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English must be difficult for non native speakers

英語を勉強している方のためのフォーラムです。練習のために英語の文章を投稿してもかまわなく、英語の文法・語彙に関する質問をしてもけっこうです。

RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 05.25.2006 10:35 am

i think finnish is probably one of the most difficult..

the asian languages specifically those with characters make it diffiuclt as you are not just memorizing an alphabet but each word.

jap and chinese, as far as the military is concerned are cat4 and that is the cat specific pay increase you receive should you be 2+, 2+ on your reading, listening comprehension.. you get a further bonus should you hit 3,3 but most military personel i ran into never got that far.. 2,3 was the usual best IIRC>
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Sauna addict » Fri 05.26.2006 5:49 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
i think finnish is probably one of the most difficult..


You do?
It's so funny to think that my own language could be difficult for someone. It just goes so naturally.

And english feels almost as easy as finnish. B)
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby defrex » Fri 05.26.2006 8:44 pm

Interesting how the most dificult language on that list is going to be my second... Oh well.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby S-san » Fri 05.26.2006 9:00 pm

Take it from a student, English is hard, but I feel a bit accomplished because I have learned a language (English) that is ranked 5 in the difficulty categories in language. Now I just wish I was that good at Japanese. (also a rank 5)
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 05.26.2006 9:34 pm

I wouldn't agree fully about this...
Just as clay said, it all has to do with what your native language is...
I have been speaking english fluently since I was about ten years old, this is all thanks to that swedish(my native language) is closely related to english.

German is also a language which is closely related to english, you would probably have an alot easier time learning it instead of Japanese...

I can now understand why engrish exists in such a large extent in Japan and other asian countries, english is just so different for them that they have a very hard time learning it.

私の日本語はよくない、でも諦めないよ。 :)
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby silentmist » Sat 05.27.2006 1:02 am

I like how people are finally teaching some foreign languages to kids when they are in elementry school in the US, though it is mostly in private schools, I think, so I never got to take advantage of that...:( It's a pity really because I love learning new languages and the lessons of culture that come with that. I have only just started really taking french in school this year in high school and I'm a sophmore.

One thing I have to say about English (and any other language for that matter) is that it is so difficult because of the EVER changing slang people use (I've honestly have started to care less about it myself) Words that meant one thing one time in history (it doesn't have to be that far back), don't always mean the same thing anymore. If you want a reference of that there's this country sond that makes me laugh:D, "when a screw, meant a screw..somethingsomething...some beach somewhere....somethingsomething" (sorry can't think of it on the top of my head)
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby requemao » Sat 05.27.2006 8:17 am

English is really a pain in the neck. Its grammar is easy (fortunately), but pronunciation is chaotic. Old English had a very consistent pronunciation just like any other European language has, and you could pronounce anything from the way it was written, but now you have to learn both spelling and pronunciation for each word, because they are no longer correlated.

Even worse, in most of the different regional accents of English, many vowels are pronounced as an indistinct sound that could go with just any vowel letter, and that is the same as not pronouncing them, so native speakers of English have a rough time learning to spell.

That is what I love about my language, Spanish. If you learn it properly you can always pronounce a word from the way it's written, and from the pronunciation you can make a very good guess at the spelling.

French is extremely difficult to write, because there are too many groups of letters that are pronounced the same. It is said that not even native French professors of French language achieve full mastery of French spelling (scary, isn't it).

Japanese looks like a difficult language to write, but I think most of its peculiarities make *some* sense, so they can be remembered more easily than the "chaotic" spellings of English or French.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Jim » Sat 05.27.2006 9:17 am

I was told Finnish and English are very hard for people to learn who arent native speakers; I looked at Finnish and it made my head spin to be honest.

Japanese isn't as difficult as I made it out to be, but it uses a different alphabet which makes it harder than something that uses a roman alphabet, like most European languages.

A lot of people have a lot of problem learning Irish if they aren't taught it from a young age. I went through Irish medium education (learning ALL subjects bar English in Irish) and I'm still terrible at it. I haven't spoke it in day to day life in 3-4 years and I've lost a lot of it. Also there is very very little slang, no words for Yes or No and etc so you have to string words toghether to make some sense. Some words have n's and h's thrown into them, and I can't remember why, I just do it.. :@ it comes naturally to me.

