Why English is So Hard to Learn

Submitted by: san111 10 years ago in
http://intensehumour.blogspot.com/2006/09/why-english-is-so-hard-to-learn.html

I must admit, those would be hard to figure out for a non-native speaker.
There are 97 comments:
Female 156
Yeah that would be hard to understand...
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Male 114
Lol @ the pluperfect subjunctive.

I love French.

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Male 32
ha english is the easiest language in the world
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Male 725
Same here, monert.

Lol, German is way easier than English, IMO. Even though I am a native speaker of English...

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Female 799
If English wasnt my native language I dont think I would ever learn it.
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Male 53
Oh. Yeah. I (With a macron) would be a sentence in Latin. It is a command to "go". It is pronounced like a long e.
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Male 53
Latin isn`t too hard. Some of the Latin vocab is easy because English has some very similar words.

Although, you have to make sure you have all the right forms of words in Latin, which can get very confusing. Also, putting things in different tenses can be confusing. However, the whole pronoun system in English isn`t flawless. Very... irregular. At least in latin you have the verb endings o/m, s, t, mus, tis, nt for almost all verbs, excluding sum (I am) and words derived from sum (possum, for example). It`s easy once you have the hang of it, and it eliminates the need for order in sentences.

Yeah.

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Male 28
I heard Finnish was easy...i dunno where though. Because it sounded the way it was spelt.
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Female 243
I think english is the easiest language on earth. Try finnish, it`s much more difficult (My mother language) even most finnish people can`t speak it correctly :-)
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Female 2,552
Oh my God! I love how I totally understand this and a non-native speaker would be like "Wtf?!" or however that say it in their country..
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Male 127
hehe, took me a while to get that - d`uh.

`wrote` is more of a distant past form of write, whereas `have written` is used in the very recent past - eg, `i wrote a letter last Monday`, and, `i have written the letter - now where did i put the envelope?` OR `Did you write the letter on Monday?`(equivalent to `Wrote you the letter on Monday?`) and `Have you written the letter yet?`

at I think that`s the difference... :S

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Male 904
A Russian came to England once, and desparately tried to learn the English language. He gave up when he saw a newspaper headline that read `Fete Pronounced Success!`


Sorry.

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Male 2,781
IT`S WAY EASIER TO LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE AT A YOUNGER AGE.

I WATCHED THIS BADASS MOVIE LAST NIGHT THAT MADE ME WANT TO LEARN JAPANESE. I JUST GOTTA GO TO JAPAN!!!
TOKYO DRIFT WAS THE SH`T!!!

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Male 26
English is easy! German is hard... In English, the definite article is always "the". In German, there`s der (masc), die (fem), and das (neutral). And then comes den (akk der), dem (dativ der/das), der (dativ die), des (genitiv der/das), der (genitiv die)... And that`s the article alone, you still have to change the adjectives, and, sometimes, the noun! By far the hardest grammar I have ever seen in Western languages..

Besides, everyone starts learning English from a very young age. And we`re bombarded with American culture. There`s just no way around it - eventually, you will get good at it.

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Male 1,478
Suckiest link ever.
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Female 583
thank god english is my first language!
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Male 797
MEH. Then why shouldn`t the shortest sentence be in greek.

Meaning "I live"
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Male 2,216
I wouldnt be able to teach someone the difference between "wrote" and "written" in easy terms, as I dont fully know myself! I know when to use them but cant explain the difference between them.

and there`s that line in Phantom of the Opera, "and what is it that we`re meant to have wrote? ...written..."

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Male 1,882
What`s English?
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Female 296
Isn`t this a repost?
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Male 555
lol overmann...
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Male 7
Once I read an article which stated that the award for the most difficult language to speak goes to Poland. And the hardest language to write is one of those far east countries (Japan, China, Koreas... can`t remember). And the most horrible grammar can be found in Finland. Considering this you can`t actually tell which language is the hardest. Still one thing is certain - it isn`t english...
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Male 701
Well..im a native speaker....and i didn`t understand a few of those....i gotta get my head out of my ass.
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Male 1
I`m not going to claim that English makes sense the majority of the time, but there is a reason for the pronunciation difference in the example you gave, Herukhel. Arkansas & Kansas are both states that got their names from Native American languages. However, they were two different tribes, hence the pronunciation difference. Sioux and Quapaw, I believe, if it matters.
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Male 98
"I had to learn Madarin for a play once. the only line I remember is Ngoh Gok Dahk Qui Hou Tou Yim."
"I speak Mandarin. That`s not Mandarin."

