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Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn - Education - Nairaland

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Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Obalatule: 11:32pm On Aug 01
I have heard alot of non-native Igbos that are interested in learning Igbo complain of the difficulty they face with the Igbo language and all its numerous complexities, Igbo was my first language so i never noticed this until I started meeting non-igbos who wanted to learn Igbo on-the go like other languages and found it mind boggling and highly complicated.

Igbo language has a way with words and Sentences that are simply impossible to translate to English with high Accuracy, for Example someone may say "Ahuru m gi n'anya" which means "I love you" and every Igbo native speaker will understand it as such, but what it literally translates to is "I see you with my eyes"...Now you see the quagmire a learner will face when trying to understand and translate sentences?

Igbo language is also highly tonal, one word could well mean five things depending on the tone of the speaker for Example, Àkwá = Egg , Ákwá = cry , Àkwà = Clothing , Ákwà = Bed, I may have gotten this tonal marks mixed up though grin.....so imagine the confusion a learner will face with all these similar words that are differentiated only by tone.

Again Igbo language has a wide array of double letters that are tongue twisting for intending speakers, Few example The " KW ", "Gb", "Gw" ," Ch" and the notorious " ñ " that many people find so hard to get right.

I won't even go into proverbs and idioms that are an integral part of the language and very hard to grasp for a learner. I've observed though that the fastest and most effective way to learn the Igbo language is to throw yourself into it, It will be mistakes all over the place and you may get laughed at 'cos mistakes in Igbo language sentence structures always sounds very funny to native speakers, But you will learn in leaps and bounds while being corrected, and in no time you will master this ancient tongue twisting, mind rattling, highly complex language that Has been spoken in different forms and dialects for millennias....K'emesia nu cheesy

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Ikennamurphy: 11:39pm On Aug 01
Good explanation.. But I think most native languages have same thing.. I just noticed they're no much people interested in really trying to learn it the right way.. Them no de learn language in a day even Hausa sef.. Esp as adults.. Children learn language faster with ease

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Obalatule: 11:46pm On Aug 01
Ikennamurphy:
Good explanation.. But I think most native languages have same thing.. I just noticed they're no much people interested in really trying to learn it the right way.. Them no de learn language in a day even Hausa sef.. Esp as adults.. Children learn language faster with ease
Yes I agree, But it seems Igbo is a special kind of hard even for the person trying to teach, Contextual meanings are more complicated than what is obtained in for example English language
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Ikennamurphy: 11:49pm On Aug 01
Obalatule:
Yes I agree, But it seems Igbo is a special kind of hard even for the person trying to teach, Contextual meanings are more complicated than what is obtained in for example English language
Yeah.. People even more easily communicate in their dialects more perfectly than the central spoken igbo

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Obalatule: 11:53pm On Aug 01
Ikennamurphy:

Yeah.. People even more easily communicate in their dialects more perfectly than the central spoken igbo
Depending on the native dialect Shaa, mine is close to the central Igbo so I can switch very easily, though it's usually not necessary
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Arrewa: 11:56pm On Aug 01
Igbo is the most simplest language to learn

I learn how to speak igbo fluently within 2yrs

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by mightyhazell: 11:57pm On Aug 01
in hausa language,kwana biu means two days.. kwana biu also means 'its been long time no see'.. context is everything..

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Ikennamurphy: 11:59pm On Aug 01
Obalatule:
Depending on the native dialect Shaa, mine is close to the central Igbo so I can switch very easily, though it's usually not necessary
OK.. Well maybe your origin is in the central part of igboland because most of those on the border towns are adulterated
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Ikennamurphy: 12:00am On Aug 02
Arrewa:
Igbo is the most simplest language to learn

I learn how to speak igbo fluently within 2yrs
When did you start living in onitsha Arrewa??
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by mightyhazell: 12:00am On Aug 02
that akwa example is a very perfect one.. we also have egbe (kite) and egbe (gun).. that our elders use to issue threats.. 'i will show you the difference between egbe and egbe'

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by pquaver(m): 12:09am On Aug 02
I think Igbo is actually the hardest of the 3 main Nigeria languages.. As a native Igbo speaker I cannot speak igbo for 20 mins to 30 mins without English words creeping in to better describe my point or convey my idea. But I watch with amusement as yorubas and hausas speak for about an 1hr and they will not borrow from English.. I thought I was the only one but when I noticed lots of older Igbos, African magic Igbo and lots of people do same things unlike our yoruba and hausa counterparts.. Then I knew that Igbo is hard even for native speakers talkless learner.

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Obalatule: 12:09am On Aug 02
Ikennamurphy:

OK.. Well maybe your origin is in the central part of igboland because most of those on the border towns are adulterated
Yes, I understand most Igbo dialects including the far fetched reaches of Anioma, but Ebonyi clans have the heaviest Igbo I've heard, wayy too heavy for me

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Obalatule: 12:11am On Aug 02
mightyhazell:
that akwa example is a very perfect one.. we also have egbe (kite) and egbe (gun).. that our elders use to issue threats.. 'i will show you the difference between egbe and egbe'
lol grin....they are just too many
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Obalatule: 12:13am On Aug 02
pquaver:
I think Igbo is actually the hardest of the 3 main Nigeria languages.. As a native Igbo speaker I cannot speak igbo for 20 mins to 30 mins without English words creeping in to better describe my point or convey my idea. But I watch with amusement as yorubas and hausas speak for about an 1hr and they will not borrow from English.. I thought I was the only one but when I noticed lots of older Igbos, African magic Igbo and lots of people do same things unlike our yoruba and hausa counterparts.. Then I knew that Igbo is hard even for native speakers talkless learner.
Igbo hard, it's almost like a code language

