There’s a number of debate round whether or not English is a tough language to be taught. The brief reply is that it is determined by two primary elements:
- Your first language
- Your studying targets
Let’s dive in.
It is determined by your first language
For starters, it typically is determined by what your first language is. In case your first language is just like English, like a Germanic or a Romance language, you could choose up the fundamentals quicker. But when your first language is extraordinarily totally different from English, like Mandarin or Arabic, it will possibly take some extra time upfront to determine a basis.
And it is determined by your targets
Typically, English is straightforward sufficient to start out studying, however it may be troublesome to completely grasp. It’s because lots of the primary constructing blocks of English are pretty easy, however as you progress in direction of fluency, the intricacies grow to be extra evident. So, if you happen to simply wish to be taught a number of primary phrases and phrases to your upcoming journey, you’re in luck—but when your purpose is to talk English fluently, you’ll seemingly discover it harder.
Let’s check out among the particular traits of English that make this true.
The easy stuff
In the event you’re studying English, right here’s the excellent news: A few of the fundamentals of English are comparatively easy. Listed here are a number of examples:
- The alphabet. The Latin alphabet utilized in English has solely 26 letters, that are used to make up any phrase you wish to be taught. In case your first language already makes use of this identical alphabet, studying turns into even simpler, and this familiarity will provide you with a head-start.
- English shouldn’t be a tonal language. This makes the pronunciation much less advanced, and it’s not essential to be as cautious with the tone positioned on every syllable. Nonetheless, this may be troublesome to get used to in case your first language does use tones to speak that means.
- English nouns aren’t gendered. In some languages, like French, every noun has a particular gender, and the articles and adjectives round it shift to match. This is usually a lot to recollect, and English doesn’t have this stage of complexity.
The place it will get harder
Now that we’ve gone over among the extra easy parts of English, we will check out the place issues begin to get trickier. As soon as you actually dive into English, there are a number of complexities that make it troublesome to completely grasp. Let’s take a look at some examples:
English has a big vocabulary
English has a lot of phrases—Webster’s English Dictionary contains roughly 470,000 entries, and it’s estimated that the broader English vocabulary could embrace round one million phrases. That’s a number of new vocabulary to be taught, which raises the bar for true language mastery.
English has such a broad vocabulary as a result of it’s a mix of a number of totally different root languages. Whereas English is a West Germanic language in its sounds and grammar, a lot of the vocabulary additionally stems from Romance languages, equivalent to Latin, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
One results of combining these numerous root languages is that the English vocabulary features a ton of synonyms, or totally different phrases that basically imply the identical factor. For instance, the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus contains greater than 275,000 synonyms, antonyms, and associated phrases. And sadly, most of those synonyms aren’t absolutely interchangeable, so the precise phrase you select does have an effect on the general that means. For instance, calling your pal “reliable” has a barely totally different connotation than calling them “dependable.”
And along with these advanced roots, the English language is ever-evolving. With an estimated 1.5 billion English audio system world wide, the language is consistently shifting and increasing day-after-day.
Spelling is a poor indicator of pronunciation
By way of spelling, the excellent news is that every one phrases in English are made up of the identical 26 letters. The dangerous information is that many occasions, even figuring out these letters can’t assist you to predict how sure phrases are pronounced.
There are a lot of unusual inconsistencies in English that may be very complicated, like when the identical actual mixture of letters isn’t pronounced the identical manner throughout totally different phrases. For instance, “tough,” “although,” and “by” are all pronounced in a different way.
Then, to make issues much more sophisticated, there are homophones—for instance, “by” and “threw” are pronounced the identical, however are spelled in a different way, and so they imply various things.
And eventually, there are a lot of heteronyms, or phrases which can be spelled the identical however have totally different pronunciations and totally different meanings. For instance, “wind” could be both a noun which means “transferring air” or a verb which means “to show.”
In the event you’re making an attempt to discover ways to learn and write in English, and even simply grasp a superb quantity of vocabulary, these illogical intricacies will definitely pose a problem.
English contains very particular guidelines
There are a number of guidelines that may be laborious to recollect when studying English. One instance is that there’s a really particular order that adjectives should be listed forward of a noun.
The adjective order is: amount, opinion, measurement, age, form, colour, origin/materials, qualifier, after which noun. For instance, “I really like my massive outdated yellow canine.” Saying these adjectives in every other order, like “I really like my yellow outdated massive canine,” will sound unsuitable, even when in any other case the sentences are precisely the identical and talk the identical factor. Conserving guidelines like this in thoughts could be tough, and it takes a number of apply to get it proper.
And a few guidelines have a number of exceptions
There are a lot of different guidelines in English, and sadly, many of those guidelines can’t be utilized in all cases, as a result of they’ve a number of exceptions.
For instance, to make a noun plural, in lots of instances you add an “s” or an “es” to the top. However there are a number of particular amendments to this rule, like if the noun ends in “f” or “fe,” it’s modified to “ve” earlier than including the “s” (as in “wolves.”) After which there are a number of exceptions to this modification, together with “beliefs” and “cooks.” And eventually, there are some plural nouns that flout the foundations fully, like “mice,” and a few that don’t change in any respect once they’re pluralized, like “deer.”
There are a lot of different elements of English the place the foundations aren’t simple, and have many exceptions. For instance, English verb conjugation isn’t precisely easy, with a ton of irregular verbs. And naturally, spelling isn’t simple, contemplating the various inconsistencies between spelling and pronunciation.
Rosetta Stone makes it easy
If English is your first language, you seemingly picked up lots of these items mechanically, with out having to particularly memorize any guidelines (or their exceptions). Rosetta Stone mirrors this fashion that you simply discovered language as a toddler, serving to you be taught by context and reasoning to construct a deeper, extra enduring understanding of the language.
Without having to learn directions or memorize sophisticated grammar guidelines, Rosetta Stone helps you faucet into your innate potential to be taught new languages. Visible and conceptual clues assist you to interpret the that means of latest phrases, phrases, and sentences. And also you’ll be taught appropriate grammar and syntax by studying examples and listening to native audio system mannequin appropriate utilization.
Whether or not you wish to be taught the fundamentals or obtain language mastery of English or considered one of our 24 different languages, Rosetta Stone can assist you get there. Able to get began? Be taught extra at www.rosettastone.com.