Are you curious as to which is the easiest language to learn? Do you want to learn a foreign language but want to learn one that is easy to pick up and make progress in? What exactly is a language? Is it just a set of vocabulary or just a combination of verb, noun, and other parts of a sentence? No, it is more than that. It is a way of thinking. Then there is the question of pronunciation.
Definition of ‘easy’
In reality, there is no one ‘easy’ language to learn. It actually depends on you and your natural ability with acquiring languages as well as which language you enjoy. Enjoyment is one of the most important factors. If you don’t enjoy studying the language, you won’t do it and you will not learn.
There are a few other factors which make a language easy or not. These factors include the similarity of the language with your mother tongue, your own level of enthusiasm and the resources that are available for you to use.
According to the U.S. State Department, a language is considered easy when it requires 600 hours or less to gain minimal proficiency. For English speakers this is generally the Latin and Germanic languages. The complex grammar of the Germanic languages often put it at 750 hours.
In actuality, English is considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn because it is everywhere, the verb conjugations are relatively simple and native speakers are generally forgiving of mistakes.
Italian is considered easy to learn because it has no cases. There is also clear pronunciation. It’s a Romance Language, meaning that it is a descendant of Latin. This means that there are many vocabulary words that transfer from other Romance languages.
Another of the Romance Languages, Spanish is very wide spread and shares much vocabulary as Latin and Italian.
Yet another of the Romance languages, many vocabulary words are similar. It is also widely used, although less than Spanish, for example. The words are written phonetically, meaning that you write the words exactly as they are spoken.
Many linguistic scholars consider Dutch to be an easy language for an English-speaker to learn because of the similarities in word order, the lack of case and verbal flexion.
Portuguese is extremely similar to Spanish.
The Best Way to Learn a Language
There are many ways to learn a language. Again, the best way depends on how you learn. In general, it is said that the best way is through consistent practice with interaction rather than route memorization. The more time and energy you put into your studies, the easier and faster it is to learn. One of the most important and perhaps hardest for some people is to not be embarrassed by making mistakes and to simply go out there and practice, practice and practice.
There are a number of mediums that you can use to study a language, including movies, television, Cds/tapes, music, newspapers, magazines, phrase books, dictionaries, talk to people online, and my favorites, travelling to a country.
Whether or not you choose the easiest language to learn, learning a new language is a fun and rewarding experience!