A Look at Tachelhit and Tamazight, Two Berber Languages

Method and Conclusion. See here.

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

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

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

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

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:

ɡ
be

ks
feed on

Tachelhit gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.

South

3 Comments

Filed under Applied, Berbers, Language Learning, Linguistics, North Africans, Race/Ethnicity

3 responses to “A Look at Tachelhit and Tamazight, Two Berber Languages

  1. The Berbers have a pre-islamic costume of tattoing their women faces for beautification, tattoing was common among the “Pagans” worldwide.

    • Yes facial tattoos for women. I believe that the Ainu women did that.

      • Johnny

        I had a professor who specialized in North Africa and he felt that Berber was very hard at the start, but became easier for him over time. The use of double consonants sounds very confusing unless you grow up speaking these languages or go to a more immersive process. The natives appear to have absorbed some morphology from Arabic as well with a high rate of Arabic vocabulary (can’t recall off the top, but it’s high, maybe close to half the language). Berber tends to sound a bit less guttural too, although this doesn’t diminish how hard it is to learn.

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