English– no cases, no gender, no word agreement, arguably no grammar. The language is everywhere and can be heard, absorbed and used anywhere. Short words, verbs change only in the third person. Native speakers are very forgiving of mistakes as so many people speak it as a second language. This makes English the easiest foreign language to learn. No tutorials or tutors needed to get off the ground. Just start watching films and listing to music and step out your door and use it, it is in a word, elementary.
Easy to learn
Italian – No cases, easy clear pronunciation, vocabulary of derivative of Latin, therefore the vocabulary has congruences throughout the Indo-European Latin influenced world.
Spanish – similar to Italian in that the grammar and pronunciation is easy, also ubiquitous, everywhere, but Spanish people talk fast and you can get lost when trying to understand.
German– logical grammar but does have cases and long words as word building is important.
French – sixteen tenses and some grammar twist and a specific pronunciation that makes it a little harder the Spanish.
Esperanto – Although I respect the people who created this, I do not consider this a living language and should not be considered when ranking the Easiest language to learn.
This is in contrast to the hardest language to learn
- Some languages are just easy and some are hard to learn, that is a fact.
Languages are easy to or difficult dependent on one’s initial native language. However, they also have a range of how hard they are, based on what the human brain can process. This means some are objectively more complex and others are more basic and go into the human brain easier. Therefore, despite the relative aspect of language learning people argue, we can objectively state which language can be learned without difficulty compared to ones that take more effort. This is the thesis of this post. That is that there is some objective measure that goes beyond your linguistic starting point.
Languages have an absolute scale of tediousness depending on the complexities and expectations in:
- Grammar – Grammar is a nothing more than a ritualistic method of word changing and order. It brings clarity to the sentence if you are a native speaker because you are used to hearing it this way. For example, Slavic languages function without articles while English sentences are sparse on cases. It just so happens that because of the number of speakers native and nonnative using English to communicate, many of these grammar rituals have simply dropped off though linguistic evolution. Hence, English grammar is flexible, simple and in a word child’s play compared to case based Central and Eastern European languages. Asian languages are surprisingly elementary also in grammar.
- Pronunciation – For similar reason to grammatical evolution, words in English are short. If you have the average number of letters of in the English language it is like 3.8. That is a short language. English is a one or two-syllable language and if you can use a three syllable Latin based word than you are part of the intelligentsia.
- Receptiveness of the languages speakers to communicate with foreigners – This is a overlook evaluation criteria. For example, Americans have little inhibition to talking to foreigners while Slavic people are reserved and tenuous just to get them to open up a bit. To demonstrate this point you could say, Americans talk and ramble and speak loud. Slavic people talk in cautious whispers. The sheer number of words a person trying to immerse themselves in the language is many times more for English than any other language, just based on the social customs of communication.
- Media – Is the language used in films and music? If so there is a good chance that people can absorb the language through osmosis and have for years subconsciously. The average person as a twenty-five year old from any country has been exposed to about, well, twenty-five years of English regardless where they grew up.
- Scales of difficulties listed by websites or even the government or respected educational organizations are not the end of discussion as many of these are based on outdated methods, written by academics not normal people learning, based on reading and writing rather than speaking (the method that was used in the first one million years of human evolution).
- Script – People immediately conclude that when a language uses another alphabet it must be inaccessible to all those who are not language savvy. Many people are intimidated by Asian language scripts. They immediately declare with passion that Mandarin is the hardest language for example. This is not true. Writing was only accessible for the elite and educated for most of human existence. Communication was first gestures, tones and then vocalization for about thousands of years, therefore I would not put a high weight on written communication. Granted English is has complicated spelling, but who cares if you can speak it.
The language of friendship isn’t words but meanings. – Thoreau
Concluding remarks about second language challenges
Brain considerations – Neurobiologists are not studying Broca’s area the motor for speech and Wernicke’s area, the center for understanding or comprehension with MRI and PET scans studying aphasia patients and the gyri and basal temporal cortex to understand the algorithm of language. They look at neural plasticity and how other areas of the brain can recruit neurons for language. We are all different in the way our brains can process language, based both on experience acquiring a language and our interaction in the world. However, I think there can be an objective measure of difficulty. Saying that I think that English is the easiest language in the world. This is considering all factors, including media, ease of communication and opportunity to speak with native speakers, grammar and word length and pronunciation.
I invite you to participate in the conversation by commenting on your experiences with languages. I am open to revising my position but at this juncture I am sticking to my thesis that English because of its universality and flexibility and tolerance that nonnative speakers show others, it is an easy to communicate.
128 thoughts on “Easiest language to learn”
I totally disagree with this. English is nowhere near the easiest language to learn in the world? What we lack in difficult grammatical structures we make up for in cultural variations and dialects. Ebonics for instance is incomprenhensible to great deals of English speakers and most of the time people from the north struggle with people from the south just to understand simple pronunciation. We have one of the largest vocabularies of any civilized language on Earth and our slang is almost beyond the realm of being able to be learned. There is just so much it would take an entire lifetime to touch the surface. Much like learning Chinese characters.
