Jump to content
Linguaholic

Is English the easiest language ever?


Recommended Posts

As I have always spoken English I think it is the easiest language but I do think it is easier for non English speakers as so many places have English speakers. I am always surprised when I go away to somewhere English isn't a first language and they all speak English so fluently. If you are not English though any language will be hard to learn as it is not your first language.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Improve your knowledge of any language online

Actually, I think English is the easiest language ever, because it only uses basic A, B, C, 1, 2, 3 characters, unlike other languages like Russian, Chinese, Thai, etc. It's like deciphering a drawing, you know? And the pronounciation is easy too, as compared to other languages. No wonder it's the universal language that we have now, it won't reach that status for no good reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, English is easy to understand the basics. But once you go past that, it becomes extremely difficult to learn as there are little grammar rules scattered all over the place that you just won't know. Even I as a native speaker have some difficulty with grammar rules while I'm writing just because of the abundance of rules the language has.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard that English is actually fairly difficult. Us native speakers wouldn't think that (we're lucky in that sense I guess) but there's exceptions to a lot of the rules, silent letters, words that can be said in different ways to have different meanings (offense, defense, invalid, etc), confusing idioms, all the different accents that must be confusing for new learners, etc.

That's not to say it's one of the most difficult - there are a lot of languages that are more difficult to learn. But it's not the easiest either. Supposedly Esperanto is the easiest language to learn. It was designed so that it would be.

I agree with this 100%. It's easy as a native speaker to think how easy it should be to learn English. But when you really start to think about the language and all the little secrets and different meanings to the same word and pronunciation, it can be a real nightmare for someone learning English as a 2nd language.

English does have the most exposure, especially online, for people to learn the language though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

Well, English may seem easy, but I believe it is not. Actually, when I first started to study it, I thought it was very simple (as compared with French or German), but I soon discovered it was not the case. When I started to study it at a more advanced level, I soon found out that there are many exceptions to the rules (almost in all cases) and it is quite difficult to learn the grammar, especially. As for the vocabulary, here are the collocations, the phrasal verbs, idioms and this kind of stuff, which are also quite hard to study and to remember. Therefore, I believe English is indeed a difficult language.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a native English speaker and would have to say no, it is not the easiest language ever. The following explains why I hold this view:

The weather feels cool vs that item is cool

Have you seen my crib vs the baby sleeps in a crib

whether, weather

and etc, etc, etc

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think sometimes people overstate the importance of prior exposure. Keep in mind just how monumentat a task learning a new language actually is. You're going to be spending years doing it so a little head start is great but I don't think it will make a dramatic difference. I've always heard that English is pretty difficult to learn due to it's spelling and odd pronunciation rules. But I think barring a uniquely difficult feature (like scripts that have a symbol for every workd, etc.) most languages are on about the same level just because of how much time is necessary to become fluent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is for me since Filipino and English have similar syntax and grammar. It is one of the bigger influence of our national language after all, at par with Spanish. Most of the time, it's only a matter of translating almost word for word.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I think that I would say that it is quite the opposite. I think that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. There are a lot of different rules in English that make learning the language hard. In addition to that, there are also a lot of words that have different spellings and different meanings like to/two or their/there, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree with that dorann, for me it's a fairly easy language. I don't know if the fact that we are exposed to it since we are born helps, but I think the grammar and the structures are fairly simple.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I have a fairly decent command of the English language, I still am very far from perfecting the English language.  At the moment, I am currently reviewing for the government service examinations and English is one of the languages I have to master.  Insofar as spelling, vocabulary, and correct usage is concerned, I haven't had any problems at all, but grammar is something I am trying to perfect.  Sometimes I have problems with consistent verb tenses as well as certain modifiers.  That is why I am currently writing for purposes of honing my English skills, checking and rechecking my work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I think that I would say that it is quite the opposite. I think that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. There are a lot of different rules in English that make learning the language hard. In addition to that, there are also a lot of words that have different spellings and different meanings like to/two or their/there, etc.

I agree to a certain extent. If for whatever reason english wasn't in such a dominant position in terms of languages, I think it could be a fairly difficult language to learn. We are bombarded with english constantly, so that makes the learning a bit easier. There are pretty straight forward rules in the language, but also many exceptions and exceptions to those..exceptions. English is a pretty easy language to get the basics of, but mastering it and learning all the grammar rules by book could be very difficult.

