Learning a new language can be hard. There are always two ways of learning; an easy way and a difficult way. You can make your learning easy if you select the language from the family of your mother tongue. Learning a new language is a very good activity to polish your interpersonal skills. You can move around the world with confidence and connect to people with ease. Research shows that people who learn a second language are very creative. It has also been observed that bilingual and multilingual people tend to have more career opportunities than monolingual people.
The Language Family
The language family is a set of languages that originate from a common ancestor or parent language. Ancestor languages are those languages that are spoken by our forefathers. When our ancestors and forefathers migrated from one region to another, they came across different cultures that spoke different languages. When these cultures mingled with each other, they formed a language family. Few new languages are innovated after taking loan words from other languages. The languages with the same features as syntax, morphology, and phonology are considered to be from the same language family. Sub-divisions of language families are called branches.
The languages that are easy to learn are those languages that are from the language family of your native tongue. English is one of the major languages of the world that belongs to the Indo-European Language family. If you are an English speaker, then West Germanic languages are easy for you to learn. English speakers can easily learn Afrikaans, German and Dutch. These languages have the same grammar structures and cognates that are easy to learn. Although English is considered the global business language, you should not restrict yourself to English. Scandinavian languages also play an important role in global communication. There are many little linguistic intricacies present in languages like Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish. Apart from Scandinavian languages, you can also easily learn romance languages like French and Spanish.
Easy Language Recommendations for Spanish Speakers
Romance languages are easy to learn for Spanish speakers. Romance languages include Romanian, French, Italian, Portuguese, and some others. A Spanish speaker can also learn Catalonian. It is the language spoken in the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, and Valencia. It is mutually intelligible with Spanish but a little difficult because Spanish is entirely phonetic whereas Catalan is not. The Spanish language uses vowel sounds between consonants while Catalan doesn’t. Catalan has three more vowels than the Spanish language, but they are unvoiced. Despite these little differences, Catalan is an easy language to learn for Spanish speakers because of its vocabulary and grammar.
English is also the easiest language-learning option for Spanish speakers outside the romance family. It is easy to learn for Spanish speakers not because of linguistic similarities but due to cultural resonance. Spanish pop culture has taken many loanwords from English.
Easy Language Recommendations for English Speakers
The languages that are easier for English speakers to learn are:
The Dutch language originated from the Germanic vocabulary. It is mutually intelligible with the English language and is considered to be the closest option to English speakers in the family tree of languages. You can face trouble with pronunciation and spelling but once you start learning the Dutch vocabulary, you will come to know how many similar words are there in both languages.
French is the other language that English speakers can learn easily. The English language has taken many loanwords from the French language. This is because England was ruled by Normans that spoke French for many hundred years. So, the similarity of many words has made the French language easy to learn for English speakers.
Unlike Dutch, Norwegian is from the Germanic family of languages. This shows that it is also similar to English. The similar words between Norwegian and English are vinter and sommer that is not very hard to identify. Norwegian language grammar is also very easy to grasp because it has many verbs that are similar to English. The structure of the sentence is also the same in Norwegian and English language which makes it very easy to learn.
Swedish is the Scandinavian language and is from the Germanic family of languages. Swedish is an easy language for English speakers to learn because both languages enjoy a large number of cognates. Swedish also has similar grammar rules to English that makes it an easier language to learn.
Italian is a romance language spoken in Portugal and Brazil. It contains a shared English vocabulary that makes it an easy language to learn. You just need to be careful among false cognates. Once you identify the false cognates, then Portuguese will be the easiest language for English speakers to learn.
Easy Language Recommendations for Chinese Speakers
In the case of the Chinese language, we need to break the rule of the family of languages. Chinese speakers can learn Korean and Japanese language easily. Although the Korean and Japanese are from a different family of languages, the cultural exchange among Korean Japanese and Chinese have made Korean and Japanese language easy to learn for Chinese speakers. 60 % of Korean vocabulary is taken from the Chinese language. Chinese assisted them in their written manuscripts. Japanese writings are greatly influenced by Chinese monks when they migrated. Japanese wrote sentences with logographs that show the influence of the Chinese language.
You can learn these languages easily by downloading a free translation app that can help you in your learning venture wherever you are. Besides, you need to practice. The more you practice, the sooner you will be fluent in speaking new languages.