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

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Going off the idea that your maternal language is English then I would say it's probably Spanish. 

Even though English is classed as a germanic language, it actually shares more words in common with the romantic languages and choosing one of those would probably be the easiest to learn.

Obviously if you have a different mother tongue then you'll find a different language easier to learn. 

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I think it's important to mention the perseverance factor.

No matter how "easy" the language, if you don't stick with it then it will never be "learned".

The example being, my mother language is English. In theory, languages like Spanish, French and German should be the easiest for me (as they are some of the closest languages to English.)

However, I have very little interest in these languages. I don't really have much of a reason to use them and so I would probably give up along the way. Instead, I chose Japanese. A language which is one of the most different (and by extension most difficult) for native English speakers. 

Sure, it will take me longer and it's more of a challenge but the fact that I'm more interested in the language and the culture means that I am more likely to stick to it (as I have done for the last 1.5 years) and eventually become proficient in speaking it.

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As the most important factor to start and keep learning is motivation, it's maybe better to focus on this starting point...

Need: I want to visit China, I am an export manager...

Passion: I love Korean dramas, Fond of egyptology, Bier lover,...

Opportunity: Living at the border, a Chinese neighbour, a Russian girlfriend/boyfriend

Stress coefficient: Italian is easy (I am a Romance language native), Bulgarian (I am Russian), ...

"Officials" Languages of the worlds: United Nations pack

The most spoken factor: Mandarin, Hindi...

 

My choices:

German, Italian, Spanish, English for business (and travels)

Chinese: my Taichi teacher is a native and use Chinese and my new neighbour is Chinese

Russian & Ukrainian: long time friends. So happy I am learning their language!

Sometimes:

Korean: Viki alcoholic

Hindi: just curious and the voice India with incredible singers...

 

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14 hours ago, Xequeo said:

As the most important factor to start and keep learning is motivation, it's maybe better to focus on this starting point...

Need: I want to visit China, I am an export manager...

Passion: I love Korean dramas, Fond of egyptology, Bier lover,...

Opportunity: Living at the border, a Chinese neighbour, a Russian girlfriend/boyfriend

Stress coefficient: Italian is easy (I am a Romance language native), Bulgarian (I am Russian), ...

"Officials" Languages of the worlds: United Nations pack

The most spoken factor: Mandarin, Hindi...

 

My choices:

German, Italian, Spanish, English for business (and travels)

Chinese: my Taichi teacher is a native and use Chinese and my new neighbour is Chinese

Russian & Ukrainian: long time friends. So happy I am learning their language!

Sometimes:

Korean: Viki alcoholic

Hindi: just curious and the voice India with incredible singers...

 

Wow, that is a very interesting answer Xequeo. So which of these factors is the most important one for you? Which of those languages would you really like to master in the future? I guess to master them all would be a little bit too much to ask for :=)

L

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In fact they are the factors that made me study those languages... :-)

The ever strongest factor has been the "girlfriend" one. Fan of boardgames too made me spend nights and days on rules translations starting at 10 years old!

Nowdays I prefer to focus on known languages in order to improve or "refresh" those linked to a travel but an opportunity (I have two new Japenese friends in my course of Tai-Chi) could trigger for example a learning session of Japanese. Aging, business languages needs are less important... 

If you have a good and strong motivation (not only a "need"), it is much easier to learn any language.

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Learn English! There so many languages nowadays, but don't forget that English is the international one. By the way there so many good schools, teaching Englis. Now there so many sources to learn English but be careful when you choose because I have a lot of negative experience. At the end I chose Genius English, and that was my best choice. I really recommend this school.

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