Do you look forward to learning a new language? Do you love travelling? Do you face some problems concerning lack of a second language, when attempting to get a job? Actually, the mother tongue is not enough in some cases. Speaking a sole language is a dead wood! So if you want to improve your skills to find a job, to get a promotion, to deal with foreigners, or even to elevate your experience and knowledge, you should learn a new language. It is the time to shape up or ship out. Easiness of the language differs from one person to another, as some languages lack the same phonetics one used to find in the mother-tongue. Concerning grammar, each language has its own grammatical rules that are not applied on the other languages. Yet, a language of difficult grammatical rules may be very easy when pronounced and vice versa. So, the difficulty of a language’s branches is variable from one view to another, but the overall estimation of the easiness or difficultness of a given language is almost fixed. Studies have been carried out with a fine-tooth comb in this field to shortlist the easiest and hardest languages. They have highlighted the main elements of the languages, such as phonetics, grammar, syntactic structures, semantic structures, etc. Studies concluded that the ten easiest languages to learn are:
French is somehow an easy language to learn, yet it still needs some effort. It is a soft one, which some learners depicts of being musical and aristocratic. Linguists guesstimate that French has greatly impacted up to a third of the modern English vocabulary. About 8000 words are shared by English and French. To some extent, the French grammar includes irregularities, due to the scores of verb forms and the gendered nouns. When it comes to the pronunciation, it needs some practice to adapt to the special phonemes. Step by step, the high style of French writing is accessible and the French original accent will be a piece of cake. French also is used in many countries all over the world, particularly in the African continent. The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie stated in 2007 that 115 million African people living in 31 Francophone countries use French. Some use it as a first language and others use it as a second language. French is an official language used in many global organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, the ICRC, etc.
For the non-speakers of English, it is vital to learn this popular language. It is deemed to be easy, as it does not include too many irregularities, on the grammatical basis. Concerning its pronunciation, the English phonemes are not rare, as other languages include more or less the same phonemes. Moreover, learning English is very functional, as it is widely spoken all over the world. In addition, it is the official language of some essential institutions.
Some linguists have highly recommended the English speakers to learn Dutch. It borrows many words from both French and English. The Dutch consonant system has a syllable structure, presenting multifaceted consonant groups or clusters. It is closely related to German, concerning the syntactic structure and morphological formation of verbs. About 23 million speakers use it as a first language and other 5 million people use it as a second language.
The Norwegian language belongs to the same tree of the North Germanic languages. The syntactic structure is similar to that of English. In addition, it shares the Swedish language the same phonology, with some differences in accents. There are many Norwegian dialects that differ from each other in vocabulary, syntax and grammar. Norwegian is one of the languages used in the Nordic council. Actually, a few opportunities to use Norwegian are provided, as in Norway itself, the people are semi-fluent at English.
It is one of the North Germanic languages. It goes to the East Scandinavian languages, joining Danish. The sentence structure is very forward subject + verb + object. The verbs include a very plain conjugation system. Swedish vocabulary is not too inflective, having two genders. Swedish has a fairly large vowel register. Almost 9 million people speak Swedish as a native language in both Sweden and Finland.
Portuguese is the only official language in Portugal. It belongs to the Romance languages. The sound system of Portuguese is somehow the twin of Catalan and French. The nasal vowels are fairly tricky, yet their rhythmic tone makes them easy to get to. It is ranked the sixth most spoken language in the world as about 260 million (native and non-native) speakers use it. In South America, it is the most spoken language. It is used mainly in Portugal, but other dialects of Portuguese are used in Brazil, Spain, Uruguay, Cape Verde and India.
Being one of the Romance languages, Italian is similar to English in pronunciation. It slides down from Latin. It is as musicale as French, that most words end in vowels. Concerning phonology, it has a seven-vowel system and 23 consonants. In writing, it has only 21 letters. About 60 million Europeans speak Italian. Indeed, it is a great fun to learn Italian.
Concerning new language learners, Spanish is the best of both worlds! It is a very straightforward language. It is written in the same way it is pronounced. Pronunciation is accessible as it includes only 10 vowels and diphthong sounds. It has the least number of irregularities, among its counterparts. Spanish is a fairly inflective language, with a two-gender noun system. Generally, the Spanish sentence structure is subject + verb + object. Questions do not need subject-verb inversion. Spanish is spoken in about 20 countries. About 500 million people are Spanish-speakers. Spanish is a catching second language because of its international position.
Far cry from English, Afrikaans does not make eye-brows raised; it is distinguished because of its trouble-free grammar and non-inflective structure. Verbs have not conjugations and words are one-gendered. It shares the Germanic language many words, which are also familiar to the English vocabulary. Afrikaans’ sound system is parallel to that of the other West Germanic languages like Dutch. It is the third-most-spoken mother tongue in South Africa, as about 13.5% of the South Africans speak this language.
For the Indo-European speakers, it is an easy language to learn. Having no irregularities and uncomplicated spelling, Esperanto is so simple language. Moving to its phonology, it contains 23 constants, 5 vowels and 2 semi vowels. Alphabetically, it has 28 letters. At maximum, 2 million people use it fluently.
In brief, learning language is not a catch 22 situation. Step by step, you will make progress in a language you are willing to learn. The most noteworthy thing you have to keep in mind is that fluency of a given language can be easily reached by practicing. It is recommended to choose a language that affiliates to the same family of your mother-tongue.