Heads-up: This question is purely opinion-based, I am therefore asking it on Meta. Please let me know if it is off-topic here.

I am a non-native speaker of English and have been speaking English for quite a long time. I have noticed that while speaking English, my tongue, jaws, lips and mouth get tired while speaking English. When speaking in my native language, I can speak for how long I want and my speech organs do not get tired. (I'd rather not say what my native language is.) I would like to know if other non-native speakers experience the same thing. I assume it is because my speech organs are not used to producing the sounds/ patterns of sounds of English.

Do other non-native speakers have the same experience with speaking English?

(I have also asked this question on Linguistics Stack Exchange here, but that is about other languages.)

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    I'm native Anglophone, but as a student I spent a year in a French university. For the first couple of months I found it quite tiring to speak French for extended periods, and my understanding (backed up by what my linguistics lecturer said on more than one occasion) is that on average, French is a more "tense" language than English (all other things being equal, more muscles - incl. the diaphragm - are held more tightly when speaking French than English). But this could be a very minor factor compared to the unavoidable tensions of struggling to express oneself in a foreign language. Apr 10, 2021 at 13:25
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    (It was a long time ago though, and feasibly all the lecturer meant was that I personally am an exceptionally "lazy" Estuary English speaker, so in order for me to speak French more like the natives, it was important for me to "tighten up".) Apr 10, 2021 at 13:29
  • @FumbleFingers English reads "feasible" as "feesible" while it reads "fear" as "fear". The latter should be correct in terms of international phonetics method. Why? Your vowel inventory is full of irregularity when compared with even Anglo-Saxon origin languages.
    – Kentaro
    Apr 10, 2021 at 15:46
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    @Kentaro: I'm afraid I don't really understand a word of that. But what would you know about my "vowel inventory"? Apr 10, 2021 at 17:08
  • @FumbleFingers I said, why does English read the word, ea, differently? For example, why does English read the word "feasible" as "f-e-e-sible", while with same vowel spelling, is the word "fear" read as "f - e - a r"? Most countries use the latter pattern as the vowel pronunciation only English many vowel reading patterns.
    – Kentaro
    Apr 10, 2021 at 18:45
  • @Kentaro: oic. Well, English has had a very different history to most languages, and orthography is a tiny aspect of language (which is almost entirely a spoken phenomenon anyway). Ideally you'd want to learn English the way the natives do (mostly, we can speak the language perfectly well before we have to start worrying about how to read and write it). Apr 11, 2021 at 11:16
  • Well, @Kentaro, I get what you meant, but I think you provided a bad example. You tried to show us that sounds may vary even with the same spelling, but the “fea” in the word “feasible” (“フィーザブル”) and that in the word “fear” (“フィーア”) have pretty similar pronunciations, that is, /fē/ and /fi/ respectively, and those are transcribed as the same, “フィー” (“FEE”), in your language. What gives it “ア” (“AH”) sound, in the Japanese transcription, at the end of the word “fear” is the “r,” not the “a.” Apr 16, 2021 at 19:16
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    @Kentaro - bear in mind that English pronunciation has no connection to English spelling. English pronunciation is systematic, but the spelling isn't, and there's no reason for why some words are spelled weird (there are historical reasons, but basically nobody cares about them). Jul 6, 2021 at 18:33

4 Answers 4


For me, the answer is definitely no, at least not when compared to my native language (Dutch). It might be because Dutch and English are rather close; I have the same experience when talking in German which is even closer. I'm not fluent enough in other languages which are more distant but I can read well (Spanish, Russian, French) to know how it feels like to speak in a 'distant' language for a long time.

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    You got to know that the average TOEFL score by Dutch is 100 out of 120 which is the highest point among the test takers. My country's average is 71. See link [ magoosh.com/toefl/… ].
    – Kentaro
    Apr 4, 2021 at 20:59
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    Dutch people are outstanding... I used to be in a discord server where I had a few Dutch friends and they spoke impressively fluently. I couldn't tell their accents apart from Native speakers of English.
    – user119042
    Apr 5, 2021 at 8:19

I like this question.

Simply put,


Over some weeks ago, when I tried to change my job as I get older which requires some English speaking skills, and which I did not apply in the end, long before the interview, I started reading Yahoo.com's article in loud voice, and I got finally down. My native language is Japanese, which doesn't almost 100% reads vowels as they are in other words, we don't have almost no diphthong, I got burned out after reading long articles. Probably I am used to too much my native tongue, so that's why from the perspective of improving learners' skill up, I am hoping dictating is allowed as on topic question. I don't know where you are from, but the more European language origin your mother tongue is, the less you will not have less chances to get tired, though this is my personal opinion.

About 8 years ago, for some time I was teaching 12-13 years old students English, but their question is always "Why doesn't English read the vowels as they are like Japanese, teacher we got a trouble", but I couldn't give them satisfactory answers, because to them explaining GVS (Great Vowel Shift) is too difficult. (And they were not always satisfied even though I explained GVS because nobody knows why it occurred).

By the way, I know a little bit about Russian and when I sing both English and Russian songs, I never get tired. even though how "distant" they are from ours. May be are we rather literally "tired" of speaking rather than enjoying speaking itself?

Anyway the conclusion is,


Thank you.

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    It's not just the GVS, although that certainly didn't help (English orthography in particular got epically messed up). English has an immensely complex vowel inventory compared to Japanese, so I'm not surprised that your students struggled with it.
    – Kevin
    Apr 7, 2021 at 0:34
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    @Kevin Thanks. In addition to that, Japanese doesn't need to distinguish between R and L while the most European languages including Slavic do.
    – Kentaro
    Apr 7, 2021 at 1:54

Yes, my speech organs get tired sometimes when I practice better pronunciation in English. Better means as close to the speech of native speakers as possible. But the sounds that have been trained for a long time are not a problem any longer. I am actually surprised to know that people can find it difficult to speak a language after years of practice. I assume you speak English rarely and not too long at a time. Maybe that's the cause. More intensive self-training in speaking could help in this case.


As a Filipino, all I will say is no.

For me, speaking English is easier than Filipino, although it is my second language. The only struggles I have with English is the loss of vocabulary every time I want to speak about something.

I learned English by myself when I was still not yet in a school. Filipino is usually a language where I wouldn't normally speak, because I usually speak it in a "stiff" way, where I take the literal words and put it in a sentence sometimes.

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