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English speaker learning Spanish vs Spanish speaker learning English?


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i am an enlish speaker learning spanish and was wondering is it more difficult for a native Spanish speaker to learn English, or more difficult for a native English speaker to learn Spanish? I know both are challenging to learn but generally speaking, which scenario would be more difficult?

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I would think that it is more difficult for a English Speaker to learn Spanish. It is said that English may be the easiest language to learn so if in fact it is so then the person learning English would be better able to converse and understand with even a limited amount of words.

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I'd say Spanish is tougher because of its confusing verb tenses! The subjunctive isn't used all that much in English and is tough to get a grasp on. Add in the fact that there are no male/female genders in English and I think it is clear that it would be easier to get your point across in English.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree that it is so so much harder to learn Spanish than English. My reasoning is just because that English  has very similar words that have totally different meanings.

for instance: two, too, to.

also: there, their, they're.

and again: which, witch.

See, these are usually confused when people are trying to learn English, and once you get into the habit of using these in the wrong context, it is hard to break that habit.

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  • 5 weeks later...
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As a native English speaker I find the sentence structure to be a little difficult to remember.  I simply feel like I'm saying words a bit backwards which occasionally keeps me from attempting spanish in front of my hispanic friends and colleagues.

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English is definitely harder to learn. The sounds that native English speakers have to learn in Spanish aren't really that difficult, the hardest being the rolling R. Spanish speakers have to learn to say the D sound, and the TH sound, and a bunch of other awkward ones for them to say.

Also, it is very difficult to memorize and use different meanings of a word, which English is full of. Spanish has a lot of specific words that minimize confusion in their uses.

Lastly, I'm not too sure because I've always known English, I've heard Spanish grammar is one of the easiest in language learning.

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I think it's more difficult for an English speaker to learn Spanish. In Spanish there are thousands of ways of writing/saying something, and most of the rules that you're taught about grammar have a few exceptions which than you have to memorize. Now, when it comes to speaking it, English is harder, you have to learn all these accents that words have and some words that are written the same way but are spelled differently.

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Generally speaking... it is harder for an English speaker to learn Spanish, and isn't just because Spanish is a romance language, it's just English tends to be easier to learn for people from most countries in the world, specially those who have the same writing system we do. 

Spanish isn't so international, it's possible to learn it well tho, but it definitely is harder to master, unless your mother language is a romance one, and even yet the conjugation of certain verbs in certain tenses can be so confusing, even more natives like myself.

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I'd say Spanish is tougher because of its confusing verb tenses! The subjunctive isn't used all that much in English and is tough to get a grasp on. Add in the fact that there are no male/female genders in English and I think it is clear that it would be easier to get your point across in English.

I don't envy the poor should who have to learn Spanish for a reason or another, not at all! I have said it before and will keep on saying it: Spanish has some of the weirdest verb tenses ever!. So tough they even confuse natives, lol.  Not like that means much, given the fact most Latin American countries are not faring well in terms of literacy and education (I know because I grew up in one of those countries).

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I think it will be more difficult for an native english speaker to learn spanish than the other way around. However, I also think that an english speaking person will have less trouble talking in spanish than a native spanish speaker trying to talk in english.

While grammar seems to be more difficult in spanish, pronunciation is way more difficult in english. For example, there are only 5 vowels in the alphabet. In spanish, all five of them have a distinct sound, that never changes, no matter where they're placed in the word (although there are a couple of rules for two vowels together, but that's not the point).

In english, though, there are different pronunciations for the same vowel. For example, in the word "experience", there are two different pronunciations for the "e" vowel. This usually gives a hard time to native spanish speakers, since they would only know one pronunciation for that vowel.

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English -  harder pronunciation.    Spanish speakers have to learn a lot of new sounds

Spanish -  gender-based, basically one more thing you have to memorize about every noun.

Other than that, I think they are similar.  In my opinion, english-speakers have an advantage because we can learn more from books and ´solo´..  Spanish speakers trying to learn english need to practice on someone because a lot of the difficulty is the way words sound, which is hard to practice yourself.

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I'm not a native English speaker but as someone who had to learn English and is currently learning Spanish, English is soooo much harder to learn. Maybe I'll change my mind when I encounter the hard verb tenses in Spanish that was mentioned but the gendered way Spanish is structured (starting from a language that doesn't denote the gender of a lot of things that even English does, even third person pronouns for example) isn't nearly as hard to me as the sometimes contradictory grammatical rules that permeate the English language.

Not to mention all the borrowed words.

The homonyms and the nearly identical words that have vastly different meanings.

And then of course, there are those blasted contronyms.

I understand that the English were conquered by -- and then themselves conquered -- a lot of countries but could they have possibly made their language more easily structured, maybe?

Compared to English, I find Romance languages easier though my problem with them is usually pronunciation. Even taking into consideration that English is closer to the way my native language construct our sentences, there's so many superfluous-seeming rules that it was a task to learn it.

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I I think it would be a little bit more difficult for an English speaker to learn Spanish because let's face it, English is already everywhere and chances are that foreigners in one way or another have already been exposed to varying amounts of British and American entertainment and media. Though at the end of the day it still depends on how much the person really wants to learn so either can prove to be as easy or as difficult as a person can make it, regardless of nationality.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd say it depends if you just want to be able to understand and communicate in Spanish or if you're trying to go all the way in. Reading spanish is easier because it sounds like it is written and getting the hang of common sentences is really easy, however trying to go deep into the grammar, orthography and other rules can be very tedious and confusing. Conjugating in different tenses is probably really confusing for many people.

It also depends on your motivation and media available. In general if I had to choose I'd say english learning spanish is harder but I don't think by taht much.

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