Cliquez ici pour revenir à l'accueil... Créer un test / 1 leçon par semaine
Connectez-vous !

Cliquez ici pour vous connecter
Nouveau compte
4 millions de comptes créés

100% gratuit !

Comme des milliers de personnes, recevez gratuitement chaque semaine une leçon d'anglais !

- Accueil
- Aide/Contact
- Accès rapides
- Imprimer
- Lire cet extrait
- Livre d'or
- Nouveautés
- Plan du site
- Presse
- Recommander
- Signaler un bug
- Traduire cet extrait
- Webmasters
- Lien sur votre site

> Publicités :

> Partenaires :
-Jeux gratuits
-Nos autres sites

<< Retour au forum || Aller tout en bas

English only
All your questions about the English language, no French allowed.

Ce sujet est fermé, vous ne pouvez pas poster de réponses

the hardest thing about English?
Message de swimminlee89 posté le 24-04-2005 à 00:09:38 (S | E | F | I)

Hi! I'm American and learning French. I was wondering, to all you French people learning English, what is the hardest thing to learn? For me, memorizing genders is hard, and so are place prepositions (en Angleterre, au Japon, a Paris, au Madagascar...). And verbs. Acheter, appeler, and payer will be my undoing; I can never remember where the accents go or when the L is doubled and the Y turns to an I. So anyway, I was just wondering what the hardest thing is for you to learn, in English.

Edité par bridg le 24-04-2005 07:26

Réponse: what is the hardest thing about English? de jardin62, postée le 24-04-2005 à 06:43:26 (S | E)
I remember how difficult it was for me to get used to that sort of sentence building:
ex :Someone enters a room with brutality...He has to open a door:
=> He banged the door open
It needed a lot of reading and practice at the time.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de aimen7, postée le 24-04-2005 à 08:30:29 (S | E)
For me the hardest thing to learn in English is "the prepositional verbs".
Sometimes they are followed by more than two prepositions and it's hard to memorize. I master just a few of them, but I know I will never learn them all.
Let's take "get" as an example, it can be combined with more than 26 prepositions. As a result we have more than 26 meanings. That's difficult for learners of English.
-Look at that one: "He broke the law and got away with it", (Il a violé la loi en toute impunité) et non pas (Il a violé la loi et est parti avec) , I'm joking here.

What about you native speakers, do you know them all?

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de alexgowes, postée le 25-04-2005 à 19:24:57 (S | E)
If you asked a typical native English speaker about prepositional verbs, he wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. Of course he knows how the use them, in fact he uses them hundreds of times each day, but he never thinks of them as a discrete element of grammar. That's the huge advantage that a native speaker (of any language) enjoys. He is so familiar with his language that it's all automatic.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de liz66, postée le 25-04-2005 à 20:15:58 (S | E)
for young beginners, one important difficulty is the difference between the way a word is pronounced and the way it is written (other difficulties: word stress, sentence intonation ....)therefore we practise a lot in class ....

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de post-scriptum, postée le 26-04-2005 à 20:55:23 (S | E)
Good evening,

Well, because I'm a beginner in English, I am firstly having difficulties remembering things, especially for the present tenses. I never know when to use present, present continuous, prersent perfect and present perfect continuous. I suppose you are having the same difficulties when you have to use "passé composé" or "imparfait" in French!

Secondly, a native English speakers don't say all of the letters in a word, whereas non-English speakers often do. They run their letters together so their words sound like "mush" compared to how they should sound in our "academic" English! So, I suppose I sound like a Spanish cow speaking Chinese when I'm speaking English! I'm certain you would find that quite funny...

Friendship from France.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de traviskidd, postée le 27-04-2005 à 02:01:09 (S | E)
Haha ... it's the same thing when we try to learn French!

Written French is one thing ... if you learn all the rules (complicated as they are sometimes, with noun genders and a commonly-used subjunctive) and have a dictionary handy, you can manage fairly well to read and write in good French.

But spoken French is quite another! Everything we learned in school about how to pronounce words, becomes a complete blur when we listen to actual French being spoken by francophones! When a francophone speaks at a "normal" pace, I'm lucky if I can understand one word in three! It's very hard to separate words in a foreign language, because, I think, we haven't yet formed "word correlations" in our minds. That is to say, our minds don't have a "short list" of words which are likely to follow other words, so it becomes impossible for our minds to find the right word before the next word is spoken. (Not to mention, we are always wondering if some word has been said that we have never heard before!)

Furthermore, this problem is compounded by the fact that, unlike reading, when listening to someone speak we only have one chance to understand him (unless we are listening to a recording, of course)! If we don't understand something the speaker has said, we can't go back and "relisten" again and again until we finally understand. And once we don't understand one thing, we will be even less likely to understand whatever is said afterwards, and so on and so forth.

