contact with Algonquian.
However, the Kootenai direct/inverse system is less complex than Algonquian’s, as it is present only in the 3rd person. Kootenai also has a very strange feature in that they have particles that look like subject pronouns, but these go outside of the full noun phrase. This is a very rare feature in the world’s languages. Kootenai scored very high on a weirdest language survey.
Kootenai is an isolate spoken in Idaho by 100 people.
Kootenai is rated 6, hardest of all.
Yuchi is a language isolate spoken in the Southern US. They were originally located in Eastern Tennessee and were part of the Creek Confederacy at one time. Yuchi is nearly extinct, with only five remaining speakers.
Yuchi has noun genders or classes based on three distinctions of position: standing, sitting or lying. All nouns are either standing, sitting or lying. Trees are standing, and rivers are lying, for instance. It it is taller than it is wide, it is standing. It if is wider than it is tall, it is lying.
If it is about as about as wide as it is tall, it is sitting. All nouns are one of these three genders, but you can change the gender for humorous or poetic effect. A linguist once asked a group of female speakers whether a penis was standing, sitting or lying. After lots of giggles, they said the default was sitting, but you could say it was standing or lying for poetic effect.
Also all Yuchi pronouns must make a distinction between age (older or younger than the speaker) and ethnicity (Yuchi or non-Yuchi).
Yuchi gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Dene-Yeniseian Na-Dene Athabascan-Eyak Tlingit
Tlingit is probably one of the hardest, if not the hardest, language in the world. Tlingit is analyzed as partly synthetic, partly agglutinative, and sometimes polysynthetic. It has not only suffixes and prefixes, but it also has infixes, or affixes in the middle of words.
‘eech – to pick
All prefixes must be in proper order for the word to work.
tuyakaoonagadagaxayaeecheen. I am usually picking, on purpose, a long object through the hole while standing on a table.
tuyakaoonagootxaya‘eecheen. I am usually being forced to pick a long object through the hole while standing on a table.
tuyaoonagootxawa’eecheen. I am usually being picking the edible long object through the hole while standing on a table.
Tlingit has a pretty unusual phonology. For one thing, it is the only language on Earth with no l. This despite the fact that it has five other laterals: dl (tɬ), tl (tɬʰ), tl’ (tɬʼ), l (ɬ) and l’ (ɬʼ). The tɬʼ and ɬʼ sounds are rare in the world’s languages. ɬʼ is only found in the wild NW Caucasian languages. It also has two labialized glottal consonants, ʔʷ and hw (hʷ).
Tlingit gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Navajo has long, short and nasal vowels, a tone system and a grammar totally unlike anything in Indo-European. A stem of only four letters or so can take enough affixes to fill a whole line of text.
Navajo is a polysynthetic language. In polysynthetic languages, very long words can denote an entire sentence, and it’s quite hard to take the word apart into its parts and figure out exactly what they mean and how they go together. The long words are created because polysynthetic languages have an amazing amount of morphological richness. They put many morpheme together to create a word out of what might be a sentence in a non-polysynthetic language.
Some Navajo dictionaries have thousands of entries of verbs only, with no nouns. Many adjectives have no direct translation into Navajo. Instead, verbs are used as adjectives. A verb has no particular form like in English – to walk. Instead, it assumes various forms depending on whether or not the action is completed, incomplete, in progress, repeated, habitual, one time only, instantaneous, or simply desired. These are called aspects. Navajo must have one of the most complex aspect systems of any language:
The Primary aspects:
Momentaneous – punctually (takes place at one point in time) Continuative – an indefinite span of time & movement with a specified direction Durative – over an indefinite span of time, non-locomotive uninterrupted continuum Repetitive – a continuum of repeated acts or connected series of acts Conclusive – like durative but in perfective terminates with static sequel Semelfactive – a single act in a repetitive series of acts Distributive – a distributive manipulation of objects or performance of actions Diversative – a movement distributed among things (similar to distributive) Reversative – results in directional change Conative – an attempted action Transitional – a shift from one state to another Cursive – progression in a line through time/space (only progressive mode)
Completive – an event/action simply takes place (similar to the aorist tense) Terminative – a stopping of an action Stative – sequentially durative and static Inceptive – beginning of an action Terminal – an inherently terminal action Prolongative – an arrested beginning or ending of an action Seriative – an interconnected series of successive separate & distinct acts Inchoative – a focus on the beginning of a non-locomotion action Reversionary – a return to a previous state/location Semeliterative – a single repetition of an event/action
The tense system is almost as wild as the aspectual system.
For instance, the verb ndideesh means to pick up or to lift up. But it varies depending on what you are picking up:
ndideeshtiil – to pick up a slender stiff object (key, pole) ndideeshleel – to pick up a slender flexible object (branch, rope) ndideesh’aal – to pick up a roundish or bulky object (bottle, rock) ndideeshgheel – to pick up a compact and heavy object (bundle, pack) ndideeshjol – to pick up a non-compact or diffuse object (wool, hay) ndideeshteel – to pick up something animate (child, dog) ndideeshnil – to pick up a few small objects (a couple of berries, nuts) ndideeshjih – to pick up a large number of small objects (a pile of berries, nuts) ndideeshtsos – to pick up something flexible and flat (blanket, piece of paper) ndideeshjil – to pick up something I carry on my back ndideeshkaal – to pick up anything in a vessel ndideeshtloh – to pick up mushy matter (mud).
But picking up is only one way of handling the 12 different consistencies. One can also bring, take, hang up, keep, carry around, turn over, etc. objects. There are about 28 different verbs one can use for handling objects. If we multiply these verbs by the consistencies, there are over 300 different verbs used just for handling objects.
In Navajo textbooks, there are conjugation tables for inflecting words, but it’s pretty hard to find a pattern there. One of the most frustrating things about Navajo is that every little morpheme you add to a word seems to change everything else around it, even in both directions.
Navajo is said to have a very difficult system for counting numerals.
There is also a noun classifier system with more than a dozen classifiers that affect inflection. This is quite a few classifiers even for a noun classifier language and is similar to African languages like Zulu. In addition, it has the strange direct/inverse system.
To add insult to injury, Navajo is an ergative language.
Navajo also has an honorifics or politeness system similar to Japanese or Korean.
Navajo also has the odd feature where the word niinaa – because can be analyzed as a verb.
X áhóót’įįd biniinaa… Because X happened…
Shiniinaa sits’il. It broke into pieces because of me.
In the latter sentence, the only way we know that 1st singular was involved in because of the person marking on niinaa.
There are 25 different kinds of pronominal prefixes that can be piled onto one another before a verb base.
Navajo has a very strange feature called animacy, where nouns take certain verbs according to their rank in the hierarchy of animation which is a sort of a ranking based on how alive something is. Humans and lightning are at the top, children and large animals are next and abstractions are at the bottom.
All in all, Navajo, even compared to other polysynthetic languages, has some of the most incredibly complicated polysynthetic morphology of any language. On craziest grammar and craziest language lists, Navajo is typically listed.
It is even said that Navajo children have a hard time learning Navajo as compared to children learning other languages, but Navajo kids definitely learn the language. Similarly with Hopi below, even linguists find even the best Navajo grammars difficult or even impossible to understand.
However, Navajo is quite regular, a common feature in Amerindian languages.
Navajo is rated 6, hardest of all.
Slavey, a Na-Dene language of Canada, is hard to learn. It is similar to Navajo and Apache. Verbs take up to 15 different prefixes. All Athabascan languages have wild verbal systems. It also uses a completely different alphabet, a syllabic one designed for Canadian Indians.
Slavey is rated 6, hardest of all.
Haida is often thought to be a Na-Dene language, but proof of its status is lacking. If it is Na-Dene, it is the most distant member of the family. Haida is in the competition for the most complicated language on Earth, with 70 different suffixes.
Haida is rated 6, hardest of all.
The Salishan languages spoken in the Northwest have a long reputation for being hard to learn, in part because of long strings of consonants, in one case 11 consonants long. Salish languages are the only languages on Earth that allow words without sonorants.
Many of the vowels and consonants are not present in most of the world’s widely spoken languages. The Salish languages are, like Chukchi, polysynthetic. Some translations treat all Salish words are either verbs or phrases. Some say that Salish languages do not contain nouns, though this is controversial. The verbal system of Salish languages is absurdly complex.
All Salishan languages are rated rated 6, hardest of all.
Nuxálk (Bella Coola)
Nuxálk is a notoriously difficult Salishan Amerindian language spoken in British Colombia. It is famous for having some really wild words and even sentences that don’t seem to have any vowels in them at all. For instance:
xłp̓x̣ʷłtłpłłskʷc̓ (xɬpʼχʷɬtʰɬpʰɬːskʷʰt͡sʼ in IPA) He had a bunchberry plant.
sxs seal fat
Here are some more odd words and sentences:
Nuyamłamkis timantx tisyuttx ʔułtimnastx. The father sang the song to his son.
Musis tiʔimmllkītx taq̓lsxʷt̓aχ. The boy felt that rope.
However, this word is not typically used by speakers and by no means do most words consist of all consonants. The language sounds odd when spoken. It has been described as “whispering while chewing on a granola bar” (see the video sample under Montana Salish below).
These wild consonant clusters are even crazier than the ones in Ubykh and NW Caucasian. In fact, the nutty consonant clusters in Salish and causing a debate in linguistics about whether or not the syllable is even a universal phenomenon in language as some Salish words and phrases appear to lack syllables. Some Berber dialects have raised similar questions about the syllable.
Nuxálk makes it onto lists of the craziest phonologies on Earth.
Nuxálk is rated 6, hardest of all.
Interior Salish Southern
Montana Salish is said to be just as hard to learn as Nuxálk . Spokane (Montana Salish) has combining and independent forms with the same meaning:
spim’cn – mouth -cin – mouth
Montana Salish makes it onto a lot of craziest grammars lists.
This link shows an elder on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, Steven Smallsalmon, speaking Montana Salish. He also leads classes in the language. This is probably one of the strangest sounding languages on Earth.
Montana Salish is rated 6, hardest of all.
Straits Salish has an aspectual distinction between persistent and nonpersistent. Persistent means the activity continues after its inception as a state. The persistent morpheme is -í. The result is similar to English:
figure out – nonpersistent know – persistent
look at – nonpersistent watch – persistent
take – nonpersistent hold – persistent
-í is referred to as a “parasitic morpheme” and only occurs in stem that has an underlying ə which serves as a “host” for the -í morpheme.
The Saanich dialect of Straits Salish is often listed in the rogue’s gallery of craziest grammars on Earth. The writing system is often listed as one of the worst out there. In addition, Saanich makes it onto craziest grammars lists for the parasitic morphemes and for having no distinction between nouns and verbs!
Straits Salish gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Halkomelem, spoken by 570 people around Vancouver, British Colombia, is widely considered to be one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn. In Halkomelem, many verbs have an orientation towards water. You can’t just say, She went home. You have say how she was going home in relation to nearby bodies of water. So depending on where she was walking home in relation to the nearest river, you would say:
She was farther away from the water and going home. She was coming home in the direction away from the water. She was walking parallel to the flow of the water downstream. She was walking parallel to the flow of the water upstream.
Halkomelem gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Lushootseed is said to be just as hard to learn as Nuxálk. Lushootseed is one of the few languages on Earth that has no nasals at all, except in special registers like baby talk and the archaic speech of mythological figures. It also has laryngealized glides and nasals: w ̰ , m̥ ̰ , and n̥ ̰ .
Lushootseed is rated 6, hardest of all.
All Iroquoian languages are extremely difficult, but Athabaskan is probably even harder. Siouan languages may be equal to Iroquoian in difficulty.
Compare the same phrases in Tlingit (Athabaskan) and and Cherokee (Iroquoian).
kutíkusa‘áat – It’s cold outside. kutíkuta‘áat – It’s cold right now.
In Tlingit, you can add or modify affixes at the beginning as prefixes, in the middle as infixes and at the end as suffixes. In the above example, you changed a part of the word within the clause itself.
doyáditlv uyvtlv – It is cold outside. (Lit. Outside it is cold) ka uyvtlv – It is cold now. (Lit. Now it is cold.)
As you can see, Cherokee is easier.
Cherokee is very hard to learn. In addition to everything else, it has a completely different alphabet. It’s polysynthetic, to make matters worse. It is possible to write a Cherokee sentence that somehow lacks a verb. There are five categories of verb classifiers. Verbs needing classifiers must use one. Each regular verb can have an incredible 21,262 inflected forms! All verbs contain a verb root, a pronominal prefix, a modal suffix and an aspect suffix. In addition, verbs inflect for singular, plural and also dual. For instance:
ᎠᎸᎢᎭ a'lv'íha You have 126 different forms: ᎬᏯᎸᎢᎭ gvyalv'iha I tie you up ᏕᎬᏯᎸᎢᎭ degvyalviha I'm tying you up ᏥᏯᎸᎢᎭ jiyalv'ha I tie him up ᎦᎸᎢᎭ I tie it ᏍᏓᏯᎸᎢᎭ sdayalv'iha I tie you (dual) ᎢᏨᏯᎢᎭ ijvyalv'iha I tie you (pl) ᎦᏥᏯᎸᎢᎭ gajiyalv'iha I tie them (animate) ᏕᎦᎸᎢᎭ I tie them up (inanimate) ᏍᏆᎸᎢᎭ squahlv'iha You tie me ᎯᏯᎸᎢᎭ hiyalv'iha You're tying him ᎭᏢᎢᎭ hatlv'iha You tie it ᏍᎩᎾᎸᎢᎭ skinalv'iha You're tying me and him ᎪᎩᎾᏢᎢᎭ goginatlv'iha They tie me and him etc.
Let us look at another form:
to see I see myself gadagotia I see you gvgohtia I see him/ tsigotia I see it tsigotia I see you two advgotia I see you (plural) istvgotia I see them (live) gatsigotia I see them (things) detsigotia You see me sgigotia You see yourself hadagotia You see him/her higo(h)tia You see it higotia You see another and me sginigotia You see others and me isgigotia You see them (living) dehigotia You see them (living) gahigotia You see them (things) detsigotia He/she sees me agigotia He/she sees you tsagotia He/she sees you atsigotia He/she sees him/her agotia He/she sees himself/herself adagotia He/she sees you + me ginigotia He/she sees you two sdigotia He/she sees another + me oginigotia He she sees us (them + me) otsigotia He/she sees you (plural) itsigotia He/she sees them dagotia You and I see him/her/it igigotia You and I see ourselves edadotia You and I see one another denadagotia/dosdadagotia You and I see them (living) genigotia You and I see them (living or not) denigotia You two see me sgninigotia You two see him/her/it esdigotia You two see yourselves sdadagotia You two see us (another and me) sginigotia You two see them desdigotia Another and I see you sdvgotia Another and I see him/her osdigotia Another and I see it osdigotia Another and I see you-two sdvgotia Another and I see ourselves dosdadagotia Another and I see you (plural) itsvgotia Another and I see them dosdigotia You (plural) see me isgigoti You (plural) see him/her etsigoti They see me gvgigotia They see you getsagotia They see him/her anigoti They see you and me geginigoti They see you two gesdigoti They see another and me gegigotia/gogenigoti They see you (plural) getsigoti They see them danagotia They see themselves anadagoti I will see datsigoi I saw agigohvi He/she will see dvgohi He/she sawugohvi
Number is marked for inclusive vs. exclusive and there is a dual. 3rd person plural is marked for animate/inanimate. Verbs take different object forms depending on if the object is solid/alive/indefinite shape/flexible. This is similar to the Navajo system.
Cherokee also has lexical tone, with complex rules about how tones may combine with each other. Tone is not marked in the orthography. The phonology is noted for somehow not having any labial consonants.
However, Cherokee is very regular. It has only three irregular verbs. It is just that there are many complex rules.
Cherokee is rated 5.5, close to most difficult of all.
Iroquoian Northern Iroquoian Five Nations-Huronian-Susquehannock Huronian Huron-Petun
Wyandot, a dormant language that has been extinct for about 50 years, has some unbelievably complex structures. Let us look at one of them. Wyandot is the only language on Earth that allows negative sentences that somehow do not contain a negative morpheme. Wyandot makes it onto craziest grammars lists. (To be continued).
Siouan-Catawban Siouan Mississippi Valley-Ohio Valley Siouan Mississippi Valley Siouan Dakota
Lakota and other Siouan languages may well be as convoluted as Iroquoian. In Lakota, all adjectives are expressed as verbs. Something similar is seen in Nahuatl.
Ógle sápe kiŋ mak’ú. The shirt it is black he gave it to me. He gave me the black shirt.
In the above, it is black is a stative verb and serves as an adjective.
Ógle kiŋ sabyá mak’ú. Shirt the blackly he gave it to me. He gave me the black shirt. (Lit. He gave me the shirt blackly.)
Bkackly is an adverb serving as an adjective above.
Lakota gets a 5.5 rating, hardest of all.
All Algonquian languages have distinctions between animate/inanimate nouns, in addition to having proximate/obviate and direct/inverse distinctions. However, most languages that have proximate/obviate and direct/inverse distinctions are not as difficult as Algonquian.
Proximate/obviative is a way of marking the 3rd person in discourse. It distinguishes between an important 3rd person (proximate) and a more peripheral 3rd person (obviative). Animate nouns and possessor nouns tend to be marked proximate while inanimate nouns and possessed nouns tend to be marked obviative.
