If you are reading this article, we are going to assume that you speak English already and are just curious about why it may be difficult language to learn. If you learn a language right from childhood, you might have some initial struggles, but it eventually comes to you fairly quickly, if not perfectly. However, as we get older, it could become more difficult to learn a new language.
People immigrating to countries where English is the predominant language run into this dilemma themselves. Some might argue that moving to other lands requires people to learn new languages on a regular basis. However, have you ever wondered why it seems like some people struggle to pick up English as a second or third language? Is there something about it that makes English a greater challenge or is it due to the person themselves?
Well, let’s tackle the second part first. As we are all not of the same intelligence level or degree of ambition, some will undoubtedly learn more easily than others. Also, those coming from a language that already has some similarities to English will also have an easier time vs someone whose mother tongue is, say, Japanese.
As for English itself, it is a hybrid consisting of elements taken from several other languages. This is the reason you run into rules and then exceptions to those rules. English does not have a logical progression from beginning to end. That sort of thing can be frustrating and difficult to remember when you are learning (example: words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings, like they’re vs their vs there).
Further complicating things are vowels and diphthongs. Their respective pronunciations can vary greatly depending on the particular word.
There are other examples, but these alone should have you developing a level of sympathy for those learning English. It’s not clear whether we have the toughest language in the world to pick up, but it’s most definitely not the easiest.