Learning English as a Second Language, Harder or Easier?

Who has the easiest time learning English and who has the hardest? Please share your thoughts and tell us why you believe in your answer.

Do you think your own language makes it easier or harder to learn English?

So, my question involves your opinion.
Do speakers of French, German, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Pashtun, Greek, Ukrainian, Polish, Cantonese or one of the other world languages have an easier time learning English than people who speak other languages?

If I left out your mother tongue please be sure to tell me when you give your answer.

Tags: Arabic, Cantonese, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, More…Korean, Mandarin, Pashtun, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu

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Thanks for your reply Seeker. Many languages do not use articles and that does take a while for learners to master. I believe that India does give students a good start in learning English.

in my opinoin english is not difficult but it depend for something you should to live in place all the people around you they are speak in english.

Personally, English opens me perspective and I can see the differences between languages, but still they are connected, of course. It helps me in communication, to be more talkative and it forces me also to think more about structure of sentences and I like to dissect grammar, especially in my mother tongue and it is Czech. So, the learning of other language makes me understand overaly. :)

Dissecting grammar is a nice way to think about a language. We can enjoy thinking about why they are different.

Two things greatly help in learning whether a language or whatever, visual aids and text, if it through visual aids, then mother tongue is not necessary to learn English but in case of text without mother tongue help' " I think" It is impossible or at least too hard to learn English.

For example if it is written " bread" and there is a picture of bread alongside, then for the reader it is clear what is bread, without picture or a video, one will never understand that bread is an eating stuff, it will need further explanation and in explaining thing will bring more unfold words for which additional explanation will be required and the process will get unnecessary length, but if we translate it into mother tongue, the process is completed and over. hope my explanation works.

Thanx for inviting to such a nice and useful discussion.

I agree that seeing pictures (like using flash cards) can help us understand a new word and also help us place it in our memory. I used to draw pictures of things I was trying to learn in biology and then associate them with the name.

i speak farsi. there are some diffrence, ofcourse. like in farsi we use adjective after a noun. in my opinion when we try to translate our own language in English, it makes it difficult for someone to understand us . many times our teachers say in order to speak english you have to think in English. i guess its true, but we dont know exactly how to do that. nice topic, thx.

I believe that thinking in a language is difficult until we are past the beginner stage. A good way to learn to do this is to close your eyes and imagine a conversation between people. I think it helps when you can imagine what they will say in answer to each other.

My mother's tongue is Malay or Bahasa Melayu. It's easier to learn than English because our sentence structure is very simple. We don't have articles, nor do we have complicated grammar. For example; I'm using one word 'eat' (makan)

Saya sedang makan = I'm eating

Saya telah makan = I've eaten

Saya akan makan = I will eat

Basically we will use these there 'indicator words' to show whether it's current, past or future tense.

I need to learn more about Malay. I saw your comment and read about your language and then thought about it. I think that the different tenses of the verb TO BE work in a similar way to tell us what tense we have. Are you saying that in Malay we don't conjugate verbs and they stay the same? Working, worked, work -- eating, ate, eat--thinking, thought, think...
I think we all have time to learn English but we do not know how to learn it.
For me, learning English is my pleasure and I try to learn it for age. After taking many English courses I found that my listening, reading and writing skills were improved but I still cannot speak English as well as I want because I have no opportunity to speak with native speakers in my daily life. However, I do not think that my own language - Thai - is a trouble for learning English even its grammar is different from English. In my opinion I think the real problem is my bravery.
I don't know about your bravery in speaking, but you are not afraid to write to connect with people and share thoughts. I hope you can find a neighbor in your city who speaks English and get some practice to build your confidence.


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