It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that English is a beautiful and most learned language all over the world. It is believed that there are over a billion people across the globe who either speak English or who are in the process of learning English. Since it’s a universal language, every one of us would like to benefit from it improving English communication skills. While it’s true that English is a way to success; both personally and professionally, it’s also considered as a complicated language as well. Let’s discuss in a little bit more detail what makes itso complicated for learners.
There are various reasons to consider that English language is a complicated one and can create confusion to the learners. One of the most obvious reasons is that English has 26 letters in the alphabet (from A to Z), but it has many more speech sounds. To be precise, it has 44 speech sounds. It should therefore come as no surprise that learners can find it difficult to pronounce words properly. It may be noted that language learners often produce errors of pronunciation, syntax and vocabulary. English language contains a number of sounds and sound distinctions that are not present in some other languages, so the speakers of other language without these sounds may have problems both with hearing and with pronouncing. True, there is a good stuff available out there to help individuals in improving pronunciation skills as well as effective teaching methodologies for phonetics and phonology that can aid learners greatly. As a matter of fact, it does not happen overnight; it takes time and extra motivation and efforts to successfully complete the practical course of English pronunciation.
It has just crossed my mind that the beginners of English language can face difficulty in understanding tense-aspect-mood forms of English. English has a large number of tense-aspect-mood forms with functions of auxiliaries. Learners tend to find it difficult to manage and utilize them skillfully with various ways in which English uses auxiliary verbs. In particular, when it comes to using inversions with the subject to form questions, short answers, question tags and agreements and disagreements to declarative sentences, it becomes harder to understand the ways in which the learners are supposed to communicate. A further complication arises in the use of various modal verbs of English. English language has several modal auxiliary verbs and each of them has a number of uses. They convey special sense or mood, such as, probability, possibility, permission, ability, necessity, obligation and intention etc. however, this complexity takes considerable efforts to get mastery in these aspects of English language.
Another reason why English is considered as complicated language is because of its Slang and Colloquialisms. Slangs are words or expresses and usages that are very casual, racy or playful replacements for standard ones. Slang is a type of language consisting of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and
Idioms or idiomatic expressions are no less difficult in creating complexities for learners than those aspects that are hard to be learned and developed. English has a relatively high degree of idiomatic usage. The learners find it hard to understand idioms, because they are not sure what image the idioms are based upon and the idioms do not provide literal meaning including the aspects that the meanings of idioms get transferred to other situations. Aside from the fact that the meanings of idioms are not literal which means one cannot deduce the meaning using just the words in the phrase, cultural differences can be a great cause for English learners to find idioms difficult to understand. However, understanding the meaning of idioms requires logic, knowledge and constant practice.
In addition to the aspects that have been stated above, there are several other aspects of English language in which the basic learners can find hard to learn and understand. Still and all, the significance of the English language cannot be underestimated. We still expect everyone to learn and find benefits out of gaining strong communication skills of English. While it’s true that English can be difficult for learners, after facing the complexities in the process of learning and making every effort to understand and practice it, one can gain mastery in English communication skills. However, learning English as a second language is important for anyone who wants to be successful in both personal life and professional life having a distinct edge to broaden the perspective of the world, because English is a powerful medium for huge amount of information and knowledge to promote the worldview. Anyone who can read, write and speak in English, can keep in touch with the whole world without leaving his own house. It’s thus the English language is the most significant window to the world and the gateway to global growth.
K. A. Fareed (Fareed Siddiqui)
Writer, Trainer, Author, Software Developer
BBA, MBA-Finance, MPhil-Financial Management, (PhD-Management)
Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications and Programming
Level 1 - Leadership and Management ILM – UK
Individual Member of Institute of Management Consultants of India