The easiest languages for English speakers to learn

Following on from our last blog post about tips for making languages easier to learn, today we’re going to be visiting several of the top ten easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Just think – if you choose one of these languages and then apply the tips we offered earlier in the last post, you could be holding conversations in your language of choice in no time!


It may surprise you to know that Afrikaans, despite being the language of far-away South Africa, is actually a very straightforward language for English speakers to learn. It comes from the same West Germanic family as English, and much of the vocabulary is very similar to our own. There are no tricky gender rules to learn, and it is relatively grammatically simple, meaning it isn’t a massive headache to get to grips with.

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The Norman invasion of Britain brought with it thousands of French-derived words, meaning that many of us probably know a lot more French than we think we do, even if we have never formally learnt it. French is one of the most common foreign languages taught in schools, and if British learners want to practise, France is just an hour away, or for American French learners, it’s just a short trip to Canada to put your skills to the test.

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One of the things many of us find fiddly is learning pronunciations in foreign languages. Fortunately, Spanish almost entirely removes this issue with words that are mostly written the same as they are pronounced. Also, if you know any French, Italian or Portuguese, Spanish should be a breeze, and is often considered the easiest Romance language to learn. It is also a very important language internationally, making it a very valuable language.

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Dutch may not be the most widely spoken language, but if Amsterdam is your favourite city break destination, you’ll be delighted to hear that Dutch isn’t too taxing to learn. It is somewhat similar to German, but infinitely easier. Its syntax more closely resembles English than German, and a lot of the vocabulary is reassuringly similar, meaning it isn’t too intimidating for anyone looking for a language with a bit of a difference.

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Norwegian is fairly easy for English natives to learn as it shares very similar grammatical and syntactic rules, meaning that sentences can often be translated word for word between the languages. Verb rules are far easier to learn than in many Romance languages, and it has similar stress patterns to English. If you’re a fan of the Scandinavian countries, it is often said that Norwegian sits between Danish and Swedish, meaning you could find yourself understanding a little of its neighbouring languages as a bonus.

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Read about the rest of the top ten easiest languages to learn>>