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Education: Why is "English" so hard to learn?

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posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by Sphota
 


Plus, we can just make words up out of thin air and, if they go well and you can get your friends to use them, word spreads...

For example, taking an existing derogatory word for an ugly woman, Trog, which I believe is based on the characters out of the Jules Verne Time Machien story, one can make new words..

Trogtastic = "I say, old bean, that woman over there is Trogtastic..." meaning she is fantastically ugly.

Trogolodon = "I say, old bean, that woman over there is a proper Trogolodon.." meaning not only is she ugly, but carrying significant weight as well, looking like some sort of huge dinosauric Ugly Betty...

And so on..

Needless to say, I doubt most of my English brethren here would even know such words or what I meant by them! I am sure the same applies to them, they will have words that only they and their mates would know the meaning of.




posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:29 PM
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I still find it amazing that English is world wide spoken in many countries and is found to be a common communicator. Yes I know Britain had, and still has, its commonwealths, but you would think by now a more dominating country would globalize a different communicator with language. After all, our modern times has moved on but the language between countries still learn and participate in English. Bless my lovely green and beautiful Isle
edit on 27-7-2011 by sussy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:33 PM
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Just thought of something........ saying that English is spoken worldwide....... I can't understand people from Scotland, Newcastle, or any other dialect that,s spoken in our country. I know they are saying the same words as me but i can't grasp the language. Funny innit



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:35 PM
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Por que es importante de las lengua's mas fina...

Who knows...Spanish is a tough one too...English...well....I suppose just another spoken word over complicated by our ancestors...

No answers and still confused!



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by sussy
 


Look at this way.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the French were the biggest power and French was the "diplomatic language".

Latter 18th,19th and early 20th centuries, the UK was the big dog. English became the worldwide language.

Latter 20th and early 21st, the US is big dog. They also speak English so that just cements it as the global language. Note how many Americanisms have crept into the English spoken in the UK.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by Sigismundus
Groupies

The modern 'English' Language is spoken (as it always was) with different dialects - often with the same word meaning two different things depending on where you live - compare e.g. the 'English' language spoken in Newcastle, England ('Ave you got a fag, mate?') with what passes for the 'English' lanuage spoken West Hollywood California ( - with the Hollyweirdo listening to the chap from Newcastle, he might think he meant, 'So...do you have a boyfriend yet?') instead of what he really meant e.g. 'Excuse me, do you have a cigarette?'

The trouble with 'the English language' is that it has a large vocabulary - more than most languages spoken to-day with something like 35,000 words !!!

And it grows every day !


Ever notice how trends in the English-speaking world mostly begin on the two opposite sides of Anglophonia - California and England?



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:42 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


I'm curious, what Americanisms do you use over there?

One major thing I can never wrap my mind around is the use of should in British English...we "would" use "would" in the same instances sometimes. When do you use "would?"



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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English is an insane language, a long-term alteration primarily of German with additional pulls from various languages, primarily Latin-Based one.

It's better than that language in Star-Trek which was entirely Idiomatic and based in Metaphors and Mythology. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" basically means "Let's work together" in that one. Way easier to learn English than that one!



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


I always thought this poem gave a good run-down of the spelling-pronunciation dissonance in English (though, for it to work correctly, it depends on your dialect in some cases):


Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;

Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! 10
Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.

Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it's written).
Made has not the sound of bade,

Say - said, pay - paid, laid but plaid.


The whole poem is much longer and gives AMPLE examples (ha!)...go hereto read it.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


Op have you ever seen this video?




Probably a bit off topic, but I thought its a good example.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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Originally posted by EnigmaAgent
I've often wondered if other languages have puns, rhyming (like in songs, poems) and double entendres like English does.

edit on 27/7/11 by EnigmaAgent because: (no reason given)


Yep! There're a couple sequences in "Azumanga Daioh! The Animation" which are pun-based lateral thinking puzzles presented to and solved by a really-out-of-it high school girl.

Also, according to "Revolutionary Girl Utena", "ball" and "egg" are nearly the same word in Japanese.