When you can learn the language from watching Sesame street than it is an easy language.
Do not presume to mock the entire community of humans who speak american English by presenting “ebonics” as a viable cultural dialect. That is like saying cars with square wheels are hard to drive.
English is the easiest language to learn, speak, write, and develop within. example: “el gato negro” (the cat black?) 6 syllables. VERSUS “black cat.” 2 syllables, no male or female attribution, My gooness man the list goes on and on. take your “romantic” languages you learned because you thought it would impress girls.
I’m not so sure about English, I can see your point when talking about the grammatical gender, the gender aspect of *some* other languages is probably the most ridiculous aspect of those languages. The availability of learning material may be an important factor, but English is still a very difficult language. Also, Brevlo is much much easier to learn than Esperanto (just a side note, even if you don’t consider them “living” languages).
English is very easy. You just cant speak another language and deny someone else’s opinion. English is logical , there aren’t many exceptions and if they are they are easy to remember. I reccomend you to learn polish for example – there are more exeptions than rules. ” Polish-Seven Cases, Seven Genders and very difficult pronunciation. Average English speaker is fluent at about the age 12; the average Polish speaker is fluent in their language not until age 16. ” They are also sounds which only poles can say like “ch” “sz” “ż” .
If anybody compare english with other language he or she understands that english is very easy than another language. english is my second language and I learn it in just 16 months . If you want to learn my native language I think you must trying more than 5 years to learn as I learn your language. in addition english is available in anywhere but my language not found you.
I am not trying to be arrogant here, however I am curious hasan if English is so easy to learn then why is your response an atrocious example of the English language. Maybe you should get off your high horse and actually learn to speak the language properly before you preach of its simplicity!
There are 3 main types of English:
1. What I call “International business English”. This is spoken by most people who learn English as a 2nd language. It has a small vocabulary and is forgiving of mispronunciation. Native English speakers are tolerant of people who speak it so many people who learn it never develop their abiity to speak English. It 15% English and enough to get by day by day. I suspect many foreign speakers of English are unaware of the big simplifications that native speakers make to help them!
2. What might be termed “Standard English”. This is the language spoken by the middle and upper classes without strong regional accents or slang. It contains far more words and nuances.
3. Working class English: “Basic English”. This is heavy with regional accents, dialects and slang. Characterised by the choice of Anglo-Saxon short syllable words over the French root word alternatives often used in Standard English (e.g. Standard speakers might say “humorous” and Basic English speakers “funny”).
For me English was the easiest language learn. I’m from Germany and English is my second langugage but I also learned Dutch,French, Italian,Spanish and I also know some Latin(I never needed it tho)
My grandparents live Amsterdam so I learned dutch pretty fast, I just spended some weeks there last summer, never took classes or something. But I find its basiclly a mix of English and German so it was easy to me.
I learned English in school, since grade five and found it very easy. I spended a year in Canada and many people asked if English was hard to learn because someone had told them it was the hardest language to learn. I really don’t know who told them this, but for me and for a lot of other people English was way easier than all the other languages. It might be something diffrentt If you’re from China or Russia or something
I was really having a hard time with French. Spanish and Italian have a lot in common and were easier to learn.The biggest trouble was Latin, huge vocabulary, lots of cases and grammar that does not make a whole lot of sense and of course its dead
I think which language is easy to learn depends a lot on your native language: If you’re italian it will be easier for you to learn Spanish, If you’re Russian you might find polish a lot easier or maybe if you’re chinese you’ll have a lot less trouble with japanese.I think tho that English might not be easiest language to learn but definetly an easy one, I mean there actually is a reason why the whole world speaks English
“spended”? You meant “spent” right? If you try to “unlearn” English, you might find its pronunciation quite crazy.
I agree! English is pretty easy, but I don’t think it’s the EASIEST language out there, I mean we’ve added so many new words. Slang, we added it to the English language, imagine greeting a foreigner with ‘What’s up home dog?”. They’d be a little side headed and would probably take it as an insult, you know? & All in all, none of that is even in our dictionary for them to learn. You’d learn all the ‘proper’ words & such, but we have so many words not in the dictionary. It really just depends on how you can roll your tongue and remembering long difficult words, with different meanings.
Not to mention that English people really never pronounce things correctly, so new comers that are trying to master our language, would be a little confused.
I’m 18 years of age & i’m pretty sure that English is still iffy for even me, a person who grew up surrounded by it! I’ve heard that Spanish is the easiest to learn, & I’ve done research & forums confirm that it is. I was thinking maybe since i’m Italian/Irish/American/Indian, it would be easier to learn than Spanish, don’t you think? If so, comment back on your reason & why!(:
That Italian would be easier than Spanish*
I am an English speaking Canadian, I have chosen to learn Spanish and while many say it is easy to learn, It seems to take allot to learn it well. I believe that learning any language is a big commitment. I chose Spanish for many reasons.. accesibility similar characters in alphabet and usefulness among other reasons. While allot of words are similar to english.. this actually makes it more difficult as I have habits which don’t actually translate across.
