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English Language Questions For Non-native Speakers  
User currently offlineBNAOWB From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 396 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5239 times:

If you are not a native speaker of English, what was the most difficult part of learning English (aside from our very difficult spelling)? Are there any words or sounds that you still struggle to pronounce correctly? If you have learned other languages, was learning English harder or easier than learning the other languages? Are you able to easily recognize whether someone is American, English, Scottish, Irish, Australian, etc., by their accent? If so, when in your English learning did you become able to do so? Does spoken English sound at all similar to any other language you know?

114 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLuftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 1012 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5217 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
what was the most difficult part of learning English (aside from our very difficult spelling)?

Can't think of one (not even spelling, which I think is not difficult at all, try French!).

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are there any words or sounds that you still struggle to pronounce correctly?

Same as above.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If you have learned other languages, was learning English harder or easier than learning the other languages?

Waaaay easier than French, and even Spanish  
Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are you able to easily recognize whether someone is American, English, Scottish, Irish, Australian, etc., by their accent?

Pretty easy for me to distinguish between American, Australian and UK English, although I think I wouldn't be able to determine who exactly is Welsh, Irish or Scottish  
Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If so, when in your English learning did you become able to do so?

Rather early...

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Does spoken English sound at all similar to any other language you know?

No.

By the way: While in the US I was once asked if my dialect was British or Australian.  laughing 

[Edited 2010-03-18 14:51:42]


Et là tu montes encore plus haut et ça persiste, alors on vole
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5175 times:

Great topic!

As a German, I agree with every answer given in the reply above by Luftfahrer!

Additionally I have to say:

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 1):
Waaaay easier than French, and even Spanish

I am learning Spanish and it is way more difficult than learning English. This is probably because English is everywhere, even in the German every-day language nowadays (e.g. "meeting", "smoking lounge", "zapping", etc.). Another thing is that I am posting frequently here on A.net, that keeps my English knowledge up to date. Maybe I should register in some Spanish writing forum as well?

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 1):
Pretty easy for me to distinguish between American, Australian and UK English, although I think I wouldn't be able to determine who exactly is Welsh, Irish or Scottish

Same here, the Brit dialects are quite hard to distinguish for me. But the more English speaking people you meet while travelling, the easier is it to recognize where they are from judging by their accent.

And I have to say it again: The most easiest to understand English accent is "California English". The people there speak the best English IMO, very easy to understand! Place #2 on my list makes British English when properly spoken (A.net member MYT332 is a role model when it comes to this, he was talking to me and I could understand every word despite I already had 6 pints   ).

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 1):
By the way: While in the US I was once asked if my dialect was British or Australian.

Brits once thought that I am American, Americans once thought that I am a Brit. 

Patrick


User currently onlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5617 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
Place #2 on my list makes British English when properly spoken (A.net member MYT332 is a role model when it comes to this, he was talking to me and I could understand every word despite I already had 6 pints ).

That wasn't "British English"! That was "6 pint English" a totally different language!  

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

Quoting gemuser (Reply 3):
That wasn't "British English"! That was "6 pint English" a totally different language!

        

Hilarious! 

Patrick


User currently offlineDaysleeper From UK - England, joined Dec 2009, 838 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5134 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
And I have to say it again: The most easiest to understand English accent is "California English".

Do you think thats because of the movies? hence it would be the accent people are exposed too the most....

I spend alot of time in the USA and always thought the Boston/MA accent to be the most clear english. Although to me East and West coast people sound very similar anyway, not like the differances between North and South....


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5122 times:

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 5):
Do you think thats because of the movies?

No, that doesn't apply to the common German. We see all movies on TV in the German dubbed version. When you want to watch a movie in the original language, you must buy the DVD or go to the cinema.

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 5):
I spend alot of time in the USA and always thought the Boston/MA accent to be the most clear english. Although to me East and West coast people sound very similar anyway, not like the differances between North and South....

I agree, East-Coast English is also easy to understand.

Patrick


User currently onlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3416 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5103 times:
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I can not say it was difficult for me to learn English. I began my education by studying both French and Arabic. when i was 12 i started learning English. That's why it was easy. The lucky part that if i did the opposte English and then French i would have failed.
French is a much harder language to master. The only difficulty i face in English is while typing,can not do 2 things at a time type and correct spelling, to top it all my check spelling has not been working for a while.