No it is. They spelt it out for us so we could say it. Just it had alot accents everywhere, but I dont know how to make those. It means I dont like that woman. Its a line from the play "Thouroughly Modern Millie" based on the movie.

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Male 11
If you guys think English or Mandarin are hard try Finnish :-/ :-/ :-/
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Male 46
Don`t mistake "stupid" with "hard". English is stupid, but not hard; after you learn how to think as a native english speaker, you understand the stupidity behind the language and it becomes very easy. Before that, when someone tells you that "Arkansas" is phonetically said as "Arkansá" but "Kansas" is phonretically said as "Kansas" you just can`t understand why the inneccesary complications.

Oh, and by the way, someone told "If it`s so easy why can`t mexicans figure it out?". Stadistically, there are more mexicans that can speak fluent english with the actual accent (Gringo [or, as you call yourselves, American] or British) than Gringos that can speak spanish with at least an understandable accent. And you have 5 times the the people that Mexico has, by the way; so it`s kind of sad.

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Female 78
lol!!!!! so true true...im glad i dont have to learn english...but im sure chinese is JUST AS hard!
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Male 2,605
English isn`t that hard. I learned it good.
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Male 143
english has its ups and downs, i`m glad english is my main language.

btw, that buffalo thing is pretty cool.

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Female 533
"I had to learn Madarin for a play once. the only line I remember is Ngoh Gok Dahk Qui Hou Tou Yim."

I speak Mandarin. That`s not Mandarin.

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Male 598
WOW, this peck of hard English sentences is making me pecking mad. IDK. Best i could do......
LMFAO. XD
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Male 141
I guess it`s easier to learn for some ppl than for others. I for example caught on to the language after about a half a year while some other kid that was in my school a couple years back could`t learn it for six years,(Twas kinda wierd seeing a seventh grader talk like a kindergardener (still do`t get why they didn`t send him back)I gotta say English isn`t really that hard ,but try japanese for example.
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Male 1,204
to all those who don`t think written is a word, u should try paying attention during english.

Write
writing
wrote
written

all tenses of to write, being present, present progressive, past, and perfect past tenses.

written must always have have has or had before it because it is in the perfect tense form

and i know some japanese, fluent at korean, know some spanish, and know a lot of english, and english is the hardest, that i know for a fact

also, u 12 year old guy who thought written was not a word, ur a moron, i know the tenses and i`m only 1 year older

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Male 1,866
english is 100000 times harder than french...
chinese is imo even harder than english.
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Male 176
When I typed
是國語傳統一個或被簡化的一個
into the URL
It brought me to Barnes and Noble
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Male 1,263
ahahahahahahahahahahahaha
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Male 561
Their are verse`s in the bible that says it has been written
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Male 93
lucky to be born american :-)
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Male 916
Nickbrick, "u at" is a complete sentence in Dutch as well. It not only means "you ate", but also "you were eating" = "you were having breakfast/lunch/dinner". See? Solid sentence
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Male 98
I had to learn Madarin for a play once. the only line I remember is Ngoh Gok Dahk Qui Hou Tou Yim.
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Male 331
Japanese and English are near each other difficulty-wise; Japanese might have several symbols, but, Enlgish has several rules. In my opinion, Spanish is quite possibly the easiest language I have learned so far.
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Male 72
If english is so freaking hard to learn, why is it that almost all of the civlized world speaks it? or at least endorses it in some way? (for example - almost all the airports in the world have signs in the native language and english)

Plus, every language has things that are more complex in it than other languages. German has something like 10 different words for `the`, english has one.

And anyway, who is EVER going to say those sentences with the words twice? I know I never have.

