Is English easy to learn as a second language?

Everybody has opinions about how easy languages are to learn including English.

How easy a language is to learn depends on a number of different factors including:

What is your native language?

It may be easier for a Germanic-root language speaker to pick up English than an Arabic speaker because the grammar can be more similar to Germanic languages.

How many languages have you learned?

If English is your FIRST second language. You aren’t just learning a language, you are learning HOW to learn a language which creates much more effort. For me, learning Spanish was much harder than learning Italian because it was my FIRST second language.

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How much passive exposure as kids or adults have you had?

Your brain is always trying to familiarize itself with sounds it hears. Once it recognizes a sound, it can separate it from other sounds (then words). If you have more exposure, you will be able to separate words quicker when you go to actively learn the English language.

Do you have a positive attitude in the learning experience?

The battle is in the mind. If you think English is hard, English will be hard. Of course you have to be real with yourself, learning a language is a long process, but if you set goals for study, it can feel much more manageable.

Each language is unique. English is no exception

I think some people think English is an easier language to learn because some aspects of it are easier than other languages. You could say the learning curve starts out easier then gets harder. Where as some langauges the learning curve starts out steep right away but then levels off at intermediate level. I’m looking at you Turkish language or Spanish Language! Spanish has a lot more complex verb conjugation and Turkish has the pesky agglutination (adding on prefixes or suffixes to one word to create complete phrases). English grammar can be “easier” than others in some ways. On the other hand English pronunciation is all over the place with lots of exceptions whereas Spanish and Turkish both have more simple pronunciation once you learn it!

I hope this answer gives you all a better understanding of whether “English is easy or not!“

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Camille Hanson

Hi friends! I create American English content for you and ESL Learners around the world!

When I am not creating videos, books or blogs, you will probably find me in a cafe somewhere around the world, studying my next target language or at home cooking up food for my family of five.

Stick around, read some posts and learn some English with me :)

NEVER. GIVE. UP. ~Camille

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