There are as many languages in the world as there are people but none too difficult as the English Language. The language has many meanings depending on how you phrase the sentence and its syntax. The spelling can throw off the language in a heart beat, so too the sound of the language, just ask the Japanese or the Germans, poor things.
Then there are the subtle ordering of sentences, you know, how you put the words together- the best example is adjective ordering. Compare, “a cute little puppy” to “a little cute puppy.” The first is fine, while the second sounds wrong. How is a foreigner to know which order to use? Can you explain it to them? (There is actually a method, but it’s rather complex and better to just learn subconsciously)
Because of its diverse origins, English has lots of synonyms which seem very similar in meaning. Part of the problem is knowing which words to use when. Even if their official meanings are identical, different synonyms convey subtly different moods and ideas. You can watch a movie or see a movie, but you can only watch TV, never see it. You can’t view either of them, even though when you watch either of them, you become a viewer (and never a watcher, much less a seer!) Try explaining that to someone who speaks Arabic!
Some people who study Spanish think the verbs there are bad. English is stuffed full of irregular verbs! How come the past tense of “buy” is “bought”, and the past tense of “sell” is “sold”, and neither “buyed” nor “selled” are real words? In English, it’s very strange how the whole grammar of a sentence changes when the sentence is put in question form. “It is warm” becomes “Is it warm?” Notice how the “it” and the “is” are switched. To us, this is totally natural because we’ve been raised with it. To a lot of speakers of other languages, the whole device seems needlessly difficult.
Then you have the order of words- how and where you put things. “I hit him”, in its word order is still important and basically correct – “Him hit I” is totally incorrect unless your name is Yoda. We can go on but you get the picture – English is difficult. Just be glad you don’t have to learn it as a second language!
Here are a couple of the difficulties seen in public places. They make you wish you were there to offer a correction.
In a Bangkok Temple :
IT IS FORBIDDEN TO ENTER A WOMAN, EVEN A FOREIGNER,
IF DRESSED AS A MAN.
Cocktail lounge, Norway:
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.
Doctor’s office, Rome :
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.
Dry cleaners, Bangkok :
DROP YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.
In a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE, OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.
On the main road to Mombasa , leaving Nairobi :
TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.
On a poster at Kencom:
ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO WE CAN HELP.
In a City restaurant:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.
In a Cemetery:
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS, FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES
Tokyo hotel’s rules and regulations:
GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE, OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.
On the menu of a Swiss Restaurant:
OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.
In a Tokyo Bar:
SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE LADIES WITH NUTS.
THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE, IS THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.
YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.
- Hotel, Malaysia
- “SPECIAL TODAY, NO ICE CREAM”
- In the lobby of a Moscow Hotel, across from a Russian Orthodox Monastery:
- YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY, WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY, EXCEPT THURSDAY.
A sign posted in Germany ‘s Black Forest :
IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE, THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN,LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT, UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE..
Hotel, Zürich :
BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.
Advertisement for donkey rides, Thailand :
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?
Airline ticket office, Copenhagen :
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
- A Laundry in Rome :
- LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND THEN SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME.