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Did You Find English Hard To Learn?  
User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2948 times:

OK, this is directed to non-English native speakers. My question is, did you find english hard to learn? If so, what is it that you found difficult?

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2935 times:

No, but that's because I'm not from Pennsyltucky.


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineAviationfreak From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1166 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2930 times:

English is practically our second language. We almost speak it naturally. But I have to admit, my English is the worst of most Dutch members. On the other hand I see big mistakes from native English speakers also and that comforts me a bit.

I have troubles with when to use: will/shall, on/in/at, then/than.

The word unfortunately is almost impossible for me to pronounce and I have a worse Dutch accent, especialy when I'm tired which is the case all the time because I venture too much in the forum and therefore don't have sufficient sleep.

All the best,
Sander



I love both Airbus and Boeing as much as I love aviation!
User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

When you use will/shall, either will mean the same thing. Shall is more formal.

with on/in/at, I can't really help you out there  Smile

Then/Than. Use Than when saying something like "bigger than, smaller than, faster than, slower than". For everything else, use then.

Good Luck
Ben


User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2909 times:

Not that hard to learn. But it's not a very logic language (twelve -> dozen; teeth -> dentist; mouse -> mice; child -> children). Studies show there are twice as much dyslexic persons in English than in French, because of English inherent lack of logic.

An English teacher once told us the joke about the word "ghoti", which is pronounced "fish". "Gh" -> f, like in "rouGH"; "o" -> i, like in "women"; "ti" -> sh, like in "cauTIon"...



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2904 times:

As a Malaysian, I wouldn't call learning english hard because of the english-friendly environment in my country. However unlike Singapore, english has no official status here but it is a second language for most people. For comparison, most of my japanese friends complain that their english is bad because their homogenous society doesn't give much room for them to practice english in their everyday lives. As a child I also I learnt quite a lot from TV - here, english programmes are subtitled rather than dubbed so we get to learn new words & expressions.

We learn english from the first day of school (we start kindergarten at the age of 6) until we graduate from high school (age 17). It is a compulsory subject at school and since 2 years ago, all maths- and science-based subjects are taught in english (I'm not too keen on this actually). The majority of university courses are taught exclusively in English.

I've been learning french for more than 10 years now but still I can't speak the language properly. Two years ago I lived for a month in french-speaking switzerland so I had the chance to speak nothing but french. It had boosted my confidence and if that short period could really improve my french, imagine how it would be like if I could stay there for a year. I suppose the same goes for english. You really need to use it in your daily life rather that just in the classroom.


User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2897 times:

Studies show there are twice as much dyslexic persons in English than in French, because of English inherent lack of logic.

English has a lot of inconsistencies because it is germanic in origin but is highly influence by italic languages especially french and latin. French and germans have their own fixed rules which makes them easier to learn (i.e. more logic). Combining 2 different sets of rules would confuse things further and the result is english language. A mess  Smile


User currently offlineArcano From Chile, joined Mar 2004, 2408 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2896 times:

HI

I've been studying English since I was 6, so it was very step by step. I think one of the big issue for Spanish-speaking people is to learn how to pronounce it. But actually English grammar is much more simpler than Spanish, we have more verb forms, temps and every verb chances according to the person, so you don't pronounce the verb the same if you are speaking about "I", "You" or "They".
obviously I still make mistakes, specially when writing, the most difficult thing to do in English for me. As for the "latino accent", my pronunciation is very good indeed, and when I speak with English mother language persons, they don't get I'm Chilean/Hispanic/Latino/whatever. Actually I met two southafricans last year Argentina, and they didn't believe I was from Chile "you speak so "American" they told me. This is probably because I learned from US people at school since 6, so I'm very used to American accent.

The most difficult thing for me is when you change a verb adding a suffix, and I don't always get the difference between "Take in/out/up/down/over/on" or "get up/down/away/on", etc. And it's not obvious for us when you add "out" to "find" you get "discover". See? And as Aviationfreak said: I always get confused about "on" and "in". I'm OK with the others.

