Difficulties of the English Language
English is the second most spoken language in the world, second only to Mandarin Chinese, in terms of the number of people speaking the language. However, English is the most widely spoken in terms of the number of countries where it is spoken and the number of people who use it as a secondary language. This is the reason why most people are trying to learn the English language, which is fast becoming the universal language. There are, however, difficulties in teaching and speaking the language.
The first difficulty in learning the English language is pronunciation. The problem lies mainly in that same letters, especially vowels, often have different pronunciation. The letters ‘a’ in the word ‘radar,’ for example, have two different phonetics. These differences in phonetics often lead to confusion from foreign learners. This difficulty also often leads to mistakes in spelling.
Another difficulty is that words of the same sound but with entirely different meanings, although some may have meanings that may be close to each other but are used in different contexts, are often used interchangeably. Words like ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ or the use of ‘i.e.’ or ‘e.g.’ is often confusing not only to foreign learners, but even to native speakers.
Grammar is another difficulty in learning the English language, most especially with the subject-verb agreement and the use of tenses. The language has three basic tenses but each of these tenses has different forms which confuses learners. As the verb must agree with the form of the subject, choosing the correct form of the verb is necessary.
The English language’s phonetics, similar words, grammar are some of the difficulties of learning the language. But once an individual learns and practices its uses, speaking and writing it is relatively easy.