I fear the problem of being able to speak and listen fluently can truly be overcome only by moving to and living in a country whose language is the one you want to learn. Otherwise, the best that you can do is learn to understand "academic English" (or in our case, "academic French") as best as you can, and hope that it will serve you well if and when you visit an English-speaking country.

Here's a funny little anecdote: I was once listening to an audio documentary about D-day on Le Monde's website. I was listening to the narrator and I hardly understood anything she said! But then, an American veteran started talking, in French. And I knew that his French accent was absolutely horrible, because I understood it perfectly!!

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de post-scriptum, postée le 27-04-2005 à 14:16:37 (S | E)
Good morning traviskidd,

Your anectote makes me laugh! ... Be sure it's the same problem for a French speaker... All that you said is true.

I should like to add that all the babies are already different when they say some babils for the first time! So, an American baby doesn't ever pronounce his first babils like a French baby or a Chinese one, etc.

Thank you. Have a nice day. See you.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de traviskidd, postée le 27-04-2005 à 18:41:09 (S | E)
Or maybe, they pronounce them the same, and just spell them differently!

American baby: goo-goo
French baby: gou-gou
Chinese baby: (i'm sure there must be some Chinese character that fits here!)

I'm kidding, of course.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de aimen7, postée le 27-04-2005 à 19:02:34 (S | E)
Hello everybody,
What could babies be already different in, postcriptum? They're quite the same. They start making sounds the same way. I mean, the speech organs are the same and the different positions taken by the tongue in a very random way, altogether with the vibration of the vocal cords will unable the production of these sounds. Babies will then produce the same sounds. It's later that things are going to changes because of the linguistic environment in which babies are growing up. They'll imitate the sounds around them, therefore we' ll get as many different sounds as they are languages.
Don't you agree with me?

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de post-scriptum, postée le 27-04-2005 à 19:52:59 (S | E)
Yes, I do. With their bibils, the young babies always mimic their parents, their voices, their words... Because they try to imitate the sounds around them, they don't say the same "arheu"... Because the linguistic environment in which babies are growing up is so different, they sound different!
See you.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de alexgowes, postée le 27-04-2005 à 19:57:23 (S | E)
Babies hear their mothers voice long before they are born. They are already used to hearing a certain rhythm of speech each day.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de post-scriptum, postée le 27-04-2005 à 20:07:59 (S | E)
Yes, I do, babies would produce the same sounds. Because they always mimic their parents, their voices, they'll never say the same "arheu". Because of the linguistic environment in which babies are growing up is different, they'll always imitate the sounds around them. They'll get at lots of different sounds. lately, they get good at parents's language.
I agree with you.
Thanking you. See you.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de aimen7, postée le 27-04-2005 à 20:40:34 (S | E)
Good evening,
there's no doubt that the acquisition of language sounds, rythme of speech and the like is a process that starts before the birth.

I'm curious to know how babies other than French ones say the famous "areuh" or "ahreu".?!?!
Bonne soirée.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de ruofei, postée le 28-04-2005 à 06:29:49 (S | E)
Challenges change through the discovery of language ('developmental sequences' or stages)
Our very first problem is to accept that English speakers don't think likewise: why do they have to be cold?! It'd be much more 'logical' if they had it!
One of the greatest problems I came up against during my lower intermediate stage was to distinguish the British English from the American's. I knew some words belonged to either (e.g. UK 'flavour', US 'flavor') but this knowledge was at first limited. I had to gradually edit 2 dictionaries in my head and I'm still doing so.. Two years ago, -I was then not used to native spoken English but only the English spoken by French- I couldn't even tell the two accents apart. Now that I've experienced both, I think I'm getting along.
Today I'd say I'm in a upper intermediate level and the thing I find the hardest is to tell what's formal and what's less formal. Unless you look up in a dictionary and find out which register of language words are from, it's kind of hard to figure out their nature. I remember saying once to my teacher (boy, was he a character!): "Oh will you stop screwing around" and to my friend: "should you wish to call me, here's my phone number". I messed up with both partners and use sentences that just didn't fit to contexts.
As for first language acquisition, yes Aimen7, you're right; there's a high degree of similarity in the early language of children all over the world. They make sounds and sort of train their vocal cords . Even in their early weeks of life, babies can hear the subtle difference between a 'ga' sound and a 'ka' sound, for instance, and it'll be a couple of months before they start to reflect the, let's say 'characteristics', of the different languages they're learning, as Post-scriptum pointed out. In the Chinese language, the sounds 'd' and 't' as well as 'k' and 'g' are not distinguished from; to my students 'bateau' and 'cadeau' are the same words! The 'v' sound isnt used either and if you have them repeat 'ta voiture verte', they will struggle a lot and eventually say: "da watour wouerte" . Same for me, I can't quite hear the 4 tones they use, however, because I'm used to Mandarin sounds, I can clearly tell them from that of Cantonese -even though few Madarin words are still abstractions to me. I'm like 3-year-old Chinese kids! , I produce frequently repeated words and combine them into basic sentences...with my French accent on top of that!

