I always assumed English was hard to learn for a lot of people.
The difficult thing about English is that it is so damn inconsistent. German has a rigid system of grammar, English seems so much more - ad hoc. You have to kinda 'play it by the ear'. Luckily that
is made a lot easier by the near-constant "contact" we have with the language, through music, TV, ads, movies, slang ... I mean, when you learn your mother language you also dont spend years learning tenses and declinations by heart, you learn it more 'organically' - thats more like how kids now learn English too, I would gather.
Walter, I'm really surprised at how early German kids start learning English! At six, huh? That must be a new thing! With people of my age (32), the Dutch still have a distinct headstart on the Germans when it comes to speaking English, but perhaps that will change in the future, then! (Though again, I really do think the dubbing thing severely hampers picking up on foreign languages).
I was really asking about French / Latin, though, you wrote, "at high school in 6 or 7", what does that mean? What age is that (cause I assume "6 or 7" refers to class/grade?).
But I'd like to learn more about Dutch. What are the verbs like that makes them so hard? You don't have to go into detail because I'm sure that would take a long time. And what's the difference between "de" and "het"? Is it like masculine/feminine articles?
"De" is for both masculine and feminine nouns, "het" for neutral nouns. And there are hardly any easy ways, like what you have in French with the last "e" for feminine words, to see from the noun itself whether its neutral or other. Much of the time you just have to know
. I've heard a lot of foreigners complain about that ...
Basically, the problem with Dutch for foreign learners is like with English - too little system, too much flexibility has made it a very "living" language but hard to avoid mistakes in.