Arcano )(



in order: 721,146,732,763,722,343,733,320,772,319,752,321,88,83,744,332,100,738, 333, 318, 77W, 78, 773 and 380
User currently offlineCsavel From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1363 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2892 times:

Studies show there are twice as much dyslexic persons in English than in French, because of English inherent lack of logic.

I need to see a source or a citation for such "studies." While English isn't logical, there is *no natural language* that is logical. Inherent lack of logic? As opposed to what other language? I think that comment is perhaps more directed at some English speakers, specifically south of the border, rather than English language itself. In that, I can't really argue with you!

You take a look at any language, from French to German to Japanese to Hawaiian and you'll see an "inherent lack of logic." And thank God for that too, since that is what makes life so fun.

Mes deux centimes



I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
User currently offlineMEA310 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2002, 660 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2882 times:

By far the easiest language there is around.Lebanese people are known by speaking French & English,I personally found English to be much easier than French,though I'm good in French.

MEA310



M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
User currently offlineJutes85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2872 times:

I only started learning English when I was 12, and I finished off with English Honors in High School, and I'm not a scholar. Its the easiest and most used language in the world - In general terms, not population.

User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2866 times:

I was "dropped into cold water" at the age 9, when my family moved to... of all places to learn English... Houston, Texas. I didn't know a word of English at the time, but had to get used to it quite quickly, because - after three days - my parents put me into a regular public school.

The company my father worked for got us an English teacher, and about 6 months later, I was fairly fluent in the language - and another 12 months later, after we had moved to Thousand Oaks, California, my English teacher didn't even know that I was not another kid that had grown up in the US: he found that out after I had been in his class for about half a year...  Big grin

So for me, English was quite easy to learn, but - as with all languages - if you're in an environment in which you have no choice but to use the language that you're learning, you'll learn it a lot quicker than you would if you were "dry learning".

Today, some 23 years (almost to the day) after being put into Springwood Branch Elementary School in Houston, English is still somewhat of a second "native language" for me: I frequently think in English, I dream in English (at least more frequently than in German), and most books (around 98%) that I read are in English.

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 43
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2839 times:

As opposed to the Latin classes, English was a piece of cake. Then again, nobody speaks Latin - it just might be useful to have that certificate.

I like English for being a language that you can communicate in without having to learn a lot. No declensions, no conjugations and so on; it makes it a lot easier than German.

for nouns:

der Mann
des Mannes
dem Mann
den Männern

die Männer
der Männer
den Männern
die Männer

as opposed to

the man
the man's
the man
the man

the men (Whew... getting difficult!)
the men's
the men
the men


for verbs:

ich gehe
du gehst
er sie es geht

wir gehen
ihr geht
sie gehen

as opposed to

I go
you go
he she it goes

we go
you go
they go



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineAirKas1 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 3996 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2833 times:

I didn't find it that hard. I learned all of my english when I lived on Bonaire. I would watch TV with no subtitles.

So after a few years I got the hang of it and back in Holland I could do my english classes with 1 finger up my nose (not literally Big thumbs up)

Kas


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6453 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2834 times:

I began learning English in 1957, German the following year. Not much of a problem really.

Not until some five years ago when I began to communicate on a regular basis with Scotsmen on the phone. Tell me, why can't Scotsmen learn to talk a proper English?

I understand Italians much better even if I have never learned one word Italian. But they talk with the arms, and even on the phone you can hear how they move their arms.




Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineEspion007 From Denmark, joined Dec 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2818 times:

well i moved to the country when i was 3,so i picked it up pretty well-what i find really hard is listening to grammer lessons in english class.grammer is so boring,i know how to speak well english! Big grin


Snakes on a Plane!
User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2818 times:

I began to learn english when I was 5 years old and started in kindergarten. I didnt have much of a choice since it was an american school...

English was not hard for me to learn. German and French were a lot harder though!


