RE: What makes English so difficult to learn? page 3
Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · English Audio: Speech & Pronunciation
I hope it would help you learning english,or at least,enlight you a bit.
The great problem about learning English is pronunciation because it's rather peculiar (at least it seems so to me). Some sounds are really, really difficult!
Anonymous:I am a native English speaker from the U.S. and I agree with Colombo (by the way, your writing in English is great), but it seems every person I have met who speaks English as a foreign language runs into pronunciation as the largest problem. Although the language obviously seems easy to me, we have many rules with exceptions to certain words, the tenses can be different as well. Whereas in French there are types of verbs, -ir, -er, etc, that follow a set of rules with few exceptions. I'd have to say the best way I've seen for people to learn English is if you ever meet a native English speaker, just practice on us, I'm sure they'd be more than willing to help with your pronunciation and what not. Oh, and a final note, watch on spelling as it differs between American and British English, and an ignorant American would look at British and pronounce practise (Br. spelling) like practize....
Anonymous:It is not all difficult to comprehend why English is the most difficult language to master. It is simply a matter of gauge. One uses words when conveying thoughts and so it is logical that the more words one knows, the more thoughts one can have. Ergo, English is more difficult because it allows for so many nuances, the slightest being able to change the meaning of a phrase slightly so that it refects the original thought more truly or even completely. This is why English is superior to every other language, because of it's limitless versatility and boundless possibilities. In comparison to all other languages (which I can also speak fluently), English is the only dialect where you can express yourself precisely enough to articulate unrivalled thought. Americans on the other hand, have been butchering it for centuries and should not be consulted when learning this language. It is, after all, English and not American.
It seems to me (and I'm a native speaker, so what do I know) that the spelling would be the hardest thing to learn. It was fixed 400 years ago, and the pronunciation has changed so much since then that it can be impossible to determine the pronunciation of a word just from the spelling alone.
Anonymous:Well, one answer to the European example given is that a large part of European languages are Romance languages, or based on Latin. If you've ever compared French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc., they are remarkably similar in grammar and vocabulary. Once you learn one, it's very simple to pick up another from this same group.
I think part of what makes English difficult is that it's actually a Germanic language, so the grammar is different from beforementioned languages, but that the vocabulary was greatly influenced by Latin, and specifically French. This can be pretty confusing to a lot of people.
The most I can figure out is that English has a LOT of exceptions to each and every rule. I think English, in a lot of ways, is more simple than other languages except for all the exceptions that simply have to be learned.
Anonymous:Americans have been butchering it for centuries? This coming from the person who said he/she could speak all other languages fluently...
Sorry, just found that funny.
But I do have a question...do people find English pronunciation difficult because of the pronunciation itself, or just for reasons like the different ways to say desert, dessert, and desert (as previously mentioned)? I personally think English is much easier to physically produce versus, for example, the nasality of the French.
Mish:Being a student of French myself, I'd say English does not compare in terms of grammatical complexity or evevn gendered nouns. One obstacle in learning English is the fact that English is not phonetic, so the variations in pronunciation are difficult to memorize. Take "through," "enough," and "though." They all end the same way but are pronounced differently. Then, there are words like "knight" (though I'm convinced once upon a time it really was pronounced "kuh-ni-git" ), "psyche," and "colonel"...none of which are pronounced the way they look.
Those, and all of the points that have been raised, make English a hard beast to tame.
Anonymous:Hmmm. If you think that english is difficult - YOU ARE WRONG!!! It is the easiest language! I'm Pole, have you ever tried to say the simplest word in Polish e.g łazienka (bathroom) I'm sure that 90% of English wouldn't be able to pronounce it correctly!!! Or meaby something from German: einhundertfunfundzwazig (125) - this is correct spelling, there shouldn't be any spaces!!! It is normall that you are not as fluent as natives - it is impossible, there are always differences in pronunciation or in degree of complexity of vocabulary. Only thing which can cause real problems are pronunciation such vowels as 'th' (thing, those). These "dentals" don't occur in other european languages at all. The other things are tenses - twelve of them - most languages have only 3 (past, present and future)... But all of it is not important!!! We learn foreign languages to comunicate, we are able to communicate in English if we know 1000 words. IT IS THE EASIEST LANGUAGE!... The language of the future.
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