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Why the english language is so hard to learn





Blaster
Quote:
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8 ) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18 ) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend.


Tell me people. Am I right when I say that english is hard to learn? Just take a look at the examples given. So it is the truth that the english language is hard to learn.
Ultima1080
Yeah, I totally agree. However, in some forms of (correct me if I'm wrong) Russian, there are about 26 tenses. In English, we have past, present and future. So I don't think any language is really easy to learn Wink.
joshua_erceg
Yeah ^^
I've always thought about how hard it must be for foreign people to learn english...
It's so confusing & has so many exceptions, etc. 0.o
Blaster
Spanish is a weird language too. All languages are hard to learn when you have never spoke it. That is why people should learn it young. Like when they start elemtry school. We should all go to one language.
n0obie4life
I feel that I have to state this.

Look, if you are in a Dutch speaking country, naturally, your Dutch would be better than your English because you are more exposed to the Dutch Language than the English Language.

It's the same for all other languages, if you are more exposed to a certain language, you would naturally be better (in most cases) in that language than another language that you are seldom exposed to.
cazlun
I don't think that English is harder than a lot of other langauges. I found French difficult to learn at first, They have so many forms of grammer it's very confusing. I have been speaking French for five years now, and although I speak it pretty much fluently, I have a hard time with written french because of the grammer involved.
yisou
i think chinese it hard to learn
Scorpio
English cannot be classified under the "Difficult to learn" category.

The basics are pretty easy to grasp and for general communication simple english is enough.

So, native speakers of other languages can learn this language without hassle.

But at the same time delving deeply into the roots of english and trying out the various different characters of the language might make one feel it is difficult

As I always say, "This is One Funny Language"
rightclickscott
Undoubtably, yes. While many of us find it hard to learn other languages, so many other people who speak different languages then English find it even harder to learn than say if they were Chinese and learning French or Spanish. Simply because most languages other than English have incredibly similar rules while English just throws whatever it wants around and calls itself a language. Hell, English is so hard that we even have kids who know how to speak English taking English classes. Even I am stumbling on the words I should use. The reason why it's so hard for people who speak English to learn a second language is the exact opposite reason why it's hard for people who speak other foriegn languages is, it's that all of those languages don't follow the same rules as English. Japanese is also hard to learn because it uses a fairly unique system itself, but it's definetly not as hard to learn as English.
Reaper
English is hard or not hard to learn depending on how you look at it, but yes it should be hard to learn seeing we basicly took a paint machine and dumped a bit of every language in it then hit the mix paint buttion and what came out was the english language Laughing
Gieter
I don't agree. English is a simple language. If you look at French by example... that's what I call grammar! Shocked The grammar of English is quite simple, at least it's much easier than French.
gh0stface
English has to be one of the most difficult langauges out there. There are so many rules that are used in grammar which are sometimes broken because another rule over rides it. There are also phonetics which can confuse a lot of people where certain letters in the the word are silent such as "fight", "salmon" and some others. We also have similar words that sound the same but mean differnetly. Such as "they're", "their", "there".
DoctorBeaver
English grammar is a cinch. It doesn't really matter what order you put the words in, the meaning will probably still be the same. With many languages the order of words has to be exactly right.

It's pronunciation that's difficult in English. There are so many words that are spelt the same but pronounced differently(e.g. wind - wind), or spelt differently but pronounced the same (e.g. through - threw; wear - ware - where).

One of the reasons westerners have trouble with non-European languages is that the whole philosophy behind the language is different, concepts are different. An example of that, in Swahili there are 2 present tenses. For instance "Nataka chai" means I want tea, but in the sense that I am ALWAYS wanting tea - it's an ongoing thing. To say that you want tea NOW, you would need to say "Ninataka chai" - literally "I am wanting tea". I believe some Asiatic languages have something similar.
Liu
I wouldn't say that each language is equally difficult to learn.

Try Chinese. Latin based languages aren't based on tones. Chinese is a tonal language, thus if you're not careful you can say something completely opposite of what you were intending to say. That, and you need to memorize thousands of characters.
Gieter
Liu wrote:
I wouldn't say that each language is equally difficult to learn.

Try Chinese. Latin based languages aren't based on tones. Chinese is a tonal language, thus if you're not careful you can say something completely opposite of what you were intending to say. That, and you need to memorize thousands of characters.


That's true. By example, it takes some years before you can read a Chinese newspaper (as a kid.)

I heard last Thursday that the nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were caused by the mis-interpretation of an American translator, because the Japanse answer was interpreted wrong. There's a slight difference between the Japanse for (don't know the sentences anymore for sure) "We are impressed" and "We don't care." Don't know if it's the reality, but it tells something about the difficulty of learning an Asian language.
xkarenflowerx
i like the examples given ^.^ they are amusing.

english language is quite hard, yes. . my french teachers at school always said that english was harder to learn than french.

and yet, so many people learn english! is this because people who natively speak english are lazy in learning other languages? :/
the_mariska
Quote:
Tell me people. Am I right when I say that english is hard to learn? Just take a look at the examples given. So it is the truth that the english language is hard to learn.

Forgive me, but it seems to be a typical american's post Wink. As for me, it's the easiest language in the world, the only problem is different pronunciation for the same letters in different words. Fortunately, I got used to it, and after some time of learning one can actually predict how to pronounce a given word.

If you want, I can show you evidence why is English really easy compared with any other one Wink

And don't think that words that are written/pronounced the same and mean something way different happen only in English. They are called homonyms and there are plenty of them in all languages. In Polish, we have it even worse: we sometimes have two signs that are always pronounced the same (eg. U and ) and we have to remember which one of them should we use in a certain word Razz
DoctorBeaver
xkarenflowerx wrote:
i like the examples given ^.^ they are amusing.

english language is quite hard, yes. . my french teachers at school always said that english was harder to learn than french.

and yet, so many people learn english! is this because people who natively speak english are lazy in learning other languages? :/


English-speakers are not lazy when it comes to learning other languages, there just isn't any real need to. As Britain is an island, we don't have the volume of casual cross-border traffic that other European countries have. Therefore we don't have the contact with speakers of other languages to the same extent that, say, do the Dutch or Swiss (Switzerland, of course, has 3 internal languages!)

