What would be the easiest romance language to learn for a Spanish speaker?
Also how would you rank the romance languages from easiest to hardest for someone who already knows how to speak Spanish?
Portuguese would be easier to guess at in writing but Catalan sounds more familiar by ear. Italian is also somewhat easier but there are a few things that are a little harder (the plurals, for example). French and Romanian are only vaguely like Spanish so you might only be able to guess several words but be at a loss for everything else.
Experience: I speak conversational Spanish and I have also been exposed to these other languages, I'm also learning Italian and Catalan.
I've tried Italian and that seems most like French more than anything. I speak basic Portuguese and when I first decided to actually study it/strengthen it, I was amazed at how easy it was because of my prior knowledge of Spanish. As for Catalan, I have yet to try it but I don't really have a reason to. I studied French a year or so ago and I didn't like it, and it wasn't too similar to Spanish. I've yet to try Romanian, don't have a reason to.
One of the other comments said Spanish and Portuguese were like English and Scots. Couldn't agree more.
Portuguese is the easiest: VERY close to Spanish.
French is close, but not as close as Catalan or Portuguese.
Catalan is also very close. I have heard people say they have stopped learning it because they were bored with it because it was so close to Spanish, and a bit too easy.
Italian: Not as close, but it's still close.
I'll mark languages available in Duolingo:
- Asturian-Leonese 2. Aragonese 3. Galician 4. Portuguese 5. Catalan 6. Occitan 7. Gallo-Italian 8. Other Northern Italian languages 9.. Rumansh 10. Italian 11. French 12. Other Oil languages and Southern Italian languages 13. Sardininan 14. Romanian languages.
A note: Only considering pronunciation, Italian is 4, Portuguese would be 11 or 12, Romanian 9 or 10 and French 14.
Here is a map of the lexical distances between european languages
- Portugese, Galician, Catalan, Povencal are the nearest to Spanish.
- Italian is next
- French is farther away
Portuguese or Catalan are definitely the two closest.
Italian would be next, because it has some strong similarities, but also some confusing differences.
French is a little harder, because there's a lot of influence from German, which makes it unlike the others.
Hardest would be Romanian, which is a lot farther removed.
By pronunciation, Italian would be the easiest for a Spanish speaker. It uses the same sounds so you already have an ear for it. By grammar, Portuguese is easier. It shares the most vocabulary with Spanish. I would rank them as so (1 being easiest):