Well i graduated from Cairo then worked in London for few years, the shock came when i was moved to the USA, i was posted in Montgommery Alabama, with all due respect, spoken English in those parts of the South has nothing to do with what i've learned, but people in the South are really very Friendly, they did not mind repeating what they say twice sometimes more so i can understand. Spent over a year there and really miss it.



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlineDaysleeper From UK - England, joined Dec 2009, 838 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5083 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 6):
No, that doesn't apply to the common German. We see all movies on TV in the German dubbed version. When you want to watch a movie in the original language, you must buy the DVD or go to the cinema.

Good point, I didn’t think about the dubbing. And I should have as, not so long ago I was reading an article about the Terminator movies. Well with Arnold Schwarzenegger being a native German speaker he wanted to do the dubbing, but the produces refused to let him as apparently his Austrian accent to the then West Germans would make the Terminator sound like a farmer LOL.


User currently offlineAM744 From Mexico, joined Jun 2001, 1773 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5068 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If you are not a native speaker of English, what was the most difficult part of learning English (aside from our very difficult spelling)?

Phrasal verbs and use of prepositions because there are no apparent rules. Those are the trickiest questions in exams because more than one answer appears reasonable. Mmm.... Is it 'married to' or 'married with'?   They are to be memorized or otherwise learned through use.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are there any words or sounds that you still struggle to pronounce correctly?

Not really. Buy I find that native Spanish speakers not proficient in English struggle with the 'th' sound and insist in pronouncing all vowels as long. Then again, movies, music and interaction with native speakers helps a lot. You can 'imitate' pronunciation, so to speak.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If you have learned other languages, was learning English harder or easier than learning the other languages?

Harder than the French that I've been teaching myself. From a Spanish speaker perspective, I've found that if you don't take English classes from an early childhood, you'll never become proficient, especially when it comes to speaking it. I know, because in my job we deal with US based staff on a daily basis, and there IS a difference between our staff members that took classes from childhood and those that learned as adults.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are you able to easily recognize whether someone is American, English, Scottish, Irish, Australian, etc., by their accent?

American, English and Australian, yes. If Scottish sounds like the guys in 'Trainspotting' then yes, I'd recognize it. Irish, no.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If so, when in your English learning did you become able to do so?

British and American from the beginning. Others, in advanced courses.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Does spoken English sound at all similar to any other language you know?

No.


User currently offlineracko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

Squirrel. Terrible word.  

User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 8):
Arnold Schwarzenegger being a native German speaker

He is from Austria, they are speaking a completely differnt language!  
Quoting racko (Reply 10):
Squirrel. Terrible word.

I agree!

Patrick


User currently offlineBNAOWB From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4995 times:

Quoting racko (Reply 10):
Squirrel. Terrible word.

If it is any consolation, my 6.5 year-old son, a native English speaker, cannot say it correctly.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 1):
Can't think of one (not even spelling, which I think is not difficult at all, try French!).

So far, it sounds like English is not difficult to learn for German speakers. Perhaps this is because English is considered a Germanic language? I was thinking that perhaps English is severely overrated as a difficult language to learn until I read:

Quoting AM744 (Reply 9):
From a Spanish speaker perspective, I've found that if you don't take English classes from an early childhood, you'll never become proficient, especially when it comes to speaking it.

So, perhaps, English is considerably more challenging for speakers of non-Germanic languages?


User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4986 times:

In all seriousness, when I was in high school in Miami, FL area, spanish became rather easy as a "second" language to at least communicate two ways even if not with perfect fluency. Fast forward to the late 1960's when I lived in Germany; out of respect I tried my hardest to learn all I could to communicate with my German guests, but was invariably confounded by the different "accents" between German states. It was very difficult, but I suceeded (I think) in not ofending anyone.

Having talked to many "foreigners", my consensus is that english is the most difficult anguage to learn "from start" for older people who have rarely or never had to communicate in english.

