Easiest Language to learn (Natural Langs only) (31)

1 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-07 21:02 ID:T6Mt2PSy

Since we have a "hardest language to learn" thread, I thought I'd ask the opposite. If I wanted to expend the minimum effort, which language is easiest for American English speakers to learn.

My guess would be any Romance Lang (French, Spanish, Italian), or possibly Scandinavian Languages, if I could understand the circles over the a's in Swedish.

2 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-08 13:39 ID:Heaven

Most Americans I have seen were unable to learn another language.
The few I met that could, were speaking French.

3 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-10 18:17 ID:6x6g5Ryd

British English

4 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-11 10:12 ID:Heaven

Unable, or unwilling?

5 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-11 12:21 ID:Heaven

>>4 If there is a will, there is a way.
Tho, if there is no practical use there is no will.

6 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-11 17:48 ID:5a1HEOKW

It's nothing to do with the complexity of the language, usually. If you can't be bothered, you're not going to learn any language. I guess I'm at an advantage, being bilingual, but I find most languages easier to get to grips with, and for whatever reason tend to find that native accent(s) aren't hard to grasp.

You're at a disadvantage because you're the most powerful country in the world, and you can go from arctic to near-tropical to desert without leaving your country.

I assume you're asking because you want to learn one? If so, it doesn't matter what the language is; you need to have a legitimate reason for wanting to learn it. That is, you're not going to do it if you can't think of any benefits doing so will have. Examples include learning Japanese so that you can watch Anime in its original form, learning French so you can converse with relatives, and range from as complicated as you like to as simple as wanting to visit and/or expatriate to the country.

Best way to go, really, is to get taught by a teacher (family members and friends usually don't work so well) to a basic-intermediary level before going to live in your chosen country for a few months to a year. By the time the time to leaving draws near, you should be fluent. Of course, this is assuming that you're a competent linguist (there are people who are simply incapable of learning a new language) and that you don't traipse around asking people things in pidgin English and/or lock yourself in your room out of frustration. Oh, and determination to succeed.

Also remember that learning a language properly isn't just about grammar and syntax; you have to immerse yourself in the culture and mannerisms of whichever country you have in mind. I find [figuratively] that I'm a different person in France than I am in England, for example.

The real, secret, though, is just to enjoy it.

Anyway, bit of a tangent, but hey.

7 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-11 17:50 ID:5a1HEOKW

Although I would say German, Swedish and Dutch are generally the easiest to understand (assuming you have a basic understanding of grammar/syntax rules) without any prior knowledge of the language, due to their relative similarity to English.

8 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-22 14:55 ID:Tfsso8eW

I'd say German is probably the most similar to English normally you can figure out most of what is being communicated
Meine name ist Helmut
My name is George
very little difference you only have to watch out for the way germans stick words together
ie.. Bahnhoff = train station two words in the one

Anyone know how to make an umlaut???
P.S. If you hadn't guessed I'm not fluent in german.

9 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-27 00:15 ID:T6Mt2PSy

Well, to answer the questions:

I've the most interest in Polish (mother's side from poland), Latin (yes I am a dork), and if pressed to learn a non-euro-lang, probably Chinese or Korean.

(Japanese is nice, but unless I'm going to go for broke in the Anime dept. I don't think it's for me. And I hate Otaku. They are a little too obsessive.)

Korean or Chinese would probably be most fun, provided I can learn to recognize enough Hanzi or Hangul to even have a prayer. That's the one downside to non-euro-langs -- the writing systems.

10 Name: me : 2006-06-28 00:08 ID:m6CwxewB

The difficulty of learning a language is subjective to you native language. Languages that have the same roots are easyer for someone who speaks a similar language. For example it is much easier for an english speaker to learn french or spanish then to learn Korean or Chinese. However a chinese speaker would find learning a language such as korean or japanese with similarities to the language they already know easier then learning english.

11 Name: Cunning Linguist : 2006-06-28 06:45 ID:qg9D1h5/

Are you talking about the easiest languages for native English speakers?

Myself, I have a hard time remembering all the vocubulary, whereas grammar generally isn't a problem. I know lots of people who have quite the opposite problem, however.

