Learning a new language is fun, rewarding and incredibly useful. But with so many to explore, it can be difficult to know which are easy languages to learn.
If you’re already an English speaker, you’re at an advantage. English is one of the most connected languages that exists with links to many European Germanic languages. Many English words also derive from French or Latin.
Keen to learn a new lingo? Here are 5 easy languages to learn (for English speakers).
Spanish has long been one of the favourite languages to learn for English speakers. There are 450 million native speakers and the language is the second most spoken in the world. 37% of employers list Spanish as a critical language to know for employment.
Not only is it practical and incredibly useful, it’s also straightforward to pronunciate. There are only ten vowel and diphthong sounds (English has 20) and words are generally pronounced how they’re spelt. Plus, many words are similar to English since Spanish also derives from Latin.
The international language of love is spoken by almost 300 million people across the world. And while other languages are easier to learn than French, getting the hang of speaking, writing and French grammar is relatively easy.
Again, French and English share some vocabulary as a result of the lengthy history between France and England. Words like ‘weekend’ and ‘village’ were passed from French to English, for example. Pronunciation can be difficult to get the hang of but our exposure to the language as a result of rich French pop culture history means we’re already somewhat familiar with it.
With over 63 million native speakers, Italian is another popular language for English speakers to learn. Getting the hang of its speaking, writing and grammar is considered to be moderately easy so it’s no wonder.
There’s a musical flow to the language. And like Spanish, Italian words are written as they’re pronounced. Plus, the prominence and popularity of Italian food mean there’s already an awareness of certain words. Penne all’arrabbiata (or angry pasta), anybody?
Spoken in Brazil as well as Portugal, Portuguese shares many similarities with the English language—namely the benefit of turning a statement into a question by intonation. “You are okay” becomes “you are okay?” simply by switching up your delivery, for example.
The language also shares some of its vocabulary with English. And because of the rich culture of Brazilian music, there are plenty of music and movie options that put your learning at an advantage. Yes, some of the nasal vowel sounds require thought and practice, but the best things always do.
It might be surprising to see Indonesian on this list but actually, it’s the easiest non-European language for English speakers to learn.
Spoken by almost 23 million people, its words are very different to English but it’s one of the few Asian languages with a Latin alphabet. Plus, it’s a phonetic language with the same word ordering rules as English and no cases, tenses, plural forms, word genders or verb conjugations. Sign us up.