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Male 339
Another example not mentioned on how difficult English is to learn:
Person a: You didn`t go to the shops today, did you?
Person b: No.
Is it a "No. I didn`t go" or a "No, I did go" ;P

Also:
[quote]I have to say, French isn`t an easy language. It`s a lot to remember, like how many ways to say "of", feminine and masculine nouns (which is completely unneccesary), and what nouns or verbs can be turned plural.

Of course, no one`s mentioned Japanese; in first grade you have to learn 80 kanji, and by the time you graduate from 6th grade, you have to know a total of 1,006. My friend told me that some first graders can be as old as 10 years old.[/quote]
Pft, Japanese is quite easy compared to our language. They might have 4 writing dialects, but 1 of them is Roman, 2 of them are almost identical but the 4th is the only challenge of the lot.

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Male 645
pfft, i learnded english goodly. not that hard to be teached it.
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Male 1,014
writ·ten
VERB:
Past participle of write.
(http://education.yahoo.com/reference/di...

I have written a will.
He has written a novel.

Yup, it`s definitely a word!

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Female 8
I don`t know if it`s that hard to learn. But as you say, you`ll never master it. But since we`re being fed with English from birth, you`re learning it unconsciously. As a Swede, I should be able to remember German much more easily than English, since the languages are so alike. But although I`ve studied German for seven years, I would never be able to read and write German in the same way as English.
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Female 17
native speaker, still haven`t mastered it. Now im learning Latin too...
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Female 411
spanish is easy to learn. everything is different mostly. but english... oh english..
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Female 706
I don`t think written is a word either... "I have written the letter"
I guess it could be... but most people would say "I wrote the letter"
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Female 172
How come I can master English, but any other language is so confusing??
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Female 177
bigbonnie- written isnt a proper word? lmao what would i kno im only 12
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Male 241
English is easier in some aspects, Like the work order doesn`t change, and there are no masculin, feminine, and neutral genders for words, but there are so many things that don`t make sense.
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Male 2,216
Here`s another one... what`s the difference between "written" and "wrote" ?
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Female 177
*sorry about my typos lol
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Female 177
talke31
shut up. ur gonna cause an argument over sumthin as stupid as tht. It doesnt matter wat the americans or british say. Get ova it
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Male 4,431
nickbrick, "Go." has an implied subject (you), and it`s an old linguistic joke about what the shortest possible complete sentence is. You`re correct in that it`s generally agreed that a complete sentence must contain a subject, object and verb, and "I am." fits this bill. However, "Go." works, it just bends the rules with the implied subject. :-)
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Male 1,383
oh yeah...
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Male 797
benjbenj,Mo0k. "I am" can be considered more of a *complete* sentence. Complete. Okay...

Idiot-proof version:
"You ate."("U at."): Doesn`t state what you ate.
"Go.": Who go? Where? :S
"I am.": I exist. See? solid sentence.

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Female 101
It`d be nice if the page wouldn`t load with errors so I could read more than the first section.. :P Fun.
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Male 4,431
I`ll go with what most language instructors say, which is that English is one of the hardest for a non-native speaker to learn correctly. Consider that English has more words than any other common language in the world. Once you learn the rules of the romance languages, and many others, even with the gender concerns, they`re far more regular throughout the language than English. That doesn`t make one language better or worse, it just is what it is.

Cool link, btw. :-)

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Female 231
i don`t get it....
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Male 195
Some languages have 3 alphabets!
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Male 664
"Yet, english has the shortest and simplest complete sentence that any language can produce. "I am"."

Wrong. It is "Go."

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Male 337
I have to say, French isn`t an easy language. It`s a lot to remember, like how many ways to say "of", feminine and masculine nouns (which is completely unneccesary), and what nouns or verbs can be turned plural.

Of course, no one`s mentioned Japanese; in first grade you have to learn 80 kanji, and by the time you graduate from 6th grade, you have to know a total of 1,006. My friend told me that some first graders can be as old as 10 years old.

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Male 901
and also, English spelling rules have exceptions all the time.
I like this one though: "John, when William had had had, had had had had. Had had, had had the approval of the examiner."
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Female 999
if english is so easy to learn, then why cant mexicans figure it out? they cant even speak spanish!

and why the hell would you throw all those stupid extra letters in there? colour. same as color, just a little more efficient.
(ha ha "efficient Americans?"i`m American and even i laugh at that!!)

