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What language should I learn next?

Guten Tag. Hoi. Hola. Hi. I need help. I have been practicing German, Dutch, and Spanish on here and I wonder what language I should learn next. I just want to know what languages are close to English so I can practice them.

The languages I want to learn are Polish, Danish, Norwegian, and French. Are any of those languages close to English, or should I try to learn a different language?

Auf Wiedersehen. Doei. Adiós. Goodbye :)

January 10, 2018



It seems that you don't know what you want. In that case, I suggest you pick a language or two (ideally from those you're already learning) and concentrate on them, find motivation to study them properly, instead of hopping from one to another.

Learning languages is tough and takes a lot of time. You need to know why you're doing it. If you start learning several languages just because someone suggested them on a forum, you'll probably get bored of them by the end of the week.

[deactivated user]

    Out of those... Polish surely not, it's not remotely close to English.

    Maybe French.


    Try all of them, stick to whichever ones you like.


    Danish, Norwegian (and Swedish, but you didn't list that) are all (north) German languages. Since English is also a German language maybe you should give one of those a try. Knowing English helps with them, knowing German helps even more.

    And Danish is cute (I am German and came here for digging a little bit into Danish).


    Learn whatever language that interests you the most and stick with it! I know it is a hard choice to make as I at one time was at the spot you are at. I wish you luck in the language that you choose!

    • 1353

    French is said to have influenced about a third (I have seen up to 60%) of English vocabulary. Both French and English are Latin derived languages. Also, since you have already studied German, the gendered nouns should not throw you too much. French is considered by many to be the closest language to English.


    I disagree. German and English belong to the Germanic language family. German should be closer to English than French.


    Danish and Norwegian are Germanic languages too like English, German and Dutch. So there should be many words similar.

    But I would learn Polish. It belongs to a new language family.


    I suggest you choose either Danish, Norwegian, or French. Polish is way too hard and not similar to English in any way.


    It depends. I know this is probably not what you want, but hear me out first on how I have come to pick languages.

    I am pretty fed up with all those Indo-European languages. Germanic, Romance, Slavic: know some, know all. The grammars are not too different there, and pronunciation (including prosody) is mostly easy, with only few exceptional phonemes or patterns. The point now is that there is said to be a closing window for acquisition of prosody (above all) and phonology. If research so far is right, you will most likely not be able to acquire foreign accents or foreign pronunciation patterns once you grow too old for learning them. Grammar, on the other hand, can still be learnt at old age. This is why I opt for exotic sounding. A similar reasoning may be brought up with grammatical structures: Your learning capabilities will decrease with age. Thus, now you still stand a chance of mastering a difficult grammar (maybe also a vastly different writing system) -- whereas later you may not be able to do so. Third, related languages are commonly geographically located next to each other (or at least not too far away), and interaction between speaker groups is rather high. So chances are you will get along with a closely related language even without being able to speak the actual target language. You will find people helping out. On the other hand, try finding a speaker of Xhosa or even Malay in Georgia (well, in one of the Georgias, that is) or vice versa...

    So as long as I do not mind the challenge and do not need too much of a confidence boost every now and then, I shall go for rather remote languages. If you, on the other hand, are a learner who needs a heads-up at times, or even have a limit for your own languages spoken in sight, go for easier ones, for related ones.

    If I have not convinced you of taking the challenge, here is the site for you which ranks difficulty of languages for English speakers based on decades of experience of the U.S. FSI:


    By the way: There are languages which are unrelated but really easy because basically all grammar is optional (okay, I am exaggerating a bit here). Have a peek at Malaysian (Bahasa Melayu), for instance.

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