8 Easiest Languages to learn for English speakers

Languages

Languages to learn

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Choosing to learn a new language can be overwhelming, given that over 7,000 languages are being spoken now. So how do you decide on one? Some languages are the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. Find out about them and decide on the one you want to learn.

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

Charlemagne, famous king “Father of Europe.”

Of course, getting another soul differs from your intention to learn a language. The tricky question is, “which language should I learn?” While many factors can lead you to choose a foreign language to learn, one crucial aspect is: time. Are there languages in which you can develop a proficiency really quickly? Indeed, there are. To help you zero in on such a language, we have created a list of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers.

Why learn a new language?

You already are well-versed with the English language, so why study a new one?  Learning a new language develops your mental capabilities. It has been proven that bilingual people have more neurons hence denser gray matter. Imagine how much your math skills can improve due to it. 

You become better communicators, in fact you become confident in the way you express yourself. It gives you a new perspective and broadens your horizon.

If you are planning to travel, study, work abroad, it becomes mandatory to adopt a new language. A foreign language in your resume attracts attention and makes you eligible for great work opportunities abroad. 

And being an English language speaker gives you the advantage of learning many other languages. So go through the list of easiest languages to learn for English speakers. Hope it helps!

List of Languages for English speakers

Norwegian

From Scandinavia, this Nordic language is among the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Why? 

It shares many words with English as they are Germanic languages.

grass – gress
paper – papir

Another reason is that its sentence structure is similar to English. Norwegian is written as S-V-O (subject-verb-object) just like English. I can help you in English is Jeg kan hjelpe deg in Norwegian.

Spanish

Hola Amigos! It’s no surprise that Spanish figures in the list. According to the U.S. government’s Foreign Service Institute, Spanish is among the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Being a Romance language and coming from Latin, it shares quite a lot of Vocabulario with English:

Curioso – Curious
Delicioso – Delicious

Spanish sticks to being a phonetic language most of the time; it means you speak as you write. Spanish is the second most spoken language today and the third most used online language.

Portuguese

Many may feel that Portuguese would feature in the list of hardest languages to learn for English speakers. But it doesn’t. Spoken in Portugal, Brazil, and a few African nations, it is also a member of the Romance language família. As a Romance language, its nouns are also relatively consistent when it comes to gender divisions. And if you want to study languages like French or Italian later, you’re already halfway there! 

But there is also the problem of false cognates. For example, a costume means a custom in Portuguese, and data implies a date. Also, the Portuguese used in Portugal varies from that in Brazil.

Dutch

Yet another language that shares the Germanic link with English. Hence, it features in the easiest languages to learn for English speakers list. It has fewer verb conjugations to worry about than an English speaker might anticipate from a language related to one like German. Another bonus? You’ll already know plenty of words — 60-70% of modern Dutch words have English cognates.

However, a bit of caution is advised as you will encounter the case of false friends or false cognates. For example, if you say “mad” to a local Dutch, instead of feeling offended, the person will give you food!

Oh, and don’t offer anyone a “gift”. It can mean “poison!”

Italian

Another Romance language in our list, there are more words shared between English and Italian than gelato, panini, pizza and pasta. However, if you look beyond food, the Italian language opens doors to appreciating art and history. With many Italian words becoming a part of English vocabulary, it makes sense if you wish to learn Italian. With a similar sentence structure to English, its pronunciation isn’t a battle with the tongue. 

French

Ranking number 5 among the world’s most spoken languages, French is spoken in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Seychelles, Rwanda, and France. It’s also the second most popularly studied language worldwide, so you will be joining the ranks of many who have learned to speak it. In addition, it has been touted as the language of culture since historical times; and if that’s not enough encouragement to give this romantic option a try, know that about 30% of English vocabulary comes from French origins!English has borrowed many words from it: rendezvous, couture, attache, avant-garde, and ballet. No surprise that it is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. Of course, the pronunciation is full of tongue twisters, but once you get the hang of the language, it is pretty élémentaire.

Swedish

Another Scandinavian language, Swedish, is also from the Germanic group. So, it shares many cognates with English. The Swedish alphabet has 29 letters: the 26 usual letters plus 3 special characters. The logic of the language can be easier to grasp for many learners. Verb conjugation will also be a piece of cake to learn.

to park – parkera
local – lokal

But watch out for false cognates; some peculiar instances are: fart in Swedish means speed and bad means bath.

