Learning a second language

@Pose123 (21662)
Canada
July 16, 2009 5:50pm CST
Many people today are learning a second language and I've been wondering which you think is the most difficult. I know that English is a common choice for many, but also think that it has to be very difficult. I have nothing but praise for anyone who sets out to learn another language other than their native tongue. What do you find most difficult about it?
13 responses
@ucue2008 (926)
• Malaysia
17 Jul 09
Learning language is very hard. I envy for those who has ability to learn language easily, because there are many languages I wish I could know. I learn Arabic for many years, and yet, still unable to understand it properly. My parents speak other language called Javanese a language from Indonesia, and I can only understand a little as usually they speak Malay to us, their children. I wish i can understand more, but yes, for today, many of us need to know more than one language, its needed, not only for employment purposes, but other thing too. Happy Mylotting.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
Hi ucue, Thank you for commenting and I feel that you are right. I only speak English but believe that it's important to know more than one. This would be especially true for young people. Blessings.
@agv0419 (3027)
• Philippines
17 Jul 09
I know two languages Filipino and English in one dialect here in the Philippines which is Ilonggo. All of our dialects is our official language and English which we widely use in school, business and almost everywhere. I want to study Spanish or Korean and I know it is hard to study another language aside from what you have know already. Now a days the trend in business and call centers are multi-lingual . It is very helpful if you knew several languages aside from English. I want to study Spanish because I think it much easier to learn it because it has similarity in Filipino. I want study Korean so I would understand my favorite Korean soap opera with no subtitle.
@France7 (385)
• Philippines
18 Jul 09
Hi there pose. Although English is just my second language, i find it very interesting to teach it to EFL students. One thing that makes these students difficult to learn the English language is that it has a lot of idiomatic expressions and slang which are definitely new to EFL learners.^^
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
Hi France, Thank you for responding to this discussion. It is good that you are able to teach English even though it is not your mother tongue. I've always thought that it would be difficult to learn from scratch. Blessings.
@HelScream (2823)
• Philippines
18 Jul 09
learning another language aside from your own is indeed difficult I could say that I know how to speak 4 languages fluently and know 4 other languages but are not yet fluent on them but now I try to focus on one language in which I wll add to my fluent list.... its very hard sine I only have one friend who could teach me to do it and we talk more english than this language I am giving myslef about a year to study this language and hopefully I could and would be able to speak it maybe not fluently but at least I would understand its basics....
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
Hi HelScream, Yow can speak four languages fluently and are learning four more! Wow that's great and congratulations. It has to be good to be able to do this. Blessings.
@zhuhuifen46 (3485)
• China
18 Jul 09
A second language is one more channel to access the other parts of the world. Learning takes time and efforts, but the reward is abundant. It is more than finding the brilliant culture from other nations, but directly related to the potential success of career people in the technical sense. With the development of our nation, we can also use it to share our civilization with whoever is interested.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
Hi zhuhuifen, Thank you for that response and I couldn't agree more. Blessings.
@violeta_va (4834)
• Australia
18 Jul 09
I grew up in Yugoslavia where few languages were spoken and just from every day exposure to them I learned them all. I can comunicate well using few other languages but not gramaticly 100% I also had to learn English at 15. Spelling is the most difficult thing as we write what we read in my language but in English you dont pronaunce all letters.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
Hi violeta, Thank you for commenting and it's good to find so many people learning more than one language. I think you are doing very well in English, it is a difficult language to learn. Blessings.
• United States
18 Jul 09
Pose- I believe English to be the most difficult language to learn for many reasons. For starters we commonly use foreign words as "English" words that are not truly English. The word Kindergarten is German, for example. We have a smattering for French and German words that we use commonly as if they were English. We also have the difference between Standard American English and Formal English. The origins of English also makes conjugating verbs almost a nightmare. The mixing of Anglo-Saxon words, Norman, Celtic, Jutes, etc basically gave us a brand new language that has roots in the romance languages as well as the harsher slavic languages. In terms of learning a second language in general, I feel children should be exposed early to other languages. Our own children are learning Japanese, Manderin, and American Sign Language, as well as German and Spanish. Their father speaks fluent German and Spanish. I speak Spanish, and know a bit of German, Russian, and Latin. My husband and I know Sign and are teaching it to our children. And we're all learning Manderin and Japanese together as a family. I think that time is probably the most difficult thing about learning a language. It's just finding the time to study so that one can practice. I think classes are great, but with small children sometimes studying at home is best. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
Hi Anora, Thank you for your response. I agree that English has to be a difficult language to learn. Congratulations on learning other languages and teaching your children. The world is getting to be such a small place that it very important, especially for children. I believe too that it helps us to have a better understanding of other cultures and contributes to understanding why people in different parts of the world believe and act as they do. Blessings.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
17 Jul 09
I think is wonderful to be able to speak a second language and even a third or fouth language. My first language is spanish ,and I took 3 years of french in high school. I love to be able to communicate with others ,and I really believe that everyone should make an effort to at least learn a second language.
