Depending on who you ask, English is somewhere in the top five of most difficult languages to learn. Now, of course that’s completely subjective – after all, if your first language is Spanish or German, it might not be that hard! And if you are a native English speaker, you might have a LOT more difficulty with Chinese or Korean than with French! But, as an English language teacher, a former Chinese student and a current Spanish student, I can completely understand why so many ELLs (English language learners) have so much trouble with the language.
There are thousands of languages, and more than 100 language families. In general, if your mother tongue is in one language family, it’s probably not going to be super difficult for you to learn another language in that same family. For example, modern-day Romanian is a direct descendent of Latin. Therefore, if your first language is Spanish, Romanian would probably not be too difficult for you to learn. On the other hand, if your first language is Dutch, Japanese might be a real challenge, because they’re not related at all!
English is technically a member of the Germanic languages family, so a native German speaker might find English relatively easy. However, English is also very much a mongrel (mixed) language! About 26% of English vocabulary is Germanic in origin, nearly 30% is French in origin, and nearly 30% Latin in origin. What a mix! This mix of vocabulary creates a host of differences in pronunciation, spelling, and even grammar.
You can learn all the tricky parts of English, and the correct pronunciation as well, and it won’t take as long as you might think. There are many free and low-cost resources out there to help, Like this one!