Easiest Languages to Learn for English Speakers
Well, learning a language is never an easy task, it takes time, persistence, and a lot of practice. But you can find comfort in knowing that there are some languages that are much easier to learn than others, especially for English Speakers.
Whether you’re looking to travel to a new country or just understand the people around you, don’t stress. Below you can find some of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers!
What makes a language easy to learn?
Before we get into the easiest languages to learn, let’s talk about what determines the level of difficulty in learning a new language.
How similar the language is to English
First, you have to consider how similar it is to the English language. If the language you want to learn requires you to master a new alphabet that looks nothing like the letters you’re familiar with, that can definitely be a challenge. So, languages that use a similar if not the same alphabet system would naturally be considered the quickest languages to learn.
The Amount of Exposure
Another important factor is how much exposure to the language you’ll be able to get. If you’re living in a small rural out in East Texas, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll be in contact with many people who speak Indonesian. However, the chances of hearing Spanish might be high.
Ability to practice
Once you’ve gotten acquainted with the basics of the language, the next step is to practice. Being able to use the language in real life settings will improve your fluency much more than just memorizing vocabulary words from a dictionary.
That’s why accessibility to practical use is another important factor in how easy a language is to learn. Without practicing with another person, it will be much harder to pick up a new language.
Lastly, we have to consider the existing tools out there that can help you learn a language. For some languages, there are many resources available. For others, not so much. So, when you’re considering which language to learn, make sure that you’ll have plenty of tools at hand to help you. The more resources available, the easier the language will be to learn.
10 Easiest Languages to Learn for English Speakers
Now that we’ve covered what to look for when choosing a language to learn, let’s discuss which languages we’ve chosen as our top 10 easiest languages to learn for English speakers.
As the official language in 20 countries, our top pick has to be Spanish. Since Spanish is on the rise in terms of prevalence in English-speaking countries.
There has also been a rise in the variety and number of resources available for those to learn the language, so exposure to Spanish would be easy to come by.
Spanish also has the same language origin as English, though it isn’t in the same immediate family.
This might come as a surprise to most people, but Norwegian is actually very similar to English therefore is considered one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers.
Norwegian comes from the same Germanic family and uses an alphabet that closely resembles the English alphabet. Vocabulary is easy to pick up because of these shared characteristics, and the grammar follows the same structure.
The only drawback is that Norwegian isn’t as common as Spanish, so finding people to practice with might be difficult, depending on where you live.
Like Norwegian, Swedish comes from the Germanic family and uses a very similar alphabet. It’s spoken by more people than Norwegian is which offers a better chance of exposure.
Since Swedish is comparable to Norwegian, the vocabulary and grammar are easy to follow for English speakers. English and Swedish share a lot of cognates, which are words from different languages that sound very similar to each other. This makes it easier for an English speaker to learn new vocabulary words in Swedish.
If you’re a foodie, then this next language might be for you. Italian is another Romantic language and shares its Latin roots with the English language. This makes learning vocabulary words a no-brainer, especially since this is similar to what makes learning Spanish or Portuguese so easy.
What’s more – Italian food is prevalent across the globe and digging into the names of the dishes can help the language sink in just as much as the carbs do.
Another language in the Germanic family is Dutch, which is spoken by even more people than Norwegian and Swedish. Other than English and German, Dutch is the most spoken Germanic language, making it a language that would be easy to be exposed to.
Dutch shares the same alphabet as English, but the pronunciation of the letters and words can differ. So, although Dutch shares a large number of cognates with English, the pronunciation and meaning will likely not be the same.
As the official language in both Portugal and Brazil along with presence in several other countries, Portuguese is a rising language.
Portuguese shares similarities with Spanish as they are both from the Romance language family. This makes a lot of vocabulary words easy to learn as they share the same meaning as their English counterparts. The large amount of common ground needs to be heeded with caution, however, since the meaning may not always be the same.
Another language in the Romance family is French, the language of love. French is an extremely popular language with its ranking as the third most spoken language in Europe in addition to being spoken in five other continents.
The French alphabet is similar to the English alphabet with differences in pronunciation, and there’s a lot of shared vocabulary. With its popularity, finding a great resource or partner to practice with should be no problem, which is why it’s in our top ten of easiest languages to learn for an English speaker.
As the only Asian language on our list, Indonesian will no doubt come as a surprise. Even though the grammar rules are quite different from the ones in English, Indonesian shares the same alphabet as English where words are written exactly how they sound.
If you can get past the grammar and pronunciation hurdles, Indonesian will prove to be a language you can learn in no time.
The last Germanic language on our list is German, which another widely used language. The reason why it’s further down on our list of easiest languages to learn, is because of the difficulty in grammar and pronunciation.
However, since it is in the Germanic language family, German shares a lot in common with English. This makes it pretty easy language to learn as long as you get the sentence structure and sounds right.
For our final spot on our list, Romanian seems like an unlikely choice. However, since it belongs to the Romance family, it shares the same factors as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese that make it another fairly easy language to learn for English speakers.
You can be comforted knowing that Romanian’s grammar is similar to English, but be aware that there won’t be nearly as many opportunities to practice as the other languages on our list.
How to learn a new language
So, you’ve chosen which language you want to start learning, or teach your kids, but now what? To get started, all you have to do is make a plan and take advantage of all the resources and tools out there.
In our modern world, we have access to apps in addition to the more traditional textbooks and in-person classes. Take some time to gather a list of which resources you plan on using and build a strategy for how you want to achieve your goals. Once you’ve done that, the rest is easy!
Adding a new language to your repertoire may be a daunting task, but it is very possible. People have different goals and the time it takes to truly acquire a new language will vary from person to person.
So, don’t focus on comparing yourself to other learners. Instead, devote as much time as you can to learning this new language and you’ll definitely see results!