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by IduNaOba: 12:42am On Aug 02
Igbo Language is the alpha and omega of all. Languages.
It is perhaps the most advanced language till tomorrow.
Gwazie ndị yard Ụnụ

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by IduNaOba: 12:43am On Aug 02
Obalatule:
Igbo hard, it's almost like a code language
Not almost.... It is a grand codex of the gods.
The only complete language on earth.
It is alien
Igbos are beyond humans

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by leofab(f): 1:09am On Aug 02
Reslly ?
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Kamanuozuzu: 1:59am On Aug 02
Arrewa:
Igbo is the most simplest language to learn

I learn how to speak igbo fluently within 2yrs

I have never seen any non-Igbo that speaks Igbo language fluently. It's impossible. But many Igbos can speak other languages (eg Hausa, Yoruba) very fluently.

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Masterkernel1: 2:28am On Aug 02
Obalatule:
Yes I agree, But it seems Igbo is a special kind of hard even for the person trying to teach, Contextual meanings are more complicated than what is obtained in for example English language


I'm sorry, but you're highly vulnerable to tribal rhetorical narratives.

Every language, has what's is called figurative and literal meaning. Example in English... He has kicked the bucket, figuratively means he's dead. But literally his legs has simply struck the bucket.

Certain words are longer in English, example "Kedu" meaning "How are you ", is longer in English, while some other words are shorter in English.

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Masterkernel1: 2:30am On Aug 02
Kamanuozuzu:


I have never seen any non-Igbo that speaks Igbo language fluently. It's impossible. But many Igbos can speak other languages (eg Hausa, Yoruba) very fluently.


South South speak Igbo wella, you can't speak the people's language except become one of them, integrate well with them.

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Masterkernel1: 2:36am On Aug 02
Obalatule:
Igbo hard, it's almost like a code language



Before a language is called difficult, it must be very versed with lots of synonyms, no language is much advanced in Nigeria like Hausa.

I've tried learning how to speak Yoruba in the past 10 years, does it mean it's hard? No!

A lot of factors must have contributed to it.

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Masterkernel1: 2:37am On Aug 02
Arrewa:
Igbo is the most simplest language to learn

I learn how to speak igbo fluently within 2yrs

Guy... Tell the fake Igbo boy.

1 Like

Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Apawicked: 2:48am On Aug 02
IduNaOba:
Igbo Language is the alpha and omega of all. Languages.
It is perhaps the most advanced language till tomorrow.
Gwazie ndị yard Ụnụ
The language of heaven

1 Like

Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by kingzizzy: 3:01am On Aug 02
Igbo is a tough language to learn, thats why most non Igbos cant speak the language. To be able to speak Igbo in its correct tone, you have to be speaking the language early in life. It will take a lot of hard work for someone in their 20's or more to learn to speak Igbo fluently.

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by EagleNest(m): 3:13am On Aug 02
Igbo language is best learnt when you are in Igbo land and mix up with Igbos particularly when growing up. I have seen some young Yoruba and Hausas that have lived in Igbo land for a while and they speak perfect Igbo.

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by OruExpress: 3:13am On Aug 02
Obalatule:
Yes I agree, But it seems Igbo is a special kind of hard even for the person trying to teach, Contextual meanings are more complicated than what is obtained in for example English language

this isnt true. Igbo is easy to learn but is taught wrong. Its a verb based language. If you know the verbs, you know Igbo.

I would also argue that most Nigerians can use English but don't understand it. How many times have we 'gulped juice contracts' in our newspapers or 'lamented' about potholes lol.

3 Likes

Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by OruExpress: 3:15am On Aug 02
pquaver:
I think Igbo is actually the hardest of the 3 main Nigeria languages.. As a native Igbo speaker I cannot speak igbo for 20 mins to 30 mins without English words creeping in to better describe my point or convey my idea. But I watch with amusement as yorubas and hausas speak for about an 1hr and they will not borrow from English.. I thought I was the only one but when I noticed lots of older Igbos, African magic Igbo and lots of people do same things unlike our yoruba and hausa counterparts.. Then I knew that Igbo is hard even for native speakers talkless learner.

you dont know what is borrow and what isnt. For example, baba is not yoruba.
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by AbuMaryam1(m): 3:32am On Aug 02
I started going to east over 35yrs now, I integrated very well with Igbo, yes. One of wives is Igbo. I so much love to learn the language I couldn't. But Yoruba, I didn't speaks it but I can have better comprehension. I speaks fluent Hausa. Of all the three I see Igbo a bit difficult. My people that stay east says it. Yet, they speaks Igbo fluently. I'm shuwa Arab

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Guestlander: 3:42am On Aug 02
Kamanuozuzu:


I have never seen any non-Igbo that speaks Igbo language fluently. It's impossible. But many Igbos can speak other languages (eg Hausa, Yoruba) very fluently.

My older brother does. I was already learning it myself before I went to a boarding school and that was it.
Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Bighead9: 4:46am On Aug 02
IduNaOba:
Igbo Language is the alpha and omega of all. Languages.
It is perhaps the most advanced language till tomorrow.
Gwazie ndị yard Ụnụ


Chai, see lies. You still wan chest beat over language wey everyone testified that it's the hardest. Must you chest beat over everything?

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Re: Why The IGBO Language is Particularly Hard To Learn by Squillaci: 4:47am On Aug 02

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