Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why English Is Hard To Learn.....

I have heard it mentioned a few times; well, perhaps more than a few times that the English language is so very hard to learn. As a young woman, I traveled through many parts of Europe; studying mainly in London, England, I did observe that many Europeans spoke English - Yah, that made it so much easier for us young students. When travelling to a country I always carried a "translation book" in my back pack, which; over a period of time, was very well worn with so much use. I fell in love with the Spanish and Dutch language and was quite fluent at one time.  On my travels, I could speak enough of other languages to get by - I always found the lovely people of each country so willing to help - many times, it was our sign language and that Canadian Flag my Mother sewed on my jacket, that got us by. Time and again I was impressed with the fact that many people; living on the borders of so many countries spoke 3-5 languages; with languages becoming secondhand to most and as familiar as riding a bike.
We have many words that sound the same,  yet have different meanings. I've left a bit of fun for you below,WHAT THA HECK, Eh!

We'll begin with box; the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, and two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose is never called meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a house full of mice;
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
The plural of man is always men,
But the plural of pan is never pen.
If I speak of a foot, and you show me two feet,
And I give you a book, would a pair be a beek?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why should't two booths be called beeth?
If the singular's this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss be ever called keese?
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him;
But imagine the feminine.....she, shis and shim!

p.s. I am now just realizing some readers thought i was serious?


DJan said...

That was indeed fun! I enjoy the inconsistencies of the English language, because then we can have fun posts like these. Thanks for the laughs, Saucy. :-)

Gail said...

Very thought provoking and funny.

Have a great weekend.

Jana said...

you are so right, thanks for these practical reminders&overview! greetings from Sardinia!

Red said...

English does have it's challenges but examples like you give make it interesting. You know probably better than I do that these are mainly words from old English that some how or other didn't change.

biebkriebels said...

Yes you are right. English seems easy because you hear it so often here on television and in movies but there are some difficulties as you name them. Also the sentences constructions are different from the dutch.

Janey and Co. said...

Clever...that was fun to read!

I hope the you have nice weather for your celebrations today!

Gail said...

I just use my blogger reading's still there and so are you.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

:) Gosh, but it's good to be home! :)
Thanks for sending the link. When I was about to put it on my favorites list, window came up and told me it was already there. So I once again began a search...and there it was! I went up and down that list over and over and could NOT find it. I won't lose it again. It makes me crazy! I have it earmarked.

I read your entire post to Howard. We had a good laugh.
The baby's birthday part went well. It was good to see my kids.
My daughter came at 6:30 this morning and we had a cup of tea together on the back patio and together we trimmed my little Fairy Garden. I started working on it and she took over. I think she wants one. :)

I have always heard the English language was difficult to learn..for the exact same reasons that were in your little poem.
Our words also have so many different meanings. For example "pad"..just think of all the things that word means. A place to live, a bunch of paper to write on, something to sleep on..etc. Lots of words like that. Even the word "state." several meanings..two I can think of right off. and so it goes..

Anonymous said...

It's lovely, Lilly, and funny for sure. I love the word "brethren" though I may never have a chance to use it. :)

Using proper words and their forms is challenging but in my opinion, the most intriguing part of English are collocations and the right usage of tenses.

I find it admirable that people in some areas speak several languages having no problem with that.

Terri said...

I always feel lazy when I meet folks who can speak multiple languages!

Gail said...

Revisiting and loved this as much the second time!