Have you ever wondered which are the easiest languages to learn? This is a hot topic both in the English speaking world and for the rest of the globe.
For those whose native language is English, there is little incentive to start learning a foreign tongue. English is the lingua franca of the 21st century after all. However, there are plenty of reasons for which learning a new language should be widely embraced.
Firstly, learning a new language is a resume pump-up. Secondly, learning a new language – Spanish for instance – paves the way for a deeper understanding of the culture and country you’re travelling to. Then, with the wealth of apps and software programs that ease the process, there’s almost no excuse to not start picking up a foreign language.
Read on to find the answer to the often met question ‘What is the easiest language to learn?’. We compiled a list of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers and added the best apps to enable learning on the go for most of them. Enjoy!
Here it is: the number one easiest language to learn. According to the Foreign Service Institute ranking, Spanish is a Category 1 foreign language. This means that the time invested in picking up Spanish doesn’t exceed 24 weeks. Of course, there is no rule of thumb here and this timeframe largely depends on your availability and how sustained your rhythm is.
Spanish and English may seem unrelated at first. While they are part of different branches of the Indo-European language family, they do share a large amount of vocabulary. Moreover, the grammar isn’t all that different, while the verbal tense system is almost unique.
Do you need another reason to start learning Spanish today? As a top easiest language to learn for English speakers, Spanish is also spoken is 20 countries around the world. 500 million people share Spanish as their native tongue. This alone should make it easy to have real access to a cultural experience that English alone can’t reveal.
Where should you get started? Here is a list of apps that in addition to a Duolingo account can prop your Spanish knowledge in no time:
- StudyBlue Flashcards and Quizzes: available for both Android and iPhone, the StudyBlue app makes it easy to pick up words while in the subway, commuting, having your lunch break or in any unconventional space. Build up vocabulary and essential grammar, take the fun quizzes and monitor your progress.
- Spanish Conversation Courses: this app takes Spanish learning to a new level. Video, repetition exercises, some flashcards and most important conversation skills are presented in an interactive and refreshing manner.
We’re sticking to the Romance languages family and presenting you another entry on the list, marked easiest foreign language to learn. It’s time you went one step beyond ‘baguette’ and picked up a language that is closely related to English despite the two being part of different Indo-European branches.
Since 1066 when England fell under Norman rule, a linguistic blend started to brew. Middle English was infused with French vocabulary. Our modern day language has borrowed so much from French that in a conversation you will certainly hear some words that are at least familiar.
Granted, French is more complex than English when it comes to spelling and grammar. Nevertheless, picking up French even at a conversational level will open doors in the 29 countries where this Romance language is also the official language.
According to the Foreign Service Institute ranking French is also a Category 1 language which means it’s fairly easy to learn. These are the apps that could get your started.
- Learn French: this app is designed for beginners and travelers looking to pin down the basics of the language. The app has been created for learners to practice speaking and listening while building up vocabulary. The parrot guiding you through is a helpful prop.
- Learn French with Babbel. Babbel is already a classic among apps paving the way to the top 10 easiest languages to learn and many more. Give it a try. A community of millions of users believe it’s worth every second.
Yet another Romance language, Italian ranks high as the easiest language to learn. The grammar aspects may seem a little daunting. Nonetheless, with the Foreign Service Institute placing Italian in the first category as well and the undeniable charm it evokes, Italian should be on your top ten easiest languages to learn list.
It’s the language most related to Latin and quite close to French. If you have a knack for picking up languages, Romance languages are a piece of cake. There are plenty of Italian learning apps out there, but we found these two to be the best:
- Babbel. It hardly needs an introduction. Babbel can be accessed online, via an Android or iOS app or offline. Why not take advantage of this flexibility and learn Italian around the clock?
- Byki. Byki is one of the largest online communities offering complete courses for learning even the most unusual languages. Log in, search for the Italian community and get started. Byki is really one of the easiest way to learn a language.
We are moving on to the Germanic languages family. Spoken Dutch has a quaint air of familiarity for a native English speaker who happens to hear Dutch. The reason behind it is that Dutch is the closest relatives of the English language when it comes to this branch of the Indo European languages.
Another reason behind this familiarity is that Dutch is also ridden by borrowed vocabulary from the Romance languages. Almost the same foreign vocabulary has made its way both in English and Dutch leading to similar developments in both languages.
Also a Category I language, Dutch is deemed fairly easy to pick up. Provided you do find a partner to practice with, the learning process should be a breeze. Here are a few apps to help you meanwhile:
- Learn Dutch: online, via an iOS app or Android app. Learn Dutch on the go with vocabulary flashcards, pronunciation lessons, videos and many more.
- Learn Dutch 6000 words. Games, flashcards, conversation groups and many other interactive ways to pick up another one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn.
5. Norwegian, Swedish, Danish
Yes, Norwegian. Norwegian, Swedish and Danish are all included in the Category 1 ranking. The similarities between the three Nordic languages make them one language continuum that’s easy to learn for English speakers.
Just as is the case with the English language, the three have lost the grammatical cases which typically make acquiring a new language more difficult. In case you are looking for sources that could help you jumpstart the process, here they are:
- Duolingo. Duolingo is the go to source for all three languages of the Germanic language family. With a worldwide community of users, Duolingo eases the process of finding conversation partners and engaging in linguistic exchange.
- Babbel. Log in, find the community you’re interested in and start learning.
Our list is barely a top ten easiest languages to learn. Nevertheless, it provides a list of some of the easiest languages to learn according to the Foreign Services Institute. If you’re looking for something more ‘exotic’ or none of the above languages tickle your fancy, feel free to consult the ranking provided by the Foreign Services Institute. There are plenty of alluring options.
Keep in mind that even if a language is included in a category that seems to be more difficult, it’s all up to you and the time resources you’re willing to invest. The easiest languages to learn are always the ones most similar to your own. That doesn’t mean Japanese or Indonesian aren’t attractive options. Good luck!