https://www.duolingo.com/Gelomyrtol

It seems that English is the easiest language in Europe.

May 21, 2013

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

I'll rise to the bait.

I don't think that English is that easy,.... but it is easy for beginners. No genders, no declining adjectives, very simple conjugation and plurals and the helper verb in the perfect tense is always "to have". This means that progress to B1 level is quick by which time you can "get by" and start to have proper conversations.

However the tenses are not at all easy, the prepositions never match up with your native language, funny apostrophes, there are tons of exceptions to each rules, half baked punctuation rules, pedants who can't agree on whether split infinitives are allowed and the fluent speakers have horrendous accents and are always making up puns or inventing words....... and then comes the dreaded SPELLING (or is it dreded, dredded, dreadid)

May 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Montalbano

The spelling is amazing, isn't it. Such a mish-mash. If English were spelled the way it is pronounced it would show its Germanic/Dutch roots more clearly. As is, it is a mongrel introduction to the many ways letter combinations are pronounced around the world.

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

For me as a non-native speaker English seems very simple and logical, too. Yes, there are many tenses, but they are the same for all verbs. In Russian (my native language) there are only three tenses (well, past, present and future, why do we need anything else?), but the verbs themselves are different. You have to use one verb if you want to say "I was writing" in Russian and another if you want to say "I wrote" (or "I have written"). There are verbs that don't have present tense at all. It is natural for native speakers but hard to explain to foreigners learning Russian. And of course there are 6 cases and 3 genders which apply to nouns, pronouns, adjectives, participles... ^_^

For Russians, English is hard at first because we have to learn to "think in English". Word by word translation does not always work. The same is with German or French, but unlike these, in English you don't have to learn cases or conjugations, so English is easier anyway.

Spelling may be tough for native speakers who first learn to speak and then to write. Foreigners usually learn the word as a whole: its meaning, pronunciation, spelling and any grammar information that is necessary. There is no problem to learn when to write "there" and when "their" because these words are learned separately. The same is with "it's" and "its". When I first saw rules about "it's" vs "its" for native English speakers, it seemed funny to me because as a foreigner I have never had this problem.

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

The their/they're,its/it's,your/you're are an indication of grammar sloppiness not spelling mistakes and the level of grammar knowledge for the general population is low in USA/UK and Australia. Don't confuse the education preferences in a country with how easy a language is to learn.

I'm sure spelling is easier for mother tongue speakers because you get to instinctively learn what are the danger words/sounds. Children at school spend hours every week having to learn spelling which I think deflects time from teaching other aspects of English.

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mallowigi

No freaking way! English is hard as ****. You may think that because you may be introduced into the english world since you were young, and young people usually learn way better than older people, but from an objective side, English is very very hard (and so is French and German)

Recent languages are usually much more simpler, the only examples I know being Esperanto and Hebrew.

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Esperanto doesn't count, it is artificial and was designed to be easy. English is an amazing example of really old living language that exists without genders and almost without cases and conjugations.

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

And Hebrew is not a recent language, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mallowigi

Hebrew has been reformed in the beginning of the twentieth century, introducing a much more simpler grammar than the traditional hebrew, which seems to be the reason why the hebrew seems to be much more easier to learn than the hebrew from bible or from ancient poems such as the ones from Bialik.

May 22, 2013
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