There is no such thing as “the easiest language to learn.” Because language difficulty is embedded not only in the language but also in the student. So, what is the simplest spoken language? It all depends on the learner!
The three aspects of language “difficulty” are pronunciation (how the language sounds), grammar (how the language is structured), and vocabulary (the words the language uses).
Some languages have fundamentally simpler grammatical structures, such as English verbs, which are conjugated more simply than Spanish verbs. However, this isn’t the major issue.
The barrier between languages – between the learner’s own language and the language they desire to learn – is what makes learning difficult. Within the same language family, learning vocabulary is quite simple. As a result, a Hebrew speaker will identify up to 70% of Arabic words, words that a natural English speaker would be completely unfamiliar with. As a result, learning Arabic for a Hebrew speaker will be considerably easier than learning Arabic for a European.
Pronunciation follows a similar pattern. Learning tones is challenging for a learner who has never learned a tonal language, which is necessary for a spoken language. As a result, despite having a large vocabulary in common with Mandarin Chinese, Koreans struggle to communicate effectively in the language. A Mandarin Chinese speaker will find Indonesian word order and “thinking construct” far easier to master than a native English speaker.
Which language has the easiest grammar?
No natural language, in my opinion, has easier grammar than the others. It is very dependent on your native tongue.
If you’re an English speaker, you’ll find French “abnormal” because the adjective is often placed after the noun, but not always… Russian is unusual in that it has many prefixes and suffixes, yet they aren’t necessarily the same… and so on. If you’re not an English speaker, you’ll find English peculiar since we use prepositions for so many ‘abnormal’ things that other languages don’t, and prepositions don’t necessarily mean the same thing…
Only artificial languages contain rules that are devoid of exceptions and that can be learned once and for all.
There are a few, but Esperanto is the only one I am familiar with.
Muso (mouse), mano (hand), amiko (friend), and so on are all nouns that finish in the letter “o.” This is true for masculine, feminine, and neuter pronouns.
If you absolutely must (for clarification), you can specify a female by adding “ino” at the end. As a result, a female friend would be “amikino.”
musa (mouse-like, mousy), mana (manual), amika (friendly, amicable), bona (good), fidela (loyal) are all adjectives that end in the letter “a.” (faithful)
The letter “e” appears at the end of every adverb. – muse (mousily), mane (manually), amike (friendly), bone (well), fidele (faithfully)
Adding a “j” to any noun or adjective makes it multiple – musoj, manoj, amikoj – musaj, manaj, amikaj. So “fidelaamiko” means “loyal friend,” and “faithful friends” means “fidelajamikoj.”
What are the easiest languages to learn for an English speaker? Topic
It depends what you mean by “easy”. It also depends which kind of English you speak – British, American, Australian…. For simplicity I’ll assume British English.
Because the grammar of all three languages is nearly identical, this parameter does not distinguish them.
When it comes to phonology, I’d say Norwegian or Swedish are the closest for a Br. English speaker. Danish has a distinct ring to it. See: Danish phonology – Wikipedia
When the Vikings arrived in Britain, they brought a lot of linguistic impact with them, so modern English has a lot of vocabulary (and grammar) in common with Scandinavian languages. Many English words are borrowed by us Scandinavians nowadays. My immediate opinion is that Denmark has “directly” borrowed more words – for example, they say “weekend,” whereas Norwegians and Swedes say “help.” The word “teenager” is also used in Denmark, while Norwegians pronounce “tearing” and Swedes say “tonring.” Please leave a comment if you have more information on this than my anecdotal proof! But, in general, I don’t believe the distinctions are significant.
Alphabet: The alphabets are very similar in both languages. You’d have to learn three new letters: (Norwegian/Danish) or (Norwegian/Danish) or (Norwegian/Danish) or (Norwegian/Danish) or (Norwegian/Danish) or (Norwegian/Dan (Swedish). They both symbolize three vowels. Otherwise, the alphabet is identical to that of English.
When it comes to phonology, Danish is more difficult than Norwegian or Swedish, but otherwise the three Scandinavian languages are extremely similar. Because they are mainly mutually intelligible, some linguists would consider them as dialects of the same language.
