The 8 easiest languages to learn for English speakers is often debated amongst multilingual people. Language learning is on the up and more popular than ever.
Across Europe, it is very common to have English as a second language – in fact, wherever you go it seems like you’ll always find someone who speaks the English language to some degree.
As a result, the UK and other native English speaking countries like us, fall short of their European cousins when it comes to multilingualism. Being English myself, I feel like there is a kind of unspoken assumption that learning a language is just too difficult a goal to achieve. Well, English speakers - fear not. It is not as difficult as you think to escape the grasps of monolingualism and learn something new.
In fact, learning a language has become easier than ever with the huge increase in online resources available. Becoming bilingual - or even multilingual! - is a great, and potentially free, way of increasing your employability and can help you have that edge over your competition when trying to find a job abroad.
As the world is becoming more globalised each day, many companies are looking to relocate abroad in order to expand into new markets. Therefore, it is vitally important that they employ native speakers in order to communicate effectively with clients. If you have a big desire to learn your English writing or find writing global help, check expert writing reviews, as a trusted customer service.
For some, the desire to learn languages is always there, but they often find it is a very time consuming and difficult process. This is especially difficult when many languages seem so alien compared to English and are full of frustrating rules, irregularities, and genders that don’t exist in their mother tongue. But with over 7,000 languages worldwide, are you really content with just speaking one?
Like the Netherlands, and much of Scandinavia, the English language is prevalent as most Swedes are exposed to English at a very young age, with 90% of them speaking English as a second language. If they can learn English so easily then Swedish must be an easy language to learn for English speakers.
Swedish, just like English, is a Germanic language. Both languages have a lot of vocabulary in common, for example, mus for ‘’ mouse’’. At first, the pronunciation may come as a bit of a stumbling block, but once you get past the nine vowel sounds, you’re already pretty much half Viking.
Both languages follow the same Subject-Verb-Object word order which should come as a big help to English speakers learning Swedish.
To make things even easier, verb forms are normally constant, making it again very similar to English. Compared to Latin languages where you have to conjugate a verb for every person and tense, Swedish verbs are a doddle.
Have a look at our jobs for Swedish speakers!
One of the three Germanic languages on this list, it should be easy for English speakers to learn the basics of the Dutch language. Many people cite it as being somewhere between English and German, making it one of, if not the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. The language has 23 million speakers and is spoken in the Netherlands, regions of Belgium, Suriname, and even parts of the Caribbean.
There is an abundance of jobs for Dutch speakers, so learning the language will increase your employability. Dutch has also had a strong influence on how the English language is today, with a considerable amount of vocabulary coming from Dutch, more so than most other languages. For example baas in Dutch means ‘boss’ in English. Be cautious though, as many are pronounced differently even though they look the same.
The Dutch as a people tend to be very forthcoming in their language learning – take note of fellow Anglophones! Partly, this is due to the similarities shared between Dutch and other languages, and the fact that the English language is ever-present in their lives, through film and music in particular. As a result, they are not very resistant to adopting English words into their language. For English speakers, this can be handy at times, as if you are missing a word in a sentence you can often add the English equivalent and most would understand.
Have a look at our jobs for Dutch speakers!
Like Swedish and many other Scandinavian languages, Norwegian is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. Like Swedish and Dutch, Norwegian speakers are often proficient in English and it can be a hard language to actually be able to practice at times.
There are around 5.2 million native speakers of Norwegian (a fraction of the 360 million native English speakers) being a Germanic language, it shares a lot of cognates with English, so again the basics will not be hard to grasp.
Fortunately, Norwegian does not require verb conjugation according to person or number, making different tenses very easy to learn. In addition, its word order does not differ from that of English.
Have a look at our jobs for Norwegian speakers!
Spanish – a Romance language – is a very popular language to learn, and one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. As the second most spoken language on Earth, it has huge global importance.
For English speakers, Spanish should be pretty easy to learn as both are derived from Latin, and therefore both languages have a lot of vocabulary in common for example, the Spanish word correcto means ‘correct’ in English. With only ten vowel sounds and the majority of words being pronounced as they are written, it should be easy to grasp the basics.