Some have mentioned slangs in english, but you will find these in any language. There are also differences from one spnaish speaking country to another. Personally, If I went to England, I would be lost for a couple days. It is that much different.
I know allot of people who speak english as a seccond language. We accept allot of what I call broken gramar here as well. It does take a bit to become accustomed to. Kind of funny when you hear someon from Asia speaking broken english with someone from India or Russia, etc.
Differences in proper english like who and whom while taught in school are barely even recognised by almost anyone with the exception of teachers who think that we are stupid for not speaking proper english. I do know the difference and could use them if I wanted..but It would seem anal for me to be that picky.
After I learn Spanish, I may try French however French Canadian is very different from French from France I suppose I would have to learn both.
I have a german background, but am not likely to learn the language as it has been lost to me and is not likely to be as usefull. There are very few german speaking people her any more. At one time It may have been a logical choice, but now almost any other language is more common here. Hindi, Chinese, or Vietnamese are all more common now. Of course there are variations on all these languages as well such as mandarin and cantonese.
To me, Arabic looks to be a difficult language, difficult for me to learn to write and the words seem to blur togeather.
I think any language that you have oportunity to use will be easier to learn as it becomes more than academic. Start simple and build on what you can.
English is very hard to learn. I grew up speaking french and am now fluent in six languages. Others than Arabic, English was the most difficult. Swahili is actually the easiest language to learn, as I hear. I also caught onto Norwegian pretty easily.
Because I am fluent at speaking 5 different languages, I am sure English is the easiest language in the planet. I am sure that the one who thinks or claims that English is a difficult language has not even tried to learn a different one. Once they do, they will understand that the same difficulties that they find with spelling are very common to almost all languages. The good point is that the easier the English Language is to learn, more and more people will likely adopt it as a second language or will likely confirm and reconfirm its important role as a “Lingua franca” from time to time. Who cares if a language is known for being hard to learn and no ones speaks it or will likely learn it as a way to communicate to others??!! Yes! The English Language is the easiest… and wherever I want to travel to, English is the language I will surely use…not the other difficult ones no one understands.
English?? In my opinion is actually a very hard language. i mean with all of your teenage slang and new cuss words here and there. it may seem easy to use but not the exchange students that come to my schools. And German you got to be kidding me!
Spanish is very easy, along with french!!
other then Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese.
But I’ve actually learned Chinese years ago and its not that hard if you start at a young age…
I am an English speaker, and can understand how the language can be plainly easy or difficult. The language is EVERYWHERE, and we have very simple conjugations. However, pronunciation I would think would be a problem, as well as odd verb tenses…for instance, we use what is called a “present participle” more than the regular present tense (i.e. “I am going to the store” vs. “I go to the store”). I would think English is simple to begin to speak, but many native speakers do not learn proper English (especially in the USA!). I have learned French as a second language, and found it relatively easy. I am natural with languages, and the only big struggles I found was the vague use of pronouns, as well as mixing up syntax (sometimes it is like English, sometimes it is very different!). Pronunciation is very difficult for MANY English speakers-I have a good ear and still get things wrong, though usually I don’t have a big problem. I also have learned some Italian and German. Italian was extremely natural to me. After studying french, it was just common sense mixed with learning some vocab and cadence, pronunciation is very manageable-never had any problems. After knowing some Italian, Spanish now looks remarkably approachable. I have almost no experience with the language, but I can tell that it’s probably the easiest for an English speaker…and knowing Italian I can pretty much read the language and know what it means. I have just started with German, which has been fun. There is a lot of vocab transfer, but I have heard and can tell the grammar is difficult! I don’t know enough about it to make a solid judgment, but as an English speaker, I would rank these 4 easiest to hardest: Spanish, Italian, French, German. (I’ve also played around with Russian-difficult!)
English is by far the most basic and simplistic language out there. Dialects don’t count because ALL languages have dialects and nobody will take courses in dialects, you speak it if you live in a region with a certain dialect.
As far for English having quirks, join the rest. All languages have quirks but they also have hard grammar etc. The fact that some native speakers can’t spell correctly only speaks for their stupidity.
Thanks for this discussion and all the perspectives. Is English the easiest language to learn? Why not look at Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary under the “Guide to Pronunciation (Tenth Edition, p.31a)?” It says, “For some languages, such as Spanish, Swahili, and Serbo-Croatian, the correspondence between orthography [the way a language is written] and pronunciation is so close that a dictionary need only spell a word correctly to indicate its pronunciation. Modern English, however, displays no such consistency in sound and spelling, and so a dictionary of English must devote considerable attention to the pronunciation of the language…For the trained observer the vagaries of English orthography contain a wealth of linguistic history; for most others, however, this disparity between sound and spelling is just a continual nuisance at school or work” So there are other languages that are easier to spell and pronounce.