English is spoken by more people as a 1st or 2nd language than is any other. That is a result of empire. Plus, one has to consider that as the influence of Britain has waned over the past 100 years, that of the U.S. has grown. As that is also an English-speaking nation, it's not surprising that English is still the most widely spoken.

Most international commerce is conducted in English, air traffic control worldwide uses it, and as more people speak English than any other language, it makes sense for others to learn it. It's the nearest we have to a universal language.
Garnet
Grammar isn't the only thing that would be hard to learn, you have to look at vocabulary as well. When I was learning French the grammar was by far the hardest part, but after that the vocabulary wasn't too hard. Japanese is tricky because there are over 600 kanji (the characters that look more like pictures) and each one can have multiple meanings. The main alphabets (Hiragana and Katakana) and the basic grammar take maybe a year to master.

A sample of the challenge of learning English: How do you explain the "th" sound in "thesis", compare to the "th" sound in "there"?

A saw a student struggle with this yesterday. For some countries punctuationandsentenceformationcanbeapain.
alkady
Any language can be learned, When a child is young, They learn to speak the language of his parents. Althrough when you get older it gets harder to learn, I find Chinese is the hardest to learn, No alphabets only words and you need to know around 10,000 characters to be considered literate.
Team Hedgehog
Languages is hard to learn, especially if you're moving into another country of your homeland(the place you've been born).

I learned norwegian, turkish easily, but I started to learn English when i was 13 or something, and that was pretty hard that time, the teachers was always mad at me, i did'nt felt that place were the place I belong to learn..

But then video games maked me learn the language, i did'nt think any force could let me learn it, cuz it seemed so hard to learn.

The legend of zelda keeped me to learn it, and its easy-english too Very Happy

This is my story learning english, now im poining at German language, perhaps i must play video games at german language to learn that too? Razz
DoctorBeaver
Garnet wrote:

A sample of the challenge of learning English: How do you explain the "th" sound in "thesis", compare to the "th" sound in "there"?


Simple. Th is "thesis" is an aspirant, th in "there" is vocalised. Very Happy

By that I mean in "there" you make a noise with your vocal chords. In "thesis" it is done solely with the breath.
Garnet
DoctorBeaver wrote:
Garnet wrote:

A sample of the challenge of learning English: How do you explain the "th" sound in "thesis", compare to the "th" sound in "there"?


Simple. Th is "thesis" is an aspirant, th in "there" is vocalised. Very Happy

By that I mean in "there" you make a noise with your vocal chords. In "thesis" it is done solely with the breath.


We explained that though not as clearly as you did just there, but then 40 min later we finally clued in that his problem was why it would be said differently when it's spelt the same. "Why not say it the-sis?"

I find English has a lot of unique situations where the rules of pronounciation are changed. That really isn't one of them, but to someone who doesn't know much about the language it might seem stressful.
rightclickscott
Let me leave this thread on one simple note. It's only easy for the people who say it's easy because, probably, you've all grown up speaking it and learning it. Look at a Chinese man who would have just moved to America and see how hard it is for him to learn English. It may take him years to get it right. Most people can learn Chinese is a single semester's worth of work.
Soulfire
As far as I know, it is the hardest language of all to learn.
Blaster
gh0stface wrote:
English has to be one of the most difficult langauges out there. There are so many rules that are used in grammar which are sometimes broken because another rule over rides it. There are also phonetics which can confuse a lot of people where certain letters in the the word are silent such as "fight", "salmon" and some others. We also have similar words that sound the same but mean differnetly. Such as "they're", "their", "there".

That is my main point. That is why english is hard to learn. We have many different words that mean the same thing all of that. Our grammer is the hardest. In america it is important to know some spanish due to the high rise of mexicans moving here. French may seem harder to learn but it it fairly simple. Its also fairly simple for someone that speeks spanish to learn french due to it seeming the same.


Quote:
Forgive me, but it seems to be a typical american's post :Wink:
That is 100% true. That was typical.
Jack_Hammer
Of course English is hard to learn, it is a mixture of a lot of other lagauges and broken parts of langauges, then you have to account for accents. We have thausands of accents in England and English has changed a lot, but then we invaded the world and tought everyone else to speak English, so what do you expect?

--EDIT--
Plus, in early Victorian era there wasn't such a thing as 'spelling' you spelled things pheonetically, until somebody (I don't know his name) went through every word and wrote it down the way he spelt it so we all conformed to his version of spelling, not necasseraly how things were supposed to be or should of been spelt.
Blaster
The only thing that makes english easier to learn is if you already know it. And to be 100% honest no one knows perfect english. NO ONE! If I said what is a quack I would get a couple of different answers and they most likely would be wrong. Try me!
elincinerador
english a hard language?? try latin based languages... those are harder... or maybe some eastern languages... maybe it is hard to speak perfectly well english if it is not your mothertounge, but it isn't with any language at all.. i personally (i only use english in a few ocasions in school, in internet and sometimes while watching tv.. that's all the english i have) do not find it as a hard language to defend yourself, if you know what i mean
Blaster
Did you learn it when you were yonger? If you learned it when you where younger then yea it is easy. English is one of the hardest languages out ther to read, write, and speack.
the_mariska
Quote:
English is one of the hardest languages out ther to read, write, and speack.

Hope this 'speack' was written on purpose, wasn't it? I couldn't imagine a native making so obvious mistakes Smile

And - here are my arguments, that English is definitely easy. Very Happy

I. Within a tense, you almost do not change the form of a verb, no matter if you use I/you/my dear friends/whatever. Sounds not to clear, so here's an example, how to use the verb 'eat' in present simple tense, and how its Polish version - 'jeść' is used.

