Topic Author
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 11:59 pm

Learning English

Wed Sep 18, 2002 8:34 am

I myself, speak English fluently, but that would be expected because it is a first language for me. I am wondering, for those of you for which English is not a first language, how difficult or easy is it to learn? What makes it easy or difficult? Thank you!
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

RE: Learning English

Wed Sep 18, 2002 8:56 am

Speed and slang.

I too have English as my first language too, but there are three other languages I had to know to some degree, as those were what my parents spoke: Hindi, Kannada and Tulu (sp?)

India has 24 different countries, and unlike the US with like 7 different versions of English, there are 24 DIFFERENT languages. There are even more breakups within a country. Example, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, my mom is from Udupi and she spoke Kannada (pronounced like kuh-na-da), and my dad was from another part and he spoke Tulu.

By the time I was old enough to take a trip back there, my main problem in learning the language was the speed in which they spoke and any at all slang they used. One should remember, when learning another language, your learn words, spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc. but not so much social interaction mainly because we are all learning this new language with people who speak our own and we are not always speaking what we should.

More importantly, and this is with respect to my folks and any teachers, there were the differences in interpretation. By this I mean, say there was a word you wanted to have translated, what if they (your mom/dad/teacher) did not know what you were talking about. That becomes a problem. In my dorm, we have 3 other suitemates from France and they more or less have a situation when trying to figure things like, " what do you call this" and they hold up a bath towel and rub their back.

I hope this helps, I have a bit more, but I'm starting to get hunger and I am going to go to the "Hanger".  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2001 10:37 am

RE: Learning English

Wed Sep 18, 2002 9:27 am

i wouldn't call the 7 types of english in the US different, i mean everything's the same except for slang and everyone pretty much knows everyone else's "dialect" (examples are grinders/heroes/subs etc. and sprinkles/jimmies)

i can imagine that english is easy in the sense that everything that isn't a person is pretty much an "it" and there's no noun tenses but our irregular verbs are interesting.

J Lu
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2002 8:12 am

RE: Learning English

Wed Sep 18, 2002 10:18 am

French is my first language.... I have been taught and I have spoken french for all 16 years of my life... I can't type a 100 word essay without doing at least 5-6 errors. I've been taking english for 4 years and I can type and read fluently (as you can see) but my listening and talking still needs pratice but it's not that bad. So yes english is a very simple and easy to learn language, in my opinion. I don't know about other languages, but french is much, MUCH harder and complicated.

M@g!¢  Yeah sure
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RE: Learning English

Wed Sep 18, 2002 12:11 pm

I think learning English depends on what your mother tongue is. Lets say you speak Japanese or Korean. Learning English would be an absolute pain because the language structure and alphabets are completely different, not to mention the pronunciations! But if you speak French, German, Swedish or Spanish, it would probably be a lot easier. Swedes, Dutch and Germans usually have the easiest time learning English because those languages come from the same language family as English.

In all honesty, I think English would be a very, very difficult language to learn. Think about it, we have all these different verb tenses, verb endings, so much slang, so many grammar rules, so much grammar alterations, etc. The English language must be the least structured of any. I have a lot of respect and admiration for foreigners who end up mastering this language.
Topic Author
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RE: Learning English

Thu Sep 19, 2002 9:50 am

I always thought that English would be tough too. Nothing is uniform. In Spanish (which is very easy by the way), almost all verbs end in one of three ways, and are conjugated in the same way for a particular ending. It's not really like that in English. I don't know if the alphabet is much of a problem for people with languages that have a different alphabet. I'm teaching myself Russian and the alphabet wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It just slows reading down a tiny bit.
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

RE: Learning English

Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:04 am

I think for a German, it should be fairly easy. You don't have to deal with masculine,feminine, and neuter ways of saying "the"(how do you all do that by the way? That is the single hardest part of German for me), and while the accents aren't exactly alike "smith" would come out as "schmidt", most Germans could get by in their German accent.

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:32 am

RE: Learning English

Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:14 am

My mother tongue is Russian. I learned Latvian in school, so Roman alphabet was not a problem for me when I started studying English.

I took me 4 years of one hour per week classes with a tutor and two years in American public school to learn English.

I would say English grammar is a lot easier than Russian. It would take me a lot longer to learn Russian from scratch than English.

I can neither confirm, nor deny above post

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