Teaching a foreign language is never an easy task, especially for those who have no idea about grammar or vocabulary. In the following blog, we offer to mention the languages that are easy to learn for English speakers.
The 10 Easiest Languages to Learn for Anyone:
A question that often seems simple but is actually difficult to answer; What is the easiest language? The difficulty goes from one country to another, and from one person to another. Saying that a language is easy or difficult to learn depends not only on the grammar but also on our mother tongue.
Nevertheless, according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State; English is considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn. It would take an Italian student around 600 hours in order to reach a professional level. While someone who speaks English as a native would need only half that time.
This is possibly one of the least known languages in the list. But it is spoken by over 14 million people as a first language and as a second language by even more (some sources say about 20 million). It’s easy to learn indeed.
Hungarian uses the Latin alphabet. It has a rich vocabulary and after initial difficulties, you will be surprised how much you can express with so few words. The most difficult thing is the pronunciation, which includes very strong stress.
It usually takes around 600 hours to be able to speak it at the professional level, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning this language because it’s relatively easy. According to Foreign Services Institute again, after English, it’s the second easiest one. It has average grammar and a huge number of words of Latin origin.
The language of Cervantes is used by almost 500 million people in the world. Not to mention all the others who speak it as a second language (most South American countries). It’s also relatively easy to learn, considering its active use by over 400 million people. Spanish has the particularity to be similar to Italian, which makes it less difficult for people who already know this language.
According to FSI, after English, it’s the second easiest language for English speakers. It uses the Latin alphabet and though its grammar is at times complicated. It has reduced the number of verb forms. If you are an English native speaker it will take you around 510 hours to master it according to FSIs estimations.
A Germanic language that has similarities with English, but it’s also quite difficult to learn because of many complicated conjugations and rules. Many sources mention Dutch as a very easy language, a claim not supported by FSI.
Italian is the language of art. And Italian people are well known for their sense of style. So why not give it a try? Some expressions may seem difficult to understand at first. But there’s where English can help you because many words have Latin origins or are entered in English from Italian. It takes around 530 hours to become a professional, according to FSI.
Some sources suggest that it is the easiest language for English speakers. But in this case, we have to disagree because even though it has similarities with Germanic languages there are many complicated grammatical forms and conjugations. If you want to learn Swedish, consider checking some basic vocabulary first.
A Slavic language that is quite popular in Eastern Europe, but also interesting for Westerners because it has similarities with Finnish and Estonian. It’s supposed to be easier than German or French, maybe because of its grammatical similarities with these languages. According to FSI, it takes around 600 hours.
Another language belonging to the Slavic group is related to Russian and Ukrainian. It takes around 600 hours as well to achieve a professional level. Its vocabulary includes many words from other languages like German or French (because of historical connections).
As we already mentioned, one of the factors that makes a language difficult to learn is the degree of its similarities with English.
Even though we excluded other factors there was no objective way to determine how many hours it would take you to become proficient in all ten languages. And we tried not to be subjective by choosing only two estimations per language.
In any case, if you want our personal opinion, you should start with Spanish and French because they are quite popular around the world. Italian has also a lot to offer if you like art and music.
After this, choose something different such as Portuguese or Turkish so that your language range becomes wider. If you’re an intermediate speaker who likes more complicated things we recommend Dutch and Polish.
We also have to mention that most sources agree on Turkish being the easiest language for English speakers. So if you want to become proficient quickly choose this one.