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
Hi Mirita, We agree on this and thanks for commenting. Blessings.
@licelotd (54)
• United States
17 Jul 09
My native laniguage is Spanish so i had to learn English from scratch. I think the most difficult part was the pronuciation. Also, it was hard for me to understand people but school helped me a lot. Now, I am learning Portuguese and it is a lot easier cause it is similar to spanish. I say if i learn Engilsh i could learn any language!
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
Hi licelotd, Thank you for commenting and congratulations. Learning a new language, especially English is never easy. You are right that you can probably learn any language. Blessings.
• United States
17 Jul 09
English is my native language. Throughout my life, starting in childhood, I've taken foreign language classes including French, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Japanese. Japanese is the one I have spent the most time and energy studying, and I love it. I'm entering my fourth year of formal study in Japanese. A lot of people find it difficult, and this causes many people at my college to quit the Japanese program after the first year. We usually end up with about three to six people in the higher level Japanese classes. Being accustomed to studying Japanese really helped me out with Chinese, which was insane. I did really well with everything except the four tones; I think those are what really get people with the Chinese language. (Not to mention the Chinese professor we had was absolutely insane. Nobody liked her.) Asian languages in general seem to provide more difficulty for people more used to westernized languages, especially for those of us who are used to Latin and Germanic-based languages. Structure, alphabet, grammar, all of it is very different. I guess that's why I enjoy languages though - they always provide challenges for me to overcome!
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
Hi baldypriest, Thank you for responding and congratulations. I think it is great that one can learn so many languages. Blessings.
@treychi (121)
• Philippines
17 Jul 09
I can speak 2 languages. The language in our country and English. Though English was already like one of our language tongue so I think it doesn't count on this. But Im learning Japanese now. And it is fun. It is hard because we didn't use it everyday so we must need a lot of practice.
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
Hi treychi, Thank you for commenting and I think it's good that you speak two languages and that you are learning a third. Blessings.
@4mymak (1793)
• Malaysia
17 Jul 09
i speak 3 languages... my national language, english... and japanese... english - we learn this from the 1st.day of school - so, some of us may find it difficult (for exams), but i think most of have no problem understading it orally.. but put it in a long passage - newspaper article, speeches.. many might complain.. but for daily conversation, i dont think the majority of our people will have much problem - that's why we're quite a popular country for tourists.. plus the fact that we were once under the british rule (until 1957) - so you might even find the older generations (like my dad) speak much, much better english than the kids nowadays.. i think it is difficult to learn a new language - if you are not exposed to it most of the time - you have to actually be using the language to master it... that is why i say english is not difficult for most of us here, because it is everywhere.. in school, on tv, on the radio, we have english daily newspaper.. we have to use it at work.. as for the japanese language - i studied in japan for 4 years - no choice but to know the language because you cant communicate using anything else.. and when i came back - i purposely worked with japanese organizations so that i still can use the language - uptil today... 20 years of using the japanese language...
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
Hi 4mymak, Thank you for commenting. Speaking three languages is quite an accomplishment and I congratulate you, I speak only English. I agree that British influence in the last century contributed to English being spoken in so many countries. Blessings.
@greenline (14855)
• Canada
16 Jul 09
I just speak the language of my country. I do try to learn other languages, and do speak a little bit og German and Thai. It is always very interesting to speak a language other than on'e mother tongue. The sound is different, the grammer is different, alphabets are different. So, learning a language is very educational. It is in many ways learning about the culture of another country and nationality.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
Hi greenline, Thank you for commenting. I speak only English but think that the young people of today would be wise to learn to speak languages other than their mother tongue. I agree that learning another language would also mean learning about the culture. Blessings.
@Rodlkm (123)
• Malaysia
16 Jul 09
I am fortunate to live a country that we are exposed to several languages besides our mother tongue. Hence, from a young age, we are exposed to English and Malay which is our national language. Being a multi racial country and society, we are also exposed to multiple dialects and hence most of us could master a few. The language that I would learn though would be mandarin and japanese but I japanese a little too difficult for me.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21662)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
Hi Rodlkm, Thank you for responding. You are indeed fortunate to be exposed to many languages and cultures. The children of today would be especially so, because the world community is coming together as never before. Blessings.