A Rant about the English Language

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Jun 13, 2016 01:51
After graduating university, I didn't have many chances to use the English language, so I stopped studying it for nearly two years. Although I found my English skills were getting rusty, I didn’t care. I thought that since I wouldn't be moving overseas anyway, knowing the basics would be enough for when I traveled abroad.

I changed my mind later. I didn’t want my years of effort to go down the drain, so I decided to continue studying. However, regrettably, I find myself facing the relentless drudgery of dictionary thumbing.

This language is known for its extensive vocabulary. OMG. It has far too many words!! To build up my vocabulary, I’m armed to the teeth with a multitude of specialized dictionaries, such as thesauri, phrasal verb dictionaries, idiom dictionaries, not to mention household ones such as Oxford, Webster's, and AHD…

But sometimes, I still come across new words that I can’t find in these dictionaries, then I will use the ultimate tool – the Internet. Slang? Look it up on Urban Dictionary. A special term? Google it. And a proper noun? Look it up in Wikipedia.

I know there are such things as “word roots,” but they on many occasions will be useless, simply because the etymology of English is too varied and complicated. Sometimes it seems to me that the English language is made up of borrowed words from other languages and this seems to be very lazy! – like as if Pac-Man is swallowing things nonstop and swelling in size.

Worse still, not every native speaker is able to rein in those monstrous words. For example, sometimes, when I encounter a new word that has been misspelled by a native speaker, I have to look up every possible correct spelling and keep guessing until it makes sense. There were some expressions that I'd learnt elsewhere (especially on websites) that were corrected here on Lang-8, and on second thought, I think the editors here are right.

Learning the English language is too hard. :'( and it will be a lifelong battle...

对英语的吐槽

英语真是太难学啦!

大学毕业后,我能用到英语的机会不多,所以有两年没有碰过英语。即使是发现我的英语严重退化,我也觉得没什么,反正又不出国居住,出国旅游掌握最基本的对话即可。

后来,我还是改变了我的看法,重新开始学习英语,毕竟我不想让我多年的努力白费。但我万万没想到,我掉进了一个坑,无止境地查单词。

英语以词汇多而闻名。但是单词也太多了吧!!巨多!!为了扩大我的词汇量,我全副武装,买了一堆词典,比如同义词词典,短语动词词典,习语词典,更不用说英语学习者人手一本的牛津,韦伯斯特,美国传统词典。

但是我很多时候还是有很多词汇在上述词典中查不到,所以终极核武器出场了!就是互联网。查俚语用UD,查术语,用谷歌学术,查专有名词,用维基百科。

我知道英语有词根一说。但是很多时候此方法束手无策,因为英语词源实在是太过于庞杂。我觉得英语有时候像一个吃豆人一样,吸收新单词都是不假思索地吃吃吃,不消化,越来越胖。

有时候,我还发现,甚至是有些母语人士并不能完全驾驭这些庞大的词汇。比如,有些母语者会拼错单词,我查单词还要去猜好几次,直到查到的单词符合语境为止。有时候,我学到了一些表达,拿来这里用,但是被这里的朋友们纠正,仔细想想这里的朋友都是对的,那些表达有时候是错误的。

唉,有些方面我的母语中文还是有不少优势的。一个小学生,只要学了3000个左右的汉字,就可以认识涉及历史、医学和法律等领域的各种术语。

活到老,学到老,坚持到底吧!
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