It goes on to say, “Among such speakers [educated speakers of English] one hears much variation in pronunciation.”
If we are going to ask others to learn our language as their second language, shouldn’t we be willing to learn theirs? I think if we both would do this, then the world would be a better place.
As for grammar, doesn’t that depend a lot on what your first language is?
English is my first language so would I really know if it the easiest to learn?
It looks like from this discussion that Spanish is the easiest language to learn, and English is not the easiest language to learn.
Obviously Spanish people can understand themselves. Perhaps if we studied Spanish better or earlier in life, we would be able to understand it too.
What is the reason you started this discussion?
Good luck with everything everybody.
English has 1 word for “you”…what about spanish? Is it tu, ti, te, usted, ustedes, vos, or vosotros? Of course, it is ALL of the above!
Here’s another one – in engish we have 2 commands – affirmative + negative. How would you translate “ask me for it” and “don’t ask me for it”? In Spanish there are a wopping 16 possible ways to say it! (I won’t bore you with all the responses).
Here’s something to ponder: A soccer coach in Madrid, a native of England, has lived there for over 10 years and he STILL hasn’t mastered the spanish grammer (just listen to him when he gives interviews). Like most foreigners to spanish he has the most problems with the “subjuntivo” tense.
English has dumbed down their grammer over the years (in a good way)…1 way to say “the” (lo, la las los). 1 verb “to be” (ser,estar). 1 verb for “for” (por, para). 1 verb “to know” (saber, conocer),etc.
Just translate a random verb in english and spanish and look how in english it barely changes: I SWIM, you SWIM, he SWIMS, we SWIM, they SWIM…wow, that was hard!
English is much easier to learn than Spanish. I am a native English speaker, I learned Spanish in college and English is definitely easier. There is one word for “you” in English. The English verb changes with the 3rd person only as in “I live” but “he liveS”; Spanish changes everything. The list is too numerous to write down.
The phonetics of Spanish is easier. In English, the following sound a like: (red, read); or (reed, read, reid); or (ryde, reid); or ….. (see, C, sea); or (you, u); (by, bye); (two, to, too) and so on.
“English is much easier to learn than Spanish. I am a native English speaker, I learned Spanish in college and English is definitely easier. ”
But….. you’re a NATIVE speaker of English, so of course it’s easier for you than Spanish.
English, the easiest language? That is too funny. English is the hardest language to learn period. the reason people may think it is easy is because YES it is everywhere, and most of the world learns it at a young age where the brain is like a sponge…but just because English is everywhere doesn’t mean it is easy to learn it just means that it’s everywhere and convenient to learn…what is English wasn’t everywhere, would it be easy then? what if most of the world population didn’t start learning English under the age of 10 would it be easy? NO so everyone needs to get over it b/c English is an extremely difficult language
‘Textbook’ English is very easy to learn, but students of that language will have a very hard time understanding living spoken English. Compare the ‘textbook’ “How do you do Charles? It is such a pleasure to see you again” with “Yo! Charlie-dude! Wassup man, I haven’t seen your hairy — since forever!”
Very funny. My friends that have studied English for like 15 years can not understand me and my other native speaking friend when we are talking to each other.
Pues, el español es mi lengua materna, y estoy aprendiendo ingles. no estoy de acuerdo en que el ingles sea el mas facil, tampoco sabria decir si el español es el mas facil, pero de español a ingles para mi el español es mas facil, aunque no creo que el ingles sea tan dificil que digamos. pero si bien el ingles tiene sus puntos relativamente faciles respecto al español como: la poca inflexion de los verbos, lo cual es total en español, al punto que el verbo “ir” es totalmente diferente a la raiz al ser conjugado, el uso de pocas palabras para expresar una idea, etc.
Pero tenemos que recordar que el español es una lengua transparente, es decir; que siempre se corresponde de manera directa y unívoca la escritura con la pronunciación. de tal modo, podriamos escribir mal las palabras en español y aun asi serian comprensibles, como por ejemplo: ola-hola(anque son dos palabras diferentes, una es ola del mar y la otra un saludo, al leerlas dependiendo del contexto, el uso de una u otra seria irrelevante para comprender la idea. (a lo mejor he escrito muchas palabras mal y/o sin acento, y aun asi esta claramente comprensible)
por lo tanto, podemos decir que en español tenemos 5 vocales con un unico sonido cada una. en ingles las vocales tienen varios sonidos y los diptongos tambien, hasta las consonantes tienen su tajada en la fonetica. en conclusion, la fonetica inglesa es muy amplia y un poco complicada (al menos para las perosnas de habla española) y la española yo diria demasiado simple. aunque la verdad es que tu lengua materna es determinante para que un idioma te sea mas facil o dificil que otro.