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Female 101
I herad somewhere traditional chinese was really hard. but this is just dumb.

``english is actually one of the easiest languages to learn because we dont have to follow a certain code, we dont have feminine or masculine. It may be irregular in some ways but its still easy to grasp the concept`` thats stupid, you learn masculine feminine and plural in school if you live in a country that uses those in their language.

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Male 2,057
plus words like BOMB and FOLIAGE dont have the same "O" sounds
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Female 1,984
Is this a repost? I`ve seen this b4.
As a grammarian though, it is fascinating to read this nonetheless. :)
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Male 75
I was supprised that it wasn`t so hard to understand all of thme (i`m a native Dutch speaker).
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Male 1,039

^^^^talke31

Great to see you can spell at that age, way to go.

L

O

S

E

R

Just sound it out..lol...zzzzzz

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Male 239
okay the characters up there ^^^ came out wrong. It was a bunch of chinese letters. If you copy and paste that code into raw html, it will show up on a web page as what i saw it as when I typed it in.
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Male 1,406
Reminds me of a little poem read to me in english. What a language, where you can see a sea and they`re feeling their hair is over there. Something like that, it was about those words that sound the same but aren`t - we were learning how to stop common spelling mistakes. Btw, english is considered one of the hardest languages to learn.
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Male 239
english is easy because you don`t apply different words depending on masculine or feminine nouns.

是國語傳統一個或被簡化的一個
Translation: Is Mandarin the Traditional one or the Simplified one?

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Female 16
I heard Mandarin is the hardest learn because it is a tonal language.
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Male 1,225
hey talke31, don`t start the arguement...
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Male 1,217
MrEman, I`m with you.

And I also agree with Fallen Soul.

English has `rules`, but there are just as many exceptions as how many words actually fall under the rule.

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Male 916
Nickbrick, in Dutch there is "u at", meaning "you ate". I also totally agree with Vikstar: English is easy to learn, but almost impossible to master.
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Male 118
how can you be a native english speaker and be american at the same time. they can`t even spell the word colour
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Male 329
You think English is easy? Try learning Mandarin.
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Male 329
Or The longest complete sentence using just one word ... Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

more on that here --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buf...

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Male 797
Yet, english has the shortest and simplest complete sentence that any language can produce. "I am".
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Male 46
I`m a spanish native speaker; I also know nihongo (japanese), deutsch (german) and, of course, english. Believe me, english is the easiest language that I have even heard in my whole life. There is almost no gender, time or person specification; spanish is different depending on gender (male, female), time (present, future, past and other 8 different times), person (I, you, he, etc); every mix-up of these factors makes the sentence different. In english, it is all virtually the same, doesn`t matter what you change.

You shouldn`t see this as a good thing nevertheless; so poor specification makes the language less economic than any other language. So, don`t be so glad; any language you try to learn will be at least 10 times harder.

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Male 1,725
wow it sucks as a language

good thing im a native speaker:)

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Female 399
For a non-native speaker, English is very easy to learn, and almost impossible to master.
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Female 811
Wow, that is hard!
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Female 2,144
Wow, I Didn`t Think Of All These Before.
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Male 923
^^Actually I have heard from several teachers of other languages that it`s the hardest to learn because it is so complex and had so many guidelines but just as many exceptions to the guidelines.
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Male 135
english is actually one of the easiest languages to learn because we dont have to follow a certain code, we dont have feminine or masculine. It may be irregular in some ways but its still easy to grasp the concept
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Male 756
Damn, makes me feel lucky that I learned English as a native speaker :-)
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Male 1,407
No, English is much more irregular than French.
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Male 144
Ivar, Pourquoi dites-vous cela ?
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Male 103
I still say French is worse.
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Female 284
I am glad I`m a native speaker. God, this language is confusing!
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Female 53
wow! haha if i was from another country i would toally understand!
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Male 17
Link: Why English is So Hard to Learn [Rate Link] - I must admit, those would be hard to figure out for a non-native speaker.
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