So here we go:
1. I eat - ja jem.
2. You eat - ty jesz.
3. He/she/it eats - on/ona/ono je.

1.We eat - my jemy.
2. You eat - wy jecie.
3. They eat - oni/one jedzą.

What do we see here? Except for one 's' in 3rd singular person, all the forms are the same. In Polish every ending is different, what is worse, different verbs have different endings in the present time, not mentioning other times Wink We don't have irregular verbs, cause every verb is irregular. And who said that English grammar is difficult?

II. The same goes about nouns. Here's an example of using the word 'woman' and Polish 'kobieta'.

1. Basic form: woman - kobieta
2. whose: woman's - kobiety
3. for whom I do sth: for a woman - kobiecie
4. whom I see: a woman - kobietę
5. with who I do sth: with a woman - z kobietą
6. about whom I think: about a woman - o kobiecie
7. my dear little...: woman - kobieto

So the only change in an English noun is a little s when talking about possesion. In any different situation you still use the same form of word. In Poland we have 7 of them (do I have to mention that every noun is irregular Razz ?). But if you think that Polish must be hard like hell, think of Finnish, there are 14, exactly twice as more.

Now, can you see why I consider English as such an easy language? Very Happy
roeenoy
be happy,
english is not hard so much
there are much more hard languages out of english..

languages like hebrew, germany, russion
thiamshui
lol.. those sentences are easy to understand.. indeed, words may come with many meanings but english is realli easy to learn.. unlike chinese where there are so many combination of strokes.. i hate chinese.. english rawks.. Very Happy
Gieter
My teacher French today said: "English is stupid, even Bush can speak it." And then he told something about the grammer, about how easy the verbs are. It's really easy when you compare it to other languages, like roman or asian langages.
nox-Hand
Hmm, I live in Denmark, but as my father is English, I have learnt English from when I was little. It's said that Danish is the hardest language to learn IN THE WORLD Laughing

nox-Hand
Blaster
Most of you that say english is easy knew it and have herd it all of there life. If you where to start learning english in 8th grade it would be harder. The english language has a lot of rules and false rules. For example deer can be singular or plural. There is a deer out there. Look at all of the deer. But goose would be. Look at the tiny little goose. There are thousands of geese out today.
junodark
English is easy. Heck, I started learning it when I was 2!

Just kidding. But I will say this: I found knowing English made learning French easier, and I find that it is also easier to gather information from most Hispanic-Americans, although I hear in Spain the dialect is much different and harder to understand to non-Spanish speakers.

But I am currently learning to read and write Mandarin Chinese, and it is way more difficult for me then any other attempt at learning a language that I have made.
Mithrandir
A bit of trivia: The English language has the largest vocabulary of any language.

Or at least thats what Encarta says. I think its pretty amazing just how crazy English really is. We're lucky to have been born into speaking it.
skygaia
I agree.. Engish is so hard to learn.
English is my second language. I have tried to learn english for long time.
but I donn't felt comfort to speak in English.
Foreigner, especially Asians, felt that English is so hard to learn.
Because, there are totally differenct grammar between English and other language(esp. Asian's language).

for example, English people usually say "subject" first and "verb".
but we always say "verb" at end of statement.

and there are some different pronouciation between English and other language. we don't have pronounciation of "Th", "z", "r".

so sometimes english people don't distinguish my words of "low" and "row"
^^
Reaper
Gieter wrote:
My teacher French today said: "English is stupid, even Bush can speak it." And then he told something about the grammer, about how easy the verbs are. It's really easy when you compare it to other languages, like roman or asian langages.
Your teacher has a good point but next time you see him tell him that he's bias because he is.
Gieter
'The hardest language in the world' is something relative. I'll give an example: my primary language is Dutch, and that's a Germanic language. So all Germanic languages are easier to learn for me, because my primary language is a Germanic language. Romanic languages will be harder for me.

Someone who has French as his primary language, will have a harder time with Germanic languages than with Romanic languages.

You can however, look at things such as alphabet, grammar, irregularities, and then you can make a list with on number one the most difficult language, but it will stay relative.
Gieter
Reaper wrote:
Gieter wrote:
My teacher French today said: "English is stupid, even Bush can speak it." And then he told something about the grammer, about how easy the verbs are. It's really easy when you compare it to other languages, like roman or asian langages.
Your teacher has a good point but next time you see him tell him that he's bias because he is.


You shouldn't take it seriously, he has a well-formed opinion on certain subjects but he's quite humorous. Don't take it seriously or personally, he just felt in the mood to attack Bush?
Kaneda
Quote:
The hardest language in the world' is something relative.


Very true. For a native speaker of English, some languages will be easy to learn, others won't. But it will be very different for, say, a native speaker of Finnish.

I found English to be probably the easiest of the languages I've learned. Might be because I started learning it at a relatively early age (since German was probably the second easiest, and I started on that a few years later).

Or it might be because both German and English are closely related to Danish (like, a large percentage of common English words descend from Danish/Norwegian/Swedish - window, cake, bang, sword, welcome etc. etc. - and a lot of others both languages inherited from French or German).

Spanish, French, Italian will be a bit harder for the English speaker. Most Eastern European languages even harder (except for probably Romanian). The most difficult to learn for speakers of Germanic languages are said to be Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin), Japanese, Korean and Arabic.

I know Chinese is hard - especially frustrating is he tonal aspect - but Japanese I find relatively easy. The grammar is pretty logical, the pronunciation makes sense - the main difficulty there lies in almost completely different vocabulary and the learning of - at the very least - 2000 kanji characters (and their different readings) along with the around 100 phonetic hiragana and katakana characters.

Difficulty lies in different aspects of each language. Danish is mainly considered hard because of possibly even more exceptions to grammar rules and pronunciation than even English has.

