Among features of English favoring its widespread use are its sentence structure, based on a simple word order instead of complicated inflections, and its "natural" gender instead of the "grammatical" gender system of some other leading languages.
Your point? ;-P
Yes, English is one of the easiest languages to learn, but there is always that problem with spelling irregularities and some other rules that are irregular that make the language hard (example of irregularities are; the plural of "foot" is not "foots," but "feet." The plural of "fish" is not "fishes" but "fish.")
granted, i've never tried to learn english as a second language, but i'd rather learn some weird plurals than some of the grammar that i find in french and other languages...i think it's easier to remember individual quirks of a language than it is to memorize an entire complex system of tenses, gender, etc. i dunno, that's just me, it drives me crazy sometimes.
I agree with Clark completely.
Anyhow, the easier the language is the better.
I think that you would find English to be somewhat difficult, but not that hard if the spelling was different and you were an English-learner. As for gender and stuff, Romance languages would be the easiest because they have only gender and no cases (except for Romanian). But I think that if you were not a native French or English-speaker, and your native language was not a Germanic or Romance language, AND, English was written more phonetically, one would learn French easier than English.
Whenever the future may hold for English, it has proved to be eminently suitable for almost all forms of written expressions as well as for everyday use. It is sure to develop and change, for such is the nature of a living language. Probably it will become increasingly informal and utilitarian, under the impact of mass education and the mass media. Thus the written and the spoken forms of the language will be drawn closer together, making for greater flexibility. In the view of some, English might in time become the one generally accepted international language, although national political rivalries and the reluctance of speakers of other major tongues to yield primacy to English are formidable barriers.
Examples of the flexibility of English are not nullified by its unphonetic and often irrational spelling. And even here a defense of sorts can be made. Users of other languages sometimes get a clue to the meaning of a word in their own languages, even though the English pronunciation may fall stangely on their ears.
English is almost overwhelming in the richness of its vocabulary, estimated to contain more than a million words and to be the world's largest.
From this vast storehouse, users of the language can coin words to suit their needs or give new meanings to existing words in ways that seem natural and effortless.
Many other features lend force and flexibility to the language. Among them is the fact that an action verb can be linked with a variety of prepositions to convey both literal and figurative meanings as in combining "put" with "across", "down", "on", "over", and "through".
Another is the ease with which a word can be made to function as more than one part of speech. For example, many nouns may be used as verbs in popular speech, and vice versa, as "table", "chair", "seat", "curtain", and "shop". No other Indo-European language can approach English in this freedom of conversation.
That is the beauty of English. My French teacher in high school said that American English is more like what tulip described as being English than British English is. Does anyone think that British English is more "European" than its American (and Canadian) counterpart?
How so Antonio? In that the European version English is less flexible? What about Portuguese, Spanish and French? Do you think that they are more flexible the the Portuguese of Portugal, Spanish of Spain and French of France?
I listened to two versions of the same text; one in Portuguese, and one in Brazilian Portuguese. Let me tell you, the Portuguese of Portugal was very hard to read along from the text while listening to it being read. But the Brazilian version was so much easier to read along with the speaker; the words seemed to fit more with the pronunciation.
When I listen to the radio, I understand better Latin Americans than the Spanish. It seems to me that their accent is more flexible and easier to understand.
Where are you from, Tulip?