Why is English so difficult to learn? Well, in short, broken rules, treacherous homophones, and nouns which don’t really make any sense, all contribute to make English a difficult language to learn.
As an English Language school, LTC understands that English is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn, but what is it about English which causes non-natives to struggle? We have taken a look at what makes English so difficult to learn and what can be done to help below:
So why exactly is English considered one of the hardest languages to learn?
Well, English is the ‘bad-boy’ of languages. It’s a language that is never afraid to break the rules and it does so on numerous occasions. Just look at the name Leicester for example – in English Schools, children are taught the rule “I before E, except after C”, which is totally disregarded in the name Leicester, so it’s easy to see how even native speakers could get confused. And this is just one exception to the many broken rules in the English Language.
Homophones are another treacherous feature of the English language. They are words that sound the same but have different meanings. Keep your eye out for homophones such as to, too and two, or Poor, Pour, Pore, and Paw, and make sure you are using the correct version – which isn’t so difficult if you are speaking in English.
Our words which sound the same but are different blog post will help you to discover some of the more common homophones in the English Language.
Idioms also present a challenge for non-native learners. An idiom is basically a phrase with a meaning that isn’t deducible from the words that it contains. Confused? Me too. In England, there are some bizarre phrases such as: ‘kill two birds with one stone’, ‘barking up the wrong tree’ and ‘spill the beans’. If you said to someone, who was learning English, that you were going to kill two birds with one stone, they’d most likely respond with a look of disgust. However, as a native, I’d know that you didn’t literally want to murder a pair of birds, you just wanted to get two things done with one action.
Now, if you think everything I’ve just mentioned was puzzling, wait till you see some of the nouns we use. There are a lot of nouns within the English language which don’t really make any sense. For example, there’s no ham in a hamburger, nor is there any pine or apple in pineapples. Also, butterflies aren’t covered in butter and grapes are a fruit, but they’re not the same thing as a grapefruit – All these odd names for things make it so difficult for those learning English to remember nouns, so it’s no wonder the English language has a reputation for being difficult to learn.
How difficult is English compared with other languages?
With confusing rules, illogical nouns, and words which sound the same, English makes for a very confusing language. However, there’s only 26 letters in the English alphabet. Compare that to the 3000 characters in the Mandarin alphabet! And whilst there are some weird nouns in the English language at least you don’t have to learn whether each noun is masculine or feminine, like in French.
Other notoriously tricky languages to learn include Finnish, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin.
So what can be done to help you learn English more easily?
Well, if you are looking to learn English more easily then there are some tips you can follow. For example, watching English TV and listening to English Music can help you to get a better idea of how certain words are pronounced and how sentences are structured.
Consistent practise is vital when it comes to learning a new language, so get practicing regularly. If possible, try to practise your English every day. By practicing every day you will slowly start to engrain English terms in your head, enabling you to use your new vocabulary effortlessly.
Another great option for when you are looking to learn English more easily or more quickly would be to consider an English Language Course like the ones we offer here at LTC. By studying English in an English speaking environment, you are able to immerse yourself in the language, helping you to develop real skills in an authentic environment in no time at all.
For some more tips on how you can learn English more easily and develop your English fluency, then checkout our 6 ways to develop English fluency blog post.
If you would like to find out some more information on how you can more easily learn English or to find out some more about our English Classes in Eastbourne, then please get in touch today. You can get in touch by using our contact form, by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by ringing us on: 01323727755, and a member of the LTC team will be happy to assist you.