I like anime. Shuddup.

also, rhyming is really easy in French and Italian. Most verbs in those languages follow set formats for their construction and conjugation, whereas english is packed to the brim with irregular verbs. (though we do have many regulars; they just don't rhyme very melodically, generally.)
edit on 27-7-2011 by Solasis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by Solasis
 

Actually, you'd be surprised how much English is actually based on mythology and metaphor. I suggest readings by the following:

-Michel Danesi
-George Lakoff
-Roland Barthes
-Giambattista Vico



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by Sphota
reply to post by Solasis
 

Actually, you'd be surprised how much English is actually based on mythology and metaphor. I suggest readings by the following:

-Michel Danesi
-George Lakoff
-Roland Barthes
-Giambattista Vico


Ah, I mis-spoke;I know it is, though i'm not entirely familiar with the extent; but even most of those metaphor/idiomatic words, phrases, etc. can be expressed directly in terms of other words, and can be easily translated by pointing to concepts. The language from star trek is exclusively that way, and is actually impenetrable without knowing the myths of the culture. English can be used without understanding the myths, even though it can get pretty confusing.

-- wow, a post about star trek, followed by a post about anime, followed by a post about star trek. I am really building up my nerd cred up in here. (Idioooooms.)

Also, thank you! I've read some Barthes, and have read critiques of Vico, but I hadn't heard of the other two. I really should have; I've got an English-Lit BA! My shame that I don't know these things is great.
edit on 27-7-2011 by Solasis because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-7-2011 by Solasis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Nobama
 


Might I also suggest:

...a Spanish song's interpretation of African-American vernacular English (Just the chorus, starts at 0:37): [EDIT: I changed it to a version with less background noise, and yes, that is their interpretation of the Sugar Hill Gang rap from the early 80s]



...and a Brazilian guy's interpretation of English. (I make no apologies for the interpretation done by the people who made the video, though).



...and another Brazilian interpretation (just the opening sequence - 15 seconds - the rest is Portuguese)



edit on 27-7-2011 by Sphota because: change video



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Solasis
 


i thought ball was "baru" in katakana (cause its not a a japanese word.) and tomago is egg... i might be wrong on ball though i only know that from anime as well... but i study japanese an hour a day on iknow.jp and its pretty cake. have katakana and hiragana down in under 10 hours of studying. one thing i dont like about japanese is ga is often written as ha when in hiragana. after a year and a half i understand anime fine and have an advantage(watching anime)with the order they talk in being subject object verb and english subtitles being subject verb object i can finish up most sentences in half the time and enjoy the show.


looking around some sites do say tama=ball but google translate says baru
edit on 27-7-2011 by gougitousakusha because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-7-2011 by gougitousakusha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:05 PM
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Mark twain proposed changes to simplify the English language.


In Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be
dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s," and
likewise "x" would no longer be part of the
alphabet. The only kase in which "e" would be
retained would be the "ch" formation, which
will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w"
spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take
the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well
abolish "y," replasing it with "i," and Iear 4
might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.
Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue
iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless
double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so
modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and
unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud
fainali bi posibl tu meik ius av thi ridandant
leterz "c," "y," aand "x"--bai now jast a memori
in the maindz av ould dodererz--tu riplais
"eh," "sh," aand "th" rispektivli.
Fainali, xen, aafter sam 20 iers av orxografikl
riform, wi wud haav a lojikl speling in ius xrewawt
xi Ingliy-spiking werld.


Starts out simple enough, but as an English speaking person, I find these changes confusing.

Anyone not native, find this easier?



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:06 PM
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I used to have difficulty with Affect and Effect, and I notice it now almost immediately when I read these two used incorrectly.

Oddly, I use the "e" in Judgement which I understand is a British way of spelling it; here in the States we use Judgment.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by Wetpaint72
 


This was going around as a chain email a couple years back.

I think he was getting at phonetic reform, in which case it would just be easier to use the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) since it is standardized.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by gougitousakusha
 


The word for egg is indeed "tamago"! And this pun is the only reason I know that. But the pre-english word for "ball" is "tama". (www.japanese-symbols.org...) I think the character misinterprets "tama" as being short for "egg" but i'm not sure of the exact pun.

My guess would be that "boru" is the word for ball in cases like "basketball" and "baseball", since those are really compound words, and may have been translated as such, but I have no real idea of that.
edit on 27-7-2011 by Solasis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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While the United States English can be difficult with the multi meanings for certain words, One would think you would attain it to reside here to further your goals in life.If I were to emigrate to Japan,Italy, France, I put the onus upon myself to learn their language and culture to assimilate the best of my abilities.
If you come here the same applies!



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