The Top 5 Easiest Languages to Learn

What might be the easiest language for you to to learn depends on your language background of course. You’ll probably find that whatever language is closest to your mother tongue will be fairly easy for you, so if you speak Spanish for example, Portuguese and Italian should be easy for you, and so on. You get the gist. If you don’t know what family your language belongs to, and want to find out what other languages are related to your own, please refer to Wikipedia. This here is simply a list of languages that are easy to learn for just about anyone, regardless of language background. In case you are bored, want to learn a new language, but don’t want to commit yourself to years of struggle, these are my tips.

1. Esperanto

Esperanto is an artificial language created in 1887 as a politically neutral and easy-to-learn Lingua Franca. Well, we all know how that turned out. Nevertheless, there are quite a few people who speak Esperanto around the world. Other artificial languages, also easier than natural languages, include Klingon and Elvish, but their usefulness is probably limited to impressing people at Comic-Con.

2. Afrikaans
Afrikaans seems to be on the top of most lists I’ve found for easy languages, so I looked into it a bit. Spoken mostly in South Africa and Namibia, Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch, but it is much simpler. No genders, practically no conjugation, no difference between infinite, present, and preterite. It is a Germanic language minus everything that makes a Germanic language difficult.

3. Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)
Now of all the languages I never would have guessed Indonesian to be an easy one. I happen to have met two people however, a Hungarian and a German girl, who have both spent some time in Indonesia, and claimed that the language was so easy, you can become quite fluent in just a few months. Both girls speak many other languages as well, so they have some comparison. In terms of writing, you might be relieved to hear that Indonesian uses the Latin alphabet (thank you, Dutch colonizers!). If you still need more motivation, consider that about 140 million people speak Indonesian.

4. Japanese

Contrary to popular belief, Japanese is easy to learn, and this I know from personal experience. Its pronunciation is simple and its grammar is a piece of cake! There is pretty much no conjugation to speak of, no articles, no cases. Sure, the writing can get tricky, well there are 2 alphabets and about 2000 characters to learn in Japanese (1000 is more than enough to get by though), which takes a bit of patience, but to just learn to speak, now that’s a different matter. And you have all the anime/dorama/crazy TV shows you need for serious practice purposes. But if the number of characters still scare you, just opt for Korean, which has only 1 alphabet, and doesn‘t really use Chinese characters anymore. From what I’ve gathered, the grammar is quite similar to Japanese, even thought they’re supposed to be unrelated… So, easy peasy!

5. Italian
I’ve checked out a few lists about easy languages to learn, and most of them had Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese on them. Now as a fairly fluent speaker of French I beg to differ. The genders drive you crazy, the conjugation is not particularly easy, and the subjunctive is a nightmare. Also, in French, the spelling of words somehow contains 2-3 times as many letters as pronounced… That being said, I’ve often heard that Italian is quite easy to learn, so I thought I’d include it here. I don’t see a reason why it should be easier than other romance languages, but empirical evidence seems to support this.

+1: English
If you’re reading this article, you obviously already speak English, but it still deserves to be on the list. Well, English might be syntactically more complex than some of the aforementioned languages, but it still doesn‘t have much of a conjugation to speak of, cases are only ever visible on pronouns (he, him, his), and there are no noun genders. Plus English is everywhere, which also helps. One drawback though is that a major vowel shift has made English words sound nothing like their spelling indicates, which is why spelling bees are even a thing in English speaking countries. Also, English eagerly incorporates words from other languages, which is reflected in its immense vocabulary – the biggest of any language.


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