Malay

Why does an Asian language feature in this list? Shouldn’t it be on the list of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers? This Austronesian language has many loanwords from English. Add to that, the modern Malay alphabet uses the Latin alphabet, and you have enough reason to pick up the language spoken in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor, Singapore and southern Thailand. What makes Malay a great choice is that it has no conjugations, no plurals ( you have to repeat the word), no gender, and best of all – no verb tenses! Goodbye grammar, for sure!

Conclusion

Sharing similar words and sentence structures with English makes many languages above the easiest languages to learn for English speakers.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Korean the easiest language to learn?

Let us enlighten you regarding this question. The FSI marks Korean as a Category V language, which means it is one of the most challenging languages to master. You are expected to put in at least 88 weeks of extremely intense study if you wish to learn this pictographic language.

What is the easiest language for a child to learn?

A child can learn any language with the proper guidance. Children are quick learners of languages. Also, languages similar to the child’s native/mother tongue are easier for the child to pick up. For example, if your child’s native tongue is English, the child can easily pick up Spanish.

What is the easiest language to learn for Arabic speakers?

If you are fluent in Arabic, you can learn Amharic spoken by Amharas in Ethiopia, Tigrinya; also spoken in Ethiopia, Hebrew, Maltese, and Aramaic. In addition, Swahili, Farsi (Persian), Pashto and Kurdish are languages that an Arabic speaker can get the hang of without much effort.

What is the easiest language to learn for French speakers?

French speakers can master other Romance languages like Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. In addition, there are many English words in French vocabulary, so English is another language French speakers can learn easily.

What is the most useful language to learn after English?

Now that is a tough question, as learning a language depends on several factors. If you cannot zero in on one, start learning a useful language in today’s world. The following languages hold significance globally:

Mandarin
French
German
Spanish 
Arabic
Japanese

What are the top 5 hardest languages?

* Topping the list is Mandarin, a tonal and pictographic language. Every sound has its 4 unique pronunciations and meanings.

* Arabic is the official language in over 20 states. It is written from left to right; most letters have 4 different forms depending on where you place them in a word. 

* Japanese has a massive volume of characters to master, only two tenses and three independent writing systems. Thus, it isn’t a language you can learn at a whim. 

* Hungarian isn’t like any other European language. Its grammar rules are tough, the language sounds are challenging, and it relies heavily on idioms to convey its meaning. 

* The Korean language loves homonyms, words with the same sounds but different meanings. Its characters can be read from left to right and from top to bottom. Unlike other languages, Korean was invented and did not witness organic growth. Also, the grammar rules are indeed tricky to learn.

How do I start learning a language?

There are smart ways to learn a language, and our language experts share some of their favourites with you:

Set your goals:  short-term and long-term goals and focus on outcomes. Like, this week, I will learn 5 verbs with their conjugations.

Choose the right words: languages have numerous words. Decide on words that are important for communication and practicality. Focus on those first.

Think in the language: it is one of the most demanding methods to follow, but it surely will help you deal with the MTI (Mother Tongue Influence), which impedes your progress with a new language.

Use resources: listen to podcasts in the language you are learning, scout for online worksheets, read books in your adopted language, and use flashcards to improve your vocabulary; there is no dearth of resources that can aid your language learning. 

How long does it take to learn a new language?

It comes down to your dedication to learning a new language. Some can develop essential fluency in months, while others take years.

What does A1, B1 or B2 mean?

These are CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) language proficiency levels. There are six levels in total: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. A1 is the lowest level, and C2 is the highest one. You can take an exam at each level and get a certificate if you need it.

Why should I learn a new language?

There are some great benefits to being bilingual or multilingual:

* it enhances your career prospects
* it improves your memory and brain functions
* it gives you a greater understanding of the world

Is learning a new language tough?

Nothing is too difficult if you put your head to it. Keep yourself motivated, set your goals, and work towards them; you will indeed find it exciting and easier than you had thought it to be.

Which language learning method will work out for me?

No one can know your learning style better than you. You can try different learning strategies when learning a new language, like trying out Immersion, using apps and software, etc.

Why is English so important?

The mere figures state its importance. It is the official language in 53 countries. With the number of people choosing to study the language increasing yearly, it is also in demand. Moreover, being the internet’s favourite language, English also allows you to study, work, live and travel in countries worldwide.
Knowledge of this language is appreciated and is counted as an essential skill today.

I wish to join a language class on Edulyte. How can I do it?

Within a few minutes, you can start your language-learning journey with Edulyte. Sign up here and type the language you wish to learn in the search box. Then, click on Find classes or Find tutors to decide on the class you want to attend. Click on your choice, pay the fees, and you are ready to participate in your first class! Edulyte gives you the benefits of live, personalised and flexible classes. We ensure that you can learn anytime, anywhere!

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