Direct/inverse is a way of marking discourse in terms of saliency, topicality or animacy. Whether one noun ranks higher than another in terms of saliency, topicality or animacy means that that nouns ranks higher in terms of person hierarchy. It is used only in transitive clauses. When the subject has a higher ranking than the object, the direct form is used. When the object has a higher ranking than the object, the inverse form is used.
Central Algonquian Cree-Montagnais
Cree is very hard to learn. It are written in a variety of different ways with different alphabets and syllabic systems, complicating matters even further. The syllabic alphabet has many problems and is often listed as one of the worst scripts out there. They are both polysynthetic and have long, short and nasal vowels and aspirated and unaspirated voiceless consonants. Words are divided into metrical feet, the rules for determining stress placement in words are quite complex and there is lots of irregularity. Vowels fall out a lot, or syncopate, within words.
Cree adds noun classifiers to the mix, and both nouns and verbs are marked as animate or inanimate. In addition, verbs are marked for transitive and intransitive. In addition, verbs get different affixes depending on whether they occur in main or subordinate clauses.
Cree is rated 6, hardest of all.
Ojibwa is said to be about as hard to learn, as Cree as it is very similar.
Ojibwa is rated 6, hardest of all.
Plains Algonquian Cheyenne
Cheyenne is well-known for being a hard Amerindian language to learn. Like many polysynthetic languages, it can have very long words.
Náohkêsáa’oné’seómepêhévetsêhésto’anéhe. I truly don’t know Cheyenne very well.
However, Cheyenne is quite regular, but has so many complex rules that it is hard to figure them all out.
Cheyenne is rated 6, hardest of all.
Arapaho has a strange phonology. It lacks phonemic low vowels. The vowel system consists of i, ɨ~,u, ɛ, and ɔ, with no low phonemic vowels. Each vowel also has a corresponding long version. In addition, there are four diphthongs, ei, ou, oe and ie, several triphthongs, eii, oee, and ouu, as well as extended sequences of vowels such as eee with stress on either the first or the last vowel in the combination. Long vowels of various types are common:
Héétbih’ínkúútiinoo. I will turn out the lights.
Honoosóó’. It is raining.
There is a pitch accent system with normal, high and allophonic falling tones. Arapaho words also undergo some very wild sound changes.
Arapaho is rated 6, hardest of all.
Gros Ventre has a similar phonological system and similar elaborate sound changes as Arapaho.
Gros Ventre is rated 5, hardest of all.
Caddoan Northern Wichita
Wichita has many strange phonological traits. It has only one nasal. Labials are rare and appear in only two roots. It also may have only three vowels, i, e, and a, with only height as a distinction. Such a restricted vertical vowel distribution is only found in NW Caucasian and the Papuan Ndu languages. There is apparently a three-way contrast in vowel length – regular, long and extra-long.
This is only found in Mixe and Estonian. There are some interesting tenses. Perfect tense means that an act has been carried out. The strange intentive tense means that one hopes or hoped to to carry out an act. The habitual tense means one regularly engages in the activity, not that one is doing so at the moment.
Long consonant clusters are permitted.
nahiʔinckskih while sleeping
There are many cases where a CVɁ sequence has been reduced to CɁ due to loss of the vowel, resulting in odd words such as:
Word order is ordered in accordance with novelty or importance.
hira:wisɁiha:s kiyari:ce:hire: Our ancestors God put us on this Earth.
weɁe hira:rɁ tiɁi na:kirih God put our ancestors on this Earth.
In the sentence above, “our ancestors” is actually the subject, so it makes sense that it comes first.
Wichita has inclusive and exclusive 3rd person plural and has singular, dual and plural. There is an evidential system where if you say you know something, you must say how you know it – whether it is personal knowledge or hearsay.
Wichita gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Hokan Tequislatecan Coastal Chantal
Huamelutec or Lowland Oaxaca Chantal has the odd glottalized fricatives fʼ, sʼ, ɬʼ and xʼ as its only glottalized consonants. They alternate with plain f, s, l and x. fʼ, ɬʼ and xʼ are extremely rare in the world’s languages, usually only found in 2-3 other languages, often in NW Caucasian. xʼ occurs only in one other language – Tlingit. sʼ is slightly more common, occurring five other languages including Tlingit. In other languages, these odd sounds derived from sequences of consonant + q: Cq -> Cʔ -> glottalized fricative.
Sentence structure is odd:
Hit the ball the man. Hit the man the ball. The man hit the ball.
All mean the same thing.
Huamelutec gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Karok is a language isolate spoken by a few dozen people in northern California. The last native speaker recently died, however, there are ~80 who have varying levels of L2 fluency.
In Karok, you can use a suffix for different types of containment – fire, water or a solid.
pa:θ-kirih throw into a fire
pa:θ-kurih throw into water
pa:θ-ruprih throw through a solid
The suffixes are unrelated to the words for fire, water and solid.
Karok gets a 5 rating, hardest of all.
Hopi is so difficult that even grammars describing the language are almost impossible to understand. For instance, Hopi has two different words for and depending on whether the noun phrase containing the word and is nominative or accusative.
Hopi is rated 6, hardest of all.
Southern Uto-Aztecan Corachol-Aztecan Core Nahua Nahuatl
In Nahuatl, most adjectives are simply stative verbs. Hence:
Umntu omde waya eTenochtitlan. The man he is tall went to Tenochtitlan. The tall man went to Tenochtitlan.
He is tall is a stative verb in the above.
Nahuatl gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Numic Central Numic
Comanche is legendary for being one of the hardest Indian languages of all to learn. Reasons are unknown, but all Amerindian languages are quite difficult. I doubt if Comanche is harder than other Numic languages.
Bizarrely enough, Comanche has very strange sounds called voiceless vowels, which seems to be an oxymoron, as vowels would seem to be inherently voiced. English has something akin to voiceless vowels in the words particular and peculiar, where the bolded vowels act something akin to a voiceless vowel.
Comanche was used for a while by the codespeakers in World War 2 – not all codespeakers were Navajos. Comanche was specifically chosen because it was hard to figure out. The Japanese were never able to break the Comanche code.
Comanche is rated 6, hardest of all.
Oto-Manguean Western Oto-Mangue Oto-Pame-Chinantecan Chinantecan
Chinantec, an Indian language of southwest Mexico, is very hard for non-Chinantecs to learn. The tone system is maddeningly complex, and the syntax and morphology are very intricate.
Chinantec is rated 6, hardest of all.
Popolocan Mazatecan Lowland Valley Southern
Jalapa Mazatec has distinctions between modal, creaky, breathy-voiced vowels along with nasal versions of those three. It also has creaky consonants and voiceless nasals. It has three tones, low, mid and high. Combining the tones results in various contour tones. In addition, it has a 3-way distinction in vowel length. Whistled speech is also possible. It has a phonemic distinction between “ballistic” and “controlled” syllables which is only present on Oto-Manguean.
Ballistic (short) sū – warm nīˑntū – slippery tsǣ – guava hų̄ – you plural
Controlled (half-long) sūˑ – blue nīˑntūˑ – needle tsǣˑ – full hų̄ˑ – six
Jalapa Mazatec is rated 6, hardest of all.
Maipurean Northern Upper Amazon Eastern Nawiki
Tariana is a very difficult language mostly because of the unbelievable amount of information it crams into its morphology and syntax. This is mostly because it is an Arawakan language that has been heavily influenced by neighboring Tucanoan languages, with the result that it has many of the grammatical categories and particles present in both families.
This stems from the widespread bilingualism in the Vaupes Basin of Colombia, where many people grow up bilingual from childhood and often become multilingual by adulthood. Learning up to five different languages is common. Code-switching was frowned upon and anyone using a word from Language Y while speaking Language X would get laughed at. Hence the various languages tended to borrow features from each other quite easily.
For instance, Tariana has both a noun classifier system and a gender system. Noun classifiers and gender are sometimes subsumed under the single category of “noun classifiers.” Yet Tariana has both, presumably from its relationship to two completely different language families. So in Tariana is not unusual to get both demonstratives and verbs marked for both gender and noun classifier. Tariana borrowed such things as serialized perception verbs and the dubitative marker from Tucano.
In addition, Tariana has some very odd sounds, including aspirated nasals mh (mʰ), nh (n̺ʰ) and ñh (ɲʰ) and an aspirated w (wʰ) of all things. They seem to be actually aspirated, not just partially devoiced as many voiceless nasals and liquids are.
Tariana gets 6, hardest of all.
Bora, a Wintotoan language spoken in Peru and Colombia near the border between the two countries, has a mind-boggling 350 different noun classes. The noun classifier system is actually highly productive and is often used to create new nouns. New nouns can be created very easily, and their meanings are often semantically transparent. In some noun classifier systems, classifiers can be stacked one upon the other. In these cases, typically the last one is used for agreement purposes.
Bora also is a tonal language, but it has only two tones. In addition, nearly all consonantal phonemes have phonemic aspirated and palatalized counterparts. The agreement structure in the language is also quite convoluted. The classifier system effectively replaces much derivational morphology on the noun and noun compounding processes that other languages use to expand the meanings of nominals.
Bora gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Tucanoan Eastern Tucanoan Bará-Tuyuka
Tuyuca is a Tucanoan language spoken in by 450 people in the department of Vaupés in Colombia. An article in The Economist magazine concluded that it was the hardest language on Earth to learn.
It has a simple sound system, but it’s agglutinative, and agglutinative languages are pretty hard. For instance, hóabãsiriga means I don’t know how to write. It has two forms of 1st person plural, I and you (inclusive) and I and the others (exclusive). It has between 50-140 noun classes, including strange ones like bark that does not cling closely to a tree, which can be extended to mean baggy trousers or wet plywood that has begun to fall apart.
Like Yamana, a nearly extinct Amerindian language of Chile, Tuyuca marks for evidentiality, that is, how it is that you know something. For instance:
Diga ape-wi. = The boy played soccer. (I saw him playing). Diga ape-hiyi. = The boy played soccer. (I assume he was playing soccer, though I did not see it firsthand).
Evidential marking is obligatory on all Tuyuca verbs and it forces you to think about how you know whatever it is you know.
Tuyuca definitely gets a 6 rating!
Cubeo, a language spoken in the Vaupes of Colombia, has a either SOV or OVS. That would mean that the following:
The man the ball hit. The ball hit the man.
Mean the same things. OVS languages are quite rare.
Morphemes belong to one of four classes:
- Nasal (many roots, as well as suffixes like -xã = associative)
- Oral (many roots, as well as suffixes like -pe = similarity, -du = frustrative)
- Unmarked (only suffixes, e.g. -re = in/direct object)
- Oral/Nasal (some roots and some suffixes) /bãˈkaxa-/(mãˈkaxa-) – to defecate and -kebã = suppose
Just by looking at any given consonant-initial suffix, it is impossible to determine which of the first three categories it belongs to. They must be learned one by one.
Cubeo has nasal assimilation, common to many Amazonian languages. In some of these, nasalization is best analyzed at the syllable level – some syllables are nasal and others are not.
dĩ-bI-ko /dĩ-bĩ-ko/ nĩmĩko She recently went.
The underlying form dĩ-bI-ko is realized on the surface as nĩmĩko. The ĩ in dĩ-bI-ko nasalizes the d, the b, and the I on either side of it, so nasal spreading works in both directions. However, it is blocked from the third syllable because k is part of a class of non-nasalizable consonants.
Pretty difficult language.
Cuneo gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
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.
This is actually a series of closely related languages as opposed to one language, but the Southern Nambikwara language is the most well-known of the family, with 1,200 speakers in the Brazilian Amazon.
Phonology is complex. Consonants distinguish between aspirated, plain and glottalized, common in the Americas. There are strange sounds like prestopped nasals glottalized fricatives. There are nasal vowels and three different tones. All vowels except one have both nasal, creaky-voiced and nasal-creaky counterparts, for a total of 19 vowels.
The grammar is polysynthetic with a complex evidential system.
Reportedly, Nambikwara children do not pick up the language fully until age 10 or so, one of the latest recorded ages for full competence. Nambikwara is sometimes said to be the hardest language on Earth to learn, but it has some competition.
Nambikwara definitely gets a 6 rating, hardest of all!
Pirahã is a language isolate spoken in the Brazilian Amazon. Recent writings by Daniel Everett indicate that not only is this one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn, but it is also one of the weirdest languages on Earth. It is monumentally complex in nearly every way imaginable. It is commonly listed on the rogue’s gallery of craziest languages and phonologies on Earth.
It has the smallest phonemic inventory on Earth with only seven consonants, three vowels and either two or three tones. Everett recently wrote a paper about it after spending many years with them. Previous missionaries who had spent time with the Pirahã generally failed to learn the language because it was too hard to learn. It took Everett a very long time, but he finally learned it well.
Many of Everett’s claims about Pirahã are astounding: whistled speech, no system for counting, very few Portuguese loans (they deliberately refuse to use Portuguese loans) evidence for the Sapir-Whorf linguistic relativity hypothesis, and evidence that it violates some of Noam Chomsky’s purported language universals such as embedding. It also has the t͡ʙ̥ sound – a bilabially trilled postdental affricate which is only found in two other languages, both in the Brazilian Amazon – Oro Win and Wari’.
Initially, Everett never heard the sound, but they got to know him better, they started to make it more often. Everett believes that they were ridiculed by other groups when they made the odd sound.
Pirahã has the simplest kinship system in any language – there is only word for both mother and father, and the Pirahã do not have any words for anyone other than direct biological relatives.
Pirahã may have only two numerals, or it may lack a numeral system altogether.
Pirahã does not distinguish between singular and plural person. This is highly unusual. The language may have borrowed its entire pronoun set from the Tupian languages Nheengatu and Tenarim, groups the Pirahã had formerly been in contact with. This may be one of the only attested case of the borrowing of a complete pronoun set.
There are mandatory evidentiality markers that must be used in Pirahã discourse. Speakers must say how they know something, whether they saw it themselves, whether it was hearsay or whether they inferred it circumstantially.
There are various strange moods – the desiderative (desire to perform an action) and two types of frustrative – frustration in starting an action (inchoative/incompletive) and frustration in completing an action (causative/incompletive). There are others: immediate/intentive (you are going to do something now/you intend to do it in the future)
There are many verbal aspects: perfect/imperfect (completed/incomplete) telic/atelic (reaching a goal/not reaching a goal), continuative (continuing), repetitive (iterative), and beginning an action (inchoative).
Each Pirahã verb has 262,144 possible forms, or possibly in the many millions, depending on which analysis you use.
The future tense is divided into future/somewhere and future/elsewhere. The past tense is divided into plain past and immediate past.
Pirahã has a closed class of only 90 verb roots, an incredibly small number. But these roots can be combined together to form compound verbs, a much larger category. Here is one example of three verbs strung together to form a compound verb:
xig ab op take turn go – bring back, You take something away, you turn around, and you go back to where you got it to return it.
There are no abstract color terms in Pirahã. There are only two words for colors, one for light and one for dark. The only other languages with this restricted of a color sense are in Papua New Guinea. The other color terms are not really color terms, but are more descriptive – red is translated as like blood.
Pirahã can be whistled, hummed or encoded into music. Consonants and vowels can be omitted altogether and meaning conveyed instead via variations in stress, pitch and rhythm. Mothers teach the language to children by repeating musical patterns.
Pirahã may well be one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn.
Pirahã gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Quechua (actually a large group of languages and not a single language at all) is one of the easiest Amerindian languages to learn. Quechua is a classic example of a highly regular grammar with few exceptions. Its agglutinative system is more straightforward than even that of Turkish. The phonology is dead simple.
On the down side, there is a lot of dialectal divergence (these are actually separate languages and not dialects) and a lack of learning materials. Some say that Quechua speakers spend their whole lives learning the language.
Quechua has inconsistent orthographies. There is a fight between those who prefer a Spanish-based orthography and those who prefer a more phonemic one. Also there is an argument over whether to use the Ayacucho language or the Cuzco language as a base.
Quechua has a difficult feature known as evidential marking. This marker indicates the source of the speaker’s knowledge and how sure they are about the statement.
-mi expresses personal knowledge:
Tayta Wayllaqawaqa chufirmi. Mr. Huayllacahua is a driver. (I know it for a fact.)
-si expresses hearsay knowledge:
Tayta Wayllaqawaqa chufirsi. Mr. Huayllacahua is a driver (or so I’ve heard).
chá expresses strong possibility:
Tayta Wayllaqawaqa chufirchá. Mr. Huayllacahua is a driver (most likely).
Quechua is rated 4, very difficult.
Aymara has some of the wildest morphophonology out there. Morpheme-final vowel deletion is present in the language as a morphophonological process, and it is dependent on a set of highly complex phonological, morphological and syntactic rules (Kim 2013).
For instance, there are three types of suffixes: dominant, recessive and a 3rd class is neither dominant nor recessive. If a stem ends in a vowel, dominant suffixes delete the vowel but recessive suffixes allow the vowel to remain. The third class either deletes or retains the vowel on the stem depending on how many vowels are in the stem. If the root has two vowels, the vowel is retained. If it has three vowels, the vowel is deleted.
Although all of this seems quite odd, Finnish has something similar going on, if not a lot worse.
Nevertheless, Aymara is still said to be a very easy language to learn. The Guinness Book of World Records claims it is almost as easy to learn as Esperanto.