Andy Koehler, do not forget that English have some similar issue that the ones you are pointing out about spanish.
in English you have the verbs to say and to tell, in spanish the idea of those verbs, is actually the same, you translate those verbs into Spanish the same way “Decir” or “contar” for to tell, but generally you just say “decir”. but in English each one have it particular use.
in English you have the verbs to see, to watch, to look at. these verb translate generally “ver”, “mirar”. in spanish “ver” and “mirar” are practically the same, but in English these verbs have their particular use. etc. etc.
in English you have the verbs to Speak and to talk, these verbs translate generally the spanish “hablar” or “conversar” for to talk, but “hablar” is the general way you use in spanish. and like the others, these verbs have their particular use in english.
It is very interesting to read that most of the reflections on how easy a language English seems to be, come from people either whose mother tongue is of Anglo-Saxon origin, or are somehow related geographically to an english-speaking country.
Man, being an animal of custom (or by custom an animal) as we say in Chile, will learn to speak a language much faster if
1. one lives in a foreign country and has to speak an alien language on a daily basis
2. one has some exposure to foreign languages at younger ages
By these standards, English does seem a very hard language to learn to speak for those students whose national language is not english and who do not enjoy daily use of what they have learnt. Why? would you ask. Well, because English has no fixed rules for pronunciation: two words may be written alike, but may be pronounced differently.
Just take the case of ROUGH, DOUGH, and THOUGH. Same ending, and just that.
Do not get me wrong, English does seem to be a very easy language to learn TO READ. To speak it fluently is something else.
English may not be the most difficult language to learn. It has a fairly simple structure, and the spelling, while sometimes strange is not too ce you’ve learned the rules.
I do find it funny though how several of the comments regarding the ease of learning English have improper conjugations.
I can’t say how English ranks against other languages but I find that people who speak English as a second language make consistent grammatical mistakes that they are completely unaware of.
Let’s put it this way, English is an easy language to learn, but more difficult to master.
Oh pfft. English? The hardest language? HA!
Japanese has more than one alphabet (and all japanese students must learn the alphabets). English is EASY. I’m not a native English speaker, and I find it to be really simple. Spanish, on the other hand, is my native language, and I still see many of my classmates have problems. Like with the verb ‘imprimir’ (to print). They say: ‘imprimido’ instead of ‘impreso’. Or with the verb ‘traducir’. They say ‘tradujieron’ instead of ‘tradujeron’. And don’t get me started with accents, most people stink at them.
Learning a language isn’t only speaking it. Learning a language includes the grammar too. Compared to other languages, like Chinese and Japanese, English is well, pretty easy.
After my decent down this long forum I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of people consider there native language to be the most complex, as it’s hard to be impartial I understand. In my opinion it is rare that someone from another country/city can speak my language perfectly, I’d say it’s harder if not impossible to speak another persons native language as good as them.
Another thing is age difference, the younger a person is when they move to a country the easier it would be, considering they pretty much have no choice, for example, I have a bunch of acquaintances who can speak my language pretty well, but there parents cant.
(I think Spanish is the easiest)
I think English is an easy language to get started in. The basics are easy to meet. I do think, however, that it is hard to master for most people (even for us native speakers). Many of the posters here who are claiming it to be easy have some serious grammatical errors and misused words in their posts and, although it is still understandable, it is still incorrect English. The fact that so many posts here have said errors in them is testament to the fact that English is not that easy. I probably have errors of my own that I have not noticed myself lol.
The fact that English hardly has any grammar just makes it a diffucult language. You can’t fall back on grammar, but have to rely on gut-feeling. The only reason people are able to learn English is because you hear it everywere, so you can develop a gut-feeling for it.
I’m a writer (in English) and trust me, honey, English has grammar! Try reading something in English written with improper grammar – it’s a nightmare and a half!
I noticed a paradox: American English is more European than British English; it seems to be easier to understand for foreigners and more compatible with the continental European languages than British English. British people tend to use more sophisticated phrases, more idioms, more oblique statements than Americans. Furthermore, idiomatic expressions coined in the USA are more intuitive than the British ones, even the American slang is more intuitive with meanings easier to deduce from the context.
That American English may be more compatible than British English to continental Europe might have something to do with the fact that American English has always been influenced by foreign languages – starting from French, Dutch, and Spanish settlers at the country’s early beginnings, to today, when we’re constantly adapting foreign words, phrases, and syntax into our language.
English is both easy to learn and hard to learn. As to it being hard has been stated. As to it being easy, that is because almost everywhere there are so many opportunities to practice it. The more practice time you have,(not study time) the easier any language will be.
I grew up with 5 languages including English. What a shame that the British spread it like a virus. If Sanskrit were a Ferrari, English would be a bicycle at best. Phonetically English and most European languages are far from accurate – “Put” and “But”, “Direction” and “Director” and so on. Logically, English is retarded. Even in its purest form it cannot handle complexity, structural rules aren’t consistent, and innumerable idiosyncrasies. No wonder its hard to program Text to Speech or Voice Recognition for English. South Asian languages like Oriya, Hindi etc. have far more well defined rules and grammar. At the very least they are so much more phonetically sound !
