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English Is A Tough Language · 6:08pm Sep 14th, 2017

English Is A Tough Language

English is kind of complicated. I often revert to speaking French, Korean, Chinese, or Japanese (or a combination of all of these at once) because they make more sense. :P

Reasons English is a weird language:

1. There are a bunch of variations of a word that are pronounced the same, but they are spelled different and mean different things.

Such as to, too, two. There, there, their. Where, wear. Tare, Tear. Bare, Bear. So on and so forth.

2. English slang and proper English are used pretty interchangeably. English slang can even be used in formal situations or when addressing people higher in station to you. The language indicates that there is little care or acknowledgement of people higher in station. Which is cool but can be kind of frustrating when you try to be polite but just come off as being too proper or not casual enough.

3. English dialects specific to certain regions (at least for me) are near impossible to understand. I tend to understand the more standard English dialect. But southern dialect (for example) is extremely difficult for me to understand. I have a friend from South Carolina who I honestly can't understand half of the time because her accent is so thick. I just have to smile and nod at some points because I don't want to ask her to keep repeating herself (as that would be rude).

4. Punctuation in English is really weird. For example, the use of commas usually gets native English speakers scratching their heads. And don't even get me started on the proper use of citations which are a headache in themselves.

5. English, when sung, is very hard to understand (at least for me). This is one of the reasons why I can not remember song lyrics unless I look them up.

6. English is constantly changing and 'trendy words' pop up every generation or so that just add to the already confusing lexicon.

7. All of these points make it one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world (believe it or not). No really. Look it up.

Soo...that was just me complaining about speaking English for no apparent reason. :L

Maybe this is why I started having dreams in French. Even the people in charge of giving people dreams were like, "Yeah, I'm going to make this so much easier. French mode activated!"

Note: This blog is meant to be just random and fun. Try not to take it too seriously. :P

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Comments ( 36 )

I believe it! My Spanish teacher said the same thing way back.

4668283 A lot of my friends from foreign countries have told me that English was very hard for them to learn as well. I told them not to feel bad because speaking English was even complicated for me; and I am technically a native English speaker. :L

Although I grew up in a family that spoke Norwegian, Greek, British English, Chinese, and Spanish. Despite this, I only understand and speak Chinese. :P

Like, I can understand them if they are spoken to me, but I can't speak them back (if this makes sense).

I'm the weirdo in the family who speaks and understands French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other Asian languages, despite never growing up around those languages (well besides Chinese).

You are a weirdo alright ;)

4668291 I will take that as a compliment. XD

Can't say I see English as complicated language. I see it as butchered and mismanaged language with bits clearly missing and some off things welded without a logic. But not a hard language, But let's tackle your points. Also keep in mind that I am going from indo-european language perspective, I am not familiar with Semitic languages, Asian or Ungro-Finics etc.

1. I totally agree with this point. It is both illogical to have so many homophones and to be so inconsistent with spelling.

2. I do not know what to say about this, I never had problem expressing myself in a polite way. It's more of tone than anything really. I imagine you would think this because Asian languages are more clear on this issue. And well English made a mistake of making the polite singular you into default 2nd person instead of keeping Thou as original single 2nd person. It would be as if Germans used Sie instead of du.

3. Hah now this point is silly because lots of languages have it. European Spanish and various Latin American Spanish languages are very different and they don't actually understand each other well (words completely changed meaning). German in Germany is different from Austrian and Switzerland German. Oh and don't get me started on Italian Languages. Yes I am using plural because it is not one language. I can't understand people in my own south at all even though it is same language in theory, and yet dialects that I can understand fluently are treated as separate languages (which means I speak like four languages instead of one).

4. Same in any language I believe. But nobody ever cares about comma rules until they are writing for publication and discover that those rules even exist. And since today we all compete to publish in English here we only became aware that English has rules.

5. Same with any language, singing changes pronunciation to fit the rhythm. I think English is a bit more musical so is actually easier to understand than more rigid languages.

6. Not English only thing, all languages do it. Or at least should do it. Compare any modern spoken language with the writings from hundred years ago and you'll notice significant changes. The thing is that when you learn foreign language you are only provided with the most basic version. Like I am supposed to be speaking London English according to my education but the exposure to English language media changed that. you don't get to experience that much of non English media to understand how different actual spoken languages are from classroom languages.

