English isn’t a ‘weird’ language


The English language is notorious for breaking its own rules and for being ‘weird’ and even confusing. But is it really so unique among other languages? I think that all languages have their own little quirks and exceptions, and English is not as ‘weird’ of a language as we may think.

Don’t get me wrong, English has a lot of rules it does not follow. The most famous case of this is “I before E, except after C.” How many words break that rule? (Here’s a hint: there’s one in the headline).

But is English really the only language that confuses, confounds, and confuzzles? If one looks closely, he or she will find every language has its own quirks.

An example of this is the French counting system. Up through the sixties, the numbers seem very logical. But at seventy, it gets a little confusing. Since there is no word for seventy in standard French, it instead says soixante-dix, or sixty-ten. It continues on through sixty-eleven, sixty-twelve, and so on. When the number eighty is reached, it becomes quatre-vingts, or four-twenties. Four-twenties-one, four-twenties-two … four-twenties-ten, four-twenties-eleven. Ninety-nine becomes quatre-vingt-dix-neuf: four-twenties-ten-nine.

Languages have strange, unexplained flaws, and imperfection is a part of any language. If there was a perfect language, the entire world would speak it. Until then, Google Translate may be relied upon in order to communicate with people of foreign countries. But instead of scaring people away by calling a language ‘weird’ or ‘impossible to learn,’ the study of all languages should be encouraged. Many schools across the country have removed languages like Latin, French, and German from their curriculum. The more a language is classified as difficult or confusing, the less people are going to try to learn it.

English isn’t weird; it’s imperfect. The same goes for all 6,909 languages in the world. To strive for world peace, acknowledgement and acceptance of the flaws that all languages and cultures possess is critical.