Whether or not the easiest, English is actually an easy language to learn. I mean, grammar is so simple, compared to other languages: no gender, simple articles, simple sentence structure… Sometimes I will write a sentence in English ordering the words differently trying to make it more… free-styled, but it is concidered a mistake. In other languages, like mine, the way you choose /out of many/ to say the same thing /leave slang away/ beholds much sense to it. In other languages, like mine, all nouns, adjectives, some verbs, pronouns and numerals have gender.
English might not be the easiest to learn, but it is FAR from the hardest, never mind it’s spelling /or the lack of such/ rules. And by the way, everybody mentions English slang. So what? Even languages, spoken by barely few millions of people, like mine, have slangs which make hard for people spaeking different ones understand each other. And definitely colloquial words which are hard to explain to foreigners.
Well the only reason so many speak it (who aren’t from America or England) is because they learn it at a young age, alongside their native language.
The difference is that English people, Like myself, Are not given the option in schools to learn another language at a young age so its a hell of a lot harder to meet.
No language is easy to learn, Saying otherwise is stupid or we’d all meet a language easily which nobody does – People are only fluent in any language because they grew up with it and that is the case as to why many people speak English, If they come from England/America or not.
Oh and I’d agree, try to remember people we speak in a retarded way, Creating words with silent letters, not pronouncing letters in some words how they’d usually be pronounced, Its pretty messed up.
I believe that most English peoples chances of speaking another language fluently are ruined by the silly fact that they give us no choice to learn more than just English in years below seven, I’ve been told a Norwegian friend that they began learning English in what would be other equivalent as Primary School, Much earlier than us when English students start to learn French or German.
English is the second hardest language to learn. You might might want to research and make sure you’ve got it all right before you post it on the internet.
You’re wright when you said that English doesn’t have gender differences, but we do have marriage differences. “Mrs.” and “Ms.”?
And we have all sorts of homophones, contractions and grammar rules. Like when to use periods, apostrophes, commas, exclamation points, quotation marks, question marks, asterisks, parenthesis, brackets, colons, semi-colons, slashes, dashes, and hyphens.
Don’t forget that you have to use the correct tenses. You can’t say “I’m going to ran to the store tomorrow.” Because that would be using the wrong tense.
And spelling? Man, is that confusing. It’s easy once you learn it, but you have to learn it first. You have to use spelling rules like “I before E except after C”.
Plus make make you put ponIES instead of ponys. Unless you’re are showing ownership then it would be okay as long as you had an apostrophe in between the y and the s. Unless there was more then one pony then you would have to put it at the very end. Make sure you show if the noun is plural or singular.
There are many other reasons why English is one of the HARDEST languages in the world to learn (unless of course you grew up with it), but I believe I proved my point.
This article is wrong. Italian language is not easy as it was written -in fact, it was proved it’s the most difficoult language in the word-. Italian has more than 23 tenses, a really complex grammar, much more complex than english and any other european language.
I’ve always thought that English was a very easy language but I’ve recently started to study it a little better and i must admit that’s not the case; in fact it’s probably very easy to learn at a basic level but it becomes very difficult to use it with a proper pronunciation. Try listening to a Spanish, french, Italian or even German movie for example: you can just write down the words you’re listening for the first time and look for them in the dictionary whereas this is almost impossible if you’re listening to a BRITISH movie (American English is much easier to understand in my opinion); in the latter case you absolutely need to know the context AND to already know a good bunch of words.
(I’m Italian, sorry if my English isn’t very strong)
I cant watch movies because I have alot of homework to do.Can you tell me a site to go on because my cousin knows french and I know english?
There are a lot of French sites to learn a language from English. I think the best way is start with flashcards of vocabulary and then start to practice anyway you can, whether, watching movies or reading books. I like to read the Bible for example.
I read through all above statements and comments and there is one thing coming to my mind. It is clear, that those who are English speakers found it hard and difficult and cant accept the fact, that English IS the easiest language to learn. Well, quite frankly this is simple down to their ability to learn. Clearly most of them never tried to learn other language anyway.
English has barely any grammar (3 types of each time: continuous, simple and perfect), however comparing to other languages everything is “other way around”. Simple rule of creating questions by inversion etc.
Also as an example Ill use work ‘like’. In polish or Russian there are 20 words on average you can translate it to. That apply to many, many words where English is simply very poor. Somebody above also said that “English has the biggest vocabulary in the world”. Well i can agree with that if we talk about the size, where everything is large-printed ;
Definitely not when it comes down to the word-count.
To be considered as fluent in English its enough to know 1.5 thousand words, while to speak fluently Polish (as it was used on this website as hardest language to learn) you have to know minimum 3 thousand words (that’s the level of uneducated construction site worker or a simple farmer with all due respect to both).
All of those arguments about slang – you can simply throw it out of the window. Every language has its own slang and English is no different.
Also I would like ot mention that English is everywhere: videos, films, radio, music etc That makes it even easier to use and learn.