Hey, I'm about a trillion years old english-speaking person and I can't even get it right yet. Ahhwwl regahdz...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4980 times:

Growing up in NY but with German grandparents, I learned both English and Plaatdeutsch (a dialect of German that mixes English, German, Dutch and a bit of Danish). Speaking with German speakers here, I notice that many of them do not know what to do with the English "V" as in German the "W" makes an English "V" sound, except for some reason, when many Germans try to use the English "V" comically it morphs into a "W". Funny when you hear a German saying I am going for a Wisit instead of Visit. Two VERY different words, as any 8 year old English speaker will tell you.

Quoting Daysleeper (Reply 8):
Well with Arnold Schwarzenegger being a native German speaker he wanted to do the dubbing, but the produces refused to let him as apparently his Austrian accent to the then West Germans would make the Terminator sound like a farmer LOL.

Kindergarten Cop was on the other night here, dubbed in German. It was funny hearing an "average" German speak Arnold's dialogue, and not Arnold himself. I wouldn't mind him doing his own voice in the dubbing, as he doesn't speak Schwyzerdütsch.  



Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4972 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are there any words or sounds that you still struggle to pronounce correctly?

For me it was first hard to pronounce v and w correctly, in Finnish they sound the same.
And still I sometimes mix 'he' and 'she', the Finnish grammar doesn't separate genders. And all the prepositions in English, they don't always come naturally to me, once again different from Finnish...

As my native language is not a Germanic language, not even Indo-European, it hasn't given much help with learning English. Luckily the language studies start early in Finland, usually from the 3rd grade.

[Edited 2010-03-18 18:48:44]

User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4939 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Reply 12):
So far, it sounds like English is not difficult to learn for German speakers. Perhaps this is because English is considered a Germanic language? I was thinking that perhaps English is severely overrated as a difficult language to learn until I read:

Pretty much and it works the other way too.

Example:

Hallo - Hello
Ja - Yes
Nein - No
Haus - House

Speaking English opens up a lot of languages, especially European ones. Knowing even a little bit of German, I can read a little bit of Danish and Swedish as well. Don't even ask me about speaking it though   I can say "Kan du hjælp mig? and that's about it  

German I found very easy to learn with a lot of things sounding similar. The grammar was a different story though... and people say English is hard to learn, we don't have 16 words for "the"! (Yes, sixteen...). I'm sure even complex German isn't too hard but anybody can speak basic German provided they speak English fluently. Some stuff is just backwards though - for example, the word for gloves is handschuh. Translated literally it means handshoes.... Care to explain that, Deutsch-lautsprache?  

French was a pain in the arse though - I hated it. I can only remember Je mal à la tête (I have a headache) and that's about it.


User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4930 times:

Quoting Andaman (Reply 15):
And still I sometimes mix 'he' and 'she', the Finnish grammar doesn't separate genders.

Yep, same here. I would not call it "mixing", but "slipping", it's so instinctive. To me spelling has not been a major problem. What has taken a lot of work however is the use of the English articles (a/an & the) Here again, our major branch of languages does not formally have any, most Finns would underuse and walk away happy.

English is a such a mishmash. In Finnish one can for instance add "epä-" to the beginning of almost any word, and hey presto you will have it negated. English has got "un-", "in-", "non-", "ill-", "anti-" and that's just the beginning.


User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4839 times:

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 17):
Yep, same here. I would not call it "mixing", but "slipping", it's so instinctive. To me spelling has not been a major problem. What has taken a lot of work however is the use of the English articles (a/an & the) Here again, our major branch of languages does not formally have any, most Finns would underuse and walk away happy

I don't mean to sound rude, but why do these cause a problem? It follows a very easy rule (An for A/E/I/O/U and A for everything else) but then to me that might just seem easy because I only speak English fluently.

Also, why does "The" pose a problem? It's part of how to construct a sentence, much like adding a descriptive word except we only have 1 word for "the". We don't give a crap about gender and case like the Germans or the French  


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10886 posts, RR: 37
Reply 19, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4827 times:

I had the Beatles to learn English - from 1962. - This is how it started
-writing the song titles by memory-

She loves you
Love me do
Please please me
I saw her standing there
Twist and shout
Anna
Do you want to know a secret
Taste of honey

I went to see them in concert. Once in London and once in Paris. I was way too young for Hamburg.
I followed them from beginning to end. I was proud to have them Fab Four for private English tutors.
Learning English wasn't difficult with the Beatles.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1441 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4787 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If you are not a native speaker of English, what was the most difficult part of learning English (aside from our very difficult spelling)?