Link to post
Share on other sites

English appears to be easier on the surface because it doesn't have as many grammatical structures as other languages, such as French or Greek. However to the non-native English speaker, it is exactly this absence of grammatical structures that makes learning English so difficult. Grammar imparts familiarity to speakers by allowing them to comprehend the reason behind the structure of a sentence, or why a certain word is used over another, such as in the case of adjective use when describing a noun in Greek, in which the adjective must comply with the sex and number of that noun. Once this rule is learnt, it can be applied more widely to other aspects of that language. In contrast, English learners don't always have at their disposal similar points of reference and must simply know that some words are used in some instances and other words in other instances. Rules are sometimes difficult to remember but once they are learnt they impart familiarity and understanding. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

English is one of the most simplest languages ever. This is because it has borrowed words from Latin and almost other medieval languages. And most speakers tend to recognise english words and probably make it sound similar to their native language.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I agree with the OP 100 percent. English is one of the easiest languages to learn simply because ae are surrounded by it. It doesn't really matter where you are in the world, you are more than likely to come across English in your everyday life.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Heck no. English is a really hard language to really learn. There are so many rules and exceptions...honestly, it is confusing. To learn the basics or to get "average" at English is easy. To get good at English takes a lot of skill.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it depends on your native language too. For Portuguese people, French is easier than English because words are similar and sometimes you understand it without knowing the language, but English is the first language you learn, even at school so I'd say they made it easier.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on the person learning it. I have a couple of friends that are absolutely horrible at the language even though they have studied English all their life. However, they are amazing at Chinese while I struggled with it back at school. Some people are just better at learning one language than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a native English speaker, but I will try not to be so biased in my response.

There are tons of materials and media to use studying English, so in this regard it is easiest. It is practically impossible to not be exposed to it. Add to that that many public schools around the world include English classes and then it may seem really easy. For Europeans, it certainly seems to be very easy, since other European languages share many cognates with English. And because of the proximity to the U.K.

But just based on the language itself, is it is easy?

First of all, there is such thing as being objective about this. Whether or not another language is easy to learn depends on many factors.

No one starts in the same place as anyone else. Give me a German and a Chinese person and I'll bet on the German learning English better and easier every time.

European cultures tend to have histories of being multilingual; they aren't shy about learning and using second languages. I was an English teacher in China. The students tend to be very shy and don't like to speak for fear of appearing stupid. This is cultural, and it affects quite a lot in the process.

I think the grammar is of medium difficulty. The conjugations are manageable and since they are based on tense, I think that makes them easier. Again, no one starts from the same place. A native Spanish speaker will at least understand conjugations. All he has to do is understand how they are different in English and adapt to that.

A Chinese speaker isn't used to conjugations at all and has to learn that completely from scratch. I can only imagine how crazy it must seem to conjugate something if your native language has no such idea.

Many people complain about English phonetics; I completely agree. They aren't consistent and don't make sense. The only thing you can really say is, ¨You say it this way when you do, and you don't when you don't." Ditto for articles and prepositions.

So is it easy? The short version is that it entirely depends on many factors.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The easiest? I'm not sure about that but it certainly is a very easy language to learn. The grammar is pretty simple, there's no conjugation charts to memorize like in French for example. It's generally just pretty easy to learn, I know many people from Asian countries who've been able to learn it no problem. I've heard people say that they even find grammar form their language annoying sometimes...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am Filipino. Here in our country, when I started going to school, the first language I was taught was English. In fact, I can speak and write better in English than my native language. This proves to be useful at work and interviews because I have to deal with different kinds of people in the government. However, there are also disadvantages because I can't compose articles, essays, and speeches in Filipino which is sometimes required of me.

Anyway, I agree that English is the easiest language to learn because there are only a few grammar rules to learn. As long as you understand the subject and verb agreement rule, you will have a firm grasp of the English language.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It may not be the easiest to learn, but it is easy to learn because of how much of it we experience in our daily lives. We see and hear English almost everywhere, on the in the internet, our phones, electronics, and even in our own languages. There is always some of English that some of us like to mix with our own language, and from my experience, watching how fast some people learn simple English, it is hard to deny how easy it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...