Polish is a very precise language, allot of times there are 4 or more words to express something whereas there is only one word in English. You don’t get the depth when you translate. You can also express emotions in Polish just by the way to say something. NO way can you can do that in English
I agree and disagree. English would be ‘easier’ due to immersion. However, it would depend upon which English would be desired. Proper(Queen’s) or American. American English is rather goofy. Since the nation is described as a melting pot, so is the language. Imagine taking a language from the 18th century then mixing it up with other cultures and backgrounds. American English is very much influenced by French and German, and ironically the sound and delivery fits the European profile better than Brittan.
Once I met a guy saying that English was way the harder language existing. Because of its unpleasant spelling, the huge amount of slang, difficult pronunciation, very large vocabulary, even native speakers make mistakes, tenses etc.
When I asked him how could he possibly say so, which language he was comparing English with, he said he could speak properly just English.
The fact is that all languages have their fancy moments, all languages have slang and dialects. All languages are bizarre in their own way. Of course you have to know them to realize it.
It depends also on which is your native tongue, how good you are, your age and many other factors.
Personally speaking I couldn’t say how much difficult it is since I learnt it as a child and I know just one other language. But it doesn’t seem so unpleasant to me.
English is not the hardest language to learn nor is it the easiest. There are words like there, their and they’re with sound alike but mean different things. You will also have where and were, your and you’re. Once you understand the difference it becomes easy to write. Speaking English is not easy. People who speak english as a second language tend to not realize they are speaking broken english nor do people correct them.
Just so you know, the average educated native English speaker has a vocabulary of 24,000-30,000 words. Not a measly 1500, if we only knew that many words then it would definitely be the easiest language. I speak a bit of Japanese and probably know more than 1500 words of it. I agree with those who are saying that English is neither the hardest or easiest language to learn. I believe it is definitely easier for many to learn because of how much it is used throughout the entire world. Also, how can people say there is almost no grammar? That’s absolutely ridiculous to me, if there was no grammar then we would not have all of the mistakes I have seen written by other posters, with English being their 2nd language. Each language has it’s own difficult points. For example, Chinese is quite difficult to learn to read and the pronunciation is also difficult. However, the grammar is extremely similar to English and in that aspect would be quite easy for an English speaker to learn. The English alphabet is quite easy to learn, but spelling is something totally different. Any native English speaker knows how challenging spelling can be because there are almost no consistent rules to it. I constantly see spelling mistakes by foreign speakers and even native speakers. Who decided “a lot” was one word? Also, people keep mentioning that English has no gender. That’s mostly true, apart from Mr.,Mrs.,he and she. Many Asian languages don’t distinguish gender either, not even as much as “he” and “she”. They also don’t distinguish plural and singular which for a non native speaker can be quite difficult to grasp. Why does calf become calves, goose become geese and deer just stays deer? Many people have stated that native English speakers who think it’s hard have never tried to learn another language. I think this is riduculous to say considering our colleges offer extensively diverse language courses. If no one was taking them, they wouldn’t waste the money on offering them. I personally can say that I have learned Spanish and Japanese and while I am not fluent in either of them, I can hold a conversation with someone in both. I hope that people are not so arrogant as to say that their language is the most difficult and not so ignorant as to put down another language by saying it’s so incredibly easy. No language is easy, it’s an amazing, beautiful achievement we as humans have the privelege to say no other species but ours has. We should appreciate them all equally for their own unique qualities. (I know primates have primitive forms of communication with grunts etc…not what I mean for any smart asses out there)
I do want to correct one thing. After searching various reputable sources, I found the average university educated native English speaker knows around 17,000-20,000 words. Not 24-30 thousand, but still a far cry away from 1500.
Try and learn Polish and see for yourself!! The pronunciation will kill you. I don’t consider holding a conversation in another language as being fluent. I can hold a conversation in French and German having studied those but I can’t think in those languages. When you can think in a Language that’s when you are fluent, and not merely translating from another tongue
Well, in my native language (Bulgarian) the only things you need to know in order to read a word are the alphabet and where the accent of the word is. In English it isn’t like that. Except learning the alphabet ou 1) have to learn the rules of how to read words and 2)there are many exceptions of these rules, which you also need to learn. If this wasn’t like that I would have announced English the easiest language to learn.
When we talk about easy to learn, one really needs to specify whether it is reading, writing, speaking, or understanding.
Spanish is extremely easy to READ even if you do not have a clue as to what the word means.
French is extremely easy to SPEAK once you get your tongue muscles trained.
Spanish is sort of easy to WRITE as it is written as it sounds.
Why is English easier than Spanish? In a college setting where special emphasis is given to “verb conjugations”, “personal pronouns” and constantly changing adjectives, English is easier than Spanish for the language learning student. Spanish Speakers have difficulty with the English letters “r” and “y”. English students have difficulty with the Spanish letters or combination of letters “r, rr, ll, ch, d, v”.
I think English would be the easiest to learn. Mainly for the fact that you can learn it half assed and it still sounds fine.