English is propably one of the easiest languages when it comes to spelling... In "most" cases, pretty straight forward... I learnt English when I was 11 in a matter of months...

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are there any words or sounds that you still struggle to pronounce correctly?

Nope, not really...

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If you have learned other languages, was learning English harder or easier than learning the other languages?

Definitely easier... I started studying French in high school and even though it has been over 15 years, I still can't speak or write French properly...

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are you able to easily recognize whether someone is American, English, Scottish, Irish, Australian, etc., by their accent?

Yep... I can even tell if the person is French or German or Swiss, Russian, Chinese or Arabic when they are speaking English   Of course if they have an accent....

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If so, when in your English learning did you become able to do so?

Right after I started traveling internationally and started watching movies in their original languages...

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Does spoken English sound at all similar to any other language you know?

There are words that are similar in many languages but none of them resembles English directly in my experience... However, recently when I was in the Philippines, I thought their language sounded like "American English" probably because they were using English half the time when they were speaking in their own language... Any enlightenment on that?

Quoting Andaman (Reply 15):
the Finnish grammar doesn't separate genders.

Same goes for Turkish... Probably because of the similar roots of both languages I guess... When you are talking about your boyfriend/girlfriend, you can do so for hours without making the other person realize if it's a he or she that you are talking about...Helps a lot  



Coffee - Tea or Me?
User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 495 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4764 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 16):
German I found very easy to learn with a lot of things sounding similar.

That's funny. I've had a very hard time studying German. Its very similar to Dutch and yet I have a hard time being understood in German.

English is a more different language, and I was not having too much trouble learning it. I quess you'll have to judge whether its on an acceptable level or not.


User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4758 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are there any words or sounds that you still struggle to pronounce correctly?

Nope. My English is quite good, I can even recognize mistakes in other people's grammar (like, he is speaking English, should be he speaks English, unless he is indeed talking at the time of course). I learned English at a young age, about 7/8 years. How? From TV!!! When I was young, I lived in Surinam and we had US and UK programming without subtitles. At some point, I just started to understand what they were saying.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
If you have learned other languages, was learning English harder or easier than learning the other languages?

Very easy, see above.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Are you able to easily recognize whether someone is American, English, Scottish, Irish, Australian, etc., by their accent? If so, when in your English learning did you become able to do so?

It's not always easy, but some people have a very pronounced accent and some don't. Americans are usually pretty easy to spot, however Canadians can sometimes sound quite similar. The Irish do have a unique accent (which I find very charming with women, haha). Aussies are usually also easy to spot.

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Does spoken English sound at all similar to any other language you know?

No, not really.



L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4759 times:

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 21):
That's funny. I've had a very hard time studying German. Its very similar to Dutch and yet I have a hard time being understood in German.

English is a more different language, and I was not having too much trouble learning it. I quess you'll have to judge whether its on an acceptable level or not

I've heard spoken Dutch and it sounds very unlike German. Written, it does look very similar though. The Dutch spit too much for my liking.  

Your English is good for the most part. There's a few grammar mistakes and 1 spelling mistake but I had no problems understanding it. I find most Dutch people to be very fluent in English as well as having almost no accent, much like the Danes and the Germans.


I'll bold the corrections for you. (Not to be patronising, I know how hard it is to get all the apostrophes in the right place, I had to learn it once too  )

That's funny. I had a very hard time studying German. It's very similar to Dutch and yet I have a hard time being understood in German.

English is a much different language, I didn't have too much trouble learning it. I guess you'll have to judge whether it's on an acceptable level or not.

[Edited 2010-03-19 02:13:45]

[Edited 2010-03-19 02:39:42]

User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1441 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4749 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 23):
and I didn't having too much trouble learning it.