If you're in the US, I'd say Spanish - mostly because there's lots of Spanish-language material out there to absorb. Don't underestimate how much of an effect low-level consistent exposure produces.

12 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-18 16:27 ID:eiJpdh2c

ppl who can speak more than 4 languages : multilingual person
ppl who can speak exactly 4 languages : quadrilingual person
ppl who can speak exactly 3 languages : trilingual person
ppl who can speak exactly 2 languages : bilingual person

ppl who can speak exactly 1 languages : sadly.... AMERICAN!

13 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-19 14:48 ID:Heaven

ppl who can speak less than 1 language : American President.

14 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 01:48 ID:R08T1P41


Oh, Hardy har, thats so clever, you must be so proud of your own wit and creativity.

15 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 19:56 ID:db6Y55Xl

prove me wrong amerikan

16 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 22:35 ID:Heaven

Politics is that way: http://4-ch.net/politics/

17 Name: Eric : 2007-10-22 05:54 ID:/Z6HYM/i

People like you, who insult america while relying heavily on us for world order...

you know its a bit funny, when you speak of american. you are talking about the entire world's countries' emigrants. there are more languages spoken in this country than any other country! Every damn language spoken is also spoken here. so dont whine to us americans that we only know one language.

well atleast we dont have one mentality. Learn to respect people, then you may finally understand what it means to be, "amerikan". until then, you have no idea.

18 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-22 07:49 ID:Heaven


Please do not feed the trolls. Move along, would you kindly?

19 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-22 22:48 ID:Mo9jc/aS


US and providing "world order"? rofl
That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard...
Please troll in the Politics forum, not here.

20 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-23 00:26 ID:+7xwi7XZ

>>17 has to be a troll.

21 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-24 00:21 ID:R08T1P41

What are you, stupid? Oh nevermind...

22 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-24 08:05 ID:Heaven

>relying heavily on us

That's where you fail. Nobody relies on you or wants you to do such a job. Especially not when you utterly and completely fail it. Try just being a nation like any other.

23 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-25 04:03 ID:Heaven

Politics is that way: http://4-ch.net/politics/

24 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-02 01:53 ID:VclPDBJd

We do it because no one else is willing to, so don't be so naive

Also, getting back to the point here, I think one of the easiest languages I've learned is Italian, the grammar isn't hard, and there are many different conjugations (the con) but every word is spelled exactly how it is pronounced, unlike in English (the pro)

25 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-04 07:53 ID:IHpYrK48

German and English belong both to the Saxon laguage tree, so, even though they seem way different, you'll find many things familiar.
It's just like those languages that came form Latin (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese etc), they're different, but have lots in common, which makes it easier to understand even if you know little of it.

26 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-06 07:51 ID:tsyPwU+g

The easiest language to learn is almost definitely gonna be an auxiliary language (Esperanto, Lojban, etc.). The more interesting question is, "What is the easiest language to learn that more than 1,000,000 people actually speak?"

27 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-06 22:02 ID:Heaven

Language learning, like pretty much everything else, is all relative. The difficulty of one versus another is entirely subjective.

Even though one can say "English speakers generally have an easy time with ________," one should never base the decision to study a language solely off that, otherwise it will likely end up being a failure. The first criterion should be one's interest in the language and its culture.

28 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-06 23:37 ID:uuk9fiKL


I've heard that Lojban is hard, because it isn't structured like a "natural" language, it requires you to think in a different way. For example, words aren't grouped in verbs, nouns, etc.

29 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-07 20:37 ID:e5Grc9Kz

In finnish: Olen vaarallinen.

30 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-08 02:41 ID:fIdV84zm

Spanish is pretty easy to me (an American), but we hear a LOT of Spanish just about everywhere, any American can tell you who their "amigos" are. German is very similar to English, and the spelling is just as crazy, though maybe the pronunciation is standard compared to English. Listening to German, I can understand a little bit without any study just because of how similar the sounds are.

31 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-16 11:35 ID:zuhMor78


What about Indonesian?

This thread has been closed. You cannot post in this thread any longer.