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Easiest Language to Learn?

In your guys opinions what is the easiest langauage to learn. I want to learn a new langauage but I am often busy.

January 10, 2020



For a native speaker of English, my guess is that easiest would be Esperanto followed by Norwegian or Dutch (but I'd suggest Swedish instead). Spanish would not be far behind.

As far as probable usefulness for an American? Spanish wins, hands down. Esperanto loses, also hands down--fewest speakers and no literature.


Depends where you live. French is more useful if you're close to Quebec.


I'd be interested to know why you're suggesting Swedish instead of Norwegian? Just personal preference or something else?

I'm asking because I'm interested in learning one of the Scandinavian languages eventually, but I'm not 100% decided yet on which one I want to learn.


I don't know why you keep saying "no literature" as if it were true. Have you already forgotten the Concise Encyclopedia of the Original Literature of Esperanto ?

There's also a giant magazine that comes out 3 times a year focused on literature: https://www.beletraalmanako.com/

I plan to read William Auld's La infana raso this year, as well as Julio Baghy's Printempo en aŭtuno, and Trevor Steele's Paradizo Ŝtelita. The first two are regarded as classics, as are several of Trevor Steele's works (though I'm not sure about that particular one, I'm interested in it due to the subject matter).

I don't think the Duolingo forum is the best place to ask about Esperanto literature; most of the people who use the forum are beginners or mid-level speakers, and probably haven't read more than a handful of books (myself included). If you asked me about English literature I probably wouldn't be able to give you much of an answer either, despite it being my native tongue. Clearly that can't be taken to mean that there's nothing worth reading in English.

Manĝu terpomojn kaj feliĉiĝu!


Are you sure that Esperanto does not have literature?


According to Babbel Norwegian. This is what Babbel says. This may come as a surprise, but we have ranked Norwegian as the easiest language for English speakers to pick up. Norwegian is a member of the Germanic family of languages — just like English! This means the languages share quite a bit of vocabulary, such as the seasons vinter and sommer (we’ll let you figure out those translations). Another selling point for Norwegian: the grammar is pretty straightforward, with only one form of each verb per tense. And the word order closely mimics English. For example, “Can you help me?” translates to Kan du hjelpe meg? — the words are in the same order in both languages, so mastering sentence structure is a breeze! Finally, you’ll have a lot more leeway with pronunciation when learning Norwegian. That’s because there are a vast array of different accents in Norway and, therefore, more than one “correct way” to pronounce words. Sound appealing? Lace up your snow boots and give Norwegian a try!


agreed I just started Norwegian this week and its deffinitely super easy to do for myself because I'm an english speaking person. So if your looking for a language to learn I would highly recommend Norwegian.


Seeing that you've given both Norwegian and Swedish a try, how much more difficult is Swedish?


Norwegian is the new Dutch i guess.


Here's the opinion of an organization who has taught tens of thousands of students - https://www.state.gov/foreign-language-training/ Note the easiest take 600 class hours plus 600-6000 self study hours for working proficiency (not full fluency) - so not something to start if you are too busy to put in the hours.


That's really interesting that it rates Haitian Creole as more difficult than French. Usually creoles are simplified and it's based on French, maybe it has a lot of non-European loan words?


English is NOT the easiest to learn. The whole English language is messed up. Spelling mostly. "Colonol" should be Kernel. Care, and air, have the same sound, yet spelled differently. Lots of words don't follow the rules of spelling.


Toki Pona. 120 words. Easiest.


But you still haven't learnt them! (Or have you now?)

Manĝu terpomojn kaj feliĉiĝu!


This is sort of like asking "What's the best-tasting food?" in that there are multiple objective, subjective, and situational factors at play. Inherent complexity is part of it, as is similarity to the language(s) you already understand, the number of resources at your disposal, the availability to speakers and other opportunities to use it, the way your mind works, and (probably the most underappreciated) your necessity and personal interest, since motivation will help you overcome a lot of hurdles.

If you're an American whose native language is English and have no particular pull in one direction or another, in all likelihood Spanish is going to fit the bill the best, but I'd take some time to think about what you might find useful and to try out several Duolingo courses to see if anything lights a spark of fascination.

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