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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 punkgrl326 » Sun 05.28.2006 12:17 am

clay wrote:
Maybe it is this link:
http://www.nvtc.gov/lotw/months/november/learningExpectations.html

Notice Japanese has an *

The * means:
* Languages preceded by asterisks are typically somewhat more difficult for native English speakers to learn to speak and read than other languages in the same category.

Wow, is Japanese really that hard? I've been studying Spanish in school for 2 years now and I've only been studying Japanese for half a year, and I already know more Japanese than Spanish. Then again, I do put slightly more effort into learning Japanese than Spanish. I guess that's why ;)
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Sumi » Sun 05.28.2006 12:57 am

punkgrl326 wrote:
clay wrote:
Maybe it is this link:
http://www.nvtc.gov/lotw/months/november/learningExpectations.html

Notice Japanese has an *

The * means:
* Languages preceded by asterisks are typically somewhat more difficult for native English speakers to learn to speak and read than other languages in the same category.

Wow, is Japanese really that hard? I've been studying Spanish in school for 2 years now and I've only been studying Japanese for half a year, and I already know more Japanese than Spanish. Then again, I do put slightly more effort into learning Japanese than Spanish. I guess that's why ;)


OMFG! Finally someone else who feels the same way! I've only been learning Japanese for about 8 months now & defintley know more Japanese than Spanish & I've been taking Spanish for 3 years. We just now learned that past tense of verbs [which are kicking my butt, because there are so many verb tenses (preterite/irregular preterite). I'm about to give up on Spanish, but I always hear that you could be better at one language than another one. But I put a WHOLE lot more of work into learning Japanese.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby requemao » Sun 05.28.2006 5:43 am

Enjoying it is what makes you a fast learner. I you like the language, you'll have it inside your head all day long; but it you don't, you will not even learn what they teach you in each lesson.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Nem » Sun 05.28.2006 12:02 pm

English difficult to learn? As far as i can tell it's pretty easy. The grammar is easy and the vocabulary is a joke. Just think of how many english speaking songs and movies you hear and see every day. How is that for pratice?
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby shinjiyumi » Wed 05.31.2006 3:58 pm

The truth is English is supposed to be the toughest language in the world to learn second hand. But to the english speaker every other language is harder. I guess it really just depends.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby hyperconjugated » Wed 05.31.2006 4:16 pm

MFoogle wrote:
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


It's common in Germanic languages, not
the privilege or burden of only English.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_strong_verb
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_languages
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Nem » Sat 06.03.2006 10:56 pm

shinjiyumi wrote:
The truth is English is supposed to be the toughest language in the world to learn second hand. But to the english speaker every other language is harder. I guess it really just depends.


You may say that english is difficult to learn, wich i don't think it is. But even if it was just think of how much pratice we get from movies and music. When i was a kid i was just starting to learn how to write in my language and i already knew a few words of english just from these two sources!
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Max Maxter » Thu 08.03.2006 3:20 am

nihongogakusei wrote:
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.


True dat. There are possibly as many as 80,000 different characters (the Kangxi dictionary lists about 47,000; various estimates vary wildly between the two), and even though a great majority of them are seldom used, you still need to know at least 2,000 in order to read the Chinese newspaper, as they say. On top of that, jukugo (or whatever they'd call Hanzi combos) is an absolute necessity in Mandarin because one syllable with one particular intonation can mean many different things. In simple terms, for most situations, a stand-alone Hanzi just won't cut it.
Last edited by Max Maxter on Thu 08.03.2006 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby Kealdrea » Fri 08.04.2006 2:29 pm

When I was little, I remember hearing that English was the hardest language to learn, and I didn't believe it. >.>;

But learning Japanese has made me take a look a look at my own langauge. And what a messed up language it is. o.o Our written language alone must be almost as difficult to learn as kanji, because most of the time you just have to know how something is spelt or pronounced.

If only every language just used hiragana and katakana... ^^; I like the simplicity of it.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby ComradeJoe » Fri 08.04.2006 2:52 pm

S-san wrote:
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)


They have the same ranking? Weird.
English and Japanese are both foreign languages to me, and i've found the latter much much harder both in terms of grammar and vocabulary.
I guess it depends on whom you ask (a Chinese person will probably find Japanese a lot easier than English). :|
Last edited by ComradeJoe on Fri 08.04.2006 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby rwm » Thu 08.10.2006 12:10 am

I think english is rather easy compared to other languages. My mother tongue is german and I'm learning english since I'm 10 years old. I know a bit latin too and it is way harder than english in my opinion.

For a japanese it might be a complete different story. Those two languages have nothing in common.
Last edited by rwm on Thu 08.10.2006 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby frogmorton » Thu 08.24.2006 3:50 am

A lot of people, and particularly european people, tend to forget just how difficult english is.
True, leave aside the pronunciation and the grammar is pretty easy, not to mention conjugation.
But the greatest challenge that awaits the learn is... vocabulary.
For closely related languages (especially french but also some other romance and germanic languages) this is not so much trouble but just think about this:
English has basically two ways of saying everything, using either germanic or latin words.
Plus, it has imported a lot of words from many languages, but foremost french, that its vocabulary is just huge.
Some words that are not difficult for some european languages speakers, but that must like hell for ,say, chinese to learn:

-You say a dentist but a tooth. A german would say: zahn- zahnarzt, a french: dent- dentiste, a japanese: 歯、歯医者

-"a plane" but "an aviator", again from french "aviateur", avion= plane

-"a patriot" from "patriote" but the french word "patrie" (homeland) just doesn't exist in the english language.

Now I can help thinking that the japanese language where you just have to learn kanji and just pile them up like lego is really so much easier. 愛国者 is not that difficult a word to learn.

Honestly I think that languages like french and german who are more complicated from a grammatical point of view but whose vocabulary is formed in a more logical way a far easier to start with for people who speak a language that is not related to english at all.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby rborc415 » Thu 08.24.2006 1:38 pm

Having studied and taught languages other than English (French, Italian, Spanish) I can appreciate the difficulties that a non-English speaker would have learning English. There are grammatical issues, sentence structure issues, phonology, morphology, orthographic conventions, not to mention the staggering variety of dialects which have developed as English spread from one geographic location to another. There are times when people who call themselves "English-speaking" have trouble communicating when they come from different parts of the globe, or even the same country.
This is why in some countries (France most notably) a linguistic distinction is made between "English" and "American".
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby requemao » Thu 08.24.2006 9:19 pm

I think the major difficulties in English are:

1) Spelling and pronunciation are almost unrelated, so for every word you have to learn both its spelling and its pronunciation.

2) Also, the sounds used in English are quite uncommon, difficult to learn to pronounce, and also difficult to understand in normal speech. It is said that English is best understood when spoken by speakers of almost any other language.

3) There's a lot of idiomatic expressions in daily use. They're a pain in the neck for students because they take blood, sweat and tears to learn, and because trying to understand "real-life English" without them is a lost cause.

4) Huge number of phrasal/prepositional verbs. Same as above, you can't do without them. You come across them constantly, they turn up in almost every sentence, and their meanings are often hard to find out unless you look them up in a good dictionary.
Last edited by requemao on Thu 08.24.2006 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English must be difficult for non native speakers

Postby chikara » Thu 08.24.2006 10:10 pm

rborc415 wrote:....This is why in some countries (France most notably) a linguistic distinction is made between "English" and "American".

This is a real issue for non-USA written English. We do all our documentation in English and then have to convert it to "American English" spelling for the USA market. I'm sure that is an oxymoron ;)
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