When I meet a new student I like to get to know them. I like to know, why they want to learn English? Have they taken classes before? What are they struggling with? What is the ultimate goal?
Keep in mind, most of my students are from Mexico. Some have been fortunate enough to take English courses before while others were not as lucky. Regardless of their background or past I believe it’s always best to start from zero with a clean slate.
It concerns me that some are under the assumption that, “English is very hard to learn”. Yes, there are some areas that are harder than others, but for the most part I believe English is a lot easier to learn than Spanish. Here are a few reasons why:
1. The verb “be” is used extensively in English. Verb “be” in Spanish is: “ser”, “estar” and in some cases “tener”.
I am sad. Yo estoy triste.
I am Mexican. Yo soy Mexicano.
I am hungry. Yo tengo hambre.
This means that we have 3 completely different verbs in Spanish but in English we use one.
Now, how would you explain to an English speaker trying to learn Spanish the difference between “ser”, “estar” or “tener” and when to use each?
2. It’s very easy to conjugate regular verbs in English.
Ex: WORK- TRABAJAR
I work - Yo trabajo
You work - Tu trabajas
He works - El trabaja
She works - Ella trabaja
They work - Ellos/Ellas trabajan
We work - Nosotros trabajamos.
As you can tell from above, the word “work” does not change very often in English. He, she, or it does require an -s or -es at the end of the word. (Keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rule but they are very easy to learn.)
If we look at the Spanish translations you can see that the verb “trabajar” has multiple endings such as -o, -as, -a, -an -amos. If you are a Spanish speaker, you know that we had to practice conjugating verbs every single day while in elementary and that is why is so easy for us. I can assure you, it’s not so as easy to English speakers.
3. Now, the “acento”. Ohhhhh my worst nightmare! English does not require an accent, so if you are learning English you should be very happy. If you are learning Spanish, good luck! I still have issues with “acentos.” That is all I am going to say about that.
Let’s move on.
4. Do Spanish words have genders? Yes!
The table - La mesa (F)
The pencil - El lapiz (M)
The book - El libro (M)
The window - La ventana (F)
If you are learning English, guess what?! You don’t have to worry about genders! Woohooo! Everything is “the”. Plain and simple. Now, if you are learning Spanish, you have a lot to learn! :)
I am not attempting to scare anyone who is trying to learn Spanish. One good thing about Spanish is that most of the time you pronounce the word as it’s spelled. Unlike English, it might be spelled one way but pronounced a different way.
Anyways, I recommend not to view learning a new language as hard or impossible. Everything is possible with a positive attitude.
Have a good day!
Yes, it's easier to learn Englis than Spanish. My native language is Spanish, but believe me, for me is easier English jeje
Candice, I got it!
Sorry, I misinterpreted it as 'accent' in the sense of 'local/individul variartion in pronunciation':)
You probably mean diacritic marks and stress here... If i even took a Spanish textbook, I'd know it...
Well, still, in terms of orthogrphical inconvenience, English is a tough competitor)
Do you mean that fast speech is incomprehensible to you (a native speaker) sometimes? I have only noticed that there are phonemes that are pronounced differently... But as my only voiced material was songs... it caused not much of troubles:/
Candice, what kind of difficulties you have with Spanish accents?
I'm just curious. You see, Spanish is listed as the language I learn (actually i never put much effort into it. Up to now, I just occasionaly analysed this or that song or text... and hardly can say a couple of words:)).
You're right, but...
In my opinion, Spanish language is easier to learn than English because foreigners people can read and speak from first day, because for example vowel 'a ' spells 'a' and it never changes. You speak the same you spell, it never change and it is great and the student feels motivated and happy, obviously you only have to memorize the endings of the verbs.
Have a nice day and don't forget smile ;)