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Grammar Central > 21 reasons why English is hard to learn

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message 1: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod



message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments I would hate to have to learn English as a second language. It is full of double meanings like these. I admire others who have become proficient in reading, writing and speaking it.


message 3: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod
I never noticed until I married a non-native English speaker that many English words that are the same are pronounced differently depending on whether they're being used as a noun or a verb.

Examples below: #1, 2, and more....


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Ruth wrote: "I never noticed until I married a non-native English speaker that many English words that are the same are pronounced differently depending on whether they're being used as a noun or a verb.

Examp..."


Same here ,Ruth. We just take it for granted.


message 5: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Homophone Hell, right down the road from Homonym Hades.


message 6: by Blood Bone and Muscle (last edited Jan 01, 2013 12:58PM) (new)

Blood Bone and Muscle | 83 comments It's okay, it's not as difficult because you would learn from listening first and spelling well isn't anyone's very first goal when learning the english language in their first time. These mostly come by ear.


message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane Nickerson | 1 comments Although it is very difficult to learn to speak English with style and aplomb, English is one of the easier languages to learn to speak understandably.

Verb conjugation is more often simple than in most other languages, none of that feminine/masculine question about nouns.

None of that crazy tonal stuff that many Asian languages have.


message 8: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
I am afraid their spelling is spot on Gabi, for that is also how they say it......could of, aksed, etc...


message 9: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Jane wrote: "Although it is very difficult to learn to speak English with style and aplomb, English is one of the easier languages to learn to speak understandably.

Verb conjugation is more often simple than i..."


The tonal stuff would be the end of me, though I do enjoy pronouncing my French (words like "Sartre") as if I am choking in the back of my mouth on the "-re." I'm told it sounds wonderfully French, or at least wonderfully what people imagine French to be.

Here in New England we can blame the Quebecois influence. Theirs is a very different French from Parisian. And they are a very different animal from Americans. It's quite a mix when they descend on Maine for vacation each summer...


message 10: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
Hahaha..Gabi, I don't....I am always giving diction/spelling/grammar lessons off the cuff.....


message 11: by Jane (new)

Jane How about pronunciation of the "ough" words: e.g., through, rough, fought, trough, plough, etc.?


message 12: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Or the "-ue" suffix: catalogue, travelogue, epilogue, prologue, etc.?


message 13: by Jane (new)

Jane At least that suffix is silent, one good thing!!! :)


message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Now if only more people made like suffixes!


message 15: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1471 comments Newengland wrote: "Now if only more people made like suffixes!"

Are -ue sure -ue would want that?


message 16: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Say again?


message 17: by Jane (new)

Jane Don't you mean: silent suffixes? There must be other silent suffixes.


message 18: by Jane (new)

Jane Jane wrote: "Although it is very difficult to learn to speak English with style and aplomb, English is one of the easier languages to learn to speak understandably.

Verb conjugation is more often simple than i..."


How about Ablauts? e.g.,: Eat, ate, eaten.


message 19: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1471 comments Ablauts are being lost. They have goed the way of the dodo, been eated by the general loss of literacy of the populace, and their back has been breaked by their elimination from the scripts that have been writed, of late, for TV. I'm afraid I have throwed in the towel and gived up the ghost on this losed battle.


message 20: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Buckley (anthonydbuckley) | 112 comments The heavier dialects of Belfast and Glasgow are more or less unintelligible to people from elsewhere in the British Isles. So I always smile when foreigners learn to speak English in these place.


message 21: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
The shrinking world is unkind to dialects, however. Languages, too.


message 22: by Jane (new)

Jane Every day, it seems a language dies. I'm glad the Welsh have held on to theirs and I've read the people in Cornwall are trying to hold on to theirs.


Blood Bone and Muscle | 83 comments Gabi wrote: "Blood Bone and Muscle wrote: "It's okay, it's not as difficult because you would learn from listening first and spelling well isn't anyone's very first goal when learning the english language in th..."

I learned to spell on my own because our schools didn't teach us but our schools are not English schools, thus your point really stupefies me.


Newengland wrote: "Jane wrote: "Although it is very difficult to learn to speak English with style and aplomb, English is one of the easier languages to learn to speak understandably.

Verb conjugation is more often ..."


I'd love to hear Cajun French, I've never heard it before yet the background is so cutting.
My French is a bit closer to Quebecois, maybe not exactly that. Here our small towns all have different accents so that those with good ears can name the region they began their life in or even what family they're from.


message 24: by Carol (last edited Jan 24, 2013 04:02PM) (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Blood Bone and Muscle wrote: "Gabi wrote: "Blood Bone and Muscle wrote: "It's okay, it's not as difficult because you would learn from listening first and spelling well isn't anyone's very first goal when learning the english l..."

You can hear a story in Cajun at this link.

http://m.youtube.com/index?&deskt...


Blood Bone and Muscle | 83 comments The link doesn't seem to work.


message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Hmmm, I just tried it and it worked.


message 27: by Blood Bone and Muscle (last edited Jan 24, 2013 04:09PM) (new)

Blood Bone and Muscle | 83 comments It's sent from a mobile desktop. Do you by any chance know the name so that I may look it up?


message 28: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Go to youtube and search for Mr. Sonny's stories, Cajun French with English subtitles.


Blood Bone and Muscle | 83 comments Thank you, Carol. It's really nice.

One day I want to visit Louisiana, it's on my bucket list. ^^


message 30: by Carol (last edited Jan 24, 2013 04:29PM) (new)

Carol | 10390 comments You should listen to gullah. It is from the low country in South Carolina.

http://m.youtube.com/index?&deskt...

Unfortunatley there are no subtitles.

Gullah storyteller Carolyn White


Blood Bone and Muscle | 83 comments Yeah, unfortunately. She sort of reminds me of Liberian English although I'm sure I'm wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3aJ5K...


message 32: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Probably, because Gullah is a combination of African dialects, English , French and American Indian. You might recall that a large portion of former slaves were repatriated to Liberia after the American Civil War, so they took the language with them and adapted it over the years.


message 33: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "You should listen to gullah. It is from the low country in South Carolina.

http://m.youtube.com/index?&deskt...

Unfortunatley there are no subtitles.

Gullah storytell..."


I get no sound.


message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Ruth wrote: "Carol wrote: "You should listen to gullah. It is from the low country in South Carolina.

http://m.youtube.com/index?&deskt...

Unfortunatley there are no subtitles.

Gu..."


Hmmm, try going directly to youtube and search the title. It works on my tablet.


message 35: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod
That worked. Wish I could see a transcription, though.


message 36: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Yes, I wish I could also. It sounded like a funny story. I think the duck kept telling the pig not to go to the pond ,knowing he would, and the farmer kept chopping little pieces off the pig feeding bits to the duck. But not really sure.


message 37: by Mark (new)

Mark Hebwood (mark_hebwood) I think pronunciation should drive people crackers. For example, place names such as "Worcester", or "Leicester". Native speakers are done pronouncing that in half a time it would take somebody just starting out learning the language... :-).


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