I have some questions for those who speak English as a second language:

  • What elements of the English language (spelling, vocabulary, tenses, conjugation, contractions, et cetera) do you find simple and easy to learn compared to your native tongue? Which elements do you find more difficult?
  • Do you find that English is more difficult to speak than to read and write, or vice versa?
  • Lastly, what does English sound like? What I mean is, before you could comprehend the language fully, how would you have described it when spoken? Is it a harsh sounding language? What other languages do you think it sounds similar to (for instance, I sometimes have trouble distinguishing between spoken Spanish and Italian)?


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Hi,

  • I think english verbs, tenses and grammatical rules are easier than italian ones, but I have trouble particularly with conctraction and sentence construction
  • I find english almoust easy to read but difficult to speak and wright (my answers in this forum took me usually 1 hour!Emotion: stick out tongue)
  • English sounds like any other language, and it's not harsh; for example I think German is harsh. I think Spanish and Portuguese sounds similar, also I don't understand the difference between oriental languages!
  • Why do you have trouble distinguishing between spoken Spanish and Italian? In Italy we say: if you want to speak Spanish you only have to put the "s" to the words end! ......naturally I'm joking Emotion: wink


  • Ciao!
Hiya YC,
It sure feels good that a native shows interest in how we perceive english... Let me try to understand the best I can...

  1. Specific elements of language posing problem :
    I'm comfortable with tenses and conjugation. I find myself sometimes troubled with vocabulary and spelling ; whenever the word is close to one in my mother tongue with a different meaning or spelling (faux-ami).
    A main difference I've found compared to my native language is the extensive use of phrasal verbs. It took me some time to start thinking in terms of phrasal verbs rather than trying to find a corresponding latin-derived verb that often exists but makes you sound a little bit 'off-key' if not pretentious.

  2. Written vs spoken english :
    I definitely find spoken english more difficult. Too much difference b/w the various accents (US vs UK, even within UK or within US. Also I have difficulties with relaxed speech forms of spoken english (contractions, elisions and so forth...).
    Pronunciation and stressing the right syllable of the word is another thing I'm still struggling with : it's kind of frustrating when you know the word and how to spell it but still nobody understands you because you don't emphasize the right syllable.

  3. How english sounds :
    To my ear, it does not sound like or compare to anything else. Or I should say it's hard to remember my early stages in learning english where it may have sounded weird or where I may have mistaken it for something else. Definitely not a harsh language. I'd say 'mellow' is what comes to my mind. Also 'efficient' (or is it 'effective') as I find it a powerful tool to express thoughts in a concise way.
Hope this answers the questions from your survey.
Waïti.
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Why is it I said 'understand' instead of 'answer' at the beginning of my above reply ??? Pls forgive the mix-up...
Francesca
  • Why do you have trouble distinguishing between spoken Spanish and Italian? In Italy we say: if you want to speak Spanish you only have to put the "s" to the words end! ......naturally I'm joking Emotion: wink
Ciao!

Have you ever visited Andalucía???

Andalucía is in Spain and the Andaluces don´t spell the 's' in the worlds end.

I know because I´m 'andaluza'

Emotion: smile
Thank you for your answers. I often wonder how English is perceived by those who don't use it as a first language. Since I've known English all my life, I feel like I've never been able to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the language. I've tried looking at texts written in English and guessing what spelling or punctuation would look especially odd to someone who is not as familiar with the language (for instance, I thought perhaps the many apostrophes in English words might look as foreign to a Frenchman as the all the accents in French words do to me). Knowing that English is a Germanic language, I also wondered if it sounds as harsh as German (no offense, Germans), and even went so far as to listen to songs mumbled in English so as to get some idea.

This is all very enlightening.
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UtenaHave you ever visited Andalucía???

Andalucía is in Spain and the Andaluces don´t spell the 's' in the worlds end.

I know because I´m 'andaluza'

Emotion: smile

Hi Utena, sorry but I never visited Andalucía but I would like to do it! Emotion: wink

Unfortunately I don't speak Spanish but I love this language and I would like to learn it, but I don't have time to do it.

Ciao!
Hi,

1-

a-)Elements simple and easy to learn(Compare to French) None. (Perhaps because It's my native language)

b-) Elements that are difficult: Conjugaison, tenses, phrasal-verbs....

2-

I feel more comfortable when it comes to writing than reading/speaking, and I feel more comfortable when it comes to speaking than reading.

3-

Well,before I can make the difference between English and any other language, for me it was all "charabia". However I think English is unique,(with slights difference from countries/regions to countries/region, a bit like French made in Quebec, and French made it Marseille),but it's all the same and today I can't mistake it for another language
i think english isn't a language so difficult !!! even conjugations !!! my problem is just that i never remember vocabulary !!! Emotion: big smile as i study several languages, sometimes i think a word in spanish, or in italian, instead of in english !!! Emotion: wink Emotion: wink i think it's because, out of school, i don't practise english !!! but in general, it isn't so difficult ! Emotion: wink compared to french language, english grammar and conjugation are easier !!



another problem that i have with english is sometimes, when someone speak too fats, i don't understand all the words, so i'm a bit lost !! but to speak, or to read, or to write, english language is easier !!!
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