Aymara gets a 2 rating, very easy to learn.
Australian Aborigine languages are some of the hardest languages on Earth to learn, like Amerindian or Caucasian languages. Some Australian languages have phonemic contrasts that few other languages have, such as apico-dental, lamino-dental, apico-post-alveolar, and lamino-postalveolar cononals.
Australian languages tend to be mixed ergative. Ordinary nouns are ergative-absolutive, but 1st and 2nd person pronouns are nominative-accusative. One language has a three way agent-patient-experiencer distinction in the 1st person pronoun. Australian pronouns typically have singular, plural and dual forms along with inclusive and exclusive 1st plural. In some sentences, they have what is known as double case agreement which is rare in the world’s languages:
I gave a spear to my father. I gave a spear mine-to father’s-to.
Both elements of the phrase my father are in both dative and genitive.
However, Aboriginal languages do have the plus of being very regular.
All Australian languages are rated 6, most difficult of all.
Tor-Kwerba Orya-Tor Tor
Berik is a Tor-Orya language spoken in Indonesian colony of Irian Jaya in New Guinea.
Verbs take many strange endings, in many cases mandatory ones, that indicate what time of day something happened, among other things.
Telbener – He drinks in the evening.
Where a verb takes an object, it will not only be marked for time of day but for the size of the object.
Kitobana – He gives three large objects to a man in the sunlight.
Verbs may also be marked for where the action takes place in reference to the speaker.
Gwerantena – To place a large object in a low place nearby.
Berik is rated 6, hardest of all.
Trans New Guinea Madang Croisilles Gum
Amele is the world’s most complex language as far as verb forms go, with 69,000 finitive and 860 infinitive forms.
Amele is rated 6, hardest of all.
Torricelli Wapei Valman
Valman is a bizarre case where the word and that connects two nouns is actually a verb of all things and is marked with the first noun as subject and the second noun as object.
John (subject) and Mary (object)
John is marked as subject for some reason, and Mary is marked as object, and the and word shows subject agreement with John and object agreement with Mary.
Valman gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew are notoriously difficult to learn, and Arabic (especially MSA) tops many language learners’ lists as the hardest language they have ever attempted to learn. Although Semitic verbs are notoriously complex, the verbal system does have some advantages especially as compared to IE languages like Slavic. Unlike Slavic, Semitic verbs are not inflected for mood and there is no perfect or imperfect.
Central South Arabic
Arabic has some very irregular manners of noun declension, even in the plural. For instance, the word girls changes in an unpredictable way when you say one girl, two girls and three girls, and there are two different ways to say two girls depending on context. Two girls is marked with the dual, but different dual forms can be used. All languages with duals are relatively difficult for most speakers that lack a dual in their native language. However, the dual is predictable from the singular, so one might argue that you only need to learn how to say one girl and three girls.
Further, it is full of irregular plurals similar to octopus and octopi in English, whereas these forms are rare in English. With any given word, there might be 20 different possible ways to pluralize it, and there is no way to know which of the 20 paradigms to use with that word, and further, there is no way to generalize a plural pattern from a singular pattern. In addition, many words have 2-3 ways of pluralizing them. Some messy Arab plurals:
kalb -> kilaab qalb -> quluub maktab -> makaatib taalib -> tullaab balad -> buldaan
When you say I love you to a man, you say it one way, and when you say it to a woman, you say it another way. On and on.
The Arabic writing system is exceeding difficult and is more of the hardest to use of any on Earth. Soft vowels are omitted. You have to learn where to insert missing vowels, where to double consonants and which vowels to skip in the script. There are 28 different symbols in the alphabet and four different ways to write each symbol depending on its place in the word.
Consonants are written in different ways depending on where they appear in a word. An h is written differently at the beginning of a word than at the end of a word. However, one simple aspect of it is that the medial form is always the same as the initial form. You need to learn not only Arabic words but also the grammar to read Arabic.
Pronouns attach themselves to roots, and there are many different verb conjugation paradigms which simply have to be memorized. For instance, if a verb has a و, a ي, or a ء in its root, you need to memorize the patters of the derivations, and that is a good chunk of the conjugations right there. The system for measuring quantities is extremely confusing.
The grammar has many odd rules that seem senseless. Unfortunately, most rules have exceptions, and it seems that the exceptions are more common than the rules themselves. Many people, including native speakers, complain about Arabic grammar.
Arabic does have case, but the system is rather simple.
The laryngeals, uvulars and glottalized sounds are hard for many foreigners to make and nearly impossible for them to get right. The ha’(ح ), qa (ق ) and غ sounds and the glottal stop in initial position give a lot of learners headaches.
Arabic is at least as idiomatic as French or English, so it order to speak it right, you have to learn all of the expressionistic nuances.
One of the worst problems with Arabic is the dialects, which in many cases are separate languages altogether. If you learn Arabic, you often have to learn one of the dialects along with classical Arabic. All Arabic speakers speak both an Arabic dialect and Classical Arabic.
In some Arabic as a foreign language classes, even after 1 1/2 years, not one student could yet make a complete and proper sentence that was not memorized.
Adding weight to the commonly held belief that Arabic is hard to learn is research done in Germany in 2005 which showed that Turkish children learn their language at age 2-3, German children at age 4-5, but Arabic kids did not get Arabic until age 12.
Arabic has complex verbal agreement with the subject, masculine and feminine gender in nouns and adjectives, head-initial syntax and a serious restriction to forming compounds. If you come from a language that has similar nature, Arabic may be easier for you than it is for so many others. Its 3 vowel system makes for easy vowels.
MSA Arabic is rated 5, extremely difficult.
Arabic dialects are often somewhat easier to learn than MSA Arabic. At least in Lebanese and Egyptian Arabic, the very difficult q’ sound has been turned into a hamza or glottal stop which is an easier sound to make. Compared to MSA Arabic, the dialectal words tend to be shorter and easier to pronounce.
To attain anywhere near native speaker competency in Egyptian Arabic, you probably need to live in Egypt for 10 years, but Arabic speakers say that few if any second language learners ever come close to native competency. There is a huge vocabulary, and most words have a wealth of possible meanings.
Egyptian Arabic is rated 4.5, very to extremely difficult.
Moroccan Arabic is said to be particularly difficult, with much vowel elision in triconsonantal stems. In addition, all dialectal Arabic is plagued by irrational writing systems.
Moroccan Arabic is rated 4.5, very to extremely difficult.
Maltese is a strange language, basically a Maghrebi Arabic language (similar to Moroccan or Tunisian Arabic) that has very heavy influence from non-Arabic tongues. It shares the problem of Gaelic that often words look one way and are pronounced another.
It has the common Semitic problem of difficult plurals. Although many plurals use common plural endings (-i, -iet, -ijiet, -at), others simply form the plural by having their last vowel dropped or adding an s (English borrowing). There’s no pattern, and you simply have to memorize which ones act which way. Maltese permits the consonant cluster spt, which is surely hard to pronounce.
On the other hand, Maltese has quite a few IE loans from Italian, Sicilian, Spanish, French and increasingly English. If you have knowledge of Romance languages, Maltese is going to be easier than most Arabic dialects.
Maltese is rated 4, very difficult.
Hebrew is hard to learn according to a number of Israelis. Part of the problem may be the abjad writing system, which often leaves out vowels which must simply be remembered. Also, other than borrowings, the vocabulary is Afroasiatic, hence mostly unknown to speakers of IE languages. There are also difficult consonants as in Arabic such as pharyngeals and uvulars.
The het or glottal h is particularly hard to make. However, most modern Israelis no longer make the het sound or a’ain sounds. Instead, they pronounce the het like the chaf sound and the a’ain like an alef. Almost all Ashkenazi Israeli Jews no longer use the het or a’ain sounds. But most Jews who came from Arab countries (often older people) still use the sound, and some of their children do (Dorani 2013).
Hebrew has complex morphophonological rules. The letters p, b, t, d, k and g change to v, f, dh, th, kh and gh in certain situations. In some environments, pharyngeals change the nature of the vowels around them. The prefix ve-, which means and, is pronounced differently when it precedes certain letters. Hebrew is also quite irregular.
Hebrew has quite a few voices, including active, passive, intensive, intensive passive, etc. It also has a number of tenses such as present, past, and the odd juissive.
Hebrew also has two different noun classes. There are also many suffixes and quite a few prefixes that can be attached to verbs and nouns.
Even most native Hebrew speakers do not speak Hebrew correctly by a long shot.
Quite a few say Hebrew is as hard to learn as MSA or perhaps even harder, but this is controversial.
Hebrew gets a 5 rating for extremely difficult.
Berber Northern Atlas
Berber languages are considered to be very hard to learn. Worse, there are very few language learning resources available.
Tamazight allows doubled consonants at the beginning of a word! How can you possibly make that sound?
Tamazight gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
In Tachelhit , words like this are possible:
tkkststt You took it off.
tfktstt You gave it.
In addition, there are words which contain only one or two consonants:
ks feed on
Tachelhit gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
South Ethiopian South Transversal Amharic–Argobba Amharic
Amharic is said to be a very hard language to learn. It is quite complex, and its sentence structures seem strange even to speakers of other Semitic languages. Hebrew speakers say they have a hard time with this language.
There are a multitude of rules which almost seem ridiculous in their complexity, there are numerous conjugation patterns, objects are suffixed to the verb, the alphabet has 274 letters, and the pronunciation seems strange. However, if you already know Hebrew or Arabic, it will be a lot easier. The hardest part of all is the verbal system, as with any Semitic language. It is easier than Arabic.
Amharic gets a 4.5 rating, very hard to extremely hard.
Cushitic East Cushitic
Dahalo is legendary for having some of the wildest consonant phonology on Earth. It has all four airstream mechanisms found in languages: ejectives, implosives, clicks and normal pulmonic sounds. There are both glottal and epiglottal stops and fricatives and laminal and apical stops.
There is also a strange series of nasal clicks and are both glottalized and plain. Some of these clicks are also labialized. It has both voiced and unvoiced prenasalized stops and affricates, and some of the stops are also labialized. There is a weird palatal lateral ejective. There are three different lateral fricatives, including a labialized and palatalized one, and one lateral approximant. It contrasts alveolar and palatal lateral affricates and fricatives, the only language on Earth to do this.
The Dahalo are former elephant hunting hunter gatherers who live in southern Kenya. It is believed that at one time they spoke a language like Sandawe or Hadza, but they switched over to Cushitic at some point. The clicks are thought to be substratum from a time when Dahalo was a Sandawe-Hadza type language.
Dahalo gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Somali has one of the strangest proposition systems on Earth. It actually has no real prepositions at all. Instead it has preverbal particles and possessives that serve as prepositions.
Here is how possessives serve as prepositions:
habeennimada horteeda the night her front before nightfall
kulaylka dartiisa the heat his reason because of the heat
Here we have the use of a preverbal particle serving as a preposition:
kú ríd shandádda Into put the suitcase. Put it into the suitcase.
Somali combines four “prepositions” with four deictic particles to form its prepositions.
There are four basic “prepositions”:
to in from with
These combine with a four different deictic particles:
toward the speaker away from the speaker toward each other away from each other
Hence you put the “prepositions” and the deictic particles together in various ways. Both tend to go in front of and close to the verb:
Nínkíi bàan cèelka xádhig kagá sóo saaray. …well-the rope with-from towards-me I-raised. I pulled the man out of the well with a rope.
Way inoogá warrámi jireen. They us-to-about news gave. They used to give us news about it.
Prepositions are the hardest part of the Somali language for the learner.
Somali deals with verbs of motion via deixis in a similar way that Georgian does. One reference point is the speaker and the other is any other entities discussed. Verbs of motion are formed using adverbs. Entities may move:
towards each other wada away from each other kala towards the speaker so away from the speaker si
kala durka separate si gal go in (away from the speaker) so gal come in (toward the speaker)
Somali lacks orthographic consistency. There are four different orthographic systems in use – the lists.
Somali pluralization makes no sense and must be memorized. There are seven different plurals, and there is no clue in the singular that tells you what form to use in the plural. See here:
áf (language) -> afaf
hoóyo (mother) -> hoyoóyin
áabbe -> aabayaal
Note the tone shifts in all three of the plurals above.
There are four cases, absolutive, nominative, genitive and vocative. Despite the presences of absolutive and nominative cases, Somali is not an ergative language. Absolutive case is the basic case of the noun, and nominative is the case given to the noun when a verb follows in the sentence. There are different articles depending on whether the noun was mentioned previously or not (similar to the articles a and the in English). The absolutive and nominative are marked not only on the noun but also on the article that precedes it.
In terms of difficulty, Somali is much harder than Persian and probably about as difficult as Arabic.
Somali gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Dravidian Southern Tamil-Kannada Tamil-Kodagu Tamil-Malayalam Malayalam
Malayalam, a Dravidian language of India, was has been cited as the hardest language to learn by an language foundation, but the citation is obscure and hard to verify.
Malayalam words are often even hard to look up in a Malayalam dictionary.
For instance, adiyAnkaLAkkikkoNDirikkukayumANello is a word in Malayalam. It means something like I, your servant, am sitting and mixing s.t. (which is why I cannot do what you are asking of me). The part in parentheses is an example of the type of sentence where it might be used.
The above word is composed of many different morphemes, including conjunctions and other affixes, with sandhi going on with some of them so they are eroded away from their basic forms. There doesn’t seem to be any way to look that word up or to write a Malayalam dictionary that lists all the possible forms, including forms like the word above. It would probably be way too huge of a book. However, all agglutinative languages are made up of affixes, and if you know the affixes, it is not particularly hard to parse the word apart.
Malayalam is said to be very hard to pronounce correctly.
Further, few foreigners even try to learn Malayalam, so Malayalam speakers, like the French, might not listen to you and might make fun of you if your Malayalam is not native sounding.
However, Malayalam has the advantage of having many pedagogic materials available for language learning such as audio-visual material and subtitled videos.
Malayalam is rated 5, extremely difficult.
Tamil, a Dravidian language is hard, but probably not as difficult as Malayalam is. Tamil has an incredible 247 characters in its alphabet. Nevertheless, most of those are consonant-vowel combinations, so it is almost more of a syllabary than an alphabet. Going by what would traditionally be considered alphabetic symbols, there are probably only 72 real symbols in the alphabet. Nevertheless, Tamil probably has one of the easier Indic scripts as Tamil has fewer characters than other scripts due to its lack of aspiration. Compare to Devanagari’s over 1,000 characters.
But no Indic script is easy. A problem with Tamil is that all of the characters seem to look alike. It is even worse than Devanagari in that regard. However, the more rounded scripts such as Kannada, Sinhala, Telegu and Malayalam have that problem to a worse degree. Tamil has a few sharp corners in the characters that helps to disambiguate them.
In addition, as with other languages, words are written one way and pronounced another. However, there are claims that the difficulty of Tamil’s diglossia is overrated.
Tamil has two different registers for written and spoken speech, but the differences are not large, so this problem is exaggerated. Both Tamil and Malayalam are spoken very fast and have extremely complicated, nearly impenetrable scripts. If Westerners try to speak a Dravidian language in south India, more often than not the Dravidian speaker will simply address them in English rather than try to accommodate them.
Tamil has the odd evidential mood, similar to Bulgarian.
However, on the plus side, the language does seem to be very logical and regular, almost like German in that regard. In addition, there are a lot of language learning materials for Tamil.
Tamil is rated 4, very difficult.
Most agree that Korean is a hard language to learn.
The alphabet, Hangul at least is reasonable; in fact, it is quite elegant. But there are four different Romanizations- Lukoff, Yale, Horne, and McCune-Reischauer – which is preposterous. It’s best to just blow off the Romanizations and dive straight into Hangul. This way you can learn a Romanization later, and you won’t mess up your Hangul with spelling errors, as can occur if you go from Romanization to Hangul.
Hangul can be learned very quickly, but learning to read Korean books and newspapers fast is another matter altogether because you really need to know the hanja or Chinese character that are used in addition to the Hangul. After World War 2, the Koreas decided to officially get rid of their Chinese characters, but in practice this was not successful. With the use of Chinese characters in Korean, you can be a lot more precise in terms what you are trying to communicate.
Bizarrely, there are two different numeral sets used, but one is derived from Chinese so it should be familiar to Chinese, Japanese or Thai speakers who use similar or identical systems.
Korean has a wealth of homonyms, and this is one of the tricky aspects of the language. Any given combination of a couple of characters can have multiple meanings. Japanese has a similar problem with homonyms, but at least with Japanese you have the benefit of kanji to help you tell the homonyms apart. With Korean Hangul, you get no such advantage.
Similarly, there seem to be many ways to say the same thing in Korean. The learner will feel when people are using all of these different ways of saying the same thing that they are actually saying something different each time, but that is not the case.
One problem is that the b, p, j, ch, t and d are pronounced differently than their English counterparts. The consonants, the pachim system and the morphing consonants at the end of the word that slide into the next word make Korean harder to pronounce than any major European language. Korean has a similar problem with Japanese, that is, if you mess up one vowel in sentence, you render it incomprehensible.
The vocabulary is very difficult for an English speaker who does not have knowledge of either Japanese or Chinese. On the other hand, Japanese or Chinese will help you a lot with Korean.
Korean is agglutinative and has a subject-topic discourse structure, and the logic of these systems is difficult for English speakers to understand. In addition, there are hundreds of ways of conjugating any given verb based on tense, mood, age or seniority. Adjectives also decline and take hundreds of different suffixes.
Meanwhile, Korean has an honorific system that is even wackier than that of Japanese. A single sentence can be said in three different ways depending on the relationship between the speaker and the listener. However, the younger generation is not using the honorifics so much, and a foreigner isn’t expected to know the honorific system anyway.
Speakers of Korean can learn Japanese fairly easily. Korean seems to be a more difficult language to learn than Japanese. There are maybe twice as many particles as in Japanese, the grammar is dramatically more difficult and the verbs are quite a bit harder. The phonemic inventory in Korean is also larger and includes such oddities as double consonants.
Korean is rated by language professors as being one of the hardest languages to learn.
Korean is rated 5, extremely hard.
Japanese also uses a symbolic alphabet, but the symbols themselves are sometime undecipherable in that even Japanese speakers will sometimes encounter written Japanese and will say that they don’t know how to pronounce it. I don’t mean that they mispronounce it; that would make sense. I mean they don’t have the slightest clue how to say the word! This problem is essentially nonexistent in a language like English.
The Japanese orthography is one of the most difficult to use of any orthography.
There are over 2,000 frequently used characters in three different symbolic alphabets that are frequently mixed together in confusing ways. Due to the large number of frequently used symbols, it’s said that even Japanese adults learn a new symbol a day a ways into adulthood.
The Japanese writing system is probably crazier than the Chinese writing system and it often makes it onto lists of worst orthographies. The very idea of writing an agglutinative language in a combination of two syllabaries and an ideography seems wacky right off the bat. Japanese borrowed Chinese characters.
But then they gave each character several pronunciations, and in some cases as many as 24. Next they made two syllabaries using another set of characters, then over the next millennia came up with all sorts of contradictory and often senseless rules about when to use the syllabaries and when to use the character set. Later on they added a Romanization to make things even worse.
Chinese uses 5-6,000 characters regularly, while Japanese only uses around 2,000. But in Chinese, each character has only one or maybe two pronunciations. In Japanese, there are complicated rules about when and how to combine the hiragana with the characters. These rules are so hard that many native speakers still have problems with them. There are also personal and place names (proper nouns) which are given completely arbitrary pronunciations often totally at odds with the usual pronunciation of the character.
There are some writers, typically of literature, who deliberately choose to use kanji that even Japanese people cannot read. For instance, Ryuu Murakami uses the odd symbols 擽る、, 轢く、and 憑ける.
The Japanese system is made up of three different systems: the katakana and hiragana (the kana) and the kanji, similar to the hanzi used in Chinese. Chinese has at least 85,000 hanzi. The number of kanji is much less than that, but kanji often have more than one meaning in contrast to hanzi.
After WW2, Japan decided to simplify its language. They both simplified and reduced the number of Chinese characters used, and they unified the written and spoken language, which previously had been different.
Speaking Japanese is not as difficult as everyone says, and many say it’s fairly easy. However, there is a problem similar to English in that one word can be pronounced in multiple ways, like read and read in English.
A common problem is that a perfectly grammatically correct sentence uttered by a Japanese language learner, while perfectly correct, is still not acceptable by Japanese speakers because “we just don’t say it that way.” The Japanese speaker often cannot tell why the unacceptable sentence you uttered is not ok. On the other hand, this problem may be common to more languages than Japanese.
There is also a class of Japanese called “honorifics” or “keigo” that is quite hard to master. Honorifics are meant to show respect and to indicate one’s place or status in the social hierarchy. These typically effect verbs but can also affect particles and prefixes. They are usually formed by archaic or highly irregular verbs. However, there are both regular and irregular honorific forms. Furthermore, there are five different levels of honorifics. Honorifics vary depending on who you are and who you are talking to. In addition, gender comes into play.
Although it is true the Japanese young people are said to not understand the intricacies of keigo, it is still expected that they know how to speak this well. Consequently, many young Japanese will opt out of certain conversations because they feel that their keigo is not very good. Books explaining how to use keigo properly have been big sellers among young people in Japan in recent years as young people try to appear classy, refined or cultured.
In addition, Japanese born overseas (especially in the US), while often learning Japanese pretty well, typically have a very poor understanding of keigo. Instead of embarrassing themselves by not using keigo or using it wrong, these Japanese speakers often prefer to speak in English to Japanese people rather than bother with keigo-less Japanese. Overcorrection in keigo is also a problem when hypercorrection leads to someone making errors in keigo due to “trying to hard.” This looks like phony or insincere politeness and is often worse than not using keigo at all.
One wild thing about Japanese is counting forms. You actually use different numeral sets depending on what it is you are counting! There are dozens of different ways of counting things which involve the use of a complex numerical noun classifier system.
Japanese grammar is often said to be simple, but that does not appear to be the case on closer examination. Particles are especially vexing. Verbs engage in all sorts of wild behavior, and adverbs often act like verbs. Nouns can act like adjectives and adverbs. Meanwhile, honorifics change the behavior of all words. There are particles like ha and ga that have many different meanings. One problem is that all noun modifiers, even phrases, must precede the nouns they are modifying.
It’s often said that Japanese has no case, but this is not true. Actually, there are seven cases in Japanese. The aforementioned ga is a clitic meaning nominative, made is terminative case, -no is genitive and -o is accusative.
In this sentence:
The plane that was supposed to arrive at midnight, but which had been delayed by bad weather, finally arrived at 1 AM.
Everything underlined must precede the noun plane:
Was supposed to arrive at midnight, but had been delayed by bad weather, the plane finally arrived at 1 AM.
One of the main problems with Japanese grammar is that it is going to seem to so different from the sort of grammar and English speaker is likely to be used to.
Speaking Japanese is one thing, but reading and writing it is a whole new ballgame. It’s perfectly possible to know the meaning of every kanji and the meaning of every word in a sentence, but you still can’t figure out the meaning of the sentence because you can’t figure out how the sentence is stuck together in such a way as to create meaning.
The real problem is that the Japanese you learn in class is one thing, and the Japanese of the street is another. One problem is that in street Japanese, the subject is typically not stated in a sentence. Instead it is inferred through such things as honorific terms or the choice of words you used in the sentence. Probably no one goes crazier on negatives than the Japanese. Particularly in academic writing, triple and quadruple negatives are common, and can be quite confusing.
Yet there are problems with the agglutinative nature of Japanese. It’s a completely different syntactic structure than English. Often if you translate a sentence from Japanese to English it will just look like a meaningless jumble of words.
However, Japanese grammar has the advantage of being quite regular. For instance, there are only four frequently used irregular verbs.
Like Chinese, the nouns are not marked for number or gender. However, while Chinese is forgiving of errors, if you mess up one vowel in a Japanese sentence, you may end up with incomprehension.
Although many Japanese learners feel it’s fairly easy to learn, surveys of language professors continue to rate Japanese as one of the hardest languages to learn. A study by the US Navy concluded that the hardest language the corpsmen had to learn in the course of service was Japanese. However, it’s generally agreed that Japanese is easier to learn than Korean. Japanese speakers are able to learn Korean pretty easily.
Japanese is rated 5, extremely hard.
Classical Japanese is much harder to read than Modern Japanese. Though you can get by with much less kanji when reading the modern language, you will need a minimum knowledge of 3,000 kanji for reading Classical Japanese, and that’s using a dictionary. There are only about 500-1,000 frequently used characters, but there are countless other words that will come up in your reading especially say special words used in the Imperial Court. Many words have more than one meaning, and unless you know this, you will be lost. 東宮(とうぐう) for instance means Eastern Palace. However, it also means Crown Prince because his residence was to the east of the Emperor’s.
The movie The Seven Samurai (set in the late 1500’s) seems to use some sort of Classical Japanese, or at least Classical vocabulary and syntax with modern pronunciation. Japanese language learners say they can’t understand a word of the archaic Japanese used in this movie.
Classical Japanese gets 5.5, nearly hardest of all.
Turkic Oghuz Western Oghuz
Turkish is often considered to be hard to learn, and it’s rated one of the hardest in surveys of language teachers, however, it’s probably easier than its reputation made it out to be. It is agglutinative, so you can have one long word where in English you might have a sentence of shorter words. One word is
Çekoslovakyalilastiramadiklarimizdanmissiniz? Were you one of those people whom we could not turn into a Czechoslovakian?
Many words have more than one meaning. However, the agglutination is very regular in that each particle of meaning has its own morpheme and falls into an exact place in the word. See here:
göz eye göz-lük glasses göz-lük-çü optician göz-lük-çü-lük the business of an optician
Nevertheless, agglutination means that you can always create new words or add new parts to words, and for this reason even a lot of Turkish adults have problems with their language.
There is no verb to be, which is hard for many foreigners. Instead, the concept is wrapped onto the subject of the sentence as a -dim or -im suffix. Turkish is an imagery-heavy language, and if you try to translate straight from a dictionary, it often won’t make sense.
However, the suffixation in Turkish, along with the vowel harmony, are both precise. Nevertheless, many words have irregular vowel harmony. The rules for making plurals are very regular, with no exceptions (the only exceptions are in foreign loans). In Turkish, incredible as it sounds, you can make a plural out of anything, even a word like what, who or blood. However, there is some irregularity in the strengthening of adjectives, and the forms are not predictable and must be memorized.
Turkish is a language of precision in other ways. For instance, there are eight different forms of subjunctive mood that describe various degrees of uncertainty that one has about what one is talking about. This relates to the evidentiality discussed under Tuyuca above, and Turkish has an evidential form similar to Tamil and Bulgarian. On Turkish news, verbs are generally marked with miş, which means that the announcer believes it to be true though he has not seen it firsthand. The particle miş is interesting because this evidential form is coded into the tense system, which is an unusual use of evidentiality.
The Roman alphabet and almost mathematically precise grammar really help out. Turkish lacks gender and has but a single irregular verb – olmak. Nevertheless, there are many verbal forms. However, this is controversial and it depends on how you define grammatical irregularity. There is some strangeness in some of the verb paradigms, but it is argued that these oddities are rule-based. The aorist tense is said to have irregularity.
There is some irregular morphophonology, but not much. The oblique relative clauses have complex morphosyntax. Turkish has two completely different ways of making relative clauses, one of which may have been borrowed from Persian. There are many gerunds for verbs, and these have many different uses. At the end of the day, Turkish grammar is not as regular or as simple as it is made out to be.
Words are pronounced nearly the same as they are written. A suggestion that Turkish may be easier to learn that many think is the research that shows that Turkish children learn attain basic grammatical mastery of Turkish at age 2-3, as compared to 4-5 for German and 12 for Arabic. The research was conducted in Germany in 2005.
In addition, Turkish has a phonetic orthography.
However, Turkish is hard for an English speaker to learn for a variety of reasons. It is agglutinative like Japanese, and all agglutinative languages are difficult for English speakers to learn. As in Japanese, you start your Turkish sentence the way you would end your English sentence. As in the Japanese example above, the subordinate clause must precede the subject, whereas in English, the subordinate clause must follow the subject. The italicized phrase below is a subordinate clause.
In English, we say, “I hope that he will be on time.”
In Turkish, the sentence would read, “That he will be on time I hope.”
Turkish vowels are unusual to speakers of IE languages, and Turkish learners say the vowels are hard to make or even tell apart from one another.
Turkish is rated 3.5, harder than average to learn.
One test of the difficulty of any language is how much of the grammar you must know in order to express yourself on a basic level. On this basis, Finno-Ugric languages are complicated because you need to know quite a bit more grammar to communicate on a basic level in them than in say, German.
Finnish is very hard to learn, and even long-time learners often still have problems with it. Famous polyglot Barry Farber said it was one of the hardest languages he learned. You have to know exactly which grammatical forms to use where in a sentence. In addition, Finnish has 15 cases in the singular and 16 in the plural. This is hard to learn for speakers coming from a language with little or no case.
For instance, talo – the house
Cases: talon house's taloasome of the house taloksiinto as the house talossain the house talostafrom inside the house talooninto the house talollaon to the house taloltafrom beside the house talolleto the house taloistafrom the houses taloissa in the houses
It gets much worse than that. This web page shows that the noun kauppa – shop can have 2,253 forms.
A simple adjective + noun type of noun phrase of two words can be conjugated in up to 100 different ways.
Adjectives and nouns belong to 20 different classes. The rules governing their case declension depend on what class the substantive is in.
As with Hungarian, words can be very long. For instance:
lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas non-commissioned officer cadet learning to be an assistant mechanic for airplane jet engines
Like Turkish, Finnish agglutination is very regular. Each bit of information has its own morpheme and has an exact place in the word.
Like Turkish, Finnish has vowel harmony, but the vowel harmony is very regular like that of Turkish. Unlike Turkish or Hungarian, consonant gradation forms a major part of Finnish morphology. In order to form a sentence in Finnish, you will need to learn about verb types, cases and consonant gradation, and it can take a while to get your mind around those things.
Finnish, oddly enough, always puts the stress on the first syllable. Finnish vowels will be hard to pronounce for most foreigners.
However, Finnish has the advantage of being pronounced precisely as it is written. This is also part of the problem though, because if you don’t say it just right, the meaning changes. So, similarly with Polish, when you mangle their language, you will only achieve incomprehension. Whereas with say English, if a foreigner mangles the language, you can often winnow some sense out of it.
However, despite that fact that written Finnish can be easily pronounced, when learning Finnish, as in Korean, it is as if you must learn two different languages – the written language and the spoken language. A better way to put it is that there is “one language for writing and another for speaking.” You use different forms whether conversing or putting something on paper.
Some pronunciation is difficult. The the contrast between short and long vowels and consonants is particularly troublesome. Check out these minimal pairs:
A problem for the English speaker coming to Finnish would be the vocabulary, which is alien to the speaker of an IE language. Finnish language learners often find themselves looking up over half the words they encounter. Obviously, this slows down reading quite a bit!
In the grammar, the partitive case and potential tense can be difficult. Here is an example of how Finnish verb tenses combine with various cases to form words:
I A-Infinitive Base form mennä II E-Infinitive Active inessive mennessä Active instructive mennen Passive inessive mentäessä III MA-Infinitive Inessive menemässä Elative menemästä Illative menemään Adessive menemällä Abessive menemättä Active instructive menemän Passive instructive mentämän
Verbs in Finnish
Finnish verbs are very regular. The irregular verbs can almost be counted on one hand:
juosta käydä olla nähdä tehdä
and a few others. In fact, on the plus side, Finnish in general is very regular.
One easy aspect of Finnish is the way you can build many forms from a base root:
kirja – book kirje – letter kirjoittaa – to write kirjailija – writer
As in many Asian languages, there are no masculine or feminine pronouns, and there is no grammatical gender. The numeral system is quite simple compared to other languages. Finnish has a complete lack of consonant clusters. In addition, the phonology is fairly simple.
Finnish is rated 5, extremely hard to learn.
Estonian has similar difficulties as Finnish, since they are closely related. However, Estonian is more irregular than Finnish. In particular, the very regular agglutination system described in Finnish seems to have gone awry in Estonian. Estonian has 14 cases, including strange cases such as the abessive, adessive, elative and inessive. On the other hand, all of these cases can simply be analyzed as the genitive case plus a single unvarying suffix for each case. In addition, there is no gender, so the only things you have to worry about when forming cases are singular and plural.
Estonian has a strange mood form called the quotative, often translated as “reported speech.”
tema on – he/she/it is
tema olevat – it’s rumored that he/she/it is or he/she/it is said to be
This mood is often used in newspaper reporting and is also used for gossip.
Estonian has an astounding 25 diphthongs. It also has three different varieties of vowel length, which is strange in the world’s languages. There are short, vowels and extra-long vowels and consonants.
lina – linen – short n linna – the town’s – long n, written as nn `linna – into the town – extra-long n, not written out!
There are differences in the pronunciation of the three forms above, but in rapid speech, they are hard to hear, though native speakers can make them out. Difficulties are further compounded in that extra-long sonorants (m, n, ng, l, and r) and vowels and are not written out. All in all, phonemic length can be a problem in Estonian, and foreigners never seem to get it completely down.
Estonian pronunciation is not very difficult, though the õ sound can cause problems. However, Estonian has completely lost the vowel harmony system it inherited from Finnish, resulting in words that seem very hard to pronounce.
At least in written form, Estonian is not as complex as Finnish. Estonian can be seen as an abbreviated and modernized form of Finnish. The grammar is also like a simplified version of Finnish grammar and may be much easier to learn.
Estonian is rated 4.5, very to extremely difficult.
Skolt Sami‘s Latinization is often listed as one of the worst Latinizations around. The rest of the language is quite similar to, and as difficult as, Finnish.
Skolt Sami gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
It’s widely agreed that Hungarian is one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn. Even language professors agree. The British Diplomatic Corps did a study of the languages that its diplomats commonly had to learn and concluded that Hungarian was the hardest. Hungarian grammar is maddeningly complex, and Hungarian is often listed on craziest grammar lists. For one thing, there are many different forms for a single word via word modification. This enables the speaker to make his intended meaning very precise. Looking at nouns, there are about 257 different forms per noun.
Hungarian is said to have from 24-35 different cases (there are charts available showing 31 cases), but the actual number may only be 18. Nearly everything in Hungarian is inflected, similar to Lithuanian or Czech. Similar to Georgian and Basque, Hungarian has the polypersonal agreement, albeit to a lesser degree than those two languages. There are many irregularities in inflections, and even Hungarians have to learn how to spell all of these in school and have a hard time learning this.
