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Easiest language to learn as native English speaker?


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What is the easiest language to learn as a native English speaker?  I have heard that Dutch is one of the best because it is the most similar to English. 

 I know that learning any language is far from easy, that it takes dedication and work. But I am curious to know what language is either the closest to English or is similar enough to make it easier to learn. 

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I researched and here is what I found:

1. Afrikaans. English and Afrikaans are both derived from the West Germanic language. It has the same phonetics and pronunciations. The difference is that "g" is pronounced as -ch in Bach. It's also easier as you can just memorise a bunch of words and stack them together, not worrying about conjugation and such. 

2. Danish. It is spoken more quickly and more softly than other Scandinavian languages. It is also flatter and more monotonous than English. It's grammar is very easy and has only nine verb forms which is similar to the English language. 

3. French. There are a lot of latin french derivations in the English language which makes it kind of easy to learn as a native English speaker.

4. Frisian. This is a language spoke by half a million people in Friesian, Netherlands. Literally, this is the closest language to English. But it is rare to find books that teach how to speak this language.

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For me, I found that French was the easiest language to learn as a native English speaker. That is probably due to the close derivations that hold from Latin. When you really get into the essence of the languages you will find a lot of similarities. As well, I found that when I was reading particularly long passages in French I had the ability to decifer the jist of the passage from similar sounding and looking words that I found in the English language. Just remember, a great thing to remember when learning a new language is to find similarities to what you already know and to line up your new language to essential cues which will trigger your memory. A great example for this is to associate new words to visual cues. Just a few extra ideas for you. 

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Spanish and Japanese are highly recommended languages for easy learning. French is a good language and you can learn it if you want but I don't think it's the easiest by far. Speaking it is even worse. The thing with Spanish and Japanese is that what you read is what you pronounce. Structurally, they're also easy to learn.

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I learnt some time ago that all germanic languages are closely related. If I were to develop a study pattern for different languages, I would study all germanic languages together. Like you said though, easy or hard, it takes commitment and dedication to learn a language.

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Personally, I think Spanish is not too hard.  But French is very similar to Spanish.  I do not know about Dutch, I have never even heard it spoken, so I can't be too sure on that.

Indeed I have studied and am still studying Spanish. I am not at all lying, Spanish is very easy to learn for me. It may not be closely related to the English language, but it's super fun and simplistic.

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Spanish and Japanese are highly recommended languages for easy learning. French is a good language and you can learn it if you want but I don't think it's the easiest by far. Speaking it is even worse. The thing with Spanish and Japanese is that what you read is what you pronounce. Structurally, they're also easy to learn.

Are you sure? Just by looking  at the Japanese writing, i get nervous about learning it.

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Hello, my name is Jorge Solis and I speak three languages: Spanish, French, and English. I think that one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers is German. Both English and German are Germanic languages, and therefore share many roots. Therefore, the pronunciation is easier for English speakers!

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What is the easiest language to learn as a native English speaker?  I have heard that Dutch is one of the best because it is the most similar to English. 

 I know that learning any language is far from easy, that it takes dedication and work. But I am curious to know what language is either the closest to English or is similar enough to make it easier to learn. 

Don't be fooled... Dutch  can be a real nightmare for most people to learn, but  if we compare... yes, Dutch is easier to learn for a native English speaker than for a Spanish speaker who doesn't speak English.  The hardest part about dutch is with no doubt word order,  after that comes knowing the definite article for each noun, etc.  Word order in dutch is really tough and it might be so confusing more most people, simple sentences like: ''Ik moet Nederlands studeren'' are a piece of pie, but sentences like this: '' In ons huis gaan we lekkere dingen koken'' and that's not even a complex sentence at all!   It does make sense to me now, but when I was just starting it didn't at all :/   If you are a native English speakers you'd be better off learning Norwegian or Swedish. Those are perfect for an English speaker. 

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Are you sure? Just by looking  at the Japanese writing, i get nervous about learning it.

I am not talking about the writing aspect. Speaking Japanese is easier than writing it. In fact, if you constantly watch Japanese dramas, movies and animation, you'll get the hang of the language structure, intonation, culture and the like. It takes more than those I've mentioned to truly master the language, though.

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I think Spanish and Portuguese are among the easiest to learn for English speakers. I'm currently learning Spanish and I think it's not that hard. And I can tell you that there are a lot of Spanish words that are similar to English words - which makes learning much more fun and even easier. Plus if you live in the US or countries with a lot of Spanish people in general (which isn't too far fetched considering Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world), you'll have even more opportunities to learn by talking to them. It's much easier than say, learning Japanese and finding a Japanese person to talk to.

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I may be wrong, but English and German share more than 3000 common words. If this is true, then German, even if it sounds complicated in the beginning, should be the easiest language to learn for the native English people with a fairly decent vocabulary.

