If you’re in Singapore and learning a European language other than English, you’re part of a select elite. After all, you’re much more likely to find use for languages such as Japanese or Mandarin in Asia. Here are some of the challenges for major European languages.
For most European languages…
- You’ll have to deal with the fact that each noun has a ‘gender’. Depending on whether the noun is male, female or neutral, it will have to be accompanied by a different article (an article is the word that precedes a noun, such as ‘the’ or ‘a’ in English).
- What article to use also varies based on singular and plural.
- In some languages (notably German) nouns in a different case will also have different articles.
- Like English, most European languages inflect verbs. However, whereas in English this is normally only needed for the 3rd singular form (‘he walks’) most languages have a more elaborate system, in particular the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian).
While this may scare some of you from trying to learn a European language, you can also see it as a way to challenge yourself to learn something new!