The main problem for English speakers is the number of verb tenses and rules which can get very confusing even for the most accomplished of multilingual people, although on a grammatical level it has fewer irregularities to learn than the other Latin rooted languages.
English speakers will most likely have already received a great deal of exposure to the Spanish language, with it appearing in many songs, films and tv shows. The easiest way to practice is to learn Spanish online.
Why not test your Spanish here?
Have a look at our jobs for Spanish speakers!
Like Spanish, Portuguese is also a romance language and has a lot of similar vocabulary to Spanish and English due to its Latin roots. If you already speak Spanish, then Portuguese should come very easily.
Although Portuguese’s nasal sounds and pronunciation can be difficult to an Anglophone at first, the rhythm of the language should be easy to follow. As an English speaker, you are already dealing with difficult pronunciation (that quite honestly oftentimes makes no sense), so there's nothing about the Portuguese language that will seem impossible to you.
Portuguese is a widely spoken language worldwide, with a total of 176 million native speakers. It is the official language of nine countries such as Brazil, Portugal, and Cape Verde.
Have a look at our jobs for Portuguese speakers!
Want to learn a cool, romantic language? Learn French! The French language is a major language spoken in many countries including Belgium and parts of Switzerland and Canada.
If you happen to like Romance languages and learning them comes easy for you, you'll probably be happy to know that there are many similarities between them. The grammar structure of for example French and Spanish are very much alike.
Of course, you have to be aware of the so-called false friends as well! While le gateau means cake in French, el gato, although pronounced in the same way, means cat in Spanish. So beware of saying you've eaten a cat in case you ever confuse Spanish and French!
The French pronunciation, similarly to the English one, can be quite challenging at times. Just like there are 7 different ways to pronounce the sound "ea" in the English language, you can never be entirely sure how to spell out words in French. Oftentimes, only a handful of the many letters creating a word will actually be pronounced, the rest forming clusters to create specific sounds or being silent altogether. Still, when it comes to French, the spoken language is definitely easier than the written one - and being able to communicate verbally is the most important part of learning a language, right?
What's more, did you know that about 80% of English vocabulary is of French origin? Therefore, there's a good chance that as an English speaker, you are already familiar with many French words. There are even specific words and phrases used in our everyday speech that are directly taken from the French language, like déjà vu, baguette, fiancé, faux pas, and many more!
After all, French is called the language of love for a reason, so even despite a few difficulties, it is definitely worth learning!
Have a look at our jobs for French speakers!
What a beautiful language, so why not learn? Even though Italian is not spoken as much as Spanish, Italian has more than 60 million native speakers. The Latin roots allow English speakers to recognise words such as Lotteria ("lottery") and caffè ("coffee").
The best way to learn the language is to learn with FOOD! Italian cuisine has become a big staple of many Western countries including the UK, USA, Spain, and others, bringing a number of Italian words into our regular vocabulary. So being a foodie and a fan of the Italian cuisine (because, let's be honest, who isn't?) already makes learning the language easier!
Have a look at our jobs for Italian speakers!
You are probably very surprised at this point, but Indonesian has several qualities. Indonesian language is spoken by over 23 million people and is one of the few Asian languages that use the Latin alphabet. Surprised? So am I! This fact will make it so much easier to learn than other languages originating from Asia, as it will allow you the long and tedious process of learning a brand-new alphabet.
A lot of Asian languages can be very hard to understand/ learn or English speakers due to their writing systems, but not Indonesian. It may not be the easiest language to learn on Earth, but definitely less difficult than for example Chinese or Japanese.
Hopefully, our list of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers is proof that language learning doesn’t have to just be something that other cultures do. Learning a language also has incredible effects on the brain and helps to keep Alzheimer's at bay, no matter what age you are.
Many languages have a lot in common with the English language. If your goal is to study a new language, you can find the best resources for language learning here.
Do you find it easier to learn a language now? :)