5 Common Challenges Associated With Learning English
The English language is unique in that while considered Germanic in root, it adopts many cognates and influences from other linguistic roots as well. It is also interesting to note that more people speak English as a second language than who speak it natively (with a ratio of about 500 million to 360 million). This unique fact, though, makes it the most commonly used language for international business, despite the fact that it is only the third most commonly used language, overall, across the globe.
English can be difficult for some foreign speakers to pick up. Sure, the Chinese language(s) can be far more complicated but English has some odd rules and obstacles that can quickly stand in the way for anyone learning it, particularly as an Institut Linguistique second language.
Unfortunately for non-native speakers, English grammar is quite complex, and in quite an illogical way. This makes it very hard for those studying English to remember all the rules (and variations and exceptions). Indeed, correct grammar use can be quite tricky, particularly in a conversation.
Second to grammar, another major obstacles many English learners encounter is that of vocabulary. Verb conjugations, variations, and tenses are monstrous in the English language and, thanks to a healthy stockpile of slang, cognates, and mutations, English also boasts the largest vocabulary of any language.
SLANG and COLLOQUIALISM
Among the greatest difficulties a non-native English speaker quickly finds are the many types of slang and colloquialisms in use across the country. Those learning English come to learn—and often rather abruptly—that English is rarely used in its “proper” form, but rather in regional dialects that have both subtle and dramatic variations that are hard to keep track of if you are new to the language.
Not quite as important, pronunciation can be a unique problem for new English speakers. This is both because not all alphabets use the same letters (or pronounce them differently) as well as because English, again, has lots of exceptions to its own rules. Consider the silent ‘k’ in “knight” and “know,” for example; or the different between ‘cough’ and ‘dough’.
As mentioned throughout this list, there are so many different versions of English used all over the world. Even in countries where English is the primary language (much of the United Kingdom as well as the United States, of course) there are both subtle and not-so-subtle variations that are difficult to follow. In fact, it is even hard for native English speakers to track all of the shifts and patterns.