N.B. Chinese babies' "areuh areuh' is "ba, ba, ba"
NB. [swimminlee] à Madagascar.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de serena, postée le 28-04-2005 à 13:08:51 (S | E)
Hi !

It's such an interesting subject !
I won't talk about the difficulties of a language for a non-native speaker as you've already done. It seems to me that we all have the same problems.
But Alexgowes's point makes me think as for a baby being used to his mother tongue before he's born.
I do agree with you alex. But I agree more with the fact that the surrounding influences more. Let me tell you why.

I was born in an anglophone country. I spoke only American English until I was 10 though living in Ivory Coast where French is spoken. As time passed, I got more and more involved in the francophone environment. Today, I maybe have a good level at writing and expressing myself, but I'm much more of a francophone.

I can understand the British natives more than the American ones, cause I've always been in touch with British citizens.
So, I agree with Travis saying that to get used to the language we want to speak fluently, we need to live for a while in a country where this language is spoken, or at least have many acquaintances of native speakers. And it would be better if they could be our neighbours.

By the way swimminlee, I've found some good rules to manage with the genders of the nouns in French. If you're interested in this, tell me.

Nice day to all !

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de werriy58, postée le 28-04-2005 à 14:48:55 (S | E)
Hi Amarican swimminlee89,
For me the hardest thing about English is the {i} pronounciation, sometime {i} is pronounced as (ai) for example time, line, pipe; and in another way it is pronounced as (e) for example with, listen, in, is, radio, him...
The huge problem is in hearing and listening an English native, if you do a dialog with him and also to hear and listen them to the radio and TV sit. Swimminlee89 it's terrible for me and american is again more hard with their link and their (flipping of the tongue : city = cidi; voting = voding).
See you soon. Werriy58

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de werriy58, postée le 28-04-2005 à 14:51:45 (S | E)
Hello alexgowes,
Could you give me some prepositional verbs please (remind me a bit), I don't understand very well I'm blur. I hope to your help. See you soon. Werriy58

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de traviskidd, postée le 29-04-2005 à 01:30:36 (S | E)
I'm very curious about this "areuh" that you say is so famous! I assume it is French baby-talk but I have no idea how to translate this specific word into English baby-talk. I wasn't able to find anything when I searched on the Internet.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de biglion, postée le 29-04-2005 à 12:38:19 (S | E)
I am Chinese.I feel hard in memory of vocabulary.I may be a low-memory.So I have to spend more time in memorying words.Do you have any good method for memorying vocabulary?

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de aimen7, postée le 29-04-2005 à 13:16:38 (S | E)
HI, traviskidd.
You know, I've described a baby' "areuh" as famous because of the importance of the matter in a french family: It's the first syllable that we can hear from a baby and when he does it for the first time the reaction of the parents who are filled of admiration for their "petit bout de choux" can't be described.They are so happy that they transmit this joy to people around them.
Due probably to the linguistic surroundings(as everybody tends to beleive), all the babies in the world don't make that first syllable the same way (as you pointed it out in your funny joke).
To my mind, you'll never find "areuh" in a dictionary. If you want to know what it means, just ask a baby!!! (I'm kidding, of course).

Have a nice day.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de serena, postée le 29-04-2005 à 14:59:09 (S | E)
I’d like to point out that "areuh" or "aheu" isn’t a French baby-talk only. Most of the babies of different nationalities, and even of different ethnical groups (as for the Africans) start saying "areuh" as their first sounds. At least, this is what I noticed here.
A two-month old baby is said to be unable to pronounce the consonants. This is why he uses his throat first. Well, no need telling you that I found it strange when ruofei said Chinese babies say "bo bo bo".....

Aimen, I asked my nephew, who’s 3 months, what he means when he says "areuh". He answered: "aheu".....

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de traviskidd, postée le 29-04-2005 à 18:43:50 (S | E)
OK so an "areuh" is just a baby's first syllable! Interesting. But here we don't get excited until a baby says an actual word. Of course, this "word" doesn't have to exist in the dictionary, as long as it's clear (or as long as the parents can convince (delude? ) themselves that it's clear) what the baby is trying to say.

Of course, the most popular first words are "mama" and "dada" (for "Mom" and "Dad").