"I didn't have too much trouble learning it" maybe  



Coffee - Tea or Me?
25 Post contains images Kappel : One more correction: I didn't HAVE too much trouble learning it
26 Kappel : Haha, you beat me to it...
27 vandenheuvel : Thank you for that. It's shocking to see how much is actually wrong. The Guess thing is very obvious now, as it's not the same as the beginning of th
28 Post contains images ajd1992 : Ok, apparently my English is worse than yours To be fair - I am surviving on 5 hours of broken sleep and I'm quite stressed at the moment as I've got
29 Post contains images vandenheuvel : Why is that? I haven't corrected you for anything. Time for a difficult word, I sympathize for you. Driving tests are terrible. Good luck though Tim,
30 SOBHI51 : I went through that test. One advice make sure that you look often at the back mirror and remember, right, left and right again. Brake a leg.
31 Post contains images ajd1992 : TurkishWings and Kappel did It was just a really obvious mistake so I corrected it. Thanks for the good luck, I'll be honest, I'm not feeling that gr
32 AverageUser : Actually, U is often preceded by an "a" as well ("e.g. a university"). The choosing between a/an is not the problem. The problem is to grasp why you
33 jush : Are you serious? Real Germans have the strongest accent I know. Well at least they range up high with Indians in one league.
34 Kappel : Haha, don't worry about it. That happens to everybody. Haha, big difference indeed. Just to point out, it's: "I used to mix up Which and Witch". This
35 gemuser : The first means "going [on to] the sea", such as a sailor or ship does, where as" go to the sea" means going to the beach or shore line. Gemuser
36 Post contains images vandenheuvel : And yet it's emberassing Thanks for correcting me again. It has something to do with a very bad english teacher. If she's worth being called a teache
37 goldenshield : I'm not an English teacher (far from it, really,) but as far as the A/AN rules go, I've found that there are exceptions to both, as it entirely depen
38 AverageUser : Yep, that's a difference a small word does. In my line of work they will have to come out just right, so there's this project to imitate a (or is it
39 Kappel : Hear is "luisteren" and hearing from you is, "van je te horen". That's the difference. Similar to the which and witch argument I guess, hahaha.[Edite
40 vandenheuvel : Kappel, thanks again for your advice. It makes so much sense when it's explained like this. I think you could make this so clear because you can also
41 Kappel : If you want a good laugh about many common mistakes made in English by Dutch speaking people (myself certainly not excluded, I've made some very funn
42 CXB77L : I was born and raised in Hong Kong. Learning English was extremely difficult for me, despite the fact that I had a few classes in English when I was i
43 AM744 : Sure. I know people that claim to have become proficient in Portuguese in one year and in French in eighteen months. Both are Romance languages. On t
44 seemyseems : For some reason, I find it really easy to pick up on German words and phrases. Perhaps its the Germanic link. However learning French is very hard, ma
45 Post contains images ajd1992 : It might be strong but it's very easy on the ears and understandable (at least to me). I've spent a lot of time in Germany as well as doing it at sch
46 SOBHI51 : So how did you do in the test???
47 UAL747 : I learned French from 5-12 grade. The problem I still have with French is the Le's and La's. I don't understand the need to categorize things as mascu
48 mayor : That's not as funny as it sounds. I've noticed that non-native English speakers tend to pick up the accent of whoever they were learning English from
49 Post contains images ajd1992 : I passed 4 minor faults, all really stupid mistakes and she was a right miserable cow but I passed. First time as well, I have bragging rights That d
50 mayor : Well, I have mentioned it, once or twice, before, BUT, since I'm a Yankee, I've learned to keep my mouth shut about certain things I've discovered. C
51 SOBHI51 : Congratulations, and from the first time, that's an achievement.
52 Zentraedi : lol, my mother(non-native) still has trouble with that word. It comes out as "skerl". That reminds me of Japanese. Gloves are literally "hand-bag" (
53 Post contains images ajd1992 : English is a Germanic Language while French is a Romance one. It's like comparing apples to oranges, while say for example, English and German or Dan
54 Post contains links AverageUser : The English rules have no doubt become clear by a native language acquisition, but for instance here's a study that shows that Vietnamese learners fi
55 Zentraedi : It was really the sheer number of cognates that made it feel that way. Often times, the French uses the exact same word, just with a funny accent. Th
