Blaveloper

For beginners: "What language should I learn"? "What is the easiest one"? (NOT MY QUESTION!)

Recommended Posts

I think the easiest language is the one closest to your own or at least the one in your close proximity. Living beside a neighboring country for example can have a lot of spillover in terms of culture and words so picking up a few phrases here and there shouldn't be too uncommon or difficult, even if the pronunciations aren't exactly close to your own. I find the easiest languages for me to pronounce and learn are the ones similar to the ones I grew up with already so a lot of asian languages tend to sound familiar to me and I find it more difficult to learn languages far from my own like German or Russian. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think first and foremost, you should always go with what your heart tells you. Which language are you particularly interested in? Then when you have made your decision, then stick with it. For me though,  the country that you're about to or plan to visit should be one of the considerations in learning a new language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since way too many people failed to understand the purpose of this topic, I have edited the first post with a very clear notice at the beginning.
People who still fail to understand it should buy me some cake from now on.

lushlala likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to learn a language, then don't learn English! Most of my language teachers have told me that English is one of the hardest languages to learn, because the rules don't make sense in English. The pronunciation is, for the most part, memorization, because many of our words aren't phonetic. Also, our rules in English are silly sometimes and don't always apply. Older English made more sense in some regards, like with the personal and impersonal you, which was "thou" and "thee." Today, we still use a personal and impersonal he/him and I/me, so it makes no sense that the personal and impersonal you is the same. For example,

"He went to the store." is very different from "I saw him go to the store" because the person doing the action in each sentence changes!

In modern English, "You went to the store" and "I saw you go to the store" are also two very different sentences because the person doing the action changes, though the "you" doesn't change, whereas it used to in old Enligsh, based on who the subject of the sentence was.

lushlala likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Japanese grammar is easy but the Kanji onyomi and kunyomi ambiguity really gives me headaches. Anyway, the easiest language could be Esperanto or any other language closely related to your native tongue, like a portuguese  or italian learning spanish, or a german learning english, or a japanese learning chinese.  They achieve a level of fluency in shorter time than struggling with another more foreign language, just like me attempting to learn Hebrew or classic Arabic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a hard question but I would have to say Spanish,I mean so many people around us speak fluent spanish, you might even have friends who speak fluent Spanish. So being around these people and asking questions here and there would be a good way of learning the language. I started to learn more Spanish because I know how to speak it but I'm not so fluent and i thought it was pretty easy learning some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lingvo said:

Japanese grammar is easy but the Kanji onyomi and kunyomi ambiguity really gives me headaches.

Heh, it's the exact opposite for me.
To me Kanji readings are straightforward and Japanese grammar is a pain in the arse.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/26/2016 at 5:52 AM, 111kg said:

Glad to see another Romanian on this forum.

 

Now, I do believe that there is no point in learning a foreign language if you don't plan to immerse in that culture or at least be in touch with it. Why? Because once you stop using it for a while, you lose it. You wasted so much time of your life just so you can brag that you know a language you'll never use inreal life.

I think that is so true, I wouldn't want to learn a language if I'm not going to be in touch with the culture, it's just more meaningful, and languages are just not something that you can go to the store and buy. You have to commit to them, and I'm not doing that just to forget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do believe that English is the best language to learn first, as well as Spanish because they are easy to learn and pick up. When I started to sample Spanish, I became hooked. I loved the reaction I get from Spanish speaking women, they are always shocked, and some really like it.

It's a really romantic language as some would say,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For English speakers, I would say, French, as most of the vocabulary is very similar. I found that the grammar is easier and more consistent as well.

Dutch, (actually Frisian but nevermind that) is the language that's closest to English, so people would say that Dutch is the easiest language to learn for an English speaker. Not very true, it's the other way around; English is the easiest language to learn for a native Dutch speaker. Easier than German, contrary to popular belief.

