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Reasons why English is so hard to learn....

Travel Forums Off Topic Reasons why English is so hard to learn....

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11. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 11y

I've gotton this forward, the 1st post, before! Yikes.

12. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 11y

And it is not even in my Inbox ....

13. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

Regarding this thread, I would say that I am happy to have English as my 2nd language and have been an english teacher for a few years, still, I find Mandarin (Official Language in Rep. China and Taiwan) is the hardest language to learn among the languages I've came through. I am studying French now and picking some of the Nepalian as my past time; I attended Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, German, Siamese, Tamil, Hindi (the craziest student in university!!! I even study a bit on Jawi and Sanskrit at night!!!) years ago...Got to axe off many of them due to tight schedule eventually. I am a chinese who understands Hokkien - Dad is a Hokkien and Mum speaks cantonese (Grandma speaks GuangXi) while the closest relative is Peranakan (Malay-Chinese). Everyday I talk Mandarin to family members and have a bunch of friends from Borneo with different Etnics as well as picking up some regional Malay in East Coast Peninsular Malaysia. English and Malay are the widely-spoken languages outside my neighbourhood.

English is the language with the most vocabs more than 10 millions are found until today; Chinese with half of English; German with around 1 million and 5 hundred thousands; Spanish - 3 to 4 hundred thousands while French with less than 100 hundred thousands!!!

TP members: (this is an evidence from practical; the statistic that we have seen saying 'English is the hardest language to learn' doesn't study much on less-influential lingua-francas especially on the Third World! It's the same thing goes to the commercialized charts listed the top university in the world. Subjective and not holistic)

The hardest language to learn(from the language I've listed):-

The language with the most systematic and configurative grammar:

The most polite and well-mannered pronunciation and intonation:
Japanese (Korean is a bit complex in its pronunciation)

The most romantic language:
all language is beautiful and romantic BUT PERSONALLY

Chinese Classic Poems - the most introvert beautiness
French - the fluency of word-by-word makes reading français an experience of sailing the yacht in the lake
Spanish - you can feel the 'hot' and 'open' through its pronunciation and the stress on the specific syllables. It's rigid if you do not speak with passionate ...
Italiano - very 'rrrr' like Latin, Borneo's Malay, Indonesianised Malay, Tamil and Hindi is very captivating; what I find the difference is the way Italian and Spanish perform their romanticism through twisting the tune of each syllable!

Nepalian and Siamese are very simple and easy-going; these language do not bring any 'royal-feel' to normal people like us (do not mention the classic one), unlike French, German, Chinese and Arabic -you may feel the strong civilization and will in its pronunciation.
(German is very strong in its impact and very organized from its syllables and complex form of phrases. Just imagine a movie-scripts originally french has been converted into German...different feel and passion)

TP member, religious languages such as Sanskrit and Jawi possess something which is sacred and the words are really antic (it has some equivalent feels in Tamil and Mandarin).

Too much here, i guess. Actually I am very interested in learning new languages and I may pick up a new and simple one in a very short period...(i use both hands to write and do calculations since standard 1, that helps a lot in fact)

Anyone who willing to share something which i know and do not know...thanks.

The point is, no such language which is hard to learn actually. Be patient and passionate and do study and respect its culture and philosophy, that's all!


[ Edit: Wiki reference added. ]

14. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 11y

Quoting cikusang

TP member, religious languages such as Sanskrit and Jawi possess something which is sacred and the words are really antic (it has some equivalent feels in Tamil and Mandarin).

Jawi is not a language.

Quoting Wikipedia

Jawi is an adapted Arabic alphabet for writing the Malay language. It is used as one of two official scripts in Brunei, and is employed to a limited extent in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore as well, particularly in religious contexts.


The Malay language, under the colonisation and influence of the Dutch and Britain, was slowly and fully romanised to the current form that is being used officially.

15. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

Thanks for correcting the term, Hien. But Hien, don't you notice the courses available are named as "Bahasa Jawi"? I've gone through the webpage you've pasted. Not really convincing, Hien. But about the Malay...same thing goes to English and other language, right? Such as rendez-vous and cliché? Even modernised chinese expressions such as certain idioms and phrases of substitution are much influenced from Westernization?


16. Posted by ChubbDub (Full Member 132 posts) 11y

What benefit does writing with both hands do for you??


17. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 11y

Quoting cikusang

... But Hien, don't you notice the courses available are named as "Bahasa Jawi"? I've gone through the webpage you've pasted. Not really convincing, Hien. ...

Frankly, I've never heard of Bahasa Jawi (Jawi language). Even if you really saw it, I strongly believe was wrongly termed.

If I'm not mistaken, the content in the Wikipedia page you saw was actually written by the Malays themselves.

Another site which explains Jawi.

Anyway, try to ask some of your Malay friends (the more knowledgeable ones!) and listen to what they have to say about Jawi. :)


18. Posted by Airfix (Full Member 99 posts) 11y


We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;
yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,
and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
but though we say mother we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.
Original Author - Unknown.

Screwy pronunciations can mess up your mind!
For example? If you have a rough cough, climbing is thought to be tough when going through the bough on a tree!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England.

A lot of us take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, What do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a bird can fly, why can?t a fly bird?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Why is it when you transport something by car it?s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship it?s called cargo?

Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

Again, I apologise if any of this is a reapeat... I must also add that none of this is my own work, but found by quickly Googling why is English difficult - I remembered the poem from the wall of my English class and found it for my g/f who is currently studying English...

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