English is difficult to learn?

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Anto
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English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von Anto »

Hi! Today I'd like to ask a question that it's seem to be stupid but I think that isn't. According to your experience, culture, native language, why english is difficult to learn? :roll:




Jamie aus Schottland
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von Jamie aus Schottland »

Hi there,

I think English is difficult to learn because its origins are from many different languages. I read that 60% of English words come from French. If you looked at a French book and an English book together, a lot of the words will be written in the same way, its just a question of how you say it!

The main result of this is that English has so many words (far too many if you ask me!). I think Russian has the next most but don't quote me on that!

Because of all of these influences there are so many ways of saying the same thing and over time some of them sound stranger than others. Maybe a strange way sounds good in German but sounds a little weird in English.

Another reason why English is difficult to learn is possibly because of the pressure to learn it well! English is one of the most useful languages in Europe. It is the lingua franca so if , say a Spaniard was to speak to a Bulgarian, it is more than likely that they will speak English!

Finally, English can be difficult because of the wide range of English accents you can get. Obviously there is American English, English English (verstanden?), Scottish English, Australian English, South African English!

Within each of these places there are localised accents such as, in England, Newcastle have a distinct accent, Liverpool.

I am from Scotland and I have to say that the Glasgow accent is probably one of the most difficult to understand. I even find it diffcult to understand it sometimes!

Sorry I procrastinated from the main point there but that is my thoughts on why English is difficult to learn!



Thanks,

Jamie aus Schottland :wink:

Duckduck
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von Duckduck »

You're so right, Jamie!

And then on top of that: One day you will have mastered grammar and all the rest of it and think "ahaa, now I can speak English!!!" But no way, because here comes another big surprise! :shock:

Saying something in this way or that will give away a lot about your social background. And where you come from (social class) is still much more important there than in other countries. But OK, in German we make these distinctions as well, fair enough.

Example:
You didn't catch something the other one said. In German you can say:
"Wie bitte?" => well educated or
"Hääh?" "Was?" usw => not so well educated

But in English it's just the other way round. And that is sometimes hard to understand for us Germans, something we have to learn by heart, so to speak. The higher classes say what we would expect the lower classes to say:
"What?" => higher class
"(I beg your) pardon?" => lower classes.

Simply wonderful! I love this language and the people!!!
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snarly
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von snarly »

Hello everyone!
I think English is, compared to other languages, very easy.

But what I'm really at war with is; the English pronunciation!
I don't like the th and the r, l, &c.

Peace,
snarly!

Jamie aus Schottland
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von Jamie aus Schottland »

Duck Duck, I think you may have been mixed up with the English replies of "Wie bitte?" and "Was?"

"(I beg your) pardon" is generally used by higher class people, or if you are being ultra polite, not the other way round like you said!

:prost:

I don't tend to use "(I beg your) pardon", I hope that doesn't say too much about my social background :angel: !!!
However, I do use "Sorry?" if I'm speaking to someone I don't know. Does it work saying "Es tut mir Leid" in German to mean the same or is it just best to say "Wie bitte?"


Jamie :zpop:

Duckduck
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von Duckduck »

Jamie aus Schottland hat geschrieben:Duck Duck, I think you may have been mixed up with the English replies of "Wie bitte?" and "Was?"

"(I beg your) pardon" is generally used by higher class people, or if you are being ultra polite, not the other way round like you said! Oh, but I'm quite sure it is like I said. I remember how surprised I was. Let me run downstairs and fetch the book I read it in... No, can't find it. But you might want to check this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English

It's on the list! Strange isn't it, you a native speaker and all... Maybe I should have been a little more specific: not higher class (that could mean middle class) but upper class! It's just that we don't really move in these circles, isn't it?! :wink:

:prost:

I don't tend to use "(I beg your) pardon", I hope that doesn't say too much about my social background :angel: !!! On the contrary: Lord Jamie, I presume? :lol:
However, I do use "Sorry?" if I'm speaking to someone I don't know. Does it work saying "Es tut mir Leid" in German to mean the same or is it just best to say "Wie bitte?"
"Wie bitte?" ist hier besser. Das "Es tut mir leid" kommt einer wirklichen Entschuldigung näher, wenn Du zum Beispiel jemanden umgerannt, oder Deine Partnerin/Partner betrogen hast.


Jamie :zpop:
Yum Yum says Duckduck
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caro64
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von caro64 »

Hi hi :freu:
now this is very interesting Duckduck because I can't imagine the Queen saying "what?" I would think she would use "(I beg your) pardon?"
And I can still hear my mummy saying "It's PARDON not what!" :mrgreen: I shall phone her in a minute and say "IT'S WHAT NOT PARDON!" :lol:
Take care,
Caro :prost:

Duckduck
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von Duckduck »

YES, but NO :lol:!!!

I didn't invent England's class system :shock: and I suppose, you come from the (upper) middle class? So leave your mom/mum alone, she was right in what she said!!! :P

They are talking about upper-class people - but I doubt that that necessarily includes the royal family. Although...who knows?

Cheers, muses Duckduck, wonderingly wandering towards the pond...
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caro64
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von caro64 »

:lol: Actually I would only use "what" if someone gives me a shout as in wanting to tell me something, and for "wie bitte" I would use "what's that" "pardon, I didn't quite catch that" "come again" or "sorry" :jo: I think if you use just "pardon" or "what" for "wie bitte" it could sound rather cocky, as these words are often used as a substitute for "what the hell are you on about?" or "speak sense!" What do you think?

Duckduck
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von Duckduck »

Just found the book I was talking about yesterday. I don't want to quote it at any length, just these extracts:

The word pardon is "the most notorious pet hate of the upper and upper-middle classes. ... , using such an unmistakably lower-class term is worse than swearing. Some even refer to lower-middle-class suburbs as "Pardonia"."

As a Class test: mumble something and await the reaction of the people you don't know:

a lower-middle or middle-middle person will say "Pardon?"
an upper-middle will say "Sorry? or "What - sorry?" or "Sorry - what?"
an upper-class and a working-class person will say "What?" (the latter might drop the t => "Wha?".

(From: Kate Fox: Watching the English: the Hidden rules of English Behaviour. London, 2004, p.76)
Ich weiß, dass wir eigentlich nicht zitieren, aber ich halte diese kurze Textstelle für vertretbar, oder? :)


Much relieved,

Duckduck
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caro64
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von caro64 »

:lol: So I was born a Pardonian :mrgreen: and now I'm an upper-middle :freu:. Very interesting indeed.

caro64
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Re: English is difficult to learn?

Beitrag von caro64 »

(From: Kate Fox: Watching the English: the Hidden rules of English Behaviour. London, 2004, p.76)
Just read bits and pieces and I must admit I learnt a lot about myself (according to kate I'm quite common :mrgreen: ) and it was amusing to read about the 7 sins :wink:

Here's my personal usage list:
1. Pardon, Sorry?
2. Toilets
3. Serviette
4. Lunch, Dinner
5. Settee
6. Living room (now) Front room (at mum's)
7. Pudding

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