Some additional thougts on which Scandinavian language you should learn
- When Scandinavians meet, the Danes and Swedes have the most difficulty communicating, although Norwegians (at least those who speak an Oslo-like dialect) are often readily understood by both of their neighbors. This has a historical basis: Norway has been ruled by both the Danish and the Swedish. As a result, if you’re wondering which language is the simplest to understand by others, Norwegian is the greatest option. You’d also be able to read Danish newspapers because written Norwegian (the bokml variation*) is nearly indistinguishable from written Danish.
However, if we consider this option in terms of your ability to communicate with people, Norwegian, with all of its dialects, may be a struggle. Of course, dialects exist in Swedish and Danish, but Norwegian is noted for having a particularly large number of them. This is most likely owing to a lack of a spoken standard; in Norway, the prime minister (and even members of the royal family) talk in their mother tongue.
When Norwegians from different sections of the country get together, they don’t tend to change their language to conform to a single standard, and they usually get along fine. If you’re used to needing to understand multiple dialects in your original language, you could find it easier to adjust to this circumstance, but as a beginner, you’ll undoubtedly find it difficult. Denmark and Sweden have national spoken standards and a culture of switching to them if necessary, although Norwegians choose not to do so even if they have the option. **
*There are two written standards in Norwegian (as probably the only language in the world..). The most widely used is Bokml (lit. ‘book language,’ which was based on Danish at the time of its creation. Bokml is a Norwegian dialect that is similar to the dialect spoken in the Oslo area. The minority standard is Nynorsk (lit. ‘new Norwegian’). It was created using rural dialects from Norway’s southern half and reads similarly to dialects spoken in Western Norway. Here are the two versions of the line “I am from Norway”:
Norge Jegkommerfra (Bokmål)
EgkjemfrNoreg egkjemfrNoreg egkjemfrNore (Nynorsk)
**Norwegians are proud of their dialect and consider it to be an integral element of their identity. So if someone from Trondheim was compelled to talk in the Oslo dialect, which is often believed to be the “unofficial standard,” they would feel that they weren’t being “themselves” correctly. The person from Trondheim may even be criticized by their friends for doing so, as the accent says, “Here is where I’m from (and I’m proud of it! ), this is the group I belong to.” Tip: Guessing where someone is from based on their dialect is a typical icebreaker in Norwegian conversations.
“In Scandinavia, The term “Scandinavian languages” refers to the three continental Scandinavian countries’ largely mutually intelligible languages, and is thus used in a more restrictive sense as a subset of the Nordic languages., leaving aside the insular subset of Faroeseand Icelandic.”
PPS. For research into mutual intelligibility between the Scandinavian languages, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Germanic_languages#Mutual_intelligibility
What are the most interesting loanwords or cognates between any language?
What a fascinating question! Unfortunately, I have to be a sourpuss and point out that apparent “homophones” (words that sound the same or almost the same) with similar meanings are not necessarily loanwords or cognates (words that come from a foreign language) (sharing a common origin). Your example, unfortunately, does not work. The Sanskrit word “kshana” should be pronounced “kshana,” which may detract from the effect slightly, but it does truly mean “moment.” Sorry for the inconvenience, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of your inquiry or the fun we may have with it.
Because most European languages, as well as certain ancient Iranian and Indian languages, are members of the Indo-European family, it’s not unexpected that there are some striking parallels. One of the most well-known is the root “*div,” which can be found in a wide range of geographical areas. Its original meaning was most likely “to shine,” most likely alluding to the bright sky, and it was first used to allude to a sky god.
Sanskrit is thought to be fairly close to the ancient Indo-European (proto-IE), and the root appears in the word “god” pretty clearly (deva). It’s also the basis of the name DyausPitar, the “Shining Father,” an ancient Indian god who was once thought to be superior to all others (possibly even harking back to an early monotheistic). In other IE languages, his name appears in various forms, such as Zeus Pater in Greek, Ju-piter in Latin, and Tius in old Norse.
The root “div” and its derivative, “deva,” both of which may be traced back to early Indo-European, have survived in a variety of languages. It can now be found in English words like “divine” and “divinity.” Due to an inflow of Romance terms, they most likely joined what we now name “English” (i.e. derived from Latin).
