English is difficult to others just as French is difficult for us!
For many of us who start to learn French, the frustration of French could be: why are half the letters in a word silent?
One example is the French ‘t’: the ‘t’ in ‘fait’ has no sound!!!
Another example is the French ‘h’: heures -> ‘h’ is silent!
To make things worse, there is no apparent ‘s’ sound in ‘heures’ too!!! Or an ‘e’ sound in ‘heure’… -_-”
So one day I whined about this to my French friend, and she told me that English is more difficult. Surprised, I asked her why. She said: At least in French, if we’re not sure if a letter will contribute to the sound, we just don’t pronounce it. In English, you don’t know how any word is pronounced!
I was taken aback, because I thought that’s what we thought of French. And then I finally realized this:
“So”, “Do”, “Go” -> they look like they’re supposed to rhyme, but they don’t.
“Thr(ough)”, “Th(ough)”, “R(ough)” -> they look like they’re supposed to rhyme too, but they don’t.
“Mean” & “Lean” rhyme, but what about “Sean”?
And there are numerous more examples!
You may ask, what’s the point of knowing this? Well, if you are trying to exchange a language by teaching someone English and learning their language in return, it’s good to understand where their difficulties stem from. And then you have a better chance to explain it to them and help them out. 😀
So I hope this is a good tip, and happy learning your foreign language (French)!