Common Problems in Understanding English
What are the most common problems in understanding and learning the English language? Below are the answers:
- The most common problem in learning another language is treating that language as if it were our native tongue. What I mean is that we usually construct our answers or messages in our own language first and then we just translate the message into English word for word. That could cause a lot of problems.
- For example, “Do you understand?” in Japanese is “Wakarimas ka?” which is literally “understand” (wakarimas) plus the syllable “ka” which denotes what has been said was a question (somewhat like “do you” or “are you” in English). Hence, if a Japanese would translate “Wakarimas ka?” in English, he would most probably say (it depends on his English level though) “Understand do?” which doesn’t make any sense at all, or perhaps, “Understand do you?” which would make him sound like Yoda in Starwars. This is due to the huge difference in the sentence structure of the English and Japanese language.
- Another problem is not being familiar with the idiomatic expressions and figures of speech in English. That’s why ever if someone already knows many words in English and knows his grammar, he might still find it hard to understand some jokes in English TV programs as well as the meaning of some English songs.
- Thus, in order to avoid making awkward sounding sentences and to understand and appreciate English movies, TV programs and songs, the key is to treat English as an entirely different language that has its own form, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc.
- In order to help you overcome these translation and understanding problems, the next blogs (blogs this week) will focus on English idiomatic expressions, figures of speech and sentence structure. I hope you would find them useful.^^