the multiple tenses, verb forms, AND vocabulary would make any language hard to learn.
but what’s more daunting when people look at Asian languages is the entirely new alphabet. I think that’s a major reason why those who grow up speaking English turn to Spanish, French, Italian, and other latin based languages before thinking “Hey, I’ll learn Japanese!”
for me, it was mostly the same. Now, I am taking Japanese right now. I have always wanted to take Japanese. But it was not offered during high school and living in a very rural community, I didn’t have the opportunity to study elsewhere. Then again, even if I had, overstretched as I was, I probably still wouldn’t have. Nonetheless, I have finally starting taking classes. And what do I have to say?
Japanese, even with its multiple characters and lack of “r” and “l” is still slightly easier to learn and speak than spanish.
There is no future tense. Only past and present. The verbs have one or two conjugations, compared with the 6 for each in Spanish. Now, it will get harder as I get deeper into Japanese. The grammar structure is straight forward. Clauses in the beginning, topics placed before the verb, and the verb MUST end the sentence. Then you have to remember the many different particiles and how they are used.
And that’s all memorization.
But I can already talk about:
what I do every day,
what I did yesterday,
what I am going to do tomorrow,
and what I am going to go the day AFTER that or the day BEFORE it
I can introduce myself, tell you where I am going to school, what I am studying and what I like.
I can ask you how to say a word in Japanese or what a word means in English.
I can say JUST AS MUCH in Japanese after 3 years of Spanish.
3 years Spanish = 1.5 months of Japanese. Granted, it’s simple Japanese. But Japanese nonetheless.