In other cases it's the complexity of the grammar itself, the vocabulary, the pronunciation, the alphabet/syllabary/logograms etc. And some of these different aspects of language are easier to learn for some people than for others - regardless of their native language.
Sakaki
english is not so hard but very different from many languages and therefore maybe a little complex to learn as a second language (depending on your first language)

English grammar is much more elaborated too i'd say being that the language itself hsa so much history.. for example:
for the japanese saying "Tom house" is pretty clear,,.. its Tom's house.. but in english we have to put 's to denote ownership...

Other language may have complex alphabets and such but easier grammar.. i think.
Blaster
Its not so hard to speek more of then it is to read and write. Our spelling makes little sense. Same is true with our grammer. There are 1000's of rules out there to follow. Like knob is knob when it is pronunced nob.
Jaime
No speaking a lot of English, but as all idioms are difficult at the beginning. With the daily practice they are more easy from learning.
GnoMs
LOL! You think english is hard? In our schools childs know it very well when they're about 15. I think this is one of the easiest languages in all world. If you think english is hard then think about chineese and japaneese! Smile
Jayfarer
Yes, you are correct, English is one of the harder languages to learn. There are all kinds of weird exceptions that require raw memorization. Other languages like French have a bit more structure.
Sakaki
GnoMs wrote:
LOL! You think english is hard? In our schools childs know it very well when they're about 15. I think this is one of the easiest languages in all world. If you think english is hard then think about chineese and japaneese! Smile


i agree chinese and japanese are diffiicult , but more so because of all the new elements you have to learn..But english grammar has rules for rules that are exceptions of rules O.o,
Anyways in general it is easier to learn another language when you're younger though.. for pronunciation and automatization of certain elements that is.
Blaster
That last part you said is so true. If you are taught young like when you learn english you are just going to think that you know the langauge. It gets you used to teh langauge just like english. And yes our grammer is harder to learn. The actuall letters isn't. In japanise, chinese, and koren it is different marks all together.
clip
still, english isn't really hard. It's our secondary language and I can speak and write the language fluently. ^^ Very Happy Well, most of us here in the country do, Very Happy
amusic
Yeah, English Grammar is very hard to catch up when someone is speaking. Someone has to think whether present/past/future tense while speaking if English is not his/her mother language. But for those who speak English, they can speak it out without thinking because they are used to it.
{name here}
It's not the grammar that's the hard part, it's the words and spelling. For each definition, there can be fifty words that mean the same thing and newer words for those things invented daily. This complicates further with the spellings of certain words and the rediculous spelling of words that can be spelled with a single letter(phone could have been spelt fone or fon). Polish has a difficult grammar, but the words and spelling are much more stationary than English, making it in theory, easier to learn.

For example, we can replace the word "oppose" with these words:

    object
    dissaprove
    debate
    dispute
    disagree
    contradict
    argue
    deny
    protest
    defy
    etc.

Source: Webster's New World Thesarus - published in 1990.
And we can spell "elite" like:

    eleet
    eliete
    eleite
    leet
    eleit
    eliet
    371373
    etc.


Many languages don't have as many ways to screw up the spelling and choose the wrong word as english does(ex. chinese).
schudder
Bah, we start learning English in what some would call 8th grade and most people can speak it quite well.

Now Hungarian and Finnish, that's a whole different matter!
I know Finnish people who have finished highschool and who still struggle with their grammar!
Gieter
Jayfarer wrote:
Yes, you are correct, English is one of the harder languages to learn. There are all kinds of weird exceptions that require raw memorization. Other languages like French have a bit more structure.


Well, I don't think that French isn't a logic, well-structured, logic language. There is definitely structure in it, but it doesn't makes it easier to learn! There are so many exceptions and rule you have to take into account, I find it much harder than the grammar of English.
mOrpheuS
We all already know English.
As it stands, we really can't pass a fair judgement as to how difficult this language really is to learn from ground up.
Ask those people who're absolute aliens to this language about how they feel.
They'll be out of words.


p.s. - sorry about that, just feeling a little punny tonight Laughing
Gieter
Dutch is my primary language, and since I learn English and French in school, I think I'm not that bad-placed to make a good judgement?

Oh, come on. Everybody knows the grammar, probably the hardest part to learn in a language, of English is fairly simple.
mOrpheuS
Gieter wrote:
Dutch is my primary language, and since I learn English and French in school, I think I'm not that bad-placed to make a good judgement?

Oh, come on. Everybody knows the grammar, probably the hardest part to learn in a language, of English is fairly simple.

As a kid, you can throw pretty much anything at a person and he/she will be able to learn it with ease.
But as an adult with almost stagnant brain development, learning those same "simple" things become all that more difficult.

For example ... now that I'm all grown up, I can't learn to believe in Santa and tooth fairies even if I wanted to.

Aw, come on ... I only said that in my last post to set a context ... for cracking my poor little punny joke, I don't need to defend that ! Laughing



But seriously, judging by the sheer volume of a grammar book, English is not the most difficult to learn.
However, it's quite a different thing when you talk about structural soundness or well formedness or organization or ... or just rules that make any sense.

In that respect, English is arguably one of the more difficult languages.
Put in practical terms, if you need to program a computer to be able to talk to you in English, you'll end up needing a whole lot more lines of code than you would for a structurally sound language like say ... Sanskrit.

But if you ask school kids what they'd rather learn, I doubt if anybody will pick Sanskrit over English !

p.s. - I'm sure there are more, please don't hang me for not mentioning you favourite language instead of Sanskrit Wink
Blaster
mOrpheuS you are right about that. Just remember there are some kids on frihost that still belive in that stuff. And yea things are easier to learn as a child. If you teach a kid at the age of two spanish and english that would be the way he would know things. That was how he was raised. So for that he would know two languages. When you are born you know no languages and you are taugth just by teaching your self. You learn just by hearing and talking it with most of the easy words. When you get to harder words then it requires you to study them words.

Kids also teach themselves different things like if he says i runned to the. He would then start hearing that it was ran and starts using ran instead of ran. Its all about how you hear others using words. For example slang changes and when you here different people using it then you start using it.