"Hey, Honey!! Did you hear that?!? She said 'Dada'!!! That's right 'cause she my wittle cupcake and she wikes me more than you! Yeeeesss, ain't that right my wittle cuppity-cupcake!"

P.S. If babies can't say consonants, then I feel very sorry for little Polish babies!! How will they ever learn to say a name like "Przyzniewycz"?!?

P.P.S. Not to stray too far off-topic, but my P.S. reminds me of a very funny article that I first read in The Onion. I have found a copy of the article on a website that is apparently french-speaking: Lien Internet

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de aimen7, postée le 29-04-2005 à 19:45:02 (S | E)
Good evening,
A very funny article indeed. I wonder how you've run into it. It came just at the right time to illustrate our discussion. Thanks.

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de weena, postée le 29-04-2005 à 22:17:39 (S | E)
Traviskidd is right!! "areuh" is the first syllable that a baby can say. I remember I was so happy when my daughter said it for the first time! She was only twenty days, it was so cute............

Réponse: the hardest thing about English? de traviskidd, postée le 29-04-2005 à 22:38:03 (S | E)
Aimen7, I first read the article about Operation Vowel Storm in The Onion, a fake but very funny online "newspaper". I used to read The Onion all the time! It was one of my favorite websites. I will post the link so you can check it out for yourself! (I will warn you, however, that this "newspaper" is generally meant for mature readers, and some (not many, but a few) of the articles should not be seen by young children or those with, as you say in French, "âmes sensibles". To quote The Onion itself: "The Onion® is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.")

Lien Internet

In particular, check out the article about "U.S. Foreign Policy"; it's very funny, and it shows a picture of a demonstration in Paris! (This might be one of the more "mature" articles, so you might want to use caution if young children are nearby. Moreover, the article, while quite funny, uses certain terms that I would prefer not to translate here in the forum, so if you have a translation question, please ask me privately.)

Lien Internet

Ce sujet est fermé, vous ne pouvez pas poster de réponse.

Partager : Facebook / Twitter / ... 

> INDISPENSABLES : TESTEZ VOTRE NIVEAU | GUIDE DE TRAVAIL | NOS MEILLEURES FICHES | Les fiches les plus populaires | Une leçon par email par semaine | Aide/Contact

> COURS ET TESTS : -ing | AS / LIKE | Abréviations | Accord/Désaccord | Activités | Adjectifs | Adverbes | Alphabet | Animaux | Argent | Argot | Articles | Audio | Auxiliaires | Be | Betty | Chanson | Communication | Comparatifs/Superlatifs | Composés | Conditionnel | Confusions | Conjonctions | Connecteurs | Contes | Contractions | Contraires | Corps | Couleurs | Courrier | Cours | Dates | Dialogues | Dictées | Décrire | Ecole | En attente | Exclamations | Faire faire | Famille | Faux amis | Films | For ou since? | Formation | Futur | Fêtes | Genre | Get | Goûts | Grammaire | Guide | Géographie | Habitudes | Harry Potter | Have | Heure | Homonymes | Impersonnel | Infinitif | Internet | Inversion | Jeux | Journaux | Lettre manquante | Littérature | Magasin | Maison | Majuscules | Make/do? | Maladies | Mars | Matilda | Modaux | Mots | Mouvement | Musique | Mélanges | Méthodologie | Métiers | Météo | Nature | Neige | Nombres | Noms | Nourriture | Négation | Opinion | Ordres | Participes | Particules | Passif | Passé | Pays | Pluriel | Plus-que-parfait | Politesse | Ponctuation | Possession | Poèmes | Present perfect | Pronoms | Prononciation | Proverbes et structures idiomatiques | Prépositions | Présent | Présenter | Quantité | Question | Question Tags | Relatives | Royaume-Uni | Say, tell ou speak? | Sports | Style direct | Subjonctif | Subordonnées | Suggérer quelque chose | Synonymes | Temps | Tests de niveau | There is/There are | Thierry | This/That? | Tous les tests | Tout | Traductions | Travail | Téléphone | USA | Verbes irréguliers | Vidéo | Villes | Voitures | Voyages | Vêtements

> NOS AUTRES SITES GRATUITS : Cours mathématiques | Cours d'espagnol | Cours d'allemand | Cours de français | Cours de néerlandais | Outils utiles | Bac d'anglais | Learn French | Learn English | Créez des exercices

> INFORMATIONS : Copyright - En savoir plus, Aide, Contactez-nous [Conditions d'utilisation] [Conseils de sécurité] Reproductions et traductions interdites sur tout support (voir conditions) | Contenu des sites déposé chaque semaine chez un huissier de justice | Mentions légales / Vie privée / Cookies.
| Cours, leçons et exercices d'anglais 100% gratuits, hors abonnement internet auprès d'un fournisseur d'accès.