The case distinctions alone can create many different words out of one base form. For the word house, we end up with 31 different words using case forms:
házba – into the house házban – in the house házból – from [within] the house házra – onto the house házon – on the house házról – off [from] the house házhoz – to the house házíg – until/up to the house háznál – at the house háztól – [away] from the house házzá – Translative case, where the house is the end product of a transformation, such as They turned the cave into a house. házként – as the house, which could be used if you acted in your capacity as a house or disguised yourself as one. He dressed up as a house for Halloween. házért – for the house, specifically things done on its behalf or done to get the house. They spent a lot of time fixing things up (for the house). házul – Essive-modal case. Something like “house-ly” or in the way/manner of a house. The tent served as a house (in a house-ly fashion).
And we do have some basic cases:
ház – Nominative. The house is down the street. házat – Accusative. The ball hit the house. háznak – Dative. The man gave the house to Mary. házzal – Similar to instrumental, but more similar to English with. Refers to both instruments and companions.
The genitive takes 12 different declensions, depending on person and number:
házam – my house házaim – my houses házad – your house házaid – your houses háza – his/her/its house házai – his/her/its houses házunk – our house házaink – our houses házatok – your house házaitok – your house házuk – their house házaik – their houses egyház – church, as in the Catholic Church. (Literally one-house)
In addition, the genitive suffixes to the possession, which is not how the genitive works in IE.
ember –man/person ház – house a(z) – the
az ember háza – the man’s house (Lit. the man house-his) a házam – my house (Lit. the house-my) a házad – your house (Lit. the house-your)
There are also very long words such as this:
megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért… for your (you all possessive) repeated pretensions at being impossible to desecrate…
Being an agglutinative language, that word is made up of many small parts of words, or morphemes. That word means something like
The preposition is stuck onto the word in this language, and this will seem strange to speakers of languages with free prepositions.
Hungarian is full of synonyms, similar to English.
For instance, there are 78 different words that mean to move: halad, jár, megy, dülöngél, lépdel, botorkál, kódorog, sétál , andalog, rohan, csörtet, üget, lohol, fut, átvág, vágtat, tipeg, libeg, biceg, poroszkál, vágtázik, somfordál , bóklászik, szedi a lábát, kitér, elszökken, betér , botladozik, őgyeleg, slattyog, bandukol, lófrál, szalad, vánszorog, kószál, kullog, baktat, koslat, kaptat, császkál, totyog, suhan, robog, rohan, kocog, cselleng, csatangol, beslisszol, elinal, elillan, bitangol, lopakodik, sompolyog, lapul, elkotródik, settenkedik, sündörög, eltérül, elódalog, kóborol, lézeng, ődöng, csavarog, lődörög, elvándorol , tekereg, kóvályog, ténfereg, özönlik, tódul, vonul, hömpölyög, ömlik, surran, oson, lépeget, mozog and mozgolódik .
Only about five of those terms are archaic and seldom used, the rest are in current use. However, to be a fair, a Hungarian native speaker might only recognize half of those words.
In addition, while most languages have names for countries that are pretty easy to figure out, in Hungarian even languages of nations are hard because they have changed the names so much. Italy becomes Olazorszag, Germany becomes Nemetzorsag, etc.
As in Russian and Serbo-Croatian, word order is relatively free in Hungarian. It is not completely free as some say but rather is it governed by a set of rules. The problem is that as you reorder the word order in a sentence, you say the same thing but the meaning changes slightly in terms of nuance. Further, there are quite a few dialects in Hungarian. Native speakers can pretty much understand them, but foreigners often have a lot of problems. Accent is very difficult in Hungarian due to the bewildering number of rules used to determine accent. In addition, there are exceptions to all of these rules. Nevertheless, Hungarian is probably more regular than Polish.
Hungarian spelling is also very strange for non-Hungarians, but at least the orthography is phonetic. Nevertheless, the orthography often makes it onto worst orthographies lists.
Hungarian phonetics is also strange. One of the problems with Hungarian phonetics is vowel harmony. Since you stick morphemes together to make a word, the vowels that you have used in the first part of the word will influence the vowels that you will use to make up the morphemes that occur later in the word. The vowel harmony gives Hungarian a “singing effect” when it is spoken. The ty, ny, sz, zs, dzs, dz, ly, cs and gy sounds are hard for many foreigners to make. The á, é, ó, ö, ő, ú, ü, ű, and í vowel sounds are not found in English.
Verbs are marked for object (indefinite, definite and person/number), subject (person and number) tense (past, present and future), mood (indicative, conditional and imperative), and aspect (frequency, potentiality, factitiveness, and reflexiveness.
Elmentegettethetnélek. I could make others save you occasionally (on a disk).
Verbs change depending on whether the object is definite or indefinite.
Olvasok könyvet. I read a book. (indefinite object)
Olvasom a könvyet. I read the book. (definite object)
As noted in the introduction to the Finno-Ugric section, you need to know quite a bit of Hungarian grammar to be able to express yourself on a basic level. For instance, in order to say:
I like your sister.
you will need to understand the following Hungarian forms:
- verb conjugation and definite or indefinite forms
- possessive suffixes
- how to combine possessive suffixes with case
- word order
- explicit pronouns
It’s hard to say, but Hungarian is probably harder to learn than even the hardest Slavic languages like Czech, Serbo-Croatian and Polish. At any rate, it is generally agreed that Hungarian grammar is more complicated than Slavic grammar, which is pretty impressive as Slavic grammar is quite a beast.
Hungarian is rated 5, extremely hard to learn.
Sino-Tibetan Sinitic Chinese Mandarin
It’s fairly easy to learn to speak Mandarin at a basic level, though the tones can be tough. This is because the grammar is very simple – short words, no case, gender, verb inflections or tense. But with Japanese, you can keep learning, and with Chinese, you often tend to hit a wall, often because the syntactic structure is so strangely different from English (isolating).
Actually, the grammar is harder than it seems. At first it seems simple, like a simplified English. No word is capable of declension, and there is no tense, case, and number, nor are there articles. But the simplicity makes it difficult. No tense means there is no easy way to mark time in a sentence. Furthermore, tense is not as easy as it seems. Sure, there are no verb conjugations, but instead you must learn some particles and special word orders that are used to mark tense. Mandarin has 12 different adverbs for which there is no good English translation.
Once you start digging into Chinese, there is a complex layer under all the surface simplicity. There is such things as aspect, serial verbs, a complex classifier system, syntax marked by something called topic-prominence, a strange form called the detrimental passive, preposed relative clauses, use of verbs rather than adverbs to mark direction, and all sorts of strange stuff. Verb complements can be baffling, especially potential and directional complements. The 把, 是 and 的 constructions can be very hard to understand.
The topic-prominence is interesting in that only a few major languages have topic-comment syntax, and most of those are Oriental languages with a lot of Chinese borrowing. Topicalization is not marked morphologically.
There are sentences where the entire meaning changes with the addition of a single character. Chinese sentences are SVO (Subject -Verb – Object) at their base, but that is a bit of an illusion. A sentence that causes you to discuss time duration makes you repeat the verb after the direct object – SVOVT (T= time phrase). In the case of topicalization, sentences can have the structure of OSV (Object – Subject – Verb). Relative clauses and all subordinate clauses come before the noun they modify. In other words:
English: The man who always wore red walked into the room. Chinese: Who always wore red the man walked into the room.
The relative clause in the sentences above is marked in bold.
In Chinese, the prepositional phrase comes between the subject and the verb:
English: The man hit the ball into the yard. Chinese: The man into the yard hit the ball.
The prepositional phrase is bolded in the sentences above.
In Chinese, adjectives are actually stative verbs as in Nahuatl and Lakota.
那个热的菜很好吃。 Nàgè rède cài hěnhǎochī. The it is hot food is good to eat. The hot food is delicious.
The 的 symbol turns food hot into food it is hot, an attributive verb. 的 means something like to be.
There are dozens of words called particles which shade the meaning of a sentence ever so slightly.
Chinese phonology is not as easy as some say. There are way too many instances of the zh, ch, sh, j, q, and x sounds in the language such that many of the words seem to sound the same. There is a distinction between aspirated and nonaspirated consonants. There is also the presence of odd retroflex consonants.
Chinese orthography is probably the most hardest orthography of any language. The alphabet uses symbols, so it’s not even a real alphabet. There are at least 85,000 symbols and actually many more, but you only need to know about 3-5,000 of them, and many Chinese don’t even know 1,000. To be highly proficient in Chinese, you need to know 10,000 characters, and probably less than
In addition, the characters have not been changed in 3,000 years, and the alphabet is at least somewhat phonetic, so we run into a serious problem of lack of a spelling reform.
The Communists tried to simplify the system (simplified Mandarin) but instead of making the connections between the phonetic aspects of character more sensible by decreasing their number and increasing their regularity (they did do this somewhat but not enough), they simply decreased the number of strokes needed for each symbol typically without dealing with the phonetic aspect of all. The simplification did not work well, so now you have a mixture of two different types of written Chinese – simplified and traditional.
In addition to all of this, Chinese borrowed a lot from the Japanese symbolic alphabet a full 1,000 years after it had already been developed and had not undergone a spelling reform, adding insult to injury.
Even leaving the characters aside, the stylistic and literary constraints required to write Chinese in an eloquent or formal (literary) manner would make your head swim. And just because you can read Chinese does not mean that you can read Classical Chinese prose. It’s as if it’s written in a different language – actually, it is technically a different language similar to Middle English or Old English. However, few Middle English or Old English texts are read anymore, and Classical Chinese is still widely read.
However, the orthography is at least consistent. 9
Writing the characters is even harder than reading them. One wrong dot or wrong line either completely changes the meaning or turns the symbol into nonsense.
It’s a real problem when you encounter a symbol you don’t know because there is no way to sound out the word. You are really and truly lost and screwed. There is a clue at the right side of the symbol, but it is not always accurate.You need to learn quite a bit of vocabulary just to speak simple sentences.
Similarly, a dictionary is not necessarily helpful when trying to read Chinese. You can have a Chinese sentence in front of you along with a dictionary, and the sentence still might not make sense even after looking it up in the dictionary.
Some Chinese Muslims write Chinese using an Arabic script. This is often considered to be one of the worst orthographies of all.
The tones are often quite difficult for a Westerner to pick up. If you mess up the tones, you have said a completely different word. Often foreigners who know their tones well nevertheless do not say them correctly, and hence, they say one word when they mean another. However, compared to other tone systems around the world, the tonal system in Chinese is comparatively easy.
A major problem with Chinese is homonyms. To some extent, this is true in many tonal languages. Since Chinese uses short words and is disyllabic, there is a limited repertoire of sounds that can be used. At a certain point, all of the sounds are used up, and you are into the realm of homophones.
Tonal distinctions are one way that monosyllabic and disyllabic languages attempt to deal with the homophone problem, but it’s not good enough, since Chinese still has many homophones, and meaning is often discerned by context, stress, rhythm and intonation. Chinese, like French and English, is heavily idiomatic.
It’s little known, but Chinese also uses different forms (classifiers) to count different things, like Japanese.
There is zero common vocabulary between English and Chinese, so you need to learn a whole new set of lexical forms.
In addition, nouns often show relatedness or hierarchy. For instance, in English, you can simply say my brother or my sister, but in Chinese, you cannot do this. You have to indicate whether you are speaking of an older or younger sibling.
mei mei – younger sister jie jie – older sister ge ge– older brother di di – younger brother
Mandarin scored very high on a weirdest languages study.
On the positive side, Chinese grammar is fairly regular and word derivation, compound words are sensible and the meaning can be determined by looking at the word. In other languages, compound words are not necessarily so obvious.
Many agree that Chinese is the hardest to learn of all of the major languages. A recent survey of language professors rated Chinese as the hardest language on Earth to learn.
Mandarin gets a 5.5 rating for nearly hardest of all.
However, Cantonese is even harder to learn than Mandarin. Cantonese has eight tones to Mandarin’s four, and in addition, they continue to use a lot of the older traditional Chinese characters that were superseded when China moved to a simplified script in 1949. Furthermore, since non-Mandarin characters are not standardized, Cantonese cannot be written down as it is spoken.
In addition, Cantonese has verbal aspect, possibly up to 20 different varieties. Modal particles are difficult in Cantonese. Clusters of up to the 3 sentence final particles are very common. 我食咗飯 and 我食咗飯架啦喎 are both grammatical for I have had a meal, but the particles add the meaning of I have already had a meal, answering a question or even to imply I have had a meal, so I don’t need to eat anymore.
Cantonese gets a 5.5 rating, nearly hardest of all.
Min Nan is also said to be harder to learn than Mandarin, as it has a more complex tone system, with five tones on three different levels. Even many Taiwanese natives don’t seem to get it right these days, as it is falling out of favor, and many fewer children are being raised speaking it than before.
Min Nan gets a 5.5 rating, nearly hardest of all.
A recent 15 year survey out of Fudan University utilizing both the departments of Linguistics and Anthropology looked at 579 different languages in 91 linguistic families in order to try to find the most complicated language in the world. The result was that a Wu language dialect (or perhaps a separate language) in the Fengxian district of southern Shanghai (Dônđän Wu) was the most phonologically complex language of all, with 20 separate vowels (Wang 2012). The nearest competitor was Norwegian with 16 vowels.
Dônđän Wu gets a 5.5 rating, nearly hardest of all.
Classical Chinese is still read by many Chinese people and Chinese language learners. Unless you have a very good grasp on modern Chinese, classical Chinese will be completely wasted on you. Classical Chinese is much harder to read than reading modern Chinese.
Classical Chinese covers an era extending over 3,000 years, and to attain a reading fluency in this language, you need to be familiar with all of the characters used during this period along with all of the literature of the period so you can understand all the allusions. Even with a knowledge of Classical Chinese, you need to read it in context. If you are good at Classical Chinese and someone throws you a random section of it, it will take you a good amount of time to figure it out unless you know context.
The language is much more to the point than Modern Chinese, but this is not as good as it sounds. This simplicity leaves a room for ambiguity, and context plays an important role. A joke about some obscure historical or literary anecdote will be lost you unless you know what it refers to. For reading modern Chinese, you will need at least 5,000 characters, but even then, you will still need a dictionary. With Classical Chinese, there are no lower limits on the number of characters you need to know. The sky is the limit.
Classical Chinese gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Tibeto-Burman Qiangic Northern Qiang
In Quiang, a language of Sichuan Province in China, not only are there rhotic vowels, which are present in only
ʀuɑ + kʰe˞ > ʀuɑ˞kʰe˞ me + we˞ ˞> me˞we˞
Rhotic vowels are found in US English – Unstressed ɚ: standard, dinner, Lincolnshire, editor, measure, martyr.
Qiang also has a very bad romanization, so bad that the Qiang will not even use it. Voiced consonants are written by adding a vowel to the symbol for the voiceless consonant. It has long and short vowels, but these are not represented in the system.
Qiang gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Western Tibeto-Burman Bodish Central Bodish Central
Tibetan probably has one of the least rational orthographies of any language. The orthography has not changed in ~1,000 years while the language has gone through all sorts of changes. A langauge learner in Tibet can get by using phonetic spelling. The problem comes when you try to spell using the Classical Alphabet. For instance:
Srong rtsan Sgam po (written) soŋtsɛn ɡampo (spoken)
While the orthography is etymological and completely outdated, it is quite predictable.
Tibetan gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Dzongka, the official language of Bhutan, has some pretty wild phonology, in addition to having the Tibetan writing system, this time using Bhutanese forms of the Tibetan script.
It contrasts all of the following: s, sʰ, ʰs, ʰsʰ, ts, ʰts, tsʰ, z, ʱz, dz, ʱdz, ⁿsʰ, ᵐtsʰ, ⁿtsʰ, ⁿdz, ᵖts, ᵖtsʰ, ᵖtsʷʰ, and ᶲs, and in addition it has four tones, but there is no single word that is distinguished by tone only. On top of that, there are 22 different vowels.
Dzongka gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Austroasiatic Mon-Khmer Vietic
Vietnamese is also hard to learn because to an outsider, the tones seem hard to tell apart. Therefore, foreigners often make themselves difficult to understand by not getting the tone precisely correct. It also has “creaky-voiced” tones, which are very hard for foreigners to get a grasp on.
Vietnamese grammar is fairly simple, and reading Vietnamese is pretty easy once you figure out the tone marks. Words are short as in Chinese. However, the simple grammar is relative, as you can have 25 or more forms just for I, the 1st person singular pronoun. In addition, the Latin orthography is said to be quite bad. It was invented by missionaries a few centuries ago, and it has never made much sense.
Vietnamese gets 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Khmer has a reputation for being hard to learn. I understand that it has one of the most complex honorifics systems of any language on Earth. Over a dozen different words mean to carry depending on what one is carrying. There are several different words for slave depending on who owned the slave and what the slave did. There are 28-30 different vowels, including sets of long and short vowels and long and short diphthongs. The vowel system is so complicated that there isn’t even agreement on exactly what it looks like. Khmer learners, especially speakers of IE languages, often have a hard time producing or even distinguishing these vowels.