7. Most of the points listed are not English only. It just shows that English gets most spotlight at the moment since we all have to use it because of media and internet.

Honestly for me as non native English speaker the only problems are English spelling, which is a crime against written languages everywhere, and article "a, an and the" because I don't have those and their purpose eludes me.

But really English is very static and neutral language. You don't have to worry about cases and genders of nouns, verbs have very limited number of forms. I do have problem with pronouncing but that is because I am Slav, it wouldn't be a problem for Romance language speakers or Germanic.

Also sorry in advance if I sounded a bit to aggressive.

4668307 Those are all excellent points and I completely agree with them. Every language has its own rules that make it different. But there are rules that all languages follow too, which makes them all connected in some way.

This post was mostly just for fun. I grew up in a family which spoke Greek, Norwegian, Chinese, Spanish, British English, and other languages.

Strangely, I ended up learning French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and some other Asian languages rather than really learning any of the languages quite actively spoken in my own family.

I can understand the languages I grew up with, but I do not speak them funny enough. I am a weirdo in that way.

Anyway, this post was mostly just supposed to be random and fun. I wouldn't take to much stalk in it other than to just casually complain about the English language. :P

I know, I know it was all silliness but couldn't help notice that those points were not English only. I am sowy :fluttercry:

It's just that for me English is easiest language (I still love my native language more). Though I only speak Serbian and English, I never developed ability to speak German and Latin even though I am supposed to be able to speak them. Though fun thing when you are native Slav speaker, you can almost sort of understand other Slav languages in written form. So if I wasn't lazy I could learn like 7-8 more languages.

Also it sounds cool being exposed to that many languages. And heh I assumed Greeks were involved in this somehow since if I recall correctly in Europe they have hardest time learning English. Unsure why, didn't ever ask them.

4668333 That's pretty cool. They say that all romance languages are connected, so people who speak romance languages usually have any easy time learning other romance languages. :) This just goes to show that all languages are connected in one way or another.

Well all Indo-European languages are connected, that's a linguistical and historical fact. Romance, Germanic, Balto-Slavic, Persian, Hindu, Greek, Albanian, Armenian and so on are all part of branching lingual tree and grammar is actually fairly consistent along with common root words (example word mother in some form is fairly common from Atlantic Ocean to Indian Ocean), English speaker will have easy time learning Romance and Germanic languages and then come the further branches. Though according to the Foreign Service list, it's actually easy to learn certain south-east Asian languages. Hardest though are Arabic and various Asian languages.

But Ungro-finic, Arabic, Turkic and Asian languages are different story and they don't have that much connection with Indo-European languages, minus the modern vocabulary expansion. Asian languages particularly have very strange history since for example Chinese and Japanese are not related languages but share writing so that gives them vocabulary connection but not grammar one. And Korean is unrelated to either.

Yeah I kinda like researching languages from time to time. I might not be able to speak them but I love still learning about languages in general.

4668350 I love learning about languages too! I find it to be a very fascinating subject. Especially since I make languages for my various fantasy series.

The strange thing is that I have always found Asian languages to be extremely easy to read and write, despite English 'technically' being my native language.

This might be because I heard Chinese spoken in my family (along with other languages) when I was very young. And maybe my brain just gravitated to that more, as opposed to the other languages.

The human brain is a very strange thing indeed. :L

My guess is because English is a bit dull. Sometimes I do wish I could use different language to communicate with people online but oh well...

And well I don't know much about Chinese but Japanese just sounds fun outloud. And their writing system is interesting. My guess is that you simply like those languages and what you love is easy to learn. Like how some are good at math because they find it fun :twilightsheepish:

Алсо И ам со боред оф усинг Латин алпхабет.

4668364 I wouldn't say that English is boring. At least for me. It can be written in a way that is quite exciting and fun. It's confusing sometimes and hurts my head thinking about sentence structures. But it isn't boring.

Some other weird English things I forgot to mention are these.