Countryhalli likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread was helpful to me and gave me some good advice about what to pursue in my language studies.  And it has made me choose to lean towards Spanish as my main focus.  It's all well and good to study the languages connected to my family heritage, which was my reasons for studying French and Yiddish, and I do definitely want to pay Paris a visit someday, but lets face it.  I live in America and Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language on the whole continent, second only to English.  I studied Spanish for three and a half years in school, there are a lot of Spanish speaking people living in my city, I have a very long and extensive romantic history with Spanish speaking women, I have spent a lot of time around people who spoke Spanish as their first language, and I'm much more likely to visit a country or city with Spanish as the local language.  I will have much more opportunity to use Spanish more than the other languages I'm studying.  It has more utility for me and my life and it's not as difficult to learn as French and much less obscure and more accessible than Yiddish.  There are a lot of resources available to help me become fluent in Spanish and I just think it's a very attractive language and I can comprehend it well when I listen to people speak it.  I realize to be bilingual I have to pick one foreign language and stick to it and Spanish is the most logical option for me really.  This thread helped me realize what my priorities are for becoming bilingual. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always felt that any language is easy to learn if you are motivated enough. Plus I think that it helps you to learn much faster when you are exposed to the native speakers of the language you have chosen to learn. I'm not a teacher, just a student, but I've been learning Afrikaans, and I found that rather than jsut learning from a book, it's much easier to retain the words and phrases and to learn the right accent and pronounciation when you regularly converse with native speakers. 

Countryhalli likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 26 August 2016 at 5:12 PM, 17emilyhalko said:

If you want to learn a language, then don't learn English! Most of my language teachers have told me that English is one of the hardest languages to learn, because the rules don't make sense in English. The pronunciation is, for the most part, memorization, because many of our words aren't phonetic. Also, our rules in English are silly sometimes and don't always apply. Older English made more sense in some regards, like with the personal and impersonal you, which was "thou" and "thee." Today, we still use a personal and impersonal he/him and I/me, so it makes no sense that the personal and impersonal you is the same. For example,

"He went to the store." is very different from "I saw him go to the store" because the person doing the action in each sentence changes!

In modern English, "You went to the store" and "I saw you go to the store" are also two very different sentences because the person doing the action changes, though the "you" doesn't change, whereas it used to in old Enligsh, based on who the subject of the sentence was.

I grew up speaking English and because English is the official language of Botswana, it's very widely spoken here. But I absolutely agree with what you're saying. While English may be relatively easy for native speakers and those who speak it fluently, I don't believe it would be very easy to learn from scratch as an adult for the very reasons that you cited, such as the rules not always applying and the pronunciation of words not always making phonetic sense. Even having spoken English all my life, I found I was always picking about new things when I went to live in England, always unlearning some bad habits I learnt from some of my past English teachers. I've even had this conversation with my English husband, and he agrees that English language rules don't always make sense. I mean, even native speakers don't always observe set rules and regulations, and the fact that there are so many different regional dialects doesn't help. I wouldn't like to be learning English now, as an adult LOL

Countryhalli likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In highschool, my freshman year I took spanish, simply because my parents said that is the biggest language coming into the USA. I was constantly confused and had no idea how to properly say anything, and couldn't remember hardly any words even just basic ones. Then my sophmore year I took german and that was so much easier, I enjoyed it, and found it quite similar to english in a way. So in my personal opinion if I had to say, I could give german a shot as learning a nee language. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/27/2016 at 8:11 PM, blotteracids said:

I think English is the easiest language to learn as it sounds like a lot of other languages and has really similar words... Also, there are no accents and the pronouns are really easy to learn. I think that maybe it's not the same for everyone, but it was the easiest language for me. It's also highly needed and used in today's world, and if you learn english, you can go anywhere and talk to anyone, because everyone knows at least the basics of the language.

I don't think English is the easiest language. I began learning English at the age of 3. I studied in English medium school for 12 years. When I went to college,English was the teaching language, even in university, English was the primary language. Still I have stilted English.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What language should I learn?

