British767
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Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 1:54 am

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?
 
LHMark
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 1:56 am

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
 
aviationfreak
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 2:04 am

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!
 
British767
Topic Author
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 2:09 am

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
 
Qb001
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 2:41 am

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.
 
keno
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 2:45 am

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.
 
keno
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 2:53 am

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
 
Arcano
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 2:55 am

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 )(
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csavel
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 2:57 am

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.
 
MEA310
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 3:16 am

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
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jutes85
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 3:38 am

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.
nothing
 
Leskova
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 3:54 am

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!
 
aloges
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 6:40 am

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
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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airkas1
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 6:46 am

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
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prebennorholm
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 6:46 am

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
 
Espion007
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 7:15 am

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!
 
fritzi
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 7:16 am

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!
 
British767
Topic Author
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 8:14 am

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
 
Arcano
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 1:42 pm

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"

)(
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iakobos
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 6:34 pm

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.
 
Regis
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Thu May 06, 2004 7:08 pm

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
 
British767
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 2:33 am

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
 
fspilot747
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 3:33 am

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
 
British767
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 3:36 am

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.
 
kilavoud
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 3:43 am

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

Cheers. Kilavoud.
 
fly727
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 4:07 am

Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Not, it were a pieze of cake too me.

Signed.,
Some ENGLISH-SPEAKING members.
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
aloges
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 4:57 am

"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."


And with that, you proved your point most beautifully!  Big thumbs up

"Sie wollte die Prüfung schreiben, weil sie beobachtet werden wird"

translates to

She wanted to do the test, because she will be observed.

Something else about the German language: words like "Oberweserdampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft" are (or were) actually used, while "Oberweserdampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänspatent-
austellungsberechtigungsbehördenvorständewahlauschussmitglieds-
ausweisherstellungsfirmenbetriebsratsausflug" are entirely correct - and could go on forever, literally.  Big grin
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
ScottishLaddie
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 6:11 am

An English teacher once told us the joke about the word "ghoti"

That was confusing. To me it is a ghoti beard.  Laugh out loud
 
British767
Topic Author
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 6:51 am

Bloody Hell!! austellungsberechtigungsbehördenvorständewahlauschussmitglieds Is ABSOLUTELY the longest word i've seen!!! What does it mean? Something about a gallery?

I actually noticed the mistake with that sentence today but it was too late to edit it  Smile Thanks anyway
 
British767
Topic Author
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 6:59 am

I think the longest English word I know is:

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It is simply a lung disease (peumonia)

[Edited 2004-05-07 00:01:20]
 
LHMark
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 8:01 am

That was actually the middle part of a much longer word.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
Zweed
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 9:10 am

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 english language. I'd say it is pretty easy to learn.

One language that I found even easier was dutch. Maybe because there are som many similarities in how the words are written between dutch and english, swedish and german.

After 6 months in the netherlands I can make myself very well understood and I understand most of it what people say to me.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 11:49 am

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 far as I can tell. Is it because of some miraculously efficient way of teaching it? The TV shows in English? The fact that Swedish and Dutch are Germanic languages?

To answer the question: a year in Idaho in 1993/94, being totally "submerged" into English-speaking environment (no internet then Sad), did a great job! I wish I've done the same with my German...
 
keno
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 12:14 pm

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 *really* good. From my travel experience I think the norwegians speak the language better.
 
Max777
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 12:18 pm

I picked up English really quickly........, and I'm not an American.
 
LHMark
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 2:21 pm

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 to get by, since I'm going to Amsterdam in three months.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
iakobos
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 5:58 pm

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 ? because it is born from an absolute necessity in an international trading environment.
I doubt one could find a job if he/she was not at least reasonably fluent.
English has inundated commerce, industry, technology and services.
Give it a few more years and even the bigger European countries will be close to par.

info: there are two official languages in The Netherlands, Dutch and Frisian, three in Belgium and Luxemburg (and not even EN at that)
 
Twistedwhisper
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 7:32 pm

I thought it was called American  Wink/being sarcastic

By the way, could you please delivery following sentence in plural: He's a hell of a guy!

They're two hell of guys...hells of guys? Two guys from hell???
Read between the lines.
 
Zweed
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Fri May 07, 2004 7:51 pm

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 liek that) by that age.
 
aloges
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 12:05 am

"Bloody Hell!! austellungsberechtigungsbehördenvorständewahlauschussmitglieds Is ABSOLUTELY the longest word i've seen!!! What does it mean? Something about a gallery?"

not exactly about a gallery, but an issuing agency

I just took advantage of the fact that German nouns can be put together indefinitely - literally. "Oberweserdampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft" means "Upper Weser [a river] Steam Shipping Company", which was a company that went bust in early 2003. I've been on one of their ships when I was in 7th grade.