User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2809 times:

Hi all, Thanks for your comments. It's really interesting to hear it from all of your point of views!

Aloges, I know what you mean. I am doing my German A-Level (Abitur) at the moment and I do it a very challenging language. The hardest thing in the German language (or the hardest thing I have learnt about up to this date) is the passive tense. For Example:

ich wurde beobachtet - I was observed
ich bin beobachtet worden - I have been observed
ich war beobachtet worden - I had been observed

But the hardest one of them all:
ich werde beobachtet werden - I will be observed

It is especially difficult when it is in the middle or the end of a sentence. For Example:
Sie wollte die Prüfung schreiben, weil sie beobachtet werden wird-
She wanted to do the test, because she was being observed.

Not a very creative sentence I know, but it was the only example I could think of.

Prebennorholm, why Scotsmen can't speak proper English is beyond me  Smile

Fritzi, French was just impossible, and so I gave it up!

British767


User currently offlineArcano From Chile, joined Mar 2004, 2408 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

Actually, besides the suffix already mentioned, I find English grammar very logical, specially with the auxiliaries, except maybe for "to have"; Spanish is one of the few languages that have 2 different verbs for "To Have" ("Haber" and "Tener") and for "To Be" ("Ser" and "Estar"). It's funny when English speaking people say in spanish "Soy en casa" instead of "Estoy en casa" for saying "I'm home"

)(



in order: 721,146,732,763,722,343,733,320,772,319,752,321,88,83,744,332,100,738, 333, 318, 77W, 78, 773 and 380
User currently offlineIakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3313 posts, RR: 35
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2766 times:

Deflecting from the original post, sorry, but does anyone here speak, understand, or even heard of Esperanto ?

Initiated by Dr Lazar Lewis (Lazarus Ludwik) Zamenhoff, a Polish jew, back in 1887, a whopping 117 years ago.

Is the subject worth a new post ?

ps: I have no problem with English, even Scottish English whatsoever.


User currently offlineRegis From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

Esperanto is definitely not worth a thread.

Of all the non-native speakers of English, the Dutch by far are the most fluent on it. It is unbelievable how well they can speak it. I mean you go to AMS and you ask the street sweeper for directions to the Van Gogh museum and the guy replies to you in perfect English, with almost no accent.

I myself attended high school in the US and that is where I learned English. I this is the best method: total immersion at a young age.

Cheers,

Regis


User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2730 times:

I have heard of Esperanto before.

Dutch is a language that I want to learn. I hope that Dutch is as easy to learn, as English is to learn.

Brit


User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2720 times:

I started studying German at University this past year, and found it a lot easier than French (which I took in previous years). German would be a heck of a lot easier without the gender and adjective endings .


FSP


User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

FSP. You're dam right there. I just remember des and der (female and plural dative) to translate into 'of the'. If it is des, add an s onto the end of the noun. Seems to work every time. For example, Auto des Manns - The man's car.

The thing that winds me up the most is having all those tabels to learn. I.e. before noun with adjective or whatever.


User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2715 times:

English is not that difficult to approach, but to really command it is a different kettle of fish.  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!

Cheers. Kilavoud.


