Having grown up in the South (southern USA), I'm often asked that very question. LOL<br />
<br />
Following is a half a poem demonstrating the difficulty of English.<br />
<br />
Dearest creature in creation,<br />
Study English pronunciation.<br />
I will teach you in my verse<br />
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.<br />
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,<br />
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.<br />
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.<br />
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.<br />
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,<br />
Dies and diet, lord and word,<br />
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.<br />
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)<br />
Now I surely will not plague you<br />
With such words as plaque and ague.<br />
But be careful how you speak:<br />
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;<br />
Cloven, oven, how and low,<br />
sc<x>ript, receipt, show, poem, and toe.<br />
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,<br />
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,<br />
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,<br />
Exiles, similes, and reviles;<br />
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,<br />
Solar, mica, war and far;<br />
One, anemone, Balmoral,<br />
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;<br />
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,<br />
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.<br />
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,<br />
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.<br />
Blood and flood are not like food,<br />
Nor is mould like should and would.<br />
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,<br />
Toward, to forward, to reward.<br />
And your pronunciation’s OK<br />
When you correctly say croquet,<br />
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,<br />
Friend and fiend, alive and live.<br />
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour<br />
And enamour rhyme with hammer.<br />
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,<br />
Doll and roll and some and home.<br />
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,<br />
Neither does devour with clangour.<br />
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,<br />
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,<br />
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,<br />
And then singer, ginger, linger,<br />
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,<br />
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.<br />
Query does not rhyme with very,<br />
Nor does fury sound like bury.<br />
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.<br />
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.<br />
Though the differences seem little,<br />
We say actual but victual.<br />
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.<br />
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.<br />
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;<br />
Dull, bull, and George ate late.<br />
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,<br />
Science, conscience, scientific.<br />
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,<br />
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.<br />
We say hallowed, but allowed,<br />
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.<br />
Mark the differences, moreover,<br />
Between mover, cover, clover;<br />
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,<br />
Chalice, but police and lice;<br />
Camel, constable, unstable,<br />
Principle, disciple, label.<br />
Petal, panel, and canal,<br />
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.<br />
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,<br />
Senator, spectator, mayor.<br />
Tour, but our and succour, four.<br />
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.<br />
Sea, idea, Korea, area,<br />
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.<br />
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.<br />
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.<br />
Compare alien with Italian,<br />
Dandelion and battalion.<br />
Sall

Best Answer

It amazes me that anyone understands a word of it , the way it is actually spoke.

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I've heard and also I believe it's very dificult to learn as a second language.

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sir<br />
certain<br />
circus<br />
surf<br />
service<br />
<br />
all have the same sounding beginning and different sounds yep Sure to.

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Learning English as a second language isn't difficult. Mastering it is. Which is common for any other language. Compared to any other language you actually have access to a lot of resources to actually learn it.

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I'm always being told by non-native speakers that it IS one of the most difficult because of some spelling and grammatical rules which seem arbitrary.

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I think for someone learning it it can be very confusing because we use words to mean different things and spelling is sometimes crazy!~!~ Take bouquet for example :)

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It can be. Depends on what language/culture they come from in the first place. But the fact that it's such a commonly used language in media/film/business etc. makes it easier to get exposure to it.

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I would say yes it is, a difficult language to learn.

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Compared to some other languages, it's not that bad. Navajo is a hard one.

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