If someone asks me that, my automatic answer is English. Never mind that English is a weird language. The main point is that English is a universal language. It's the language of the Web. It's the language of knowledge. Without English, a large portion of the world is beyond comprehension.

Is learning English easy?

Yes and no. It is easy to learn English when you really want to. It is very difficult to learn English when you are forced to. This is something which I found out when I was teaching English as a second language in Thailand. There are some students who do well. They love the English language and it shows in their dedication to learning English. However, for the majority of the students, it's something which is forced upon them. So they study it with loathing and, accordingly, do very poorly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Countryhalli said:

In highschool, my freshman year I took spanish, simply because my parents said that is the biggest language coming into the USA. I was constantly confused and had no idea how to properly say anything, and couldn't remember hardly any words even just basic ones. Then my sophmore year I took german and that was so much easier, I enjoyed it, and found it quite similar to english in a way. So in my personal opinion if I had to say, I could give german a shot as learning a nee language. 

Wow, that's an eye opener @Countryhalli! I never would have thought German was easier than Spanish at all. I've always had it in my head that German was one of the most difficult languages out there, mainly because of the pronunciation. Even with that belief, I've always heard that German is quite similar to English because they come from the same family of languages, even though I can quite honestly say I can't fathom that one out. Having said that, I think I'd also struggle with pronouncing Spanish words. There's a certain sound the Spanish make that sounds very much like a lisp to me, and that to me sounds vey difficult to incorporate into speech if you don't have that speech impediment!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it depends on your native language as well as your preference in a culture.
However, I believe that Italian is an objectively easy to learn language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wоuld sаy Frеnсh is thе еаsiеst tо lеаrn w.r.t. vосаbulаry, grаmmаr аnd gеndеr. Thе prоnunсiаtiоn tаkеs а bit mоrе еffоrt. Gеnеrаlly it is rеlаtivеly еаsy tо rеаd, writе аnd spеаk Frеnсh, but it is quitе diffiсult tо undеrstаnd fоr аn еnglish spеаkеr’s pеrspесtivе. Thе Gеrmаn is lаnguаgе is muсh еаsiеr tо undеrstаnd bесаusе it is spоkеn muсh likе еnglish, hоwеvеr lеаrning thе vосаbulаry, gеndеr аnd еspесiаlly thе grаmmаr оf thе Gеrmаn lаnguаgе is diffiсult. Lеаrning thе Itаliаn оr Spаnish lаnguаgе is prоbаbly оnly а littlе mоrе diffiсult thаn thе Frеnсh lаnguаgе but еаsiеr tо undеrstаnd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's easier to learn languages that are widely used where you live and what you are motivated to learn. Well, in my country mainly 2 languages are spoken: Estonian and Russian. A lot of people know English too thanks to technology, the internet and using subtitles on films. So a lot of Estonians can speak 3 languages.

I grew up on an island where the Russian-speaking population was really low (around 2%) and my family happened to have Russian speaking friends. So every time we visited them, I was extremely bored since I couldn't understand a word. So my first motivation was to understand what they are talking about. Later when I understood most of the speech, I realized I wasn't confident enough to actually speak in Russian. So my next goal was to speak the language. Now that I can speak Russian on quite decent level, my goal is to get it to native-speaker level.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends from what kind of languages you already know.
Italian is not that difficult (though I've learned it while I've been prescribed amphetemines like Adderall and maybe it played a role too), but it's just my opinion!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with others about which language is easy or difficult. At the moment, Mandarin seems the most difficult for me out of the ones that I've looked at. But, some friends that didn't speak English as a first language (or any germanic/latin sources) tell me that English was a huge pain to learn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When i was in Asian a dutch guy who was fluent in Malaysian told me that Malaysian is really easy : the grammar and conjugation would be like typical asian language (so quite easy), the writing would use "roman" letters most of the time and every letter would be prounounced. I have no idea about this language ! Does someone here share the same opinion  than this guy I met in Asian ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now