Speaking it is not so bad, but reading and writing it is pretty difficult. For instance, you can put up to five different symbols together in one complex symbol. The orthographic script is even worse than the Thai one. There are actually rules to this mess, but no one seems to know who they are.
Khmer gets a 4.5 rating, very to extremely hard.
Bahnaric North Bahnaric West Sedang-Todrah Sedang
Sedang, a language of Vietnam, has the highest number of vowel sounds of any language on Earth, at 55 distinct vowel sounds.
Sedang gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Hmong-Mien Hmongic Chuanqiandian
Hmong is widely spoken in this part of California, but it’s not easy to learn. There are eight tones, and they are not easy to figure out. It’s not obviously related to any other major language but the obscure Mien.
It has some very strange consonants called voiceless nasals. We have them in English as allophones – the m in small is voiceless, but in Hmong, they put them at the front of words – the m in the word Hmong is voiceless. These can be very hard to pronounce.
The romanization is widely criticized for being a lousy one, but the Hmong use it anyway.
Hmong gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Austro-Tai Austronesian Tsouic
Tsou is a Taiwanese aborigine language spoken by about 2,000 people in Taiwan. It has the odd feature whereby the underlying glides y and w turn into or surface as non-syllabic mid vowels e̯ and o̯ in certain contexts:
jo~joskɨ -> e̯oˈe̯oskɨ -= fishes
Tsou is also ergative like most Formosan languages. Tsou is the only language in the world that has no prepositions or anything that looks like a preposition. Instead it uses nouns and verbs in the place of prepositions. Tsou allows more potential consonant clusters than most other languages. About 1/2 of all possible CC clusters are allowed.
Tsou has an inclusive/exclusive distinction in the 1st person plural and a very strange visible and non-visible distinction in the 3rd person singular and plural. Both adjectives and adverbs can turn into verbs and are marked for voice in the same way that verbs are. Verbs are extensively marked for voice. Nouns are marked for a variety of odd cases, often referring to perception, (visible/invisible) person, and place deixis.
‘e – visible and near speaker si/ta – visible and near hearer ta – visible but away from speaker ‘o/to – invisible and far away, or newly introduced to discourse na/no ~ ne – non-identifiable and non-referential (often when scanning a class of elements)
Tsou gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Malayo-Polynesian Malayo-Chamic Malayic Malay
Bahasa Indonesia is an easy language to learn. For one thing, the grammar is dead simple. There are only a handful of prefixes, only two of which might be seen as inflectional. There are also several suffixes. Verbs are not marked for tense at all. And the sound system of these languages, in common with Austronesian in general, is one of the simplest on Earth, with only two dozen phonemes. Bahasa Indonesia has few homonyms, homophones, homographs, or heteronyms. Words in general have only one meaning.
Though the orthography is not completely phonetic, it only has a small number of nonphonetic exceptions. The orthography is one of the easiest on Earth to use.
The system for converting words into either nouns or verbs is regular. To make a plural, you simply repeat a word, so instead of saying pencils, you say pencil pencil.
Bahasa Indonesia gets a 1.5 rating, extremely easy to learn.
Malay is only easy if you learn the standard spoken form or one of the creoles. Learning the literary language is quite a bit more difficult. However, the Jawi script, which is Malay written in Arabic script, is often considered to be perfectly awful.
Malay get a 2 rating for moderately easy.
Philippine Greater Central Philippine Central Philippine Tagalog
However, Tagalog is much harder than Malay or Indonesian. Compared to many European languages, Tagalog syntax, morphology and semantics are often quite different. Also, Tagalog is typically spoken very fast. Unlike Malay, verbs conjugate quite a bit in Tagalog. The main idea of Tagalog grammar is something called focus. Once you figure that out, the language gets pretty easy, but until you understand that concept, you are going to have a hard time.
Everything is affixed in Tagalog.
However, articles and creation of adjectives from nouns is very easy.
ganda – beauty (noun) maganda – beautiful (adjective)
Tagalog gets a 4 rating, very difficult.
Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian Eastern Malayo-Polynesian Oceanic Central-Eastern Oceanic Remote Oceanic Central Pacific East Fijian-Polynesian Polynesian Nuclear East Central Tahitic
Maori and other Polynesian languages have a reputation for being quite easy to learn. The main problem for English speakers is that the sentence structure is backwards compared to English. In addition, macrons can cause problems.
One problem with Maori is dialects. The dialects are so diverse that this means that there are multiple words for the same thing. Swiss German has a similar issue, with up to 50 words for each common household item (nearly every major dialect has its own word for common objects):
ngongi, noni, koki, wai – water whiri, rarangi, hiri – to plait, to twist, to weave pai, maitai – good tu, tū, tutehu, mātika – to stand mau, mou – to hold pau, pou – to be exhausted ika, tohorā – whale ika, ngohi – fish kāwei, kāwai – line ori, kori, keukeu, koukou, neke, nuku – to move haere, hara, here, horo, whano – to go, to come hara, hapa, hē – to be wrong kōrerorero, wānanga, rūnanga – to discuss tohunga, tahunga – priest matikuku, maikuku – finger nail kanohi, konohi, mata, whatu, kamo, karu – eye, face
Entire Maori sentences can be written with vowels only.
E uu aau? Are yours firm?
I uaa ai. It rained as usual.
I ui au ‘i auau aau?’ E uaua! It will be difficult/hard/heavy!
On the plus side, the pronunciation is simple, and there is no gender. The language is as regular as Japanese. No Polynesian language has more than 16 sounds, and they all lack tones. They all have five vowels, which can be either long or short. A consonant must be followed by a vowel, so there are no consonant clusters. All consonants are easy to pronounce.
Maori gets a 3 rating, average difficulty.
Hawaiian is a pretty easy language to learn. It is easy to pronounce, has a simple alphabet, lacks complex morphology and has a fairly simple syntax.
Hawaiian gets a 2 rating, very easy to learn.
North and Central Vanuatu East Santo North
Sakao is a very strange langauge spoken by 4,000 people in Vanuatu. It is very strange. It is a polysynthetic Austronesian language, which is very weird. It allows extreme consonant clusters. Sakao has an incredible seven degrees of deixis. The language has an amazing four persons: singular, dual, paucal and plural. The neighboring language Tomoko has singular, dual, trial and plural. The trial form is very odd. Sakao’s paucal derived from Tomato’s trial:
jørðœl they, from three to ten
jørðœl løn the five of them (Literally, they three, five)
All nouns are always in the singular except for kinship forms and demonstratives, which only display the plural:
ðjœɣ – my mother/aunt -> rðjœɣ – my aunts
walðyɣ – my child -> raalðyɣ – my children
It has a number of nouns that are said to be “inalienably possessed”, that is, whenever they occur, they must be possessed by some possessor. These often take highly irregular inflections:
Sakao English œsɨŋœ-ɣ my mouth œsɨŋœ-m thy mouth ɔsɨŋɔ-n his/her/its mouth œsœŋ-... ...'s mouth uly-ɣ my hair uly-m thy hair ulœ-n his/her/its hair nøl-... ...'s hair
Here, mouth is either œsɨŋœ-, ɔsɨŋɔ- or œsœŋ-, and hair is either uly-, ulœ- or nøl-
Sakao, strangely enough, may not even have syllables in the way that we normally think of them. If it does have syllables at all, they would appear to be at least a vowel optionally surrounded by any number of consonants.
i (V) thou Mhɛrtpr. (CCVCCCC) Having sung and stopped singing thou kept silent.
Sakao has a suffix -in that makes an intransitive verb transitive and makes a transitive verb ditransitive. Ditransitive verbs can take two arguments – a direct object and an instrumental.
Mɨjilɨn amas ara./Mɨjilɨn ara amas. He kills the pig with the club/He kills with the club the pig.
Sakao polysynthesis allows compound verbs, each one having its own instrument or object:
Mɔssɔnɛshɔβrɨn aða ɛðɛ. He-shooting-fish-kept-on-walking with-a-bow the-sea. He walked along the sea shooting the fish with a bow.
Sakao gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Central-Eastern Oceanic Southeast Solomonic Malaita–San Cristobal Malaita Northern Malaita
Kwaio is an Austronesian language spoken in the Solomon Islands. It has four different forms of number to mark pronouns – not only the usual singular and plural, but also the rarer dual and the very rare paucal. In addition, there is an inclusive/exclusive contrast in the non-singular forms.
1 dual inclusive (you and I) 1 dual exclusive (I and someone else, not you)
1 paucal inclusive (you, I and a few others) 1 paucal exclusive (I and a few others)
1 plural inclusive (I, you and many others) 1 plural exclusive (I and many others)
Kwaio gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Greater Barito East Barito Malagasy
Malagasy, the official language of Madagascar, has a reputation for being even easier to learn than Indonesian or Malay.
Malagasy gets a 1 rating, easiest of all to learn.
Tai-Kadai Kam-Tai Tai Southwestern
Thai is a pretty hard language to learn. There are 75 symbols in the strange script, there are no spaces between words in the script, and vowels can come before, after, above or below consonants in any given syllable. There seem to be many different glyphs for every consonant, but the different glyphs for the same consonant will sometimes change the sound of the neighboring vowel. The orthography is as insensible as that of English since centuries have gone by with no spelling reforms, in fact, Thai has not changed its system in 1000 years. The wild card of having tone thrown in adds to the insanity.
Consonant pronunciations vary depending on the location of the syllable in the word – for instance, s can change to t. There are many vowels which are spoken but not written. There are many consonants that are pronounced the same – for instance, there are six different t‘s, not counting the s‘s that turn into t‘s. The Thai script is definitely one of the most difficult phonetic scripts. Nevertheless, the Thai script is easier to learn than the Japanese or Chinese character sets. In spite of all of that, the syntax is simple, like Chinese.
There are five tones, including a neutral tone. Tones are determined by a variety of complex things, including a combination of tone marks, the class of consonants, if the syllable ends in a sonorant or a stop and what the tone of the preceding syllable was. Tone marking in the orthography is quite complex.
The vowels are different than in many languages, and there are some unusual diphthongs: eua, euai, aui and uu. There is a contrast between aspirated and unaspirated consonants.
There is a system of noun classifiers for counting various things, similar to Japanese. In addition, common to many Asian languages, there is a complicated honorifics system.
On the plus side, Thai is a regular language, with few exceptions to the rules. However, the rules are quite complex. The syntax is about as complex as that of Chinese, and the grammar is dead simple.
Thai gets a 5 rating, hardest of all to learn.
Lao is very similar to Thai, in fact it is identical to a Thai language spoken by 16 million people in northeast Thailand called Northeastern Thai. The Lao script is similar to Thai, but it has fewer letters so there is somewhat less confusion.
Lao gets a 4.5 rating, very to extremely hard to learn.
The Kam languages of the Dong people in southwest China were rated by the Fudan University study referenced above under Wu as the 2nd most phonologically complex on Earth (Wang 2012). There are 32 stem initial consonants, including oddities like tɕ, tɕʰ, pʲ, pʲʰ, ɕ, kʷ, kʷʰ, ŋʷ, tʃʰ, tsʰ. Note the many contrasts between aspirated and unaspirated voiceless consonants, including bilabial palatalized stops, labialized velar stops, and alveolar affricates. There are an incredible 64 different syllable finals, and 14 others that occur only in Chinese loans.
There are an astounding 15 different tones, nine in open syllables and six in checked syllables (entering tones). Main tones are high, high rising, high falling, low, low rising, low falling, mid, dipping and peaking. When they speak, it sounds as if they are singing.
Kam gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
According to the Fudan University study quoted above, Buyang in the 3rd most phonologically complex language in the world. Buyang is a cluster of 4 related languages spoken by 1,900 people in Yunnan Province, China. Buyang has a completely wild consonant inventory.
It has a full set of both voiced and voiceless plain and aspirated stops, including voiceless uvulars. The contrast between aspirated and plain voiced stops is peculiar. The stop series also has distinctions between palatalized and rounded stops throughout the series. It has a labialized voiceless palatal fricative and a voiceless dental aspirated lateral, unusual sounds. It has four different voiceless aspirated nasals. It has voiceless y and w, more odd sounds. It also has plain and labialized palatal glides.
That is one heck of a wild phonology.
Buyang gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Niger-Kordofanian Niger-Congo Atlantic–Congo Kwa Nyo Ga-Dangme
The African Bantu language Ga has a bad reputation for being a tough nut to crack. It is spoken in Ghana by about 600,000 people. It has two tones and engages in a strange behavior called tone terracing that is common to many West African languages. There is a phonemic distinction between three different types of vowel length. All vowels have 3 different lengths – short, long and extra long. It also has many sounds that are not in any Western languages.
Ga gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Potou-Tano Tano Central Bia Northern
Anyi is a language spoken by 610,000 people in Côte d’Ivoire. It is relatively straightforward as far as African languages go. Probably the hardest part about the language is that it is tonal, and it does have two tones. The phonology does have the unusual +-ATR contrast which will seem very odd. ATR stands for advanced tongue root, so the language has a contrast between vowels with an advanced tongue root and without one. However, the grammar is pretty regular. There are few confusing phonological processes.
Anyi has a simple tense system, with only present, past and future. There is no aspect, mood or voice marking, and it lacks the noun class systems so common in many African languages. It has a plural marker, but it is often optional.
The syntax does have serial verbs, which will seem odd to Westerners. It distinguishes between relative clauses marked with bɔ and subordinate clauses marked with kɛ.
Anyi gets a 4 rating, very hard to learn.
Volta-Congo Benue-Congo Bantoid Southern Narrow Bantu Central M Nyika-Safwa
Ndali is a Bantu language with 150,000 speakers spoken in Malawi and Tanzania. It has many strange tense forms. For instance, in the past tense:
Past tense A: He went just now. Past tense B: He went sometime earlier today. Past tense C: He went yesterday. Past tense D: He went sometime before yesterday.
Future tense is marked similarly:
Future tense A: He’s going to go right away. Future tense B: He’s going to go sometime later today. Future tense C: He’s going to go tomorrow. Future tense D: He’s going to go sometime after tomorrow.
Ndali gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Xhosa, a language of South Africa, is quite difficult, with up to nine click sounds. Clicks only exist in one language outside of Africa – the Australian language Damin – and are extremely difficult to learn. Even native speakers mess up the clicks sometimes. Nelson Mandela said he had problems making some of the click sounds in Xhosa. The phonemics in general of Xhosa are pretty wild.
Xhosa gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Zulu and Ndebele also have these impossible click sounds. However, outside of click sounds, the phonology of Nguni languages is straightforward. All Nguni languages are agglutinative. These languages also make plurals by changing the prefix of the noun, and the manner varies according the noun class. If you want to look up a word in the dictionary, first of all you need to discard the prefix. For instance, in Ndebele,
river – umfula rivers – imifula, but
stone – ilitshe stones – amatshe, yet
tree – isihlahla trees – izihlahla
Ndebele gets a 5 rating, hardest of all.
Zulu has pitch accent, tones and clicks. There are nine different pitch accents, four tones and three clicks, but each click can be pronounced in five different ways. However, tones are not marked in writing, so it’s hard to figure out when to use them. Zulu also has depressor consonants, which lower the tone in the vowel in the following syllable. In addition, Zulu has multiple gender – 15 different genders. And some nouns behave like verbs. It also has 12 different noun classes, but 9
Zulu gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
For unknown reasons, Swahili is generally considered to be an easy language to learn. The US military ranks it 1, with the easiest of all languages to learn. This seems to be the typical perception. Why Swahili is so easy to learn, I am not sure. It’s a trade language, and trade languages are often fairly easy to learn. There’s also a lot of controversy about whether or not Swahili can be considered a creole, but that has not been proven. For the moment, the reasons why Swahili is so easy to learn will have to remain mysterious.
On the down side, Swahili has many noun classes, but they have the benefit of being more or less logical.
Swahili gets a 2 rating, moderately easy.
Khoisan Southern Africa Southern Hua
!Xóõ (Taa), spoken by only 4,200 Bushmen in Botswana and Namibia, is a notoriously difficult Khoisan language replete with the notoriously impossible to comprehend click sounds. Taa has anywhere from 130 to 164 consonants, the largest phonemic inventory of any language. Of this vast wealth of sounds, there are anywhere from 30-64 different click sounds. There are five basic clicks and 17 accompanying ones. Speakers develop a lump on their larynx from making the click sounds.
In addition, there are four types of vowels: plain, pharyngealized, breathy-voiced and strident. On top of that, there are four tones. Taa appears on many lists of the wildest phonologies and craziest languages period on Earth.
Taa gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Ju|’hoan, a Khoisan language spoken by 5,000 people in Botswana, has one of the study of the weirdest languages on Earth.
Ju|’hoan gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.
Eskimo-Aleut Eskimo Inuit-Inupiaq
Inuktitut is extremely hard to learn. Inuktitut is polysynthetic-agglutinative, and roots can take many suffixes, in some cases up to 700. Verbs have 63 forms of the present indicative, and conjugation involves 252 different inflections. Inuktitut has the complicated polypersonal agreement system discussed under Georgian above and Basque below. In a typical long Inuktitut text, 9
Inuktituusuungutsialaarungnanngittuaraaluuvunga. I truly don’t know how to speak Inuktitut very well.
You may need to analyze up to 10 different bits of information in order to figure out a single word. However, the affixation is all via suffixes (there are no prefixes or infixes) and the suffixation is extremely regular.
