How easy is English?

Guest   Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:22 pm GMT
Of course Chinese is hard, unless you are Chinese or from a surrounding Asian country.
Skippy   Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:39 pm GMT
I've heard this claim before. Learning English is not difficult, but being able to speak it in a polite way it where it becomes difficult. English doesn't have a "formal" pronoun (generally speaking, although many would argue "ya'll" is a formal pronoun; however, many would take issue with this as the dialects utilizing "ya'll" would be viewed as very informal) or honorifics, so there's a lot of subtlety involved in speaking politely in English.

I'm assuming this is why many foreigners are seen as rude: they speak English perfectly well, sometimes free of any accent, but without "sugar-coating" it frequently comes across as rude, even when the foreigner does not mean to be.
curious   Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:00 pm GMT

Is this ya'll used in Great Britain? I have never heard of it!
nonkayaderosserasian   Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:28 pm GMT
Is it "ya'll" or "y'all" ?
Guest-Guest   Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:21 pm GMT
"English is no more studied these days than French, Spanish or Russian. What is studied a lot is English International Creole which is not the same thing"

Well said.
blanchette   Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:36 pm GMT
Actually I've studied British English. Can you hear my accent? :-)
the truth   Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:39 pm GMT
<<Why do you insist in that Spanish is easy? Do you think that Spanish speakers feel offended by that? I wish Spanish was easier than English because it would be more studied. People study easy languages, not Chinese , Navajo, Basque and such, but I must recognize that English is way more easy than Spanish. Backward societies tend to be more difficult languages whereas Spanish and English are easy because they are evolved languages.>>

The reason why more people study English rather than Spanish is not because it's easier, but because English controls the media, the world's favorite songs or movies are in English, that's why people learn it, not cuz it's easier.
Guest   Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:45 pm GMT
Yes, English is much much more useful than the rest of languages, but not only usefulness plays a role. Also that the language is easy or not. For example very few people in Spain study German despite GErman is more useful than French.
Skippy   Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:04 am GMT
I've always spelled it "ya'll" but it is normally spelled "y'all," I believe. Either way though it refers to "ya all."
Guest   Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:12 am GMT
it's correctly "y'all"--a contraction of "y[ou]" + "all"
jella   Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:57 pm GMT
I reckon lots of spaniards may have trouble learning Esperanto as well :-)
drew   Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:54 pm GMT
I've asked various foreign friends who learned English in school if they thought English was easy or hard for them to learn. (Europeans, Latin Americans, Arabs, central and south Asians). Most of them tell me that is it "wasn't very hard" or it was "easy" to learn. Besides that, some of them have not studied for very long (only 1 or 2 years) and can already speak and listen very well with little problems. The only people that have told me that English was "difficult" were Japanese people. Maybe it's the same for East Asians in general?

So from my experience, English doesn't seem to be difficult for most people.
Japatroll   Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:13 am GMT
Yesa ita isa verya harda sira...enaglisha
Original Guest User   Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:39 am GMT
How easy is English? Let me explain:

Hi! Turn around.
Can you see my left hand? Yes? OK.
Can you see my right hand? Yes? OK.
Can you feel my third hand? Yes? OK.
Well, that was not a hand!

Easy enough, right?!
skippa   Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:44 pm GMT