Iran and its old language, Persian, are undergoing a fascinating transformation (Avestan). The daevas (notice the tiny change in spelling) were reportedly once the gods revered by the people of the Iranian Plateau, just as they were in India. The daevas, on the other hand, were deemed to be bad spirits by Zoroaster (628 to 551 BC) during his monotheistic reform. Repudiation of the daevas is still an element of Zoroastrian worship today. What’s fascinating about this change is that the same root is also used negatively in the English term “demon.” I sincerely doubt that Iranian influence is to blame for this situation. I’m quite sure it originates from the Norse side of the English package, but I find the double-reference of “div” in English fascinating in terms of interesting cognates.
What percentage of words are cognates in English and Spanish?
It’s likely to be in the 90 percent range.
Because English has a lot of Latin and French influence, it has a lot of romantic loanwords that are clear cognates, like “cognate” and “cognado” 😉
During the early Middle Ages, Spanish had a significant Germanic impact. Germanic words include “guerra” (war, akin to “war”) and “yelmo” (helm, cognate to… helm).
But the story does not end there. Because English is a Germanic language and Spanish is a Romance language, and both Romance and Germanic languages are Indoeuropean languages, they will have cognates in common.
I – yo, thou – tu, my – mi, me (accusative) – me, wind – viento, father – padre, horn – cuerno, fish – pez, eye – ojo, and many more word pairs are not only cognates from proto-IndoEuropean times, but they also have the same meanings. Other cognates, such as water – onda (wave) or queen – coo (vagina), have taken on new meanings.
The majority of numerals are cognates, such as one – un, two – dos, three – tres, ten – diez, hundred – cien, and so on.
Only words from Basque or Arabic, as well as words from non-European languages spoken during colonial periods, are not included in the extensive list of cognates between Spanish and English.
What languages are closest to English?
As a result, the closest recognized official language is “Scots,” which is spoken by almost a million people in Scotland. The question of whether this is a distant dialect of English is currently being debated.
Diglossia, or a combination of the two, is also a possibility. Other options include West Frisian, which is spoken in the Netherlands and is similar to Old English, and Dutch, which is believed to be somewhere between English and German. Although many words and sentences are almost identical, it is not mutually intelligible with English as it is with Scots.
Here’s an example of Scots being spoken. Due to greater touch with the Scottish accent and dialect, UK viewers will most likely have an easier time understanding this.
Which is the easiest language to understand when spoken?
My experience here is restricted to the languages I am familiar with, have been exposed to, or have exposed myself to.
While most native speakers pronounce words unclearly while speaking a full phrase, mixing the sounds of consecutive words and skipping some other sounds – for example, When Americans say “what’s up,” they mean “wasup,” and there’s no need to mention the French and English for not pronouncing sounds clearly—they nearly skip all of the sounds of the word and choose to pronounce only one—Turkish speakers appear to pronounce every sound in every word so clearly that you’ll be able to recognize the words even if your level isn’t that high.
Which Scandinavian language has the easiest grammar?
If that’s what you’re after, I don’t think you can choose between Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish solely on which has the easiest grammar.
That isn’t how it works.
The syntax and morphology of Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish are nearly comparable. The only thing that separates them is gender and irregular plurals, as well as minor details like… In Danish, the possessive pronoun vores ‘our’ does not agree with the gender of the noun for which it is the determiner, although in Norwegian, vr ‘our’ does (e.g., neuter vrt plural vre), and in Swedish, vr likewise agrees for gender (vrt neuter vra plural).
So it would be vrthus ‘our house,’ but vregjess ‘our geese,’ in Norwegian. In Swedish, vrt hus and vragäss would be used, while in Danish, voreshus and voresgs would be used.
These kinds of characteristics, which make one language marginally easier than another, are, nevertheless, exceedingly uneven.
What is the easiest language to learn to write?
Because most people are immersed in their original language during their formative years, learning to read, write, speak, and interpret the spoken word in your own language is probably the easiest. Aside from that, I’ve found ESPERANTO to be the easiest language to read, write, speak, and understand when listening. ESPERANTO is a synthetic language that was created over a century ago to serve as an international auxiliary language.
Its grammar and spelling are straightforward and consistent, and its condensed vocabulary reduces the amount of memorization required to master the language. ESPERANTO is without a doubt the easiest language I’ve ever met to learn.