Inuktitut is also rated one by linguists one of the hardest languages on Earth to pronounce. Inuktitut may be as hard to learn as Navajo.
Inuktitut is rated 6, hardest of all.
Kalaallisut (Western Greenlandic) is very closely related to Inuktitut. Look at this sentence:
Aliikusersuillammassuaanerartassagaluarpaalli… However, they will say that he is a great entertainer, but …
That word is composed of 12 separate morphemes. A single word can conceptualize what could be an entire sentence in a non-polysynthetic language.
Kalaallisut is rated 6, hardest of all.
Chukotko-Kamchatkan Northern Chukot
Chukchi is a polysynthetic, agglutinating and incorporating language and is often listed as one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn.
Təmeyŋəlevtpəγtərkən. I have a fierce headache.
There are five morphemes in that word, and there are three lexical morphemes (nouns or adjectives) incorporated in that word: meyŋ – great, levt – head, and pəγt – ache.
Chukchi gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.
Basque, of course, is just a wild language altogether. There is an old saying that the Devil tried to learn Basque, but after seven years, he only learned how to say Hello and Goodbye. Many Basques, including some of the most ardent Basque nationalists, tried to learn Basque as adults. Some of them succeeded, but a very large number of them failed. Based on the number that failed, it does seem that Basque is harder for an adult to learn as an L2 than many other languages are. Basque grammar is maddeningly complex and it often makes it onto craziest grammars and craziest language lists.
There are 11 cases, and each one takes four different forms. The verbs are quite complex. This is because it is an ergative language, so verbs vary according to the number of subjects and the number of objects and if any third person is involved.
This is the same polypersonal agreement system that Georgian has above. Basque’s polypersonal system is a polysynthetic system consisting of two verb types – synthetic and analytical. Only a few verbs use the synthetic form.
Three of Basque’s cases – the absolutive (intransitive verb case), the ergative (intransitive verb case) and the dative – can be marked via affixes to the verb. In Basque, only present simple and past simple synthetic tenses take polypersonal affixes.
The analytical forms are composed of more than one word, while the synthetic forms are all one word. The analytic verbs are built via the synthetic verbs izan – be, ukan – have and egin – do.
d-akar-ki-o-gu = We bring it to him/her. The verb is ekarri – bring. z-erama-zki-gu-te-n = They took them to us. The verb is eraman – take
Ekarriko d-i-o-gu = We’ll bring it to him/her. Literally: We will have-bring it to him/her. The analytic verb is built from ukan – have.
Eraman d-ieza-zki-gu-ke-te = They can take them to us. Literally: They can be taking them to us. The analytic verb is built from izan – be.
Most of the analytic verbs require an auxiliary which carries all sorts of information that is often carried on verbs in other languages – tense, mood, sometimes gender and person for subject, object and indirect object.
Jaten naiz. Eat I-am-doing. I am eating.
Jaten nintekeen. Eat I-was-able-to. I could eat.
Eman geniezazkiake. Give we-might-have-them-to-you-male. We might have given them to you.
In the above, naiz, nintekeen and geniezazkiake are auxiliaries. There are actually 2,640 different forms of these auxiliaries!
A language with ergative morphosyntax in Europe is quite a strange thing, and Basque is the only one of its kind. The ergative itself is quite unusual:
Gizona etorri da. – The man has arrived. Gizonak mutila ikusi du. – The man saw the boy.
gizon – man mutil – boy -a = the
The noun gizon takes a different form whether it is the subject of a transitive or intransitive verb. The first sentence is in absolutive case (unmarked) while the second sentence is in the ergative case (marked by the morpheme -k). If you come from a non-ergative IE language, the concept of ergativity itself is difficult enough to conceptualize, much less trying to actually learn an ergative language. Consequently, any ergative language will automatically be more difficult than a non-ergative one for all speakers of IE languages.
Ergativity also works with pronouns. There are four basic systems:
Nor: verb has subject only Nor-Nork: " subj. + direct complement Nor-Nori: " subj. + indirect comp. Nor-Nori-Nork: " subj. + indir. + dir. comps.
Some call Basque the most consistently ergative language on Earth.
If you don’t grow up speaking Basque, it’s hard to attain native speaker competence. It’s quite a bit easier to write in Basque than to speak it.
Nevertheless, Basque verbs are quite regular. There are only a few irregularities in conjugations and they have phonetic explanations. In fact, the entire language is quite regular. In addition, most words above the intermediate level are borrowings from large languages, so once you reach intermediate Basque, the rest is not that hard. In addition, pronunciation is straightforward.
Basque is rated 5.5, nearly hardest of all.
Dorani, Yakir. Hebrew speaker, Israel. August 2013. Personal communication.
Hewitt, B. G.. 2005. Georgian: A Learner’s Grammar, p. 29.
Kim, Yuni. December 16, 2003. Vowel Elision and the Morphophonology of Dominance in Aymara. UC Berkeley.
Kirk, John William Carnegie. 1905. A Grammar of the Somali Language: With Examples in Prose and Verse and an Account of the Yibir and Midgan Dialects, pp. 73-74.
Rogers, Jean H. 1978. Differential Focusing in Ojibwa Conjunct Verbs: On Circumstances, Participants, and Events. International Journal of American Linguistics 44: 167-179.
Wang, Chuan-Chao et al. 2012. Comment on ”Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa.” Science 335:657.
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Repost from the old site. Note: This post has been accused, as usual, of racism. See here for my position statement on racism. Black crime rate in the US is approximately 8.1 times greater than the White crime rate. It is about 36.8 times higher than the US Asian rate, which itself is 4.6 times lower than the White rate. It is even 4 times higher than the US Amerindian and Polynesian (mostly Hawaiian) crime rates. It is also 2.4 times higher than the extremely high Hispanic crime rate. These rates are young Black males, and that Black males around 30-45+ have often got it figured out, no matter what they were like as kids. If they settle down, have some kids and own or rent a home, they often relax and are fairly peaceful and easy to deal with. I say this because my car has broken down a couple of times in the heart of the Los Angeles Black ghetto, and both times Black males around this age came out and worked on my engine to try to get it going again. Blacks have .3 standard deviation excess in aggressiveness across surveys (actually, that is not a tremendously elevated rate of aggression), including Interpol. Sailer points out that there is no discrimination involved in higher black suspension rates in schools. I would agree with that, and add, as a former teacher who taught in Black inner city schools for years, that the only discrimination is probably that far fewer Black students are suspended than ought to be. I would also add that Black 11th and 12th graders, even in the ghetto, are exceptionally well-behaved, all of the idiots being out of school, in jail, juvey or boot camp, or dead, by then. In death row sentencing, Sailer notes that the only bias is towards White inmates and this applies even to the South. What Sailer means by that is that Whites are actually more likely than Blacks to get the death penalty for the same crime, even in the South. Obviously, the days of White racist hanging juries are pretty much through in this country, even in the South. Gene Expression (not my favorite blog at all), quoting Le Griffe Du Lion (not my favorite White racist academic at all) on violent crime: Le Griffe messes around with some figures and comes up with a .84 correlation of I must point out that Le Griffe Du Lion is an academic lab coat racist, and a true White Supremacist, with a stated agenda of getting rid of all civil rights and anti-discrimination laws in the US. Yet Black crime rates are not adequately explained on a global basis merely by presence of Blacks. For instance, the Miami Herald (dead link) quotes the World Health Organization saying that Latin America, with a mixed Caucasian-Amerindian population, has a higher homicide rate (27.5 per 100,000) than even Black Africa (22 per 100,000), lily-White but organized crime-overrun Eastern Europe (15 per 100,000) and Industrialized nations – generally speaking, the West (1 per 100,000). Furthermore, other studies show that the mixed Caucasian-Amerindians of Latin America, with only 8 percent of the global population, account for 75 percent of the world’s kidnappings. Clearly, there is something other than pure genetics at work in high Latin American crime rates. I know it’s heresy in these free market times to mention this, but perhaps, could an insane gap between rich and poor, among the worst on Earth, have a might bit to do with this? Gini coefficient map for Latin America. Oh no, of course not, capitalism doesn’t cause any problems, and all societal problems are caused by too much socialism. How do I know this? Wikipedia told me 10,000 times so far, and Wikipedia is God, you know. Shall we end this on a upbeat tone? Please do. Given the genetics that Blacks bring to the table, Black crime rates can either be relatively higher or relatively lower, depending on societal variables. A recognition that Blacks bring a different genetic set to the table, which may make them more susceptible to crime, is essential in devising societal actions to reduce Black crime. What works for other races with different genetic sets may not work for Blacks with their own mental toolbox. This is why race realism or racialism is so important. One suggestion I would like to make as a socialist is that socialism seems to dramatically reduce Black crime. Dominica, an island in the Caribbean, has a homicide rate 5 In Mozambique in the 1980’s there was a Communist regime under one of my heroes, Samora Machel. The crime rate was almost nonexistent. They were all poor together. According to a resident, anyone, male or female, native or foreigner, could walk across the all-Black capital city, Maputo, in the middle of the night, with scarcely a worry. Abiola Lapite, one of my least favorite human beings on Earth, does note that there is a tribe called the Dioula in Burkina Faso who have a homicide rate of 1.3/100,000, nearly as low as Japan’s rate of 1.1/100,000. Why don’t we get some Western criminologists over to Burkina Faso to study the very Black Dioula? Until there is a recognition of the existence of race as a salient variable in human diversity, and that races may differ genetically and biologically on behavioral outcomes, this will never occur. Genetics provides the clay. Culture or society is the sculptor. No Black population anywhere is doomed to an insane crime rate. If the Dioula can do it, so can any Blacks anywhere.
Repost from the old site. This piece tries to look at all of the major immigrant groups that are currently immigrating to the US in large numbers in order to determine which ones are causing problems and which ones are being a net positive for society. When I say net positive, I do not mean to be pro-immigrant. I mean that they are positive above and beyond any inherent detractions is their mere being immigrants. The question of whether huge numbers of even good immigrants are good for the country is another one altogether and goes beyond the scope of this post. This post hopes to put across the idea of a points system for immigration. We need to quit importing low quality immigrants to the US. If they are to be imported at all (and I have no problems with say up to 400,000 immigrants a year) we should only import high-quality immigrants from the rest of the world. Importing problem humans to a country that already has its hands full with the problem humans already residing there has to be the ultimate in insanity. This article has been praised by a famous person, who shall remain nameless. We have quite a few folks coming to this blog who are opposed to immigration. To be honest, almost everyone in the US who is opposed to immigration is White, and to some extent, it’s associated with White nationalism. There are also anti-immigrant sites out there like Vdare, but they are almost always on the crazy end of the spectrum. Vdare is not White nationalist, but they do want to end all immigration altogether. On the far moderate end of White nationalism, we have American Renaissance. I do like to hang out there because it’s nice to hear real, honest talk on race for once. In general, the White nationalists on Amren want to end non-White immigration altogether. I’d like to point out that this is a crazy and extremist point of view. Furthermore, Whites are only 6 I suppose with a White population declining like this, we would expect to see wild and crazy proposals like this. It’s really just a sign of desperation. Few non-Whites want to limit immigration this strictly, and even many Caucasians don’t. Keep in mind that most White nationalists call only Europeans White. Arabs, Iranians, Turks, Indians – none of them count. So almost everyone who is not a European White in the US has recent immigrant roots and does not want to end immigration. We should feel lucky if they want to limit it at all. Arabs, Turks, Kurds, North Africans, Africans, Hispanics of all types (even White Hispanics), Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, SE Asians, Filipinos, Polynesians, East Indians, Central Americans, Caribbeans, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis – none of these folks are on board for an immigration moratorium. That leaves us the 61. Looking around the world, we would be very hard-pressed to find even one country that has banned all immigration. Someone find me one, please! Japan and Korea are always being brought up, but there are plenty of immigrants in both places. What may be a lot more difficult there is getting citizenship. But that’s not unusual, nor is it the point here. Germany had race-based citizenship until recently, and may still have it. Syria and probably other Arab nations has race-based citizenship (The Kurds have not even been allowed to be citizens, because they are not Arabs!) So White nationalists are really changing the subject here. We ask them to show us some countries who have been so crazy as to ban all immigration, and they point to Japan and Korea, who have merely made it difficult to be a citizen, while immigrants are fairly common (indeed, Jared Taylor, head of Amren, was an immigrant in Japan for years). So the truth is that there are almost no nations that have banned immigration altogether. Why are White nationalists promoting this then? Because they are nuts. At this point, this project isn’t going anywhere, like every White nationalist project. So I would say it’s time for those of us on the anti-immigrant spectrum to cut our losses and do some damage control. As immigration isn’t going to be ended, sensible folks ought to focus on limiting it. Negative Population Growth advocates an end to illegal immigration to the extent possible, a removal of all illegal immigrants, and a reduction in legal immigration to 200,000. This is reasonable, and I support that organization. Here is a good example of the White nationalist mindset from my comments section:
Why do Whites oppose massive non-White immigration?Because non-White immigration causes higher crime, declining standards in education and morality, more drugs, more economic degradation and economic inequality, more strife/suspicion/competition between ethnic groups, more welfare and big government, more overpopulation and pollution, and so on. ALL countries and empires have eventually fallen or balkanized after being swamped by millions of ‘immigrant’ invaders, even the non-White empires and countries — and the same is now happening in America. Those opposing massive non-White immigration to America are more opposed to the decline of America than they are against other races and ethnicities. If they are against other races or ethnicities it is because their presence hastens and is an obvious sign of this decline.