1. Trying to figure out past tense in certain situations. For example, "I had had a poodle." Which I guess bleeds into the next point which is double words.

2. Double words. In English, you often have to write two words in the same sentence, which mean different things. For example "Had, had..." is a very common one. But there are many other examples.

3. Word usage in English can kind be kind of a headache to be honest. Like I find that sometimes when I look up words in the thesaurus I would like to use the alternate words, but the usage often doesn't make sense to me so I revert to using more commonly spoken words.

4. English grammar is really weird. Sometimes I legit just make up a grammar thing on the spot and it ends up being correct because you know. English. :L

It gets boring because I have to use it all the time. Was fun learning English words when I was in preschool but now I want new things. And well like I said, I like my language more and I am sure your have appreciation for you mother language too.

4. English grammar is really weird. Sometimes I legit just make up a grammar thing on the spot and it ends up being correct because you know. English. :L

That's how I had my As in English. I actually have no idea how grammar works. I have B2 level of English and I am clueless when it comes to tons of Past tenses that exist. Heck I should apply for C level and finish mastering English.

Also riddle me this. Why is there an s in island?

4668381 Oh yeah, that is another thing. English likes to tuck in random letters into words for no apparent reason. Island is a good example of that.

Oh, and it likes to begin words with random letters. Like the 'x' in xylophone. Because...why the heck not. :L

It is, Im very weird :pinkiecrazy:

4668401 Yay! Being weird is a good thing. XD

Damn right *hugs*

There is a reason. But the thing is it has nothing to do with English language. When the glorious British were making standardized spelling they decided to make English writing use Latin and French logic. Thus island has an s because Latin Insula has an s. You'll notice that Spanish borrowed words use Spanish spelling like jalapeno even though j is never h in English. Xylophone is most likely Greek word because of X and that is also why sometimes words with ch are pronounced like hard k like chimera or archangel.

Americans tried to fix this but it was unsuccessful and all it did was small things like removing u from color, armor, etc or replacing s with z in civilization. Hence British and American spelling are a thing. Scottish spelling is best, they have no rules so spelling mistakes don't exist. It's always correct.

4668403 Many hugs and snuggles to you as well.

4668404 Being half-British, I know all about the British spelling of things. :')

My biological father (who is British) spelled things the British way. So I grew up learning the British way of spelling.

But this tended to make my American teachers kind of mad (for obvious reasons).

So I re-learned how to spell things the American way.

My childhood was rather confusing. :P

Oh and I used to have a British accent, but when my mom divorced my biological father. A few years later, I completely lost my British accent. Which kind of sucks. :L

I still have a Norwegian accent though, because of being around Norwegian people my whole life. :')

Let's see half British, half American accent. Darling, that is the recipe for the Mid-Atlantic accent :raritywink:

And Norwegian is the spa accent of course.

4668477 The funny thing is that I can understand Norwegian but I don't speak it. Yet I still have the accent. And people can tell as soon as they meet me that I am Norwegian (or of some Scandinavian descent). I honestly can't really tell the difference, myself. But other people seem to pick up on it. :L

Well, english turned out to be easy to learn for me. Somewhat.

4668591 I am glad to hear it. :)

Did anybody mention the very complex, yet ridiculously precise, helping verb structure?

4668698 I don't think that I mentioned that but that is a good point. :0

I personally think every language but English is hard. :twilightsheepish:

4668826 That is interesting. I'm kind of the opposite of that. :p

Yeah, I'm really bad at second languages. :twilightsheepish:

4668859 Learning other languages just takes a lot of practice. It helps to immerse yourself in the music, movies, shows, radio, books and so on of that language until it becomes familiar. It also helps to have language partners.

My parents have been speaking Chinese to me for a long time and they always play Chinese music, but I still suck. :rainbowlaugh:

4668874 Languages sometimes take a while to learn. And writing the characters is always a great way to start. :) But it is great to live with native speakers because if you say something wrong they can correct you immediately.

One time I accidentally went around talking about people's butts in French when I was trying to explain locations. That was very embarrassing. :p But I caught onto things eventually.

I hope the same thing can happen for me. :applejackunsure:

4668889 I am sure that it will if you keep up the practice. :)

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