As of 2019, about 1 out of 5 US citizens speak a non-English language while at home. Because of this, many Americans have started seeking out education options to learn a new language.
If you’re interested in language lessons, it’s helpful to start with an easy language to learn. You might get discouraged if you start with a complex language that’s hard to pick up quickly.
The following guide will cover the simplest languages to learn and what makes them easy to grasp.
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The Spanish language is greatly inspired by Latin and Arabic and it’s spoken the same as it’s written. The language doesn’t have many major differences when compared to other romance languages.
A lot of native Spanish speakers learn to speak English effortlessly, and vice versa. Currently, Spanish is the second most spoken language in America with Spanish speakers.
One of the reasons it’s easy to learn Spanish is its orthographic depth. It’s a measurement that determines how simple it is to pronounce a written word.
Spanish conjugate verbs might throw some learners for a loop, but that’s often the biggest hurdle. Luckily, conjugated endings also sound the same way they look written.
Another perk for English speakers wanting to learn Spanish is that the language uses the same alphabet. The two languages also share similar rules and sentence structures.
It might surprise you to learn that the French language has influenced a large portion of the English vocabulary. For example, certain words such as brunette, chef, fiancé, entrepreneur, toilette, menu, denim, and honesty come from the French language.
Because of the similarity between English and French, many English speakers have an easy time reading French words. Some words like table and comfortable even share the exact same spelling. Other words are very close such as forest and forêt
You’ll hear French Speakers on almost every continent around the globe. That means there are a lot of chances to practice the language, which makes it easier to learn quickly.
French and English have more in common than any other combination of Romance languages. So, to anyone that speaks English fluently or studies the language, French should look very familiar.
Italian is an easy Romance language to learn, especially if you already speak French, Portuguese, or Spanish. For example, cantare, cantar, cantar, and chanter are how you would say “sing” in each of the four languages.
It has a shallow orthographic depth which makes pronouncing written Italian words very easy to accomplish. Like French, English borrows a lot from the Italian language making it fairly easy for English speakers to learn.
It has fewer verb forms than French and Spanish which help some grasp the language very fast. Although, the verb endings are still usually the hardest part to learn overall.
Outside of Italy, a lot of people in Switzerland, Argentina, and Malta speak Italian as well.
Swahili is a Bantu language that takes a lot of inspiration from Arabic, English, Portuguese, French, and German. The language relies on affixes and roots to communicate verb tense and subjects rather than verb conjugations.
You’ll mainly find Swahili speakers spread throughout East Africa, especially in Kenya and Tanzania. It’s the second most spoken language in Africa next to Arabic.
Learning Swahili offers an excellent look into African culture. If you ever think you’ll volunteer or vacation in Africa, it’s a great language to learn.
The Japanese language might have a complex system for writing, but speaking the language isn’t nearly as complicated. It has surprisingly easy pronunciations and people usually have an easier time learning it than Chinese.
Like other languages on the list, Japanese sounds much like the words look. Of course, there are some exceptions and you’ll find a few tricky words, but not many overall.
It also helps that Japanese doesn’t use many different sounds. That makes for a lower orthographic depth to streamline learning. Some think of the Japanese language as a gateway language to learning others because of its simplicity.
Malay is a subject-verb-object (SVO) language that doesn’t involve conjugate verbs. It doesn’t use plurals or grammatical gender either, making it a very straightforward language to comprehend.
The language uses adverbs and tense indicators such as “saya makan” for “I eat”. To make the sentence past tense, you would add a word at the end. The past tense version would read “saya makan sudah”.
For English speakers, Malay is one of the easiest Asian languages to pick up. That’s because it uses a similar Latin script which makes it easy to understand.
Reasons to Learn a New Language
Learning a new language helps broaden your horizons and might even lead to new business and work opportunities. For example, if you learned Japanese, you could potentially teach English in Japan.
You will build connections with people around the world that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You’ll also enjoy traveling to certain countries more if you understand their primary language.
If you want to improve your memory and problem-solving skills, learning a new language can improve those areas as well. It will open the door to different cultures and even help you enjoy things like foreign films and literature.
Learning the Easiest Languages
Now you know several of the easiest languages to learn and why they’re easier than others. You also know the many benefits of learning a new language and how it promotes personal growth.
Remember this guide on your journey to becoming bilingual, trilingual, quadrilingual, or even a polyglot! Check out our blog’s education and lifestyle sections for more great tips and information.