You will find this mindset all over Amren, and probably deep down inside Vdare, too. The problem with this is that it is in large part false. The notion that immigration leads to inevitable strife, group competition, environmental degradation in an already crowded nation, etc. is going to be true with any group of immigrants. However, White nationalists are pro-natalists who cheer stories about White women having 18 kids, so they really shouldn’t talk about overpopulation leading to environmental degradation. Furthermore, your average White nationalist is a hard rightwinger, and at least their voting patterns suggest that they are quite hostile to environmentalism. All of the other points are not true for non-White immigration in toto. There is no problem with “non-White” immigration per se, but there are problems, sometimes major problems, with select groups. As a good rule, less restricted immigration from US colonies, of refugees and illegal immigration is problematic because of a lack of a rigorous selection process that winnows out many applicants. Legal immigration with a rigorous selection process has been associated with few problems, except in the odd case of Dominicans from the Dominican Republic. Let us look at the “non-White” immigrant groups in the US: South Americans: No problems here. They are very well-screened, and with the exception of some Colombians in New York City, pretty well behaved. It’s not a large group. There are small Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Argentine enclaves in Los Angeles, and there are Venezuelan enclaves in Florida and Texas. Japanese: Always one of the best immigrant groups. There are enclaves in San Francisco and Gardena, California. The enclaves are safe as far as the Japanese go, but Gardena now has many Blacks. When I taught school in Los Angeles, the non-PC teachers used to joke, “Gimme a class full of Japs and Jews and I’ll never complain.” A teacher friend of mine was asked to fill out a form that idiotically said, “Ethnic preference”. He was White, but he put, “Japanese”. The principal called him in and asked, “What do you think you’re doing? You’re not Japanese.” He answered, “It said ethnic preference. I prefer to teach Japanese students.” I was amazed that Japanese students got a little squirrelly in 8th grade. All humans are horrible at age 13, but I thought maybe the Japanese transcended that. They didn’t, but they were the breeziest 8th graders I’ve ever taught. By 9th grade, they were back to normal, and by 7th grade, they were still ok. If all kids were like this, parenting could be done with your eyes closed. Chinese: See Japanese. There are many new immigrants with poor English who are are adding to already existing Chinatown enclaves in many large cities, but this problem will sort itself out. There is poverty in Chinatowns, but there is little crime. For some reason, poverty in Chinatowns is not a serious societal problem. There are also quite a few exploited Chinese illegal immigrants, but almost all are working in Chinatowns and speaking Chinese on the job. They are taking few, if any, jobs from Americans. Very low crime rate. Chinatowns are safe places in the daytime at least and generally pleasant at night. Koreans: More or less the same as Chinese. They are probably better assimilated than Chinese. There is a vast enclave in Los Angeles (Koreatown) and a large enclave in Garden Grove, California. The enclaves are safe both night and day. Very low crime rate. Vietnamese: Most came as refugees and got off to a rocky start. There are some gangs, but overall it appears that their crime rate is far below Whites. Their criminals generally prey on their own. Young Vietnamese in Orange County, California are becoming a new high-achieving elite. This is the highest scoring group in the CA school system and US Irvine is full of Vietnamese students. They have formed some ethnic enclaves, but the young ones are assimilating, and even their enclaves are pleasant, non-dangerous places in both night and day. One large ethnic enclave is in Garden Grove, California. There is an enclave in Richmond, California that has a high crime rate and is not doing well, but this seems to be anomalous. Khmer: Not a large group, but there are some enclaves, especially in Long Beach and Santa Ana, California. There is still heavy welfare use, but a new generation is coming up. There are some youth gangs, but overall, the crime rate seems low. Khmer enclaves are pleasant and not dangerous at least in daytime. Hmong: This group of refugees still has very heavy welfare use. There are also gangs, but the overall crime rate seems much lower than the White rate, at least here in Fresno. There are enclaves in California’s Central Valley and in Minnesota. The new generation is coming of age, going to school and doing well. Highly intelligent; they resemble Chinese. Their enclaves are not that pleasant and tend to be poor and rundown, but don’t seem to be all that dangerous. Their criminals generally prey on their own. Mien: There are enclaves in Northern California in Davis and Merced in the Central Valley. They are refugees that came in with the Hmong. In appearance and behavior, they are very Chinese like the Hmong. A friend of mine worked in Social Services in Davis and said she would go to these poverty-stricken, blighted, rundown, hellhole apartment complexes and visit the Mien welfare families. The parents would be sitting on the floor eating out of a rice bowl and did not speak a word of English. They seemed like they were fresh out of the jungle of SE Asia. The walls would be covered with the kids’ report cards – all A’s. Think about it. On balance, seems to be a good group. High welfare use is balanced by a crime rate probably way lower than Whites, and the kids seem to have a good future. Lao: This group of refugees still has high welfare use, and there are youth gangs. The young people seem to be doing well, going to school, graduating, moving on. Despite the gangs, the crime rate seems to be much lower than the White rate, at least in Fresno. There are enclaves in Fresno and Santa Ana, California. Their enclaves are poor and run-down, but not that dangerous for non-SE Asians. They are part of the high-crime, poorly-performing Asian enclave in Richmond, California that is so far pretty anomalous. Khmu: Khmu from Laos are part of the poorly-performing, high-crime Asian enclave in Richmond, California, along with Vietnamese, Lao and Samoans. So far, this situation is pretty anomalous. This seems to be a case of very poor Asian refugees moving into a horrible Black ghetto and aping the worst Black behaviors. I don’t have any data on Khmu other than the Richmond report, and on that basis, I’m inclined to mark them as a problem ethnic group, but to tell the truth, I lack good data on them, and they really are a miniscule group anyway. Thai: Not a large group, but there are some enclaves in Los Angeles. They seem to be doing well and are out of poverty. Little or no gangs or crime. Professionals, owners of shops and restaurants. Burmese: A tiny group that seems to be doing quite well, at least those I met. Tibetans: A very small group that is active politically. No known problems. Behaviorally resemble Chinese. Filipinos: A much-vilified group, even by other Asians. There are youth gangs. They form large enclaves in California in Carson, Wilmington, north of downtown Los Angeles and in San Fransisco. There are also a number in the Central Valley. I have no idea what the crime rate is, but their enclaves in the Harbor area are pleasant enough at daytime. I taught them in school for a long time and felt they were well-behaved and pleasant students. Some are quite intelligent. Filipinos may undergo high selection pressure by US immigration, because they are said to be one of the highest performing immigrant groups of all, and the highest performing of the Asian groups. Indonesians, Aborigines, Melanesians, Papuans, Malays, Mongolians, Nepalese: For all intents and purposes, these groups don’t even exist as immigrant communities in the US. I’ve never met an immigrant from most of these groups. I have met a few Indonesian and Malay students who were very well-behaved. Micronesians (Marshall Islands): There are a few of them in the US, but not many. Some have serious diseases, because the islands are a disease haven. As immigrants, they are totally unscreened, as the islands are still pretty much US territory. Overall, little problem. Warm, friendly, pleasant, easy-going people. I do recommend completely cutting these islands off from US colonization. Polynesians (Hawaiians, Tongans and Samoans): Samoa is still a colony of the US, so they get to come here totally unscreened. I taught them for years in LA, and I really don’t mind them too much, but some can be violent. Easy-going, warm, friendly, pleasant people who like to laugh and party. There are gangs, but Samoans are not a large community, so it’s dubious how much of a problem they are. They are reportedly causing major problems in Salt Lake City. There appear to be some problems with Tongan gangs, but it doesn’t seem to be serious because there are just not that many of them. This is one immigrant group that may on balance be a problem, albeit a small one. They are an issue purely because they are unscreened. Hawaiians are not immigrants in Hawaii, but they are a serious problem there, where they form a vast and teeming underclass. They are not violent so much as thieving. This is not an immigrant issue because Hawaiians are native to the US. Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans: This group more or less does not exist in the US. Never met one. East Indians: This is a fairly large immigrant group here in California. H-1B scab guest workers are a problem, but they are not immigrants, so they are best dealt with elsewhere. Here in this part of California, this group is mostly Punjabis. Punjabis are a very high-functioning ethnic group in the US who cause almost no problems at all. Punjabis in the US have surprisingly high intelligence, work extremely hard and commit almost no crime. Other Indians are not so common, but they tend to be very high-functioning also, and are often professionals. Mass immigration of this group would be a bad idea, but it’s not happening yet. Afghans: A very small group of very high-functioning immigrants. I have met some. Many professionals. Those here tend to be quite secular and even progressive or even Leftist. There is a small enclave in Fremont, California. Pakistanis: We have some here in California. Here again, a very high-functioning group with few to no problems. Many professionals, some shopkeepers and a few students. Tend to be seculars or even Christians. Iranians: This group is doing very well in the US. There is an enclave in Beverly Hills, California. The ones who are here are often the rich and secular supporters of the Shah. This group causes almost no problems at all. High education attainment and professional involvement. Kurds: A very small group that appears to cause minimal problems, but some in Tennessee have formed street gangs for some reason. Little known. Iraqis: Those here tend to be Chaldean Christians who cause almost no problems at all. We have a few in California. There is an enclave in Michigan. A very traditional group who do not mingle much with outsiders. Palestinians: We have some in my area. They run small stores, gas stations, bakeries, and cause no problems at all. A very high-functioning group. Most around my place seem to be pretty apolitical. Quite a few are Christians. Warm, easy-going, happy, talkative and very hard-working. A few are militant in a quiet way. Syrians: Mostly secular, often secular Muslims or Christians. Often well-educated. A small group. Lebanese: A small group that does quite well. A very large number are Christians. Often run small stores. An enclave in Michigan. Many have been in the US for a long time. Yemenis: There is a small group around me who run markets. They do very well, are extremely hard-working and cause no problems at all. Tend to be apolitical religious Muslims who are very conservative and traditional. Turks: A small group in the US who often run stores, dry cleaners, etc. Very well-behaved. Tend to be secular. Kuwaitis: There are some students here. Tend to be very, very religious Muslims. I’m not aware of any problems though. They seem to go home after school. This is a tiny group. Jordanians: Secular, often Palestinian, mostly students. I only met one, and she was a militant but secular Palestinian-Jordanian and was very well-to-do. A tiny group. North Africans: Honestly, I have never met one other than Egyptians. This must be a very tiny group. The US is not having problems with Kurds, Iraqis, Turks and North Africans like the Europeans are. Mass immigration of Turks, North Africans, Kurds and Arabs as the Europeans did would probably be a disaster – this entire whole group is extremely well-screened, and that needs to continue. Egyptians: Run gas stations or work in the professions. Many are Coptic Christians. Absolutely zero problems at all. Most here are apolitical, secular and divorced from Middle Eastern issues altogether. Often traditional, even the Copts. Often surprisingly intelligent and educated, as is the case with many Arabs in the US. Ethiopians: There are enclaves in California’s Central Valley and in Los Angeles down around the airport (LAX). This group seems to cause few to no problems. Many are students and are quite intelligent. They very much keep to themselves. Many are Christians. The women are often quite beautiful. Somalis: Apparently a disaster. They are also causing terrible problems in Europe, especially Norway and Finland. Almost all are coming to the US as refugees, and refugees are typically a more or less unscreened population. In other words, almost anyone gets in. Probably 9 There are not many of them here, but the few that are have quickly descended into an Underclass of chaos, crime, poverty, unemployment and heavy welfare use. These refugees are not appropriate for America. They come from Africa, and are not the sort of Africans who do well here (see the next listing). They can easily go to other African nations. It won’t be ideal, but I assume that in general, they won’t starve. There’s no reason to bring an African refugee all the way to the US. Sub-Saharan Black Africans: There are few in the country. There are some Nigerians, but they are often extremely high-functioning professionals. There are reportedly some Nigerian criminals in the US, but the number is not large. This group undergoes extreme screening (99. Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kirghiz: Virtually nonexistent in general, yet there is now a large Uzbek community in New York City. They are mostly Bukharan Jews, but there are quite a few Uzbek Muslims moving there too. No problems to speak of. Armenians: Some White nationalists say they are not White, so we include them (Just for the record, I strongly disagree with that – in fact, I think Armenians may be the remains of some of the most ancient Whites of them all). A very high-functioning group. There are some street gangs in Los Angeles around Hollywood and Glendale, and there is some organized crime also, but overall, they appear to not be much a problem. There are enclaves in California in Los Angeles (East Hollywood), Glendale and vicinity and around Fresno in the Central Valley. The enclaves are quite safe. Most Armenian crime involves fighting amongst and preying on their own kind. Here in the Valley this is a very high-performing, intelligent group that is still quite traditional and often still keeps to themselves somewhat. They are farmers and run retail stores, restaurants and repair outfits, work in sales and the professions, and in general, do all sorts of things. Can be very warm and friendly. They have actually formed an elite in this area. Georgians, Azeris, people of the Caucasus: They barely exist in the US. Europeans: White nationalists seem to think this group is not a problem, and indeed they are not. Some formed highly criminal and impoverished Underclasses in the US for decades in the past, but they have moved out of that now. In my area, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Greeks, etc. (Mediterraneans) form a White elite and do very well, despite some White nationalists who insist they are not White. Gypsies: Disaster. Fortunately, there are few of them in the US, and it needs to stay that way. They have adopted crime as a way of life. Very few should be allowed to enter the US. A small number are assimilated, out of crime and doing very well, but it’s not typical. Cubans: Hard to say. They have taken over Miami, turned it into a part of Latin America and virtually torn it off from the US. Many are arrogant and refuse to learn English. Miami as a city has virtually done away with the English language. They have formed a Latin American style White reactionary elite that has seriously corrupted Miami. Miami has one of the most extreme wealth differentials in the US, as the reactionary Cubans have transplanted semi-feudal Latin American economics to their pet city. The wet foot – dry foot policy needs to end, and this group needs to be well-screened at least. I feel that on balance this group is not positive, mostly because they are arrogantly refusing to assimilate and are recreating Batista’s Cuba in the US. Dominicans: Reports indicate that this group is on balance a nightmare. Some are educated and intelligent and doing very well – I know one who is a clinical psychologist. Many others have transformed New York City neighborhoods into crime-ridden Underclass hellholes. My understanding is that the vast majority of them in Washington Heights in New York came to the US as illegal aliens pretending to be Puerto Ricans, starting in the 1970’s. They gave birth to anchor babies who are now all US citizens. This group needs to be much better screened at the very least. This group formed an Underclass quickly after they came here post-1965, and in general this scenario has continued or even gotten worse. Puerto Ricans: Same as Dominicans – a nightmare. A colony of the US. As such, they get to immigrate unscreened. Some are highly intelligent, are doing very well and are even in the professions. Back East, they have formed crime-ridden, gang-infested Underclass hellholes, especially in New York City. We need to cut this colony loose and let them go their own way. Like Dominicans, they have formed long-lasting Underclass wrecked zones that have lingered or even gotten worse. This is one group that is not climbing out of the Underclass. Future immigrants need much better screening, but that will never happen as long as Puerto Rico is a US colony. As long as Puerto Rico is a colony, Puerto Ricans can go to the US the same way I can move from California to Nevada. Jamaicans: Tough call. There are supposed to be some drug gangs around, but I’m not sure how serious of a problem this is. I’ve met a few who were very warm, pleasant, friendly, hard-working and honest. It does not seem to be a large group. Mass immigration would be a mistake. Haitians: Although we turn most of them away, there are quite a few in the US anyway. One might think they would form Underclass hellholes, but that does not seem to be the case. I don’t know much about them. There are quite a few in New York and Florida. Other Caribbeans (Virgin Islands, Grenada, etc.): There are not many here. Those who are here are often professionals. I met two who were schoolteachers and were doing very well. Panamanians: Few, doing well. Very small group. Costa Ricans: Small group that is doing well in the US. Nicaraguans: On balance, seems to be a positive group, but little is known about them. Those that I have met were functioning well. Seems to be a small group. There is an enclave in Florida. Hondurans: This group seems to be a problem. Many are illegals, and are caught up in the usual Mesoamerican illegal immigrant scenario. Doesn’t appear to be a really large group. Needs much better screening and needs more research to be done on them – poorly known. Salvadorans: Disaster. Many came here in the war as refugees and eventually got legalized. Many are in street gangs, selling dope, living in barrios and ghettos, and not doing well. They have a vast enclave near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles that is probably quite dangerous at night. I have been there in the daytime, and even then it seems run-down, teeming, Third-Worldish, horribly overcrowded, impoverished, chaotic and somewhat Hellish, but I used to walk around there anyway, and nothing ever happened to me. The English language does not exist in this part of Los Angeles. This group is not working out at all. Needs much better screening at the least. Guatemalans: Nightmare. Huge numbers are illegal immigrants. Others are caught up in the gangsta thing. Many do not speak English well. This group is doing very poorly. Seem to have very high rates of criminality and gang membership. Needs much better screening at an absolute minimum. Mexicans: A very complex group that makes up the huge majority of Hispanic immigrants to the US. A vast number of Mexicans are illegal immigrants who have destroyed towns all up and down California and all over Arizona and Texas. They are now fanning out across the US, causing crime and chaos everywhere they go. Typically, cities with large numbers of Mexican illegals become run-down, dirty, trash-ridden (they don’t believe in trash cans), graffiti-covered, crime-ridden, drug-drenched, gang-infested, noisy, chaotic, dangerous and overcrowded wrecks. Sex crimes in particular seem to escalate. Petty thievery becomes epidemic. Spanish becomes the native language and English is sidelined. Services are quickly overrun, hospitals close and schools are overwhelmed. Very political, and many harbor irredentist and revanchist (in particular) aims on the US Southwest, which many claim as a part of Mexico. This treasonous mindset has also been adopted by the Left and is highly disturbing. Cities with many Mexican illegals may quickly become very corrupt. Mexican farm labor contractors utilize employer-employee relations out of the Third World. Cities taken over by Mexican illegals come to more resemble Tijuana than American cities. Many are hostile towards the US and especially towards Whites. This group, viewed as a whole, is a total catastrophe, and is the main source of immigration problems in the US today. At the same time, many older Mexican illegals are hard-working, pleasant, polite, generous, family-oriented, religious and very well-behaved, but their children are often a horror. There is also a large group of Mexicans who have been here a while, in some cases for over 100 years as the original residents of the US Southwest. In most cases, they are assimilated and doing very well. Another group of Mexican legal immigrants came more recently and has assimilated well, though they continue to speak Spanish a lot. Their English is also often good to excellent, and many are lighter-skinned. This group could be classed as the White Mexicans, and they tend to form a bit of an elite in these Mexican communities, although the extreme racial stratification of Mexico seems to be breaking down in the US. They are often very well-behaved and so are their children. There is another group of recent legal immigrants that are not necessarily White Mexicans, but are also also assimilating and doing very well. As you can see, this is a very complex group that is split in two huge classes, one a good-functioning and assimilating group that causes few to no problems and the other a vast Underclass that is a total clusterfuck. There are also many that are floating somewhere in between these two vast sets in a transition zone, or into one set and out of another, or back and forth into the transition zone. At the very least, illegals need to be tossed out or encouraged to leave, Mexican legal immigration must be lowered, and we urgently need to do a lot of research on which Mexican immigrants are likely to join the positive assimilating group and which are going to augment our Mexican Underclass horror. Continued mass immigration of this group will cause a continuation and vast deepening of the gang and Underclass horrorshow in the US, along with an increasingly radical and militant Mexican politics in the US. As they get into power in some states, Mexicans will tend to promote Open Borders with Mexico. If they ever get into power, expect to see Spanish made into an official language at the state level at least. If they get into power at the national level, expect Spanish as an official language in the US and an open border with Mexico. Abortion may be made illegal. Women’s rights may nosedive. We may develop a much more corrupt society. Human rights and basic liberties may go out the window in favor of the usual Latin American authoritarianism and lack of respect for the individual. Gay rights will take a nosedive. We may get a politics of either the Hard Left or Hard Right, as in Latin America. The result of open borders with Mexico would quickly be 1/2 of Mexico in the US, and the US would be transformed just another Latin American country. This endgame must be resisted at all costs and with all of our might. This is an issue that transcends Left, Right and Center and needs to be put front and center by US patriots of all ethnicities across the spectrum. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for more research on the immigrant groups that are performing poorly, or at least those have large sections that are performing poorly. Some of these groups, such as Mexicans, have large groups that are doing well, large groups that are doing horribly, and probably a large group drifting in between or in and out of the two main groups. It is essential to determine the characteristics of those sections of Caribbean and Mesoamerican immigrants that are causing so many problems for our society. This research will be difficult to do because the usual suspects will scream racism at the very mention of it. No one is talking about keeping certain ethnicities off of the immigration rolls altogether. We are only trying to determine a set of characteristics that winnows the successful from the unsuccessful and then hopefully allows us to proceed to a saner immigration policy from there. Problems with native citizens are bad enough, but you can hardly keep them out of the country – you are more or less stuck with them. Immigrants are guests at best; they are here at our whim and can be either expelled or denied entry in the first place as we see fit. It is sheer madness to import large numbers of persons who are bad for the nation. By that definition, America has been an insane nation for many years now. It’s time for some treatment. Time is of the essence and we have little to spare. We also need to seriously reconsider family reunification immigration. 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