Is English one of the toughest language out there?

Is English the hardest language to learn?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • No

    Votes: 8 53.3%
  • It depends on the person

    Votes: 4 26.7%

  • Total voters
    15

Calico

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My Spanish teacher said English was one of the hardest language to learn, pretty much every source out there will say that too when you look it up, even people learning it have said it was tough to learn but people on Reddit have disagree it's the toughest language out there to learn despite what teachers and sources say. Do you disagree with the majority or no?
 

DanielW

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I thought Russian was harder than Spanish, but English is my native language, so I'm not sure I am qualified to say how much harder or easier it is to learn than other languages.
 

CrinklyConnor

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English is actually considered the hardest due to the fact that many of our words can have multiple different meanings and pronunciations. For example: read and read, lead and lead, etc. We also constantly have slang words that are getting added into the dictionary pretty often.
 

Calico

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English is actually considered the hardest due to the fact that many of our words can have multiple different meanings and pronunciations. For example: read and read, lead and lead, etc. We also constantly have slang words that are getting added into the dictionary pretty often.

Well one person has voted no so far so they disagree with this comment lol.

Of course us English native speakers won't find it tough because it's our natural language and something we grew up with. It's a lot easier to learn a language as a child which is why toddlers learn to speak it so fast.
 
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Traemo

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It's not an absolute, objective thing. If your first language is, say, German, English is probably a lot easier to pick up than !Xhosa.
 

Makubird

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Actually I think English is one of the easier languages to learn. It has few case endings and declensions (I hope I am using the correct terms here). There is no polite form (everybody is ‘you’). Verbs have only few conjugations compared to other languages. And many English words have penetrated other languages like in Dutch: computer, checken (to check), shoppen (to shop), faxen, racen, streamen, timen etc etc.
Of all the languages that I had to learn or have tried to learn, English was by far the easiest.
 
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PaddedBrony

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English is actually considered the hardest due to the fact that many of our words can have multiple different meanings and pronunciations. For example: read and read, lead and lead, etc. We also constantly have slang words that are getting added into the dictionary pretty often.
Seconded. Between the amount of words we have that have similar meaning, the amount of words that have multiple meaning and pronunciations, not to mention all the slang, idioms, metaphors, similies and other idiosyncrasies the English language has, it is often described as the hardest language to learn for non-native speakers. Even if they have a firm grasp of it, you can still tell there are some aspects they have a difficult time understanding.
 

Midnight Express Snack

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As a non-native English speaker I have to say that I think English wasn't all that difficult to learn in itself. A good friend of mine called it "Easy to learn, but difficult to master", which is probably more fitting.

But I have to say that in the end, it depends on the person (which is also what I gave my vote for in the poll), because of two reasons:
First of all, I taught English myself. We had it in school (where it was a mandatory class), but I didn't really care about it. I learned it relatively quickly because I wanted to, which is probably a pretty big factor why it worked in my case, since my motivation and the "willingness" of the brain to suck up every bit of new information is way bigger (as well as the chance that it will stick in the memory long-term) than with someone who isn't really keen on learning a new language (or a specific one, like English, in this case). Most of the time I was digging up texts I was interested in and translated word-by-word everything I didn't understand so far and with each time, I noticed that I understood more and more. Pronunciation and hearing I learned by hearing spoken English from movies and TV series in their original dub, as well as from web videos and radios and the like. (Which also explains why my "dialect" is some horrible hodgepodge of British, American and Oceanian English, with a good measure of what I considered the most probable pronunciation at the given time thrown in XD). The upside was that I was one of the best in English class in school without ever consciously learning for it, lol.

The second reason is that my native language is an Indo-European (specifically Germanic) one, so it's got relatively many parallels to English from the get-go, since both of them were derived from the same protolanguage less than a millenium ago and belong to the same group of this family, which probably made things significantly easier for me than for someone whose mother tongue is Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Swahili or another language that's remarkably different from this single branch of the language tree.

TL;DR: I don't think that English is one of the toughest languages out there and maybe there isn't one that objectively can be called that. It depends on what your native language is and how closely related it is to the language at hand you want to learn and how big your motivation and sound your reason for learning it is.
 
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Poofybutt

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English is extremely easy, at least compared to some other languages. I admit the breadth of words in the English language can be a lot to take in , but an upside to having so many words is that it is easier to say what one wants to say whilst coming across as eloquent. Sure some of the structural nuances of our grammar can be difficult too, but it gets easier with time and that really only applies to the written-word, not so much the spoken word. Furthermore, a lot of other languages do not have words that are applicable to a variety of situations/subjects like English does.

I'll second a comment here, Mandarin Chinese is very difficult to learn because of the various inflections that denote meaning, it is a tonal language much like Persian and Arabic, which are also notoriously difficult to learn. I have also heard that Finnish and Icelandic are pretty difficult languages to master too because of the complex pronunciation of some words and their unique grammar systems. Why, even French can be difficult to grasp from a linguistic standpoint because of the masculin-feminin split :cautious:

I have some French friends who said that English was a breeze to learn and that it is a much better language for practical matters. They also said that they admired the versatility of English, how it can be beautiful at times and succinct at others :)

I also have a Chinese friend who prefers to speak English as opposed to Mandarin Chinese because it is a more straightforward language. The only difficulty this friend had with learning English was the multiple words with a similar pronunciation, but different meanings.
 
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CrinklyConnor

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While I'm not trying to put down anyone's opinions of what's harder here, I think people should respond to this with a more objective view on languages, and it seems the majority of responses are not being objective merely because english is their first language.
 

parcelboy2

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The only ones who find English difficult to learn is English speaking teenagers :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

Sheepies

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My Spanish teacher said English was one of the hardest language to learn, pretty much every source out there will say that too when you look it up, even people learning it have said it was tough to learn but people on Reddit have disagree it's the toughest language out there to learn despite what teachers and sources say. Do you disagree with the majority or no?
I'm pretty biased since English is my main language, but I can definitely see how it can be tricky as there's so many special little "exceptions" all over the place like I before E except after C... Except in tons of words like eight, seizure, protein, neighbor, etc.

And then theres the weird pronunciations like Colonel.

I know Spanish, and a tiny touch of French, and while difficult to learn different languages, they are generally easier than English.
 

RubberJin

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I'd say English is easy to get the basics of and most people could understand you - but after the basics there's a lot of weird stuff that doesn't follow rules that you "just have to know". For example, this rule:

Adjectives absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun.

So you can have a "lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife". But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.
 

Schwanensee

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So. I'm a German native speaker, and so far, I've started learning Latin, English, French, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. English was by far the easiest, Mandarin Chinese the hardest - I would say I've mastered English (even down to idioms), but I'm nowhere near fluent in Chinese, despite having lived in Taiwan for a year.
Then again, apparently English is supposed to be quite easy to grasp for German native speakers - I'm sure someone from Japan would have a harder time. But again, it's surely not the most difficult language.
 

LittlePrinceC3

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There's no way English would be that hard. Seriously, Russian is a much harder language than even Romanian, I think.
 

bigtoddler96

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Take English spelling into factor too. Some of the English words have two different spellings depending on where you're from, one variant (US-based) has "color", "center", "tire", "traveling", "organize", etc, the other variant (UK-based) has "colour", "centre", "tyre", "travelling", "organise", etc.
 
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