ESL Discussions

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.

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  • It's easier because english is flexible language

  • I know that English and German have a common background and I think it may make some things in English easier to learn. When I was 21 I traveled to Germany and was surprised that I could read and understand so many signs. I had never studied German but it seemed to make sense when I tried to read it. I had studied Spanish, French and some Latin, which may have helped me examine German in comparison to English and those other languages.

    I didn't know German lacked the progressive form. Now I will need to think about how that evolved in English. Much of English is borrowed from other languages and maybe that idea was borrowed.
  • 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 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.
    • Thank you so much for your reply. I wish I could have time to speak English as much as I want. Nice to discuss with you, Mr.Bob.
    • 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.
  • SpamBuster

    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...
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    • 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.
  • 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. :)

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