I have always felt it a blessing that I grew up with English as my native language, cause I sure as hell would have never been able to get my head around it. It has to be said that it's deeply flawed when it comes to logic.
Exhibit A. I before E, except after C.
Oh but, then there's all those exceptions.
Who had mixed their meds when they came up with that rule? They're letters for goodness sake, there's hardly extenuating circumstances, it's not like they have feelings or allergies to consider. (Yes I am talking to you; beige, cleidoic, codeine, conscience, deify, deity, deign,dreidel, eider, eight, either, feign, feint, feisty,foreign, forfeit, freight, gleization, gneiss, greige,greisen, heifer, heigh-ho, height, heinous, heir, heist,leitmotiv, neigh, neighbor, neither, peignoir, prescient,rein, science, seiche, seidel, seine, seismic, seize, sheik,society, sovereign, surfeit, teiid, veil, vein, weight,weir and weird)
I do think Latin gives English a run for its money (no surprises there). I took Latin for a year at school, which was a sensational waste of my Latin teacher's time. Sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt. Laudō, laudās, laudat, laudāmus, laudātis, laudant. And that's about the sum total of my Latin knowledge, I bet my teacher was really pleased she wasn't paid by the word.
Needless to say there's not much hope I will get my head around Mandarin anytime soon, either.
But the thing is, chances are I will be able to get by without speaking fluent Russian or Mandarin, however if I was Russian or Chinese, I would be picking that English would be handy.
In the weekend I read a quote from Doug Larson who nailed it, 'If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.'
And an attitude.