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"Why English is so hard to learn"


Jean-Kevin

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So that's the name of the video and I think that Canadians or people with language skills are already laughing. 

A Canadian from an English-speaking area has the opportunity to practice English intensively and it is the language that he uses as a tool to communicate, so in the end it is quite normal that he will succeed. A Canadian from the francophone zone is not supposed to have television, radio, school etc. in English and he has to speak French but I think that it should not be very difficult to go to the anglophone zone to practice and as English is a useful language in my opinion rare are those who are not bilingual or a very good level. The gifted in language, they know how to speak several languages and English is their basic language even if it is not their mother tongue.

Clearly if you didn't understand, this video makes sense because it is not aimed at people who have English as their mother tongue, people who have the ability to have the cheat code of the big practice and people gifted in language. 

_____

The first thing I noticed is that the English language is different from the other languages because even if the video is in English I can understand it whereas if I took a video in German, Japanese or any other language (except his mother tongue) it would not be possible. This is in my opinion the real reason why everybody thinks that English is the easiest language but if we talk about high level of language I think that all languages are difficult and there is not really any easier than others.

His arguments :

1) Spelling

Compared to French, it's a joke. 

At first spelling is not a concern, it's more about picking up the sounds and knowing what words they relate to that is a concern.  Then to know what this or that means, the subtitles become important to know precisely what these words, this expression etc. mean thanks to the help of a translator, dictionary. So in short, writing and spelling are important but it starts with speaking first and therefore it is difficult not to know that for example would be pronounced wood

Otherwise it is true that everything related to learning the language in writing is problematic because of the ignorance of the pronunciation of words.

2) Pronunciation 

This is not a joke, it's really difficult. Actually, as much to say that there are several English pronunciation (American, English, Australian...) which makes it all the more difficult to get there. 

3) Amount of vocabulary

Obviously vocabulary is a difficulty in any language because you have to learn unfamiliar words but I don't find English difficult due to the amount of vocabulary. There are quite a few words that exist in French (we just need to familiarize ourselves with the English pronunciation), the word get often used and if we all know little words like up, down, out, on, off, back, etc. phrasal verbs will be not difficult to learn (I mean it's not like we have to learn real new words).

4) Phrasal verbs

Yes it is a difficulty because that confuses and sometimes we believe that we have understood but in fact not because deceived by this combination of words forming a new meaning of words.

5) Tenses

It is not really a difficulty when we are content to listen and understand what we are told but as soon as we try to speak it becomes a difficulty. 

Otherwise the difficulties are due to contractions and speed. I will not is easy, I won't  more difficult (because confusion with I want ). I would like is ok I'd like more difficult and same for I will and I'll (because confusion with I like and I + verb to present)

6) Articles a, an, the

I find difficult when to know when to put the or not to put it. Then I find more difficult in, into, under, on, to, for, since, at, of the, that (use or not), from who* (here I don't know if I have to use who or that) pose problem.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jean-Kevin
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