Damn, that's too long of a time ago.  Sad
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
British767
Topic Author
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 2:26 am

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 Germany) what that word meant, and they both said there shouldn't be an S on the end as it would make it genetive.  Smile

It doesn't really surprise me that people start learnng English from such a young age. I plan to go to the Netherlands for 6 months or so, and see how quickly/slowly I learn the language. Anybody else had any similar experiences?
 
qr332
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 2:55 am

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 school, which was when I was around 6, and I am now 100% fluent with it, no accent and no problems. Compared to Arabic, it is definatley easy, Arabic grammer is hell to learn.
"The greatest threat to knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
 
BMAbound
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 2:59 am

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 get rid of the nasty accent I had. I still have an accent (that's for sure) but it's much less evident.
Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
 
aloges
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 3:19 am

British767, that's because you picked one of the three lines of the word.  Big grin
Remember, in Germany we often use hyphens to separate long words so we
don't have to leave half of the line empty! I did that to avoid the message
box getting so wide that it would disappear behind the "skyscraper" banner -
which you don't see. The entire word is:

"Oberweserdampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänspatentaustellungsberechtigungsbehördenvorständewahlauschussmitgliedsausweisherstellungsfirmenbetriebsratsausflug"

The "s" you mentioned is in fact what my primary school teacher called "the s-glue";
you put it between to nouns to connect them as in "Bootsrumpf" (boat hull).
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
keno
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 3:30 am

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 and english from the first day of school, which explains why the standard of english here is very high. To give you an example in a european context, most of my suisse romande friends told me that their english is not terribly good because they had to learn german first as a second/foreign language, then english at a later age (i think at age 10 or 12). They all wished that they could learn english at a much earlier age. In many german-speaking swiss cantons, the education policy has been changed during the last few years by teaching english first, then french; much to the displeasure of french-speaking cantons (which still have german-first policy).

[Edited 2004-05-07 20:44:54]
 
flyboy36y
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 7:43 am

I don't recall learning english but I recall how frustrated I was when I could not speak it.
 
aviationfreak
Posts: 1069
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RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 7:49 am

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 nationalities. The children often grow up speaking both, some times even a third language fluently.

Here in the Netherlands English lessons also starts with the age of aprox. 10.

Zweed, Scandinavian people are known for picking up the Dutch language in no time.

British767, If you already learned German you will find Dutch probably easy to learn. If I'm not mistaken the Dutch grammar isn't that complicated as German grammar though it is more difficult than English Grammar. Only pronouncing the words would be challenging for you.

What I like about learning English is that you can say 'you' to everyone. That's a whole other story for German, French and Dutch. You can't use the same pronoun for everyone you talk to in those languages without offending someone. You can't use the same pronoun for someone who is familiar to you or someone you don't know or is much older than you are.
I don't know how it works in French but I do know that verbs change with almost every pronoun in German and Dutch. And here German is more complicated than Dutch.

Also for LHMark. Why bother with learning Dutch while 90% of the population speaks English here. Certainly in Amsterdam. Unless if you like to learn the language of course. That might open doors for you which will remain closed for others.
But never forget to ask first if the person speaks English. Never start talking a foreign language instantly. For example we have a lot of German tourists here where I live. Many Dutch here are annoyed by the fact that they assume you speak German (many Dutch do) and they speak to you German instantly.
So ask first and you will see that a Dutchman is more than willing to speak to you in your own language. English, German or French. Many Dutch even like to show off their knowledge of any foreign language they speak if asked politely.

Good luck,
Sander
I love both Airbus and Boeing as much as I love aviation!
 
British767
Topic Author
Posts: 1523
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:17 am

RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 8:22 am

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 because it is different. Dutch is not one of the most commonly learned languages here (probably because, as you say, 90% of the country speaks English). The most commonly learned languages (in school) are French, German and Spanish.

Brit
 
flyboy36y
Posts: 2897
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 1:45 pm

RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 8:36 am

To add to my above post. I learned english in the 2d grade despite being born in the US...
 
Cory6188
Posts: 2612
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:29 am

RE: Did You Find English Hard To Learn?

Sat May 08, 2004 9:25 am

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 bizarre changes for present vs. past tense, . For example, I go, I went, I have been, and she has gone. We also have some odd changes for singular vs. plural, such as child/children, goose/geese, moose/moose, person/people, etc. The list could go on and on.

However, Spanish really confuses the heck out of me with ser vs. estar (to be) and pretérito vs. imperfecto (two types of past tense). I also get confused by "to return", with regresar, volver, and devolver all meaning to return, yet with different uses.

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