25 Fly727 : Did You Find English Hard To Learn? Not, it were a pieze of cake too me. Signed., Some ENGLISH-SPEAKING members.
26 Post contains images Aloges : "It is especially difficult when it is in the middle or the end of a sentence. For Example: Sie wollte die Prüfung schreiben, weil sie beobachtet wer
27 Post contains images ScottishLaddie : An English teacher once told us the joke about the word "ghoti" That was confusing. To me it is a ghoti beard.
28 Post contains images British767 : Bloody Hell!! austellungsberechtigungsbehördenvorständewahlauschussmitglieds Is ABSOLUTELY the longest word i've seen!!! What does it mean? Somethin
29 British767 : I think the longest English word I know is: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It is simply a lung disease (peumonia)[Edited 2004-05-07 00
30 LHMark : That was actually the middle part of a much longer word.
31 Zweed : In Sweden the kids start doing English at the age of 10. Growing up we had lots of english TV-shows and young swedes are pretty comfortable with the e
32 Post contains images L410Turbolet : I am always amazed, how pretty much all Swedes and Dutch are fluent in English and very often without any heavy accent. By far the best in Europe as f
33 KEno : In Sweden the kids start doing English at the age of 10 I'm quite surprised how late the swedish start learning english, considering their english is
34 Max777 : I picked up English really quickly........, and I'm not an American.
35 LHMark : I'm a German speaker since age two, lived in Belgium for two years, and i have to admit that Dutch is still a mistery to me. I'd like to learn enough
36 Iakobos : For people who speak or manage German or a Scandinavian language, learning Dutch is not difficult. Why is English so widely known in NW Europe ? becau
37 Post contains images TWISTEDWHISPER : I thought it was called American By the way, could you please delivery following sentence in plural: He's a hell of a guy! They're two hell of guys...
38 Zweed : KEno How can you consider the age of 10 late to start learning a new language. You have hardly the grip of your own language (grammar wise and things
39 Post contains images Aloges : "Bloody Hell!! austellungsberechtigungsbehördenvorständewahlauschussmitglieds Is ABSOLUTELY the longest word i've seen!!! What does it mean? Somethi
40 Post contains images British767 : TWISTEDWHISPER, difficult one. I think it would be "Those two are hell of guys!" Aloges, I asked my german teacher and his assistant (who comes from G
41 QR332 : I picked up English very quickly and I find it to be one of the easiest and simplist languages to learn in the world. I started learning in Year 2 at
42 BMAbound : I lived in the US for a while and that helped me a lot. My written English didn't improve much (...) but my stay in America sure as heck helped me to
43 Post contains images Aloges : British767, that's because you picked one of the three lines of the word. Remember, in Germany we often use hyphens to separate long words so we don't
44 KEno : KEno, How can you consider the age of 10 late to start learning a new language. I'm just comparing the case in my country where we learnt both malay a
45 Aviationfreak : I agree with KEno. It is amazing how talented young children are to learn a foreign language. Think of all those families with parents with different
46 British767 : Thanks for that info Sander. I know what you mean by the word 'you'. I have had trouble with that in German du & Sie. I would like to learn Dutch beca
47 Flyboy36y : I don't recall learning english but I recall how frustrated I was when I could not speak it.
48 Flyboy36y : To add to my above post. I learned english in the 2d grade despite being born in the US...
49 Cory6188 : Although this doesn't pertain to English, I find Spanish to be extremely confusing in comparison to English. To be fair, English has some really bizar
50 A330Fan1 : Not really t'was my first language I guess the process started out with words (or imitated sounds rather) such as "mama." but honestly i cant speak fo
51 Arcano : Cory6188 Actually, "to go" is the most irregular verb also in Spanish: To go: "Ir" I go: "Yo voy" I went: "Yo fuí" or "Yo iba" depending on what you
52 Aloges : I've got one question that arose when I typed my latest post: What word do I use instead of "whose" when I'm talking about a thing? For example, "the
53 British767 : Erm. I think you could say "The tree, which the leaves are falling off of." But I think if you say "whose", that would be fine.[Edited 2004-05-08 20:3
54 Cory6188 : Saying "The tree whose leaves are falling off" is fine. No offense, but I think that British767's sentence is overly complicated and a fragment as wel
55 British767 : Cory, I kinda agree actually. Unless you are the Queen, there's no need for such a mouthful of a sentence.
56 Post contains images Aloges : OK, so hand me that complicated fragment! Thanks for the help, it has bugged me from time to time. Seems odd to me that "whose" can be used in associa
57 Airplay : Noe. Inglish iz reel eezee to lurn. Inglish werds ar rittun lojiklee. Sew yew doughnt knead two hav ennie speshul schillz.
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