Posts Tagged ‘diction’

Why is English a difficult language?

January 26, 2010

Why does much of the world perceive English as a difficult language?  Some reasons include:

  • The large number of consonants and vowels in English’s sound bank
  • Irregularities in diphthongs
  • (In)definite article usage
  • Irregularities in verb forms
  • Irregularities in spelling overall

Of course, as a native of the United States, I grew up hearing and learning English all my life.  The difficulties in learning English are usually highlighted by people from non-English speaking countries that learn English as a foreign language.  The inconsistencies in English, therefore, are probably what make English a difficult language to learn, with a litany of “exceptions to the rules” to learned along the way.

Most languages of the world do not have the same sound banks as each other, even languages that are in the same family.  Foreigners learning English have a tendency to use the sound bank or fall back on grammar rules of their native language, resulting in a tendency to make the same types of errors.  Read more

If you would like to tackle a poem that reveals the difficulties in learning the English language, go here.

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Francis M. Unson