There’s a lot of debate about which language is the most difficult to learn and where English would rank among the others. Plus, those that are difficult to pick up are usually rough for entirely different reasons, making a direct comparison a challenge.
For instance, tonal languages—where the pitch of your voice can change the meaning of a word—are notoriously tricky. English is not one of those, which is fortunate for new learners who also come from a non-tonal background. Other languages are difficult because the writing style is so different: writing/reading right-to-left, using characters, etc. Of course, this can sometimes be a challenge for students of English if their native language is distinct from it. Then there are languages that have either incredibly rigid or extremely loose rules for grammar and spelling. English may top the list in that department, and that’s why English can be a very hard language to learn.
Try explaining to a non-native speaker how to pronounce and understand the following—and don’t be surprised at their reaction to how arbitrary the connection between letters and sounds is when “gh” gets involved: “When I started writing my new book, it began as a draft about a man who’d been drafted into making a draught beer during a drought. Then, I thought that I ought not write it, laughed at how rough it would have been, had a breakthrough, and changed it to a book about the weight of committing manslaughter on a local neighborhood thoroughfare.”
Were it only for the “gh” combination, English would challenge anyone, but our language is loaded with many more eccentricities—from spelling and pronunciation to grammar and idioms. It’s hard.
Here’s the good news; when you’re excited to learn a new language, even the hardest ones can simply seem fun. And the sense of accomplishment that comes with taking on the challenge—and overcoming it—is invaluable.
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you to speak the language, not just memorize the words. What makes this approach effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in everyday life. So, it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. It helps you get ready to handle any situation with confidence.
Learning a language can be an experience that transforms your life. Not only does it open you to a world full of both professional and personal possibilities, but it also expands your thinking and can prime your confidence. As technology like the internet shrinks our world and we become members of a global community, the ability to learn a language becomes an essential part of how we interact and succeed.
Perhaps you’ve hesitated to learn a new language because you’re worried about the time commitment. Or maybe you’ve heard it’s more difficult to learn a language as an adult. Set these common misconceptions about learning languages aside because research suggests that your ability to learn a language is mostly a matter of practice, building confidence through speaking, and contextualizing your learning.
After you decide on which language to learn and begin to pick up the basics, developing accurate pronunciation depends on getting immediate feedback on your pronunciation efforts. Rosetta Stone helps you get the pronunciation just right in a snap with our patented TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. It instantly compares your voice to native and non-native speakers, giving you real-time feedback for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to fine-tune your accent. TruAccent is among the most powerful tools for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language After beginners have acquired basic words, short phrases, and their proper pronunciation, it will be a natural transition to learn the longer phrases that make up so much of everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s brief, 10-minute lessons are built in exactly this way, teaching the basics first, then moving onto longer phrases. This approach helps you acquire the skills to understand and be understood with confidence.
Surround yourself with English (American) whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.