56 Post contains images GrahamHill : And we don't understand how come you don't need to categorize things! For the English language, what I find the most difficult is the pronounciation
57 Zentraedi : Always fun listening to a frenchman or japanese saying the word "sixth".
58 Post contains images Andaman : My Turkish friend thought the same, but the linguists say Finnish and Turkish are not related. True! I once managed to mix up the words Nipple and Pi
59 BNE : MYT332 has a neutral English accent so he is able to be understood, although when drinking I think the term drunken gibberish could be a language all
60 AverageUser : Nevertheless, the languages share important features in morphology (the agglutinating principle) and in what is known as vowel harmony. My anecdotal
61 Post contains images KiwiRob : Are you sure they are Aussies not Kiwis Even as an native English speaker trying to decide if someone comes from Birmingham or Manchester is difficul
62 Post contains images ajd1992 : I'm glad we have 26 letters, then. That sounds so counter-intuitive. The actual words weren't the problem with me - there are a lot of loan-words in
63 Post contains images Kappel : Haha, I know about these things. Recently I met a few Canadians. I was wondering whether they were Americans or Canadians, until I heard them say "ab
64 lewis : There are two things that Greeks have trouble with while learning English: 1. Prepositions and the use of to, on, at, in, especially the differences b
65 kachum : For Russian speakers, I think, the most difficult concept is the use of articles. This is one step for man, or this is one step for a man, the differe
66 Post contains images jush : Yeah right if you put it that way. But I reckon the "language" the Scots are speaking isn't English They just use the same words but in reality a who
67 Post contains images ajd1992 : As a German speaker you're probably right - I can understand most Scots however thick their accent (barring on the phone - I've had to hang up in the
68 Okie : I have ran into this problem several times, especially when dealing with translation to Mandarian: Do not know if it was the translator or the termin
69 Post contains images N1120A : I think Germans usually can, but I have run into people from a lot of countries, especially Asian ones (and I mean all of Asia for this), who can't t
70 BNAOWB : So, is the Bristolian accent closer to the American accent than the Irish accent is? To my ears, Irish sounds the closest of the "British Isles accen
71 N1120A : I think so. The main reason being that they pronounce the letter R like we do. For example, they say Credit Card as opposed to Credit Caahd. I disagr
72 Post contains images aznmadsci : Great post! It's interesting to read how people have dealt or are dealing with learning and speaking English! Yes for the most part, most Pinoys can n
73 Post contains images Braybuddy : Thing is, it's funny how "foreigners" talk about generic accents, such as Irish, English, American etc, and I have to admit, I'm guilty of that mysel
74 ajd1992 : Not to be rude - but there's no such thing. There's a saying that if you move 5 miles in any direction in any of the UK countries - you have a differ
75 Post contains images BNAOWB : Sorry for the faux pas. I will now refer to them as solely "The Irish Isles" So, do any of those accents sound any closer to the stereotypical Americ
76 Post contains links SepulTALLICA : Wrong. Thanks to the Norman Invasion of 1066, both French and ultimately Latin (via the monks in The Church) were introduced into the English languag
77 Post contains links and images ajd1992 : Oh, trust me, if you heard a Liverpool accent you'd wonder if they even spoke English If you were in this country, people would know you were foreign
78 Zentraedi : I've spoken to many who were able to drop that accent when talking to me. Also, I've never met any American raised 2nd gen kids with that have that a
79 Post contains images Wolverine : I started to learn english, at the age of 8. I never had major problems with it. After 3 years, I started, listening to the armed forces radio, to imp
80 N1120A : As SepulTALLICA said, that is incorrect. Indeed, there are often a French and a German based word for the same thing. Like when you can describe some
81 Zentraedi : Yeah, you've probably just encountered a few FOBs that were in domestic labor. Being half Filipino myself, I'm quite familiar with the community. I h
82 BNAOWB : Yes. I had in mind the relatively neutral American accent of newcasters. Certainly, there are many American accents, U.K. accents, Irish accents, etc
83 mayor : Don't forget that those newscasters usually went to school to lose whatever accent they had in the first place. American accents can, obviously, vary
84 aznmadsci : My favorites are the Hispanic newscasters speak clear English without a hint of their Spanish accent. But once they say something Spanish or even giv