So the point is you are always learning. Its just that your mind learns faster younger. So it is really better to teach them at a young age. If you dont' learn things like that at a young age then yes it is going to be harder.

so all of you saying that english is easy you learned it at the right time in your life. If you where just learning it now you would think it is harder.
jayandsilo
The first post was exactly what I was going to post about.
mOrpheuS
Blaster wrote:
mOrpheuS you are right about that. Just remember there are some kids on frihost that still belive in that stuff.

Laughing yeah probably you're right. But that was only a joke.
maybe I should add a "spoiler" warning ? Wink

But come to think of it, if there are kids that young here, they should have no difficulty learning English !
palavra
i think english is difficult

it was influenced by so many language ( celtic , french , cerman)

it is a mixed language
Blaster
Yea i agree it is a mixed language. But look at portageese spanish and french. All are kind of alike. English isn't so much i dont' think. Its just our grammer that makes it hard.
standready
I am ooking at all the replies in ENGLISH here from around this planet. Need I say more!
I agree that learning a new language is a whole lot easier when you are very young. We just get to set in our ways as we get older.
Blaster
Yea it is harder to learn a language the older you get. I will agree to that. But i'm saying as you are older that learning spanish is easier then learning english.
alkutob
In my country Jordan , English is the coplex and complecated subject which most of students in school are suffering from.

Schools used to teach students the English language when they reach the fifth elementaryclass ,and that was until2001 .
But since 2002 there were new instructions which offer the English language from the first day of the students life 1st elementaryclass .

All this was changed due the sense of need of using English language in many different aspects in our life
Sappho
English was the easiest language to learn for me. I mean comparing to eastern european languages or asiatic languages is english a joke. Wink
Billwaa
I don't know why, but I think Chinese is harder to learn. Probably because there us no 'abc'
fx-trading-education
I do not agree that English is hard to learn.

I even think that it is one of the easiest language to learn (of course up to a certain level, it is more difficult to become an expert) at least enough that other people can understand you.
For instance, I have never learned English at school (I am French and took German and Spanish) and I can anyway manage English. Ok, I will not be able to write a book in English but at least I hope you understand what I write...

All other languages I have learned a little bit (German, Finnish, Estonian) are much more difficult. And I wouldn't think about chinese for instance.
jcvincent
Well I think you're right. Having to learn other languages at a young age makes us more capable of adopting it when we grow older. Just like me. I was taught to speak 3 languages when I was still young. So, today, I can speak and understand thoe 3 languages without getting confused what language am I listening or speaking.
eqfan
chinese is a esay language to study.You shuold try it Smile
Blaster
fx-trading-education wrote:
I do not agree that English is hard to learn.

I even think that it is one of the easiest language to learn (of course up to a certain level, it is more difficult to become an expert) at least enough that other people can understand you.
For instance, I have never learned English at school (I am French and took German and Spanish) and I can anyway manage English. Ok, I will not be able to write a book in English but at least I hope you understand what I write...

All other languages I have learned a little bit (German, Finnish, Estonian) are much more difficult. And I wouldn't think about chinese for instance.


Your english is good. I think it is anyway.

chinese might be hard because they use symbols and stuff same with hindi thai japanese and a whole lot of other languages. So yea i will agree that it is harder. But what i am talking about is things more like writting in english.
fx-trading-education
Quote:
chinese might be hard because they use symbols and stuff same with hindi thai japanese and a whole lot of other languages.


I think that is not only because of symbols but also because for some languages you need to think differently as the language is not constructed the same way as in western languages.

For instance, in Chinese basically 1 symbol means a word but for making some words you have to associate symbols and then ideas. For instance somebody told me that a market crash is represented by 2 symbols, one for crisis and one for opportunity.

As a joke, it is also said that for the symbol designing a woman, if you put 2 of them it means conversation and 3 of them scandalmorgering.
Wynand
I dont really think you can make an exception of the English language being hard to learn. I actually think the English language is easier to learn than other languages. Do not get me wrong. It is not easy to learn any language.

The reason why I say this is that English is a very dynamic language. Words with difficult spellings or words that dont sound like they are spelled are easily changed so that they are easier. This is not the case with other languages.
Bockman
(writing on yet another topic that was raised from the dead)

I cannot agree to the statement that english is the hardest to learn.

You are comparing something that cannot be compared. the ease of learning a language not only depends on when (age) you learn it, but also depends on your mother language.
I sometimes have difficulties with English, I lack some terms, but that also happens with my native language (as well as with other languages I learnt at the same time I studied English). It even happens to me not to remember a term in portuguese and know it in English AND French...

I could say Portuguese is the hardest language to learn, and I dont think many people will learn it correctly if it's not their native tongue. In fact, I see English people trying to learn it and having all sorts of problems.
Yet, I have seen some people who master Portuguese even though they've learnt it at the age of 40. Most of them are from Eastern Europe and have a similar native language, wich makes it easier for them.


My experience: All languages that do not descend from the same ancient language are harder to learn. And even within these, there are some easier than others, depending on the evolution of the language.

Be Well Cool

P.S. - You should try learning Portuguese Razz . After all, it's the 4th most spoken language in the world.
-C4-
English is pretty easy to learn, but then again I'm English so It wouldn't be hard. But in an African's point or view or any other Europeans then yeah it might be hard.
bdoneck
Well, yes that can be confusing, but an easy side of the English language is that words are only conjugated for tense. There are no feminine and masculine words that require all other words to be changed appropriately. I find that the most difficult thing to do in other languages, is to memorize which words are feminine and which are masculine.
Blaster
@bockman I'm learning spanish something simlar to porgueese. And i agree it is hard but then again so is french and polish. (both i'm teaching myself how to write them languages) Yea i'm only 14 years old and all. But someone like you bockman you should beable to know spanish faster then i would beable to learn it because a lot of the words are the same.
Sabrina
It's true that English is a difficult language. But I think it gets a lot easier if you're living in a country where everyone speaks English. I had to learn English in countries where the local people can only speak little English and it's been a struggle. Nevertheless, I think I'm doing alright. Just watch a lot of movies, maybe write and read a bit...that ought to help a bit.
SumPersonGuy
Ultima1080 wrote:
Yeah, I totally agree. However, in some forms of (correct me if I'm wrong) Russian, there are about 26 tenses. In English, we have past, present and future. So I don't think any language is really easy to learn Wink.


