With about 380 million speakers, English is one of the most popular languages in the world. Most countries have it as their official language, and it becomes challenging for a person who has little or no knowledge in the language to communicate. Is it easy to learn English? It’s tempting to think that learning a language with a great number of speakers is a walk in the park, but this is not the case. You don’t need to be Martin Luther to know people find it difficult to grasp simple concepts. Most people, including the natives find it difficult to establish the difference between your and you’re. Just go to social media and you will find someone posting “you’re English is horrible”. Don’t be judgmental English can be awkward.
1. The English Variations.
Now, this may not be an issue with the native speakers, but to people who use English as a second language it can be daunting to figure what’s right. There is the American English, Australian English the British version, and many other variations. They all have their key differences.
American – British
Color – Colour
Eggplant – Aubergine
This can be problematic to a person trying to learn English.They don’t get why English can’t be the same. They feel pressured to learn all the variations, but it becomes hard for them to grasp it all.
2. The endless grammar rules.
Everything in English seems to have a rule. Words have to be arranged in a particular order or system. You can’t always put a comma in written English where you would include it when speaking. The comma alone has more than 10 rules attached to it which, by the way, have exceptions. Not forgetting there are seven or more types of punctuation marks each having their own distinct rules. Why wouldn’t your head spin?
Wrong: We had an ill driver.
Right: Our driver was ill.
The example above illustrates how placing adjectives in the wrong order affects the sentence.
Not stress as in the emotional feeling, but the degree of emphasis you put in a syllable. This one can be confusing. You have two words written in the same way, but how you pronounce them can bring different meanings.
PREsent- stressing the first syllable (capitalized) means the word is a noun and so it means gift.
PreSENT- stressing the second syllable makes the word a verb, which means to offer.
4. What’s with the accents?
You spend four years in college mastering an English course. You are feeling confident you got your groove on. You decide it’s time to go mingle with the natives and show your prowess. Only for you to spend hours trying to understand what they are saying. You are even tempted to think they are speaking French, but it’s English with well, a native accent.
5. You are still making mistakes.
You have been working hard to be the English Guru your friends even consider you to be a grammar Nazi. You think you are perfect, but your boss will still complain you missed a comma, and you have dangling modifiers. Don’t beat yourself the language is not that easy.
If you are thinking of majoring in English, be prepared to face these challenges. You can overcome them, but with a lot of PRACTICE.