1 2 3
The Grammer Genious filted:
Me neither, except for license, judgment, concomitant, discrete, desperate, Quran, and Delaware.

Oh, and also Cincinnati and Albuquerque.

Put me down for harrassing and Massachusetts..
It's those damn double letters is what..r
I think that's common to people who speak oriental languages in general, not only Japanese. I work mainly with ESL students and it took me a while to catch on.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
R H Draney falt:
Put me down for harrassing and Massachusetts..

How embarassing!
It's those damn double letters is what..r

Which, naturally, reminds me of...
Two Italian immigrants get on a bus, sit down, and engage in an animated conversation. Says one, "Emma come first. Den I come. Den two asses come-a together. I come once-a more. Two asses, dey come-a together again. I come again, and-a pee twice. Den I come one last-a time."

The lady sitting behind them is indignant. "You foul-mouthed swine," she interrupts them angrily. "In this country we don't talk about our sex lives in public!"
"Hey, cool-a down, lady," replies the guy. "Who's-a talkin' about-a sex? I'm-a just-a tellin' my friend how to spell Mississippi."

Reinhold (Rey) Aman
Santa Rosa, CA 95402, USA
http://www.sonic.net/maledicta /
Of course learning a language is difficult. It takes time, effort, energy, etc. Maybe you mean "difficult" in relation to other languages. If that's what you mean, then I would say the answer is "no". The first time I came to the States I was 14. I came back as a resident at 17. In my country of origin, Italy, I had learned some English from my father (just a few words and phrases) during the first ten years of my life. When I moved to the States permanently, I spoke almost no English, but I did not find it at all difficult.

In three semesters I learned the language, took the required subjects, and graduated from high school even though I never really studied any grammar. Just like Skitt, I just picked it up. In Italy I had had six years of Latin, five years of French and one year of classical Greek. Nothing even comes close to classical Greek as far as difficulty goes (and not because of the alphabet!). I didn't find the spelling difficult either. In fact, my knowledge of Italian greatly helps me in that area.

I truly find English a very easy language compared to the other languages I have studied. There are no genders, no noun/adjective agreements, and there's one definite article (there are 7 in Italian). The verb has four forms (or up to five if it's irregular), while a conjugated verb can have dozens of forms in Italian, French and Spanish.. There is only one conjugation (can we really call it conjugation?) while in Italian, French and Spanish there are three. Of course, there are idiomatic expressions and exceptions to the rules, but that is true for every language.
I think English pronunciation is probably the most difficult aspect of the language. There are sounds in English that don't exist in Italian Spanish or French.
Enlish spelling has never given me problems, and the grammar, compared to Latvian, is child's play. I never actually studied ... and intuitively. I have been said to have a knack for languages, so others might not agree with my evaluation.

I have to agree with Skitt about Latvian grammar as I was brought up speaking Latvian in an ex-pat family. I learnt grammar at Latvian Saturday school and then just sailed through German at school as I already had a huge advantage. It has also given me a love of teaching grammar in both German and EFL because I can see the logic and, as Skitt says, after Latvian these are child's play! And I hope I can convey this to learners!

Skitt said he learnt English when he was about 15. In my experience of observing Latvian refugees after WWII, there seems to be a cut-off point around the age of about 20 - if they arrived in the UK (or wherever) before this age, they nearly always seem to have a native-speaker command of English; later than this, and accent or grammar errors persist. I've also seen it with Japanese families who are sent here to work in the Japanese subsidiary companies. The children who are in their early teens have absolutely no problems and often end up getting top marks in English exams.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Rey filted:
R H Draney falt:

"So I'm a take-a my girl Virginia onna da train...and all-a night-a long, Mister Wise-Guy conductor's-a stick his head in and-a yell '*** VIRGINIA!'"..

(Guy I used to work with, name of Rocco, told it better)..r
Enlish spelling has never given me problems

If you say so.

Sure, but typos, especially those at the most inopportune times, are a ***!

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
I think English pronunciation is probably the most difficult aspect of the language. There are sounds in English that don't exist in Italian Spanish or French.

Well, after mastering the sounds of Latvian and German, English has only the two versions of "th" to worry about. The "v" and 'W" distinction also gave me some problems.
Relating the written word to the spoken version is the most difficult part.
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
G'day everyone.. As a native English speaker, I'm often reminded of the how in the English language there seem to ... Spanish etc etc) speakers on this, and.. especially of other languages (Asian, African, Native American etc etc) Thanks all, Stupot

For your amusement, the difficulties of learning German:

Show more