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I find French is the easiest language to learn as a native English speaker probably due to the similarities they both have. Even if I do not know some French words when reading a passage I am still able to decipher the gist of the message from similar looking and sounding words. It marks learning the language a lot easier. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

I think for native English speakers some of the easiest languages to learn are Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.  These languages share a lot of similar stem words.  I also think a lot of these languages use have incorporated their words into other languages.    These are Germanic languages that have all stemmed from Latin, compared to Asian and Arabic languages.  I also think it is easier to learn Spanish, Portuguese and Italian when someone is already familiar with one of these languages. 

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I am not talking about the writing aspect. Speaking Japanese is easier than writing it. In fact, if you constantly watch Japanese dramas, movies and animation, you'll get the hang of the language structure, intonation, culture and the like. It takes more than those I've mentioned to truly master the language, though.

At a very low level, Japanese is pretty easy because of it's pronunciation. But for a serious native english speaker who wants to reach a high level, Japanese is one of the hardest. In the Philippines you get a lot more exposure to Japanese than in most native english speaking countries, so it doesn't surprise me that lots of Filipinos don't consider it to be terribly hard.

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At a very low level, Japanese is pretty easy because of it's pronunciation. But for a serious native english speaker who wants to reach a high level, Japanese is one of the hardest. In the Philippines you get a lot more exposure to Japanese than in most native english speaking countries, so it doesn't surprise me that lots of Filipinos don't consider it to be terribly hard.

There's a great deal of language exchange between Japan and the Philippines. Besides a staunch trade relationship, the two countries are forging a strong cultural relationship. Many Japanese come to the Philippines to learn English while Japan regularly exports animes, Jdoramas and movies to our country. I guess that's where the ease of learning comes from. On one hand, I've seen a great number of otakus in various parts of the world and they're able to pick up Japanese words a lot faster than most Filipinos. It's not so much on where the person is located but more on personal preference.

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I think that french would be easier, based on the fact that English has a great amount of French words. On the other hand Dutch would be a good option as it's the most closely related language to English. Just be for warned Dutch phonetics are very different to that of English.

That's a very interesting analysis, @ Lingua Franca! For some reason, I always thought with Dutch being related to Afrikaans and German, it would be extra difficult for me as an English speaker to learn. I have a few Dutch friends against whom I may try this when I get chance. I think my main concern would be around pronunciation, because when I've listened to people speaking Dutch, It's come across as being very difficult. I could be mistaken, I hope I am LOL

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Interesting that no one has mentioned artificial languages like esperanto. Some of them are incredibly easy. As far as natural languages, I would guess that Spanish or French would be easiest for native english speakers.

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That's a very interesting analysis, @ Lingua Franca! For some reason, I always thought with Dutch being related to Afrikaans and German, it would be extra difficult for me as an English speaker to learn. I have a few Dutch friends against whom I may try this when I get chance. I think my main concern would be around pronunciation, because when I've listened to people speaking Dutch, It's come across as being very difficult. I could be mistaken, I hope I am LOL

It has great deal to do with language families. The closest language to English is Frisian, this said that doesn't mean that you will understand it, believe me I tried. The language next in line is Dutch, the thing is, because England had been invaded by the French, it had a very strong impact on the language. To try to remove this French influence there were some English scholars that tried to replace the French words with Latin ones. So modern day English has a Germanic base with a great deal of Old French and Latin words and, oh yes,  I nearly forgot the strong Scandinavian influence, not to mention all the loan words.

I'm glad  you mentioned Afrikaans, I am sure that you have heard this phrase before.

My hand is in warm water (English)

My hand is in warm water (Afrikaans - "which means My hand is in hot water" in English) 

Even though the two languages are written in a similar way the pronunciation is completely different.

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I think German is pretty easy to learn for a native English speaker, since the two languages are related. I would also say French, because you can find a ton of French inspired words in the English language.

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It has great deal to do with language families. The closest language to English is Frisian, this said that doesn't mean that you will understand it, believe me I tried. The language next in line is Dutch, the thing is, because England had been invaded by the French, it had a very strong impact on the language. To try to remove this French influence there were some English scholars that tried to replace the French words with Latin ones. So modern day English has a Germanic base with a great deal of Old French and Latin words and, oh yes,  I nearly forgot the strong Scandinavian influence, not to mention all the loan words.

I'm glad  you mentioned Afrikaans, I am sure that you have heard this phrase before.

My hand is in warm water (English)

My hand is in warm water (Afrikaans - "which means My hand is in hot water" in English) 

Even though the two languages are written in a similar way the pronunciation is completely different.

It just goes to show you that sometimes we're inhibited by our own fear! Based on what you're saying, if I were brave enough, I'd have the confidence to take on languages such as German, Afrikaans and Dutch. Perception can be seriously damaging, because in my head, I've always told myself that that set of languages are among the hardest to learn, so I've never even considered learning them. This is definitely food for thought :)

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