The great thing about it is the sounds. Their are really only a handfull of things that really differ in writing. But No matter what usually you can use the sound of each letter to read. As you read then you find that you notice things and after correcting yourself here and their you just begin to memorize the simple rules. Like e makes a capital when ending, the sound of ei. And once you have that, hell your set son.
If you can memorize the alphabet Your 3 quarters done. The last comes with with reading practice. Not sure about the south though? Doesn’t ur brain just compensate automatically when you here a vowl sounded a different way? Hell I can even understand the mexicans that go a mile a minute in english.
And you don’t even have to say English any right way. That’s the beauty of it. It can even be half broken up sentences and it still sounds fine. You just sound like one of the backwater off city downtown people. I think the only time you can’t understand English is in 2 situations.
1. if a real Scott is talking to you. (That gets slurry)
2. If a Chinese person who never really learned in the first place is trying. (Not japs, they do just fine, some even nail the pronunciations.) Chinese kids have no problem cause they learned, not the older adults though.
No gender specific.
The pronunciation is simple and not confusing
doesn’t has tenses, so the words always the same in past, present, and future.
To speak commonly used Indonesian for daily activities is not really need grammar.
I would say that Afrikaans is the easiest: nouns have no gender, its phonetic, and its tenses are simple.
I look = eg kyk
you look = jy kyk
he, she looks = hy, sy kyk
we look = ons kyk
they look = hulle kyk
he goes = hy gaan
he went = hy het gegaan
he looked = hy het gekyk
(much more regular with the go verb)
I’m not sure about Italian, but I think Spanish is the easiest of the Romance languages that I have come into contact with. Nobody uses the future subjunctive anymore, there are no cases, declension, nada…
I personally think English is easy, but there are some irregular constructions and idiomatic elements that aren’t very logical. The present perfect is somewhat abstract and takes a lot of practice and desire to master as well.
English is no different to any other language…some things are easier to learn than others. Yes we have difficulty with our spelling/pronounciation but yet we have this no gender almost no subject verb agreement thing. Look at Spanish…it is much simpler to read and spell than English, yet we have the la and el thng and then all those verb endings in each tense and of course German with it’s der das die which change to den/dem/der/die and an exhausative list of THE’s yet it is easier to spell and pronounce when compared to English, and one word means one thing, and you can almost always guess what a new word is if you can recognize some word parts with in it, like Fenseher/tv with sehen meaing to see. That English can be discredited as a world language and therefore is easy to learn making it seem that English is without grammar is appaling to me. English is indeed easy enough to learn with practise and perseverance…any language is for that matter, However,, what may make English seem easier is the fact that it is forgiving to 2nd languager’s errors (that is not a word :0) So that if I said, ‘she wore the torn shirt to school last week’ and a foreigner reported that she to school torn shirt wore week last’ or week last school torn shirt wore she’ most every english person would understand the meaning of those statements. I dare say try that in another language. The ability to speak book English is not the same as learning everyday spoken English which is rich with idiomatic expressions (this has nothing to do with slang, dialect, ebonics or what have you). English is a beautiful language that paints pictures in great detail….a spade is not always a spade to us but just what the flourish of language before or after it dictates. I will log off now….I no longer want to flog this dead horse!
The conclusion I get after studying several languages and having analyzed them (sorry if i make mistakes) is that English is more complex than what people usually think. It is true that the verb tenses are pretty easy to learn, but there is a huge amount of vocabulary, synonyms from Latin and also from the Anglo-Saxon language. There are a lot of idiomatic expressions, the phrasal verbs result quite complicated, grammar in general is a bit confusing, the way it is written and the way it is spoken is not similar, in fact there are not immovable rules between pronunciation and writing. Listening and speaking is pretty difficult, I remember me when I started English I missed a lot a strong sound on “R” or a sound like “J” in Spanish which makes the comprehension easier by giving you clues on the beginning and the end of a word when someone speaks fast. It was a hard path to run over, but now and despite these difficulties, I can also said as a foreigner who learnt it, that English is a beautiful language, it is very expressive too, and gives you the chance of finding the most appropriate word in any context. Greetings to everyone guys.
I happen to be bilingual – I speak both Polish and Hungarian at the same level, more or less (though I’d say that my Hungarian may be slightly worse, because I live in Poland) and I have to say that English is, without a shadow of doubt, the easiest language to learn. I happen to speak Russian and Spanish as well, both are much more complex. I mean, come on… the grammar is very basic. Even if it wasn’t as popular as it is, this language would still be accessible to the larger audience, unlike Chinese for instance (that’s why it’s not a global language). However, Old English would be a real to learn, that’s for sure… it is funny that Poles can easily understand ancient Polish works, whereas it is next to impossible to understand Old English for a native speaker of English without some academic training. Quite peculiar… anyhow, I think that you’re forgetting that Polish may be very difficult on the whole, but it is very easy to read it once you get the hang of the alphabet. 🙂