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The Easiest Foreign Languages to Learn

Learning a foreign language may not be as difficult as it seems, especially if you choose a language that shares many of the same words, structure and rules as English. Languages based in German and Latin roots have the same background as English, making them easier to understand and pick up.

What follows are a few languages that are easier to learn for native speakers of English than others. Of course, it will still involve effort, persistence and a willingness to take the time to learn a new language. However, you will learn it faster and master it more readily than many other foreign languages.

Afrikaans:

This language is rooted in the West Germanic family and shares much of the same structure as English. Plus, it is a simpler language that English in that there are no verb conjugations (ex. No swim, swam or swum) and there is no gender in the language as well. Plus, the vocabulary is strikingly similar to English and the structure is similar as well. The main challenge is simply learning the new words.

Dutch:

Another language rooted in the West Germanic family, Dutch is similar is structure to English, especially in terms of pronunciation and vocabulary. The relatively simplistic structure is easy to pick up and many words are intuitive to pronounce. However, there are a few new vowel sounds to learn, but in many ways Dutch may be the easiest of all foreign languages for native English speakers to learn.

French:

Because of William the Conqueror, who invaded and conquered England from Normandy, we have many French-derived words in the English language. Plus, French is perhaps the easiest language for English speakers to pick up and comprehend thanks to the familiar vocabulary and simple rules. Admittedly, the gender nouns and 17 verb forms can be challenging, but compared to many other languages, this is not all that difficult.

Norwegian:

This language is rooted in the North Germanic family and has similar word order and syntax compared to English. Norwegian is a relatively simple language with fewer rules than English. In fact, Norwegian may be considered one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn if it were not for one unusual aspect. English is a second language for most Norwegians, meaning that you will have relatively few opportunities to use this language.

Spanish:

This is perhaps the most familiar foreign language to those in the US as millions of people speak Spanish. Many of the words are familiar, the pronunciation is relatively easy and there are only ten vowel and diphthong sounds as opposed to twenty for English. However, the structure of Spanish is somewhat different, making it a little harder as you go along.

Learning a new language can be fun, particularly if it is one that you can learn more easily and use regularly. Of the five languages mentioned above, Spanish and French are the two most world-wide languages. Because of the simpler structure, French may just edge Spanish as the easiest language to learn.