What are the easiest languages to learn? Well, it differs from person to person.
Since my childhood, I have had a lot of exposure to different Indian languages like Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi. I have also studied Spanish as a second language. I am based in Ireland now, where I communicate in English rather than my native tongue.
With my exposure to different languages and online research, I have gathered the top 5 easiest languages to learn for fluent English speakers. Of course, for non-English speakers, English is one of the easiest languages to learn due to its widespread use in many countries; for more information on English, see my previous blog: Top 5 languages in the world. According to Statista, as of 2020, most internet users (25.9%) used English. So, learning English is a piece of cake, and let me tell you what it takes to learn something.
I was fascinated by the prospect of learning a European language, primarily to gain a better understanding of their rich culture and to pursue one of the few niche jobs available at the time, which was becoming a language specialist in India. As a result, I made the decision to study Spanish. I signed up, and it made me nervous, just as it did most of you, because it was a totally new experience for me.
However, the fact that I was studying one of the most spoken languages, with a script like English, kept me motivated. So, I enrolled in the course, and I will never forget my first class, where I learned the Spanish alphabet, as well as how to say “hi,” “how are you,” and “see you later” in Spanish. It gave me hope that I would be able to learn a language from scratch, just like a schoolchild.
Practice makes perfect
The proverb “Practice makes a man perfect” came to life here, and I began practicing right away by watching English movies, documentaries, and video songs with Spanish subtitles, as well as listening to Spanish audio songs, with the aim of staying in contact with the language even though I was not able to understand everything. I also realized that making mistakes was perfectly acceptable; after all, I was learning. As a result, I recommend that you practice speaking the language as much as possible and learn from your mistakes.
Learn languages make easy
Before we move ahead, I would like to talk about three key factors that can make learning something simple: motivation, curiosity, and dedication. If you possess these three qualities, you will undoubtedly accomplish your objectives, and nothing will be able to hinder you. Learning something comes with its own set of difficulties, but you can solve them if you are dedicated to achieving your target. Many that are inspired and interested will receive all the assistance they need. In other words, external influences become important only after you have made an internal commitment. According to Foreign Service Institute (FSI), these 5 languages amongst a few others fall under the easiest category when compared to other languages.
There are 543 million Spanish speakers in the world. When it comes to the language’s nuances, there are three forms of verbs in Spanish: ‘ar’, ‘er’, and ‘ir’, which must be conjugated in the first person, second person, third person, singular, and plural, respectively. In English, however, the verbs function in a different way. Either of these three verbs can be used to finish a sentence in Spanish (‘ar’, ‘er’ or ‘ir’). Most of these language courses begin with understanding the present tense, then future, past, and subjunctive tenses. Another thing that intrigued me about Spanish was how much easier it was to pronounce than English because there are so few silent letters. Every letter must be considered for pronunciation as it is, and as you progress, it becomes a little more difficult.
258 million people speak Portuguese, the majority of which are from Portugal and Brazil. Many nouns and verbs are like those in Spanish, with minor differences in pronunciation. Following my Bachelor’s, I worked for Genpact in India as a Spanish language resource. They requested my assistance with any Portuguese language translations. Even though I did not speak the language, I was familiar with the rules that govern European languages, and similar rules apply to Portuguese as well, so I was able to translate Portuguese documents using online resources. The argument I am trying to make here is that both Spanish and Portuguese, as well as English, are derived from Latin. As a result, learning is simple if you master the fundamentals.
The Romance language is spoken by 267 million people around the world. French is quite like Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. The gender of nouns is significant, and once you understand it, you can apply it to most nouns. Place names that end in a ‘e,’ for example, are feminine; Ireland is written in French as L’Irelande. And most of the nouns that do not end in a ‘e,’ are masculine. Apart from place nouns, once you are familiar with the language, you can guess the gender and the words ending with ‘ment’, ‘er’, ‘eau’ ‘ou’ will be masculine and ‘tion’, ‘sion’, ‘son’, ‘ée’ will be feminine.
63 million people worldwide speak Italian and is considered one of the nearest languages to Latin. J, K, W, X, and Y are not used in Italian words, but only in foreign loan words or, less often, in old writings, so the regular Italian alphabet has only 21 letters. It is interesting to note that the term “America” comes from the Italian language. It is also the classical music’s official language. The verbs are divided into three forms, like Spanish, but ending in a ‘e’, such as ‘are’, ‘ere’, and ‘ire’. This means that every verb will end with one of these three letters and be conjugated in the first, second, or third person when used in a conversation.
29 million people around the world speak Dutch. It is a West Germanic language with a lot of compound words in it. Compound words are made up of many smaller words put together. Those learning Dutch would be relieved to hear that nouns do not have cases. This is a big plus because it means there is one less thing to remember. Linguists believe that Dutch is one of the best languages for English speakers to learn because the grammar and vocabulary are so similar. In Dutch, masculine, feminine, and neuter are the three genders. Gender is assigned to each noun, and certain nouns have two genders. Another thing I learned from my experience is that once you learn one of these five languages, learning the others is a piece of cake.
If you want to learn a second language is not so difficult, are you interested in exploring your capabilities? Check out the language groups available at SPEAK Dublin.
Are you interested in knowing more about Portuguese and Spanish similarities? Check out SPEAK’s post about it.