Yeah, English is one of the hardest, but not the hardest. It's opinion on which language is the hardest to learn. I've heard English is the hardest, Chinese, Russian, etc.
carlospro7
In my case, I'm going to have to agree and disagree. Some people do have a lot of trouble learning the language, but my case was different. I moved to the US several years ago. I took ESL classes along with a few other people in six months I was able to defend myself. After a year and a half, I was fluent and had almost no accent. My classmates, however, were not able to learn as fast as I did. I had more trouble trying to learn japanese than english. If you compare english to other languages it is definitely not as hard, but it doesnt mean it's easy
Blaster
yea i guess it depends on what ways you are looking at it too and how good of a learner you are. It also depends on who is teaching it and all. So i guess it all depends on who where when how you are. Very Happy
izcool
There are a few things that kill new people with English, like some of the examples in the beginning of this thread.

English has a lot of rules, although some of them can be bent, but cannot be broken without being laughed at or getting a bad grade on.

There's too many complex words that are in the English langauge, which were used at the time when things were more formal and had to be spoken confidently and proudly. Stuff like "I concur whole-heartedly with your statement" has made its way to "Fo shizzle my nizzle" in today's language. Although we don't learn this in school from our teachers (sometimes we do, although it always isn't in English class) it's made its way to popular culture in the United States.

I believe that each area of the world where people speak English devised their own set of Slang Terms, which is hard to compare at times with other languages. For instance, I think a Parking Lot in the United States would be called a Car Park in the United Kingdom. A Barbie in the United States is a Doll, and a Barbie in Australia is short for Barbeque.

Even the United States has it's own set of slang terms depending on their region. In the north, where I am, we use the word "Bag" instead of "Sack" when we're at a grocery store.

I live in Illinois, and I HATE it when people who are not from Illinois to pronounce the silent "S", it makes me want to punch babies. (Dane Cook moment there). That's another thing that's hard with English, where there are silent letters that are there, but should not be said aloud. Why are they there if they're not to be spoken ?

A lot of words in the English language have derived from other languages, like the word "Rendezvous" I think is a French word, which means to "Meet at a certain time and place". Although it's a sophisticated word, we have words like "Meetings" to make it easier to know what the meaning of the word is.

I know very little Spanish, but one thing I found out about the Spanish language is that a lot of things are either Male or Female. I cannot think of an example, but I think that's quite odd.

- Mike.
Blaster
You mean something in spanish like bunita or bunito with an a is femine with an o is mascaline.

But there is a lot of slang. That also makes it hard. Like in some places its pop and some its soda. Some its cold cuts some its lunch meat. Everywhere but in philly its called a philly cheesesteak. But in philly its just called a cheesesteak (this is a big thing to us from philly.
FunDa
English is sure a hard nut to crack.

Heard this one ?

An English professor is taking a class on postive and negative words ( I mean - affirmatives and opposites - not bad words)

He says, " English is so logical, like Math. Two negatives make a positive. A positive and a negative make the negative stronger.

For example - 'not bad' means good. 'pretty ugly' means very ugly.

Just like mutiplication of positive and negative numbers in Mathematics.

Similarly, two positives always make a stronger positive"

Got this much ?

Then a student calls out , "Yeah, right !"


Got it ?

English surely makes u nutty ! Twisted Evil
Meggsy
English was my first language and I've learnt Japanese at school. I believe any second language is hard to learn. I have an awful lot of respect for those people who can speak more than one language. Having said that, I would say English is more complex than say Japanese (and I thought Japanese was hard). English has so many rules and exceptions to the rules and then exceptions to those exceptions.

For example:

"'i' before 'e', except after 'c'"

A good example is 'receive'... but then you have 'science' which breaks the rule since 'i' is before 'e' and 'i' is after 'c'.

'Their' also breaks the rule as 'i' is not after 'e'.

I could go on all day, but I won't Smile
ohioliberty
It is so difficult to learn because we have absorbed so much of our language from other languages. French, German, Latin, etc have all been major influences on us.
heriass
You should try to learn Icelandic
jongoldsz
Well, even though it may be hard to learn, you don't have to conjugate verbs to the right tense... Besides that, there are tons of websites in english and programming is also in english... so there really isn't anything you can do about it.
Blaster
Yea true no conjigating verbs but all the way up untill 12 grade and even in college you are still taking english. So it must be hard or something if we are still learning it when were in our 20's
Karl
elincinerador wrote:
english a hard language?? try latin based languages... those are harder... or maybe some eastern languages... maybe it is hard to speak perfectly well english if it is not your mothertounge, but it isn't with any language at all.. i personally (i only use english in a few ocasions in school, in internet and sometimes while watching tv.. that's all the english i have) do not find it as a hard language to defend yourself, if you know what i mean


Or try danish most word are pronounciated in a different way than the spelling!

I don't think the basic english is that hard to learn.