Mar seo, mar níl fócail ar bhí do "yes" agus "no", tá tú le rá "tá is agam" i nGaeilge agus "níl is agam".. agus tá an gramadach deicar mar ta tú le cur "n" agus "h" i cuid fócail.

I'm doing either Spanish, italian, french or german next year in university and I'm thinking of going with Italian, but I might go for German (heard the grammar was very hard).. I'm terrible with grammar, even english grammar :o

A japanese person told me that the hardest thing about English is the slang. It's partly true. In the UK each city has its own slang. Belfast has a completely different slang from Manchester and Newcastle + London/Essex are like two different worlds.;)
Last edited by Jim on Sat 05.27.2006 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby requemao » Sat 05.27.2006 10:10 am

Not only slang is difficult. There are lots of expressions with an associated meaning that can't be guessed from the words. Those are phrasal verbs and idiomatic phrases ("idioms"). Knowing a decent amount of these requires years of practice, and I don't think I'll ever master them.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby nihongogakusei » Sat 05.27.2006 12:05 pm

It isn't easy to rate the overall difficulty of a language because languages have several components (grammar, script, pronunciation, etc.). For instance, Mandarin Chinese has very little in the way of grammar, but reading the language is extremely challenging for a speaker of a language that does not use Hanzi/Kanji. On the other hand, languages like French have grammar that is difficult to master even for speakers of closely related languages (e.g. English). Some languages are relatively straightforward in pronunciation, but their grammar is seemingly insane (Finnish, Russian, and Hungarian come to mind: I gave up on Finnish and Russian as soon as I learned what I was up against ;)). Then there are those languages that have pronunciation that speakers of other languages just can't figure out (I've found Danish to be like this, and I was unsuccessful with this language as well, even though it is very close to English. My accent was so thick that I was embarrassed to try!)

Then there is the matter of exposure. Living in the rural U.S., it goes without saying that my regular exposure to any language other than English is not great. The only exception is Spanish: I have family that speaks Spanish at home, there is a large Spanish-speaking population in my town, and I have many wonderful friends who are very patient and help me learn. Spanish is also the only (living) language taught at my school. As a result, Spanish seems to be the easiest language besides English for me. If all of these people spoke, say, Farsi, however, my Spanish would probably be alot worse, and my Farsi (I don't actually speak Farsi :(), would be great. So that was a bit drawn out, but you get the idea. Best of luck to people learning English. It is, I've heard, ridiculously difficult. If anyone needs help with English, feel free to ask me! :)
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby caroline » Sat 05.27.2006 1:24 pm

the problem with english is that you have to learn it, whether or not you want it. Fortunately, it's not too difficult - at least for those with latin or german native languages. The grammar is quite simple, and for vocabulary, pronunciation and so, there is a lot of exposure. It's even more accurate to say that you can't do without.

But there is a backlash for english ; it has become a vehicular language, and using it because you have to, you don't need to be very accurate : it's enough to understand and be understood : so grammar may sometimes be approximative, and vocabulary poor.

One of the best example is "EU english" : people speak it with different and somtimes heavy accents, have a minimum of words, sentences are grammatically correct but never complex, so a maximum of europeans can understand the press releases and the decisions of the commission.

And doing so, you just forget that sometimes, english can be a beautiful language too.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby WakaiOtona » Sat 05.27.2006 1:42 pm

I'm a native mandarin speaker, and IMO mandarin is easy to learn to speak. Reading and writing, however...ARGH
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby kanadajin » Sat 05.27.2006 3:15 pm

I don't know, But my opinion is English is a hard language, And probably is one of the hardest.

No offence to anyone, But chinese is weird.. Let's take mandarin and cantonese.
Example: I speak mandarin my friend speaks cantonese. I wouldn't understand him if He was talking to me in cantonese he wouldn't understand me but if we were writing.. He would be able to read it.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby MFoogle » Sat 05.27.2006 3:56 pm

i'd bet it is hard. we have so many stupid phrases that dont make any sense...and everything that can be changed always is either simple and then suddenly goes confusing. like swim, swimming, and swam. i mean, why dont we say swimmed? where the heck did that "a" come in and when? :o
Last edited by MFoogle on Sat 05.27.2006 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Jim » Sat 05.27.2006 9:50 pm

I should probably add I find hiragana easier than cryllic alphabets like russian.
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