85 Post contains links Braybuddy : They're not close, but there are times when some words spoken in a soft Northen Irish accent can sound very like the American version. The pronouncia
86 N1120A : All but a few Filipinos I went to high school with (probably about 50 of them) had accents that were not the regional accent. That's not true. You li
87 mayor : There are many, many Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians that settled in this area in Arkansas after the Vietnam War. They've been here long enough th
88 EddieDude : Getting rid of the accent. Non-native English speakers think I am American when they hear me, but native-speakers know from the beginning that I am n
89 ME AVN FAN : Not a part but rather "moments". For instance when being for three months in London, starting 28Sep, I after some 7 weeks realized that I no longer m
90 Post contains links and images David L : I'm surprised to hear people saying that they find English spelling easier than French or German, for example. Once you learn the rules of German pron
91 Don81603 : People have told me that, due to the way English has been hybridized, it is THE most difficult language to learn... Speaking it correctly can be a ni
92 AverageUser : I personally store the English spelling in a phonetic (Finnish) form in my mind. Among fellow learners, we'll be able to communicate the exact Englis
93 Centre : For that reason I made sure to get a spanish babysitter for my baby. When moving to Toronto will enroll in him in a daycare with a majority of chines
94 Post contains images Centre : Try Minnesota, Alabama and some parts of Georgia Very nice people btw
95 Zentraedi : Japanese is way worse than English on both counts. You're got native words, Chinese origin words and English. English loan words are often used to se
96 kiwiandrew : As a native English speaker I have to say that I am often struck by the high quality of English of non-native speakers compared to native speakers pro
97 Post contains images sebolino : Some sounds are really difficult for French speakers : - th (horrible for begginers) "the" becomes "ze" , "thing" becomes "sing" or "fing" - r and w
98 Post contains images David L : I don't blame you! ... and "Marathon" becomes "Snickers".
99 HAWK21M : Never had a problem learning languages out here.....& there are quite a few. English Spelling with UK & American English words do cause some c
100 dc9northwest : How to recognize an Australian accent: If the words ends in "er", expect an "ah" pronunciation. If the word ends in "a", expect an extra r at the end,
101 Mortyman : Can't say I had any problem. We start learning english at school from 12 years age here in Norway, but English is such a widely used language from TV,
102 flanker : I didn't have a hard time learning English. Its actually way too easy to learn. Anyone can do it. Just watch TV at least 3 hours a day. The most anno
103 geekydude : Same here with Chinese. It's not only that certain sounds in English do not exist in the Chinese language (like the "th" sound), but also the whole g
104 Post contains images AirPacific747 : Not so difficult to learn. The spelling is easy as well - However, I consider myself good at spelling no matter the language. I quickly pick up and re
105 Post contains images ajd1992 : It's really easy, it's just like "tre" but with a "th" sound instead of a "trrrr" sound
106 AirPacific747 : I've lived in Canada (english speaking part) for a year, and I've had an American girlfriend for 2 years and I still don't know how to pronnounce it.
107 BNAOWB : You are certainly not alone in this. Here is a quote I found from a language expert (on a website about learning languages): "English uses some diffi
108 AverageUser : That's plain nonsense. This teacher overgeneralizes from the particular difficulties his learners speaking the national languages of Switzerland will
109 ME AVN FAN : He is COMPLETELY wrong. He however of course is right in so far, and that applies to ALL languages, that you should have spent some time in an area w
110 HT : A term coined by the SAP-company : "Usage decision" (for an Inspection Lot). Frequently and colloquially it gets abbreviated as "UD" -HT
111 Post contains links Shamrock137 : As someone who lives close to Boston I cant help but laugh a little. To me, I would imagine a true Boston accent would be harder to understand. While
112 Post contains images airdolomiti : I started studying English when I was 6 and I can't remember ever having difficulties learning it. In fact, I liked it so much that I pretty much adop
113 Braybuddy : WIth a lot of eastern European workers migrating here over the last decace, particularly Poles, they have mastered the language to varying degrees, bu
114 kiwiandrew : I well remember working in a hotel in Fort William in Scotland , one of the waitresses was French and had been sent over by her parents to improve he
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