But I don't agree with my prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Quote:
The danish should be world champions in english

That might be a little bit high goal to reach Laughing
roadruner
i've been learning english since i was about 5 or 6 so i've never had any problems with learning Smile
for me it's easier to speak english than my own Razz
Ducksteina
Imo, English is one of the most easy languages you can learn.
I'm German and have been learning English since I was 10 and must say German is a lot harder than English. The English grammar is much, much easier than the German one.
The only difficulty with English is the pronounciation. I have problems speaking 'th' correctly all the times. But that's just me. Smile
mceejaydee
It is hard to learn haha wow. But japanese characters are hard to remember Razz
_-WU-_-TANG-_
lol that's awsome.
-+Enigma_84958+-
in my opinion spanish is harder to learn
snjripp
Those who learn a difficult language (Eng or Hungarian for example) as their "Mother tongue" are really fortunate because it comes as though "natural." On the other hand I also think that people who learn latin based languages as their "Mother tongue" are also fortunate becasue there are so many related languages that become immediately accessible. One thing I really do wish is that we in the US could have a better variety of languages for our youth to take from the moment they begin school.
frozenhead
Well, I must admit is hard to learn the language the first time your into it. Just like any languages around the world, it have flaws in it.
Blaster
snjripp wrote:
Those who learn a difficult language (Eng or Hungarian for example) as their "Mother tongue" are really fortunate because it comes as though "natural." On the other hand I also think that people who learn latin based languages as their "Mother tongue" are also fortunate becasue there are so many related languages that become immediately accessible. One thing I really do wish is that we in the US could have a better variety of languages for our youth to take from the moment they begin school.


Yea we only learn a little bit of spanish in our school. I think we should start to learn spanish in 1st grade. Also i wish we had a more viraty in highschool too. But yea some langauges are hard when there not your mother tongue.
Gitesh
Blaster wrote:
Quote:
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8 ) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18 ) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend.


Tell me people. Am I right when I say that english is hard to learn? Just take a look at the examples given. So it is the truth that the english language is hard to learn.



Good sentences here you gave., but i dont consider it that hard to learn., the success of it most accepted language should go to its simlicity and ease to learn.
deanhills
frozenhead wrote:
Well, I must admit is hard to learn the language the first time your into it. Just like any languages around the world, it have flaws in it.
Would be interesting to hear what flaws you think it has! Smile

For me it is the double meanings of words that are sometimes so subtle that they have the potential of confusing/ruining communication either accidentally or by design. For example compare English with German, and with German in most instances a word means what it says. But in English it could be many things. I sometimes wonder whether the double meanings are a direct reflection of a culture that likes to use language artfully to elevate or bring people down in the subtlest of ways. Or to use words in a clever and masterful way to cover up or hide the truth. Don't know whether you've noticed also how often the word "perhaps" is used. So I sometimes see it as a language of duplicity. At other times I marvel at its richness and artful expression by some awesome English authors. Like DH Lawrence for example. Although there are some great English authors in the US as well of course. And now that it has become an international language I can't help admire what people with English as a second language is doing to it too. Almost as though they are straightening it out a little. Smile
Chellesei
English is one of the two official languages in our country (the other one is Filipino). I have been studying it since Kindergarten. The road signs, product descriptions, and some other things here are written or spoken in English. That's why for me, if I'll rate its difficulty from 1-10, I'll give 7.

Before, when I was younger, I got a hard time studying it too since it's just new to me. But now, I can study it with ease. Smile
loremar
Chellesei wrote:
English is one of the two official languages in our country (the other one is Filipino)

Both are equally difficult for me since I rarely speak them.
deanhills
loremar wrote:
Chellesei wrote:
English is one of the two official languages in our country (the other one is Filipino)

Both are equally difficult for me since I rarely speak them.
So what language are you speaking then? Your English sounds great to me. And you're from the Philippines? Or is this a tongue in cheek comment? Twisted Evil
loremar
deanhills wrote:

So what language are you speaking then? Your English sounds great to me. And you're from the Philippines? Or is this a tongue in cheek comment? Twisted Evil

I speak Cebuano, it's a dialect from where I live. I know two other Frihosters: tingkagol and johans speak the same language; they said they live here in Cebu.

When you say Filipino(the official national language), you're actually referring to Tagalog. It's the language that's been taught in school and used in TV shows but not necessarily spoken by many other Filipinos. So basically, there's two kinds of Filipinos. One knows two languages(natively speaks Tagalogs), the other knows three(speaks their own dialect).

I'm not so fluent in English as well. I usually spend several minutes just to write a comment, painstakingly checking my grammar just so not it sound so embarrassing. Just imagine how many hours I spend in Frihost when I am very active in P&R.
I'm almost like this guy in this picture: Very Happy


And everytime Bikerman trashes my comment, I'm like:

Damn you Bikerman, I spent two hours to write that comment!!!
deanhills
Hats off to you Loremar. My admiration has just gone up another notch. And I've learned something I didn't know before either. I thought there was only one language in the Philippines.

English of course also has significant dialects. Enough to sometimes completely confuse communication. When I moved from South Africa to Canada I thought it would be easy, particularly when I moved to British Columbia. Boy, does that place have an identity crisis as far as English is concerned. "Real" Canadian English leans more towards Oxford English spelling. Yet, there are of course quite a number of large American conglomerates in Canada with Guidelines and Handbooks using different spelling. The two don't always match up.

loremar wrote:
Damn you Bikerman, I spent two hours to write that comment!!!
I'm sure there are a number of people who are native English speakers, who can relate 100% with this experience as well. I for one have invested hours and hours of my time on posts in the Phil&Rel forum with the exact same consequences. Imagine, my posts are OK for all of the other Forums at Frihost, but I've been advised by Frihost Moderators that my posts may be more welcome outside the Phil&Rel forum! So you're doing pretty well considering that your posts must be up to scratch for the Forum. On the other hand, if they keep on recommending people not to post in the Phil&Rel forum there won't be that many left after a while, and those left may feel slightly intimidated to give their full and honest opinion. Particularly if they have come to the conclusion that the Moderators do not think that highly of their posts.
Chellesei
loremar wrote:

When you say Filipino(the official national language), you're actually referring to Tagalog. It's the language that's been taught in school and used in TV shows but not necessarily spoken by many other Filipinos. So basically, there's two kinds of Filipinos. One knows two languages(natively speaks Tagalogs), the other knows three(speaks their own dialect).


That's right! Actually, I can also speak Kapampangan (the main language in Pampanga but also used in some parts of Region III like my hometown, Bataan) because my mom is a native speaker of it. I always hear her speaking with this language with my aunties, uncles, and grandparents.
But she taught me more Tagalog than Kapampangan. That's because she experienced a hard time speaking Tagalog when she was still studying and she doesn't want us, her kids, to have a hard time too.

loremar wrote:

I usually spend several minutes just to write a comment, painstakingly checking my grammar just so not it sound so embarrassing.


