Is English A Hard Language To Learn?

Read on and find out if English is of the most challenging languages to learn.

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Is English hard to learn? Honestly, no, English isn’t as hard to learn as you think. It is difficult but not impossible.

In fact, it may be one of the easiest languages to learn for a very simple reason:

The English language is everywhere. You could be sitting in a taxi in Peru or Mongolia and Queen’s classic song, "We are the champions, my friend, we'll keep on fighting 'till the end!" plays on the radio, and both you and the taxi driver start to sing along! That simply wouldn’t happen in any other language.

So let’s take a look at some of the other reasons we think English isn’t one of the hardest languages to learn – and why you should start learning today!

Immersing yourself in English is easy

Look, we’re not going to sugarcoat it. Learning a new language is no easy feat! How hard it is depends on a variety of individual factors – your native language, how much time you can set aside for studying, how motivated you are and how much contact you have with the language in your day-to-day life.

The biggest reason why English could be an easier language to learn is because of what we call immersion. To be immersed is to be covered in; to be surrounded by something. So whether you are using an app like Busuu to learn English, listening to the radio, bingeing on a series, or traveling overseas, you will find yourself immersed in the English language.

As the Lingua Franca (a common means of communication for speakers of different native languages) almost everyone on the planet knows a few words in English. Even some Bollywood films have up to 20% of the dialogue spoken in English. At the end of the day, if you don't know a word, it's incredibly easy to simply look it up on your phone.

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The trick to English spelling

But before you get too excited, let's talk about one of the aspects that makes English more difficult to learn - spelling variations. Take a look at these examples:

American English: I realized that I needed to practice my English and that is why I am going to enroll in a language learning course.

British English: I realised that I needed to practise my English and that is why I am going to enroll in a language learning course.

Spelling variations between British English and American English aren’t all that common, and don’t really affect pronunciation. British English adopted a lot of the spelling from the languages it was influenced by.

English grammar is easier than you think

Don't let English grammar scare you off either. Once you know the irregular verbs and the verb endings for the simple tenses, you’re halfway there. It's a bit like climbing the stairs, and taking it one step at a time as you progress from level to level. Make sure that you have a good understanding of the basic tenses and as you progress, you can learn more complex grammar structures.

Over time, you will even master tricky elements like prepositions and the passive voice. Stay curious, listen closely to native speakers and learn from your mistakes, and you’ll pick it up in no time.

You already know a lot of English words

English is a Germanic language, with French, Latin, Greek, Scandinavian and even some Viking words mixed in there to form the English language as we know it today. So chances are, you already know plenty of words in English, especially if you speak a European language. Many of the words, phrases and the Latin characters will be familiar to you.

English isn’t hard to learn when it’s fun

Learning English is almost as easy as sitting on the sofa and watching endless episodes of Friends or listening to the Beatles on your way to work or school. When something is super easy, we say ‘it’s a piece of cake’. And it won’t feel like hard work if you’re having fun and enjoying a piece of cake along the way!

So is English hard to learn? We don’t think so, and it can unlock so many exciting opportunities through traveling, working, studying or even living abroad. There is no reason why you can’t join the 1.35 billion people worldwide who speak English.

Start improving your English with Busuu

So if you’re wondering how to learn English easily, it’s all about finding a method that works for you and setting aside time. The best way to do this is through self-paced study and regular practice with native speakers and fellow students.