There’s plenty of debate round whether or not English is a tough language to be taught. The brief reply is that it relies on two essential components:
- Your first language
- Your studying objectives
Let’s dive in.
It relies on your first language
For starters, it usually relies on what your first language is. In case your first language is just like English, like a Germanic or a Romance language, it’s possible you’ll decide 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 relies on your objectives
Typically, English is simple sufficient to start out studying, however it may be tough to completely grasp. It is because lots of the primary constructing blocks of English are pretty easy, however as you progress in the direction of fluency, the intricacies turn out to be extra evident. So, for those who simply wish to be taught a couple of primary phrases and phrases in your upcoming journey, you’re in luck—but when your aim is to talk English fluently, you’ll probably discover it harder.
Let’s check out a few of the particular traits of English that make this true.
The easy stuff
When you’re studying English, right here’s the excellent news: A few of the fundamentals of English are comparatively easy. Listed below are a couple 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 similar alphabet, studying turns into even simpler, and this familiarity offers you a head-start.
- English isn’t a tonal language. This makes the pronunciation much less complicated, and it’s not essential to be as cautious with the tone positioned on every syllable. Nonetheless, this may be tough to get used to in case your first language does use tones to speak which 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 could be 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 a few of 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 plenty of complexities that make it tough 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 consists of roughly 470,000 entries, and it’s estimated that the broader English vocabulary could embody round 1,000,000 phrases. That’s plenty 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, resembling 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 consists of 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 which means. For instance, calling your pal “reliable” has a barely totally different connotation than calling them “dependable.”
And along with these complicated roots, the English language is ever-evolving. With an estimated 1.5 billion English audio system around the globe, the language is continually shifting and increasing each day.
Spelling is a poor indicator of pronunciation
By way of spelling, the excellent news is that each one phrases in English are made up of the identical 26 letters. The dangerous information is that many instances, even figuring out these letters can’t aid you predict how sure phrases are pronounced.
There are numerous unusual inconsistencies in English that may be very complicated, like when the identical actual mixture of letters isn’t pronounced the identical approach throughout totally different phrases. For instance, “tough,” “although,” and “by” are all pronounced otherwise.
Then, to make issues much more sophisticated, there are homophones—for instance, “by” and “threw” are pronounced the identical, however are spelled otherwise, they usually imply various things.
And at last, there are numerous heteronyms, or phrases which might be spelled the identical however have totally different pronunciations and totally different meanings. For instance, “wind” will be both a noun which means “transferring air” or a verb which means “to show.”
When you’re attempting 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 consists of very particular guidelines
There are a couple of guidelines that may be onerous 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, shade, origin/materials, qualifier, after which noun. For instance, “I like my huge outdated yellow canine.” Saying these adjectives in some other order, like “I like my yellow outdated huge canine,” will sound flawed, even when in any other case the sentences are precisely the identical and talk the identical factor. Conserving guidelines like this in thoughts will be tough, and it takes plenty of apply to get it proper.
And a few guidelines have plenty of exceptions
There are numerous different guidelines in English, and sadly, many of those guidelines can’t be utilized in all situations, 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 at last, there are some plural nouns that flout the principles utterly, like “mice,” and a few that don’t change in any respect once they’re pluralized, like “deer.”
There are numerous different elements of English the place the principles aren’t easy, and have many exceptions. For instance, English verb conjugation isn’t precisely easy, with a ton of irregular verbs. And naturally, spelling isn’t straightforward, contemplating the various inconsistencies between spelling and pronunciation.
Rosetta Stone makes it easy
If English is your first language, you probably picked up lots of these items robotically, with out having to particularly memorize any guidelines (or their exceptions). Rosetta Stone mirrors this fashion that you just discovered language as a baby, 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 capacity to be taught new languages. Visible and conceptual clues aid you interpret the which means of recent 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 one in every of our 24 different languages, Rosetta Stone might help you get there. Able to get began? Be taught extra at www.rosettastone.com.