If you thought Italian was a difficult language to learn!

06/20/2009 - 16:58

.     I heard this today on Radio 4.  I take it you already know of tough and bough and cough and dough?Others may stumble, but not you,On hiccough, thorough, lough** and through.Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,To learn of less familiar traps?Beware of heard, a dreadful wordThat looks like beard and sounds like bird.And dead: it's said like bed, not bead --For goodness sake, don't call it deed!Watch out for meat and great and threat(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt)A moth is not a moth in mother,Nor both in bother, broth in brother,And here is not a match for there,Nor dear and fear for bear and pear.And then there's dose and rose and lose --Just look them up -- and goose and choose.And cork and work and card and ward.And font and front and word and sword.And do and go and thwart and cart.Come, come, I've hardly made a start!A dreadful language? Man alive,I'd mastered it when I was five![**Lough - pronounced Loch/Lock - Irish derivation].



 I agree that English is a very difficult language to learn for a foreigner. And you do not master it by age 5, even if you are a native speaker. A long learning process is ahead of the poor child and he/she will be tortured with spelling to test his/her endurance. Spelling is dreadful as it does not follow fixed pronunciation rules. It is far more difficult to spell words in English than in Italian. You do not believe me..... here you have a good example: The word FISH could be written as follows: GHOTIGH as in TOUGHO as in WOMENTI as in NATION A true nightmare for anyone

There is a two-letter word in English that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word,  and that word is 'UP.'  It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v]. It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?  At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP  a report? We call UP our friends and we use something to brighten UP a room, polish UP  the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.  At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP  excuses.  To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.And this up is confusing:  A drain must be opened UP  because it is stopped   UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.   We seem to be pretty mixed UPabout UP !  To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the word UP  in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add  UP to about thirty definitions  If you are UP  to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time,  but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.  When the sun comes out after it's been raining, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.  I'll wrap it UP , for now  ........my time is UP , so time to shut UP!  Oh...one more thing:  What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?    P  

More than one Italian has said to me the "La grammatica e piu facile, ma la pronuncia!!!!"I don't even know what they are called grammatically, but at least the "i,you,he, we, you(plural), they " are easy in EnglishAnd tenses - we just stick a "was", "have" or "had" in front of the ?past participle? and get on with it!I'm told by those without a "th" sound in their native vocab that tree, three and free are also difficult.  Serves 'em right I say, for expecting us to master the Conditional Pluperfect

.  Every time I read this - I see something different   

The Chaos

Charivarius (G. Nolst Trenité)

Dearest creature in creation,Study English pronunciation.I will teach you in my verseSounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.I will keep you, Suzy, busy,Make your head with heat grow dizzy.Tear in eye, your dress will tear.So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.Just compare heart, beard, and heard,Dies and diet, lord and word,Sword and sward, retain and Britain.(Mind the latter, how it's written.)Now I surely will not plague youWith such words as plaque and ague.But be careful how you speak:Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;Cloven, oven, how and low,Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.Hear me say, devoid of trickery,Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,Exiles, similes, and reviles;Scholar, vicar, and cigar,Solar, mica, war and far;One, anemone, Balmoral,Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;Gertrude, German, wind and mind,Scene, Melpomene, mankind.Billet does not rhyme with ballet,Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.Blood and flood are not like food,Nor is mould like should and would.Viscous, viscount, load and broad,Toward, to forward, to reward.And your pronunciation's OKWhen you correctly say croquet,Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,Friend and fiend, alive and live.Ivy, privy, famous; clamourAnd enamour rhyme with hammer.River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,Doll and roll and some and home.Stranger does not rhyme with anger,Neither does devour with clangour.Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,And then singer, ginger, linger,Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.Query does not rhyme with very,Nor does fury sound like bury.Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.Though the differences seem little,We say actual but victual.Refer does not rhyme with deafer.Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.Mint, pint, senate and sedate;Dull, bull, and George ate late.Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,Science, conscience, scientific.Liberty, library, heave and heaven,Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.We say hallowed, but allowed,People, leopard, towed, but vowed.Mark the differences, moreover,Between mover, cover, clover;Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,Chalice, but police and lice;Camel, constable, unstable,Principle, disciple, label.Petal, panel, and canal,Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,Senator, spectator, mayor.Tour, but our and succour, four.Gas, alas, and Arkansas.Sea, idea, Korea, area,Psalm, Maria, but malaria.Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.Doctrine, turpentine, marine.Compare alien with Italian,Dandelion and battalion.Sally with ally, yea, ye,Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.Say aver, but ever, fever,Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.Heron, granary, canary.Crevice and device and aerie.Face, but preface, not efface.Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.Large, but target, gin, give, verging,Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.Ear, but earn and wear and tearDo not rhyme with here but ere.Seven is right, but so is even,Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!Is a paling stout and spikey?Won't it make you lose your wits,Writing groats and saying grits?It's a dark abyss or tunnel:Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,Islington and Isle of Wight,Housewife, verdict and indict.Finally, which rhymes with enough --Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?Hiccough has the sound of cup.My advice is to give up!!!

 A pregnant woman from Manchester gets in a car accident and falls into a coma. When she wakes up, she sees she's no longer pregnant and she asks the doctor about her baby. The doctor replies, "Ma'am you've had twins! a boy and a girl. Your brother from Liverpool came in and named them." The woman thinks to herself, "No, not my brother... he's an idiot!" She asks him, "Well, what's the girl's name?" "Denise." "Wow, that's not a bad name, I like it! What's the boy's name?" "Denephew. " ***City's can be changed to insult the friend of your choice***

Impressive! This little poem says it all about how difficult English language can be. I can’t imagine what an English beginner would understand from all this mixture of words. In fact, I don’t think people in online english tutoring should even read it, they risk making confusions involuntarily and this could have negative effects on their learning process.