When you hear stories of new language learners who reached proficiency in a short time, you can’t help but wonder how they did it. While it’s true that we can learn anything, we set our mind to, some goals are easier than others. As the English language has its roots in many other languages, some languages share extremely similar grammar and structure, making it extra easy for any English speaker to learn these languages in no time.
We spoke to language expert at Absolute Translations, Sergio Afonso on his thoughts on the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. Whether you have been recently studying a new language or it’s been a while since you brushed up on your bilingual skills, the fact that you already have the foundational knowledge needed means you will learn a new language in no time.
With nearly everyone on this planet knowing a Spanish word or two, Spanish is one of the most popular and spoken languages in the world, with over 477 million native speakers expanding over 20 countries and 572 million speakers as a first or second language, Spanish had to be the first language on our list. While there are many significant grammatical differences between English and Spanish, the fact that they share many identical words and similarities makes Spanish one of the easiest languages to learn.
With the rise of the Brazilian economy, Portuguese has become an increasingly popular language to learn. Lots of jobs and new opportunities are flourishing in South America especially Brazil, making Portuguese a highly demanded language to learn. If you know English and Spanish, Portuguese will be an easy language to learn. Whilst English is a Germanic language it does have its roots in romantic languages. This means both Portuguese and English share similar language roots, making it easier for an English speaker to quickly pick up the language.
The language of love has its roots in the romance language family, yet it’s not as easy to learn as Spanish or Portuguese. Differences between English and French manly exist in the grammar, as there are 17 verb forms in French, compared to the English 12, not to mention that it gets harder when you count the silent pronunciation and accents. Yet, French culture is loved wherever you go around the world. The fact that there are plenty of French movies and TV shows online, French speakers and great job opportunities in France makes this language very accessible and familiar to many people.
You must be wondering, how did an Asian language make it on this list? But we listed the Indonesian language for a good reason, as it’s one of the few Asian languages which uses the Latin alphabet. While other Asian languages usually use unfamiliar written characters, Indonesian is one of the rare exceptions. Moreover, what makes the Indonesian language easy to learn is the fact that words are pronounced exactly as they sound! Making Indonesian a straightforward and easy language to acquire.
Widely spoken in South Africa, Afrikaans comes from the same West Germanic language family as English. This means several things for English speakers: no verb conjugation, gender, or pronouns that you must specifically learn for Afrikaans.