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I think for most people their native language is what they find easiest. But, like Randy, I think English is a terribly difficult langauge to learn and it is even harder to master (even for us native speaker). We borrow vocabulary from a host of other languages, and many times, we change their meaning by using them as metaphors, similies and idioms. Still, I love the language, but of course I'm partial to it!
I agree with Ryan. English is a very difficult language to master. I think there are tougher languages to learn, at least in regards to western languages. When I lived in Austria most Austrians thought German was the hardest language to learn (even though it was their native language). I suppose it depends on context and how much you want to master the language.
But yes, the metaphors, colloquialisms and idioms are difficult and sometimes outright bizarre. And we English speakers use them all the time. But the basics I believe are easier than some might lead to believe.
In my opinion is not that hard, at least I can name other languages wich I find more difficult.
You may ask yourself why I am telling this? The answer is easy. Since you're born and during all your life you're gonna run into English, no matter where you live. Today, the English language has a strong influence in almost all countries. So a lot of people (this also happens to be my case) learn english since they're just a child, only by playing games or listening to music and all other stuff. You'll find tons of words in English in a lot of advertisement/markets, no matter where are you from.
For me that's the main reason why I think English alredy counts with some advantage over other languages to learn, because it's so into your life that you'll ended up learning it almost by force.
I can estabilsh this statement talking by all Latin American countries, I understand that in other areas there are other languages wich have more influence than English, but if we generalize a little we can say that English has a stronger influence over the world.
I consider English is not so difficult to communicate in daily life . Their pronunciation is not so complicated as some other languages . But as remark as other native speakers shared , it is very hard to master English , so do Chinese , my mother language .
English is not the most difficult language for me because we are already studying english since we were young. English is also everywhere. Everytime I on my tv, computer, and radio all I can see and hear is English. when I read books, instructions, and document paper its in English. When I talk to foreigners we are speaking English but being very fluent in grammar, accent and how to speak professionally in English is a hard thing to do. Language that I may find very hard for me are those language which are not common or familiar to me like language from Europe countries.
I think English is a very easy language... Considering my mother Language wich is very complex, English is a piece of cake... While in Portuguese you generally have to especify thinks and use lots of words and declinations and conjugations, in English you can take shotcuts mostly because this inconsistency in Grammar, but basically it's a simpler language... a lot simpler... Portuguese is not very hard. Japanese is very, very hard.
Easy for the basics etc. Hard to master our weird sayings, idioms etc. And some of our irregular grammar.
Witnessed some tourists trying to speak with a cockney the other day, will never forget the look on their faces XD
no, i'm pretty sure ))
I think that English is very difficult.
That is why there are so many websites (such as italki) that discuss English grammar.
That is why there are "millions" of grammar textbooks analyzing English grammar.
That is why English has the largest vocabulary.
I notice that speakers of other languages do not spend so much time discussing points of grammar regarding their native languages.