According to my experience, in languages like German, French, Chinese, Japanese, etc., there are not so many exceptions in pronunciation as in English.
For example, given a word in German or French, or pinyin in Chinese, or hiragana/katakana in Japanese, since there are simple and explicit rules regarding pronunciation, it is easy for us to know how to pronounce it as long as we stick to the rules and there is usually no exception. However, there are lots of exceptions or variations in English pronunciation and it is often difficult for learners to tell which is the "correct" pronunciation. That probably makes English harder to learn (in terms of reading), compared to other languages.
It is because many borrowed words have been incorporated in English, from, say, French or German languages, so that the pronunciation became versatile in English ?
It would be great if you can share your knowledge or experience about this issue. Thank you.
Edited: All right, I apologize if you feel confused about my question. Probably I should say spelling instead of pronunciation. I think it is good to give some examples. What I asked here is if there exists a RULE in English to determine the pronunciation of a word from its spelling (regardless of how people from different areas would pronounce it) and I did not ask anything about dialect. For example, the emphasis of the vowels might be different in words like tomato, potato, total. Is there a rule for learners to tell how to pronunce these words ? In terms of names like Tobias, Stephen, Zachary, Kaitlyn, how can we determine the pronunciation of vowel and vowel combinations, e.g. "ai" ? Can we deduce the pronunciation of "Kaitlyn" from "paid" "aid" ? If there is a rule to uniquely determine the pronunciation from the spelling of a word, great, my question can be solved. Thank you.