Haha! Me too! Very Happy I always experience that as well. I read my replies for like four times or more. Rephrase, add, or delete some sentences to make my comments sound better (well, at least even just a bit better). Laughing
deanhills
Chellesei wrote:
Haha! Me too! Very Happy I always experience that as well. I read my replies for like four times or more. Rephrase, add, or delete some sentences to make my comments sound better (well, at least even just a bit better). Laughing
I'm completely impressed Chellesei. Here I thought I was the only one editing my posts to that extent. Smile
Chellesei
deanhills wrote:
Chellesei wrote:
Haha! Me too! Very Happy I always experience that as well. I read my replies for like four times or more. Rephrase, add, or delete some sentences to make my comments sound better (well, at least even just a bit better). Laughing
I'm completely impressed Chellesei. Here I thought I was the only one editing my posts to that extent. Smile


You're not alone. Laughing And hey, your posts are really good Dean. Very Happy
Insanity
I think what languages are difficult for you to learn is based on what language you learned first. For example, Chinese is difficult to learn for native English speakers because of the different tones required. English is only difficult because your language is not very easily relatable to it.
deanhills
Insanity wrote:
I think what languages are difficult for you to learn is based on what language you learned first. For example, Chinese is difficult to learn for native English speakers because of the different tones required. English is only difficult because your language is not very easily relatable to it.
That is very true. I'm really embarrassed to say this, but I've been unable to learn Arabic for perhaps the exact same reason. I've mastered the greetings and some basic stuff, but for the most part can't speak a single word of Arabic. Spanish however may be more doable for me. I'm a little lazy on top of everything too, so probably would have to really buckle down and apply some self-discipline. Smile
FunDa
Insanity wrote:
I think what languages are difficult for you to learn is based on what language you learned first. For example, Chinese is difficult to learn for native English speakers because of the different tones required. English is only difficult because your language is not very easily relatable to it.



My country(India) has 18 official languages.

I am fluent in 3 of them and also in English too.
Smile

If I have to learn one more of the other languages (I will probably have to - coz I might shift for better job prospects), I will find it much easier to learn compared to someone who knows only one other language
loremar
FunDa wrote:

My country(India) has 18 official languages.

I am fluent in 3 of them and also in English too.
Smile

If I have to learn one more of the other languages (I will probably have to - coz I might shift for better job prospects), I will find it much easier to learn compared to someone who knows only one other language

Wow, that's very linguistically gifted of you. These 18 languages, is it taught in school?
Here, English is taught since grade school until college. And yet I still find speaking it a bit of a challenge. Even constructing a sentence is not an easy task. Although over years, I have improved my vocabulary and the use of idiomatic expressions. Also I am more careful with the use of prepositions(e.g. for, with, about, etc.). I think people commonly makes mistakes with those. It's actually being so conscious with grammar which makes the task difficult for me.
donoob88
there are many different dialects here in Philippines, like the cebuano and kapangpangan, me i speak iloko, yep pinoy guys, it is not ilokano, it's iloko, ilokano are the people who speak iloko. hmm, we pilipinos don't know to speak the different dialect, we only know at most one (pure tagalog). me, two lokal dialects, iloko and tagalog, i can analyze cebuano/bisaya but not all.. Very Happy
D'Artagnan
why do you find it difficult, what is your native language,
I'm brazilian and I speak portuguese, and I find english one of the easiest languagest to learn.
deanhills
D'Artagnan wrote:
why do you find it difficult, what is your native language,
I'm brazilian and I speak portuguese, and I find english one of the easiest languagest to learn.
Maybe you're gifted as I'm gifted with German as a second language. Something just seems to click somewhere. I'm rusty now, but I'd be in Germany and in no time be able to follow a movie or understand when someone is speaking to me.

I'd say that there are people with English as their native language who have issues with English as well. I'm sure everyone can work on being good at any language if they do it diligently, but for some it comes easier than for others. It boils down to having an aptitude for the language.
Afaceinthematrix
I always thought that "ough" must be difficult for people to learn when they are learning English. Just consider these words:

Dough
Rough
Through
Bough
Etc.


Dough is pronounced like doe
Rough is pronounced like ruff
Through is pronounced like threw
Bough is pronounced like bow

So you have this same ough same that either makes an "oe," "uff," "ew," or "ow" sound...

I have English spelling; it is even hard for many native speakers because of nonsense like that. That is why I like Spanish. Everything is spelled exactly like it says and accents are really the only hard part although with a lot of words you can clearly hear where the accents are.
mm365
Smile learn it,say it,use it,,
Josso
mm365 wrote:
Smile learn it,say it,use it,,


Conquer English today with my three step programme!
lockwoodman
I learned Indonesian in school for 7 years. I only remember parts of it! English is my first language.
Maarja
FunDa wrote:
Insanity wrote:
I think what languages are difficult for you to learn is based on what language you learned first. For example, Chinese is difficult to learn for native English speakers because of the different tones required. English is only difficult because your language is not very easily relatable to it.



My country(India) has 18 official languages.

I am fluent in 3 of them and also in English too.
Smile

If I have to learn one more of the other languages (I will probably have to - coz I might shift for better job prospects), I will find it much easier to learn compared to someone who knows only one other language
I'm from the US, but my parents are Indian. As a result, my first language is English, although my parents have tried to teach me Hindi and Telugu.

It hasn't quite worked out.

Throughout High School I learned Spanish as my 'second' language - for whatever reason that has worked out a lot better. It might have something to do with the fact of the character base - I am assuming that since I know English my brain is wired to work with the Latin Alphabet. The Devangiri script, and the Hindi script doesn't quite work in my head - I can't process it. Perhaps you learning the various languages, and English allows your brain to be more open to processing more of these languages.
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