I have often heard people ask this question, and truthfully, there is no straight forward answer. Different people struggle with different aspects of learning a language. One person may have an easy time learning vocabulary and encounter trouble learning vocabulary; someone else may be great at conjugating verbs and struggle with difficult pronunciation. Different cultures and different people in these cultures will learn different languages at their own pace.
Just because learning a new language is not the simplest task in the world, does not mean that it will not prove to be a rewarding experience. Learning a new language will open up the door to exclusive opportunities. There are many different opinions on the subject of how to learn a language, but it is the general consensus of linguistic scholars that consistent practice through interaction is much more beneficial than the memorization method commonly taught in schools. Thanks to technology, anyone can learn a new language. With the right tools and a strong desire to understand a new culture, any reasonably intelligent human being can reap the amazing benefits of being multi-lingual.
What is the Easiest Languages to Learn?
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany There is no language which is universally easier or more difficult than the others. The ease at which someone learns a new language will depend entirely on their own intellectual strengths and their personal native tongue. For instance, many linguistic scholars consider Dutch the easiest language for any native English speaker. The structure of these two languages are very similar in word order, and like English, Dutch has almost no cases or verbal flexion. There will be a lot to learn on the vocabulary end, but that is to be expected when learning any language. German is also considered one of the more closely related languages to English. Native English speakers tend to have a slightly more difficult time learning German than Dutch due to it’s four grammatical cases: nominative (subject of the sentence), genitive (the possessor of something or the object of certain prepositions), dative (indirect object or the object of certain prepositions), and accusative (direct
object or object of certain prepositions). German nouns also have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neutral. These slight differentiations make German appear more difficult, but these problems will probably be presented with almost any language. On the otherhand, if a native English speaker learns German, he or she will have an extraordinarily easy time learning Dutch or any of the Nordic or other Germanic languages.
Many potential language learners focus on Romantic languages for their beauty and presumed similarities to English. While these languages are derived from Latin similar to English, the structural similarities are few and far between. One of biggest reasons that people focus on Romantic languages is their use of the altered Roman alphabet. Because the alphabets are so similar, English speakers assume that the languages are similar. If an English speaker does learn a Romantic language, Spanish for example, Portuguese will be incredibly easy to learn. Because the languages are so similar, a Spanish speaker can converse with up to 80% comprehension with a speaker of Portuguese. If the English speaker learns Spanish and puts in the little bit of extra effort to fluently learn Portuguese, then Italian will be relatively simple to understand. Spanish and Portuguese will provide a better fundamental background for the structure of the language, and the added effort of learning Portuguese will be apparent when it comes time to master Italian pronunciation. Once a speaker can fluently converse in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, French will be a very reasonable obstacle to tackle next. I would recommend learning this language last if you aspire to learn all of the Romantic languages because it uses the most difficult pronunciation, and it is remarkably similar to Italian in other aspects.
Hardest Language to Learn:
What is the Hardest Language to Learn?
Kanji character for love Many people generally tend to associate Chinese as being the most difficult language for a student to learn. This typically tends to be encouraged by Mandarin’s complicated alphabet and intimidating punctuation. This language may be difficult for native English speakers, but Japanese and Korean speakers can pick up this mystifying language with relative ease. This is largely because Japanese and Korean speakers are used to using the Kanji characters in their own daily life. This is not to say that Chinese will be easy to learn for a fellow citizen of southeast Asia; there are many other characters used in these two languages which are unique and differ from Chinese. The meaning of the Kanji characters differ between languages, however the recognition of these characters will make them easier to learn. Also, even though the pronunciation of these characters is different in each language, the concept of relying on tone to relay a message will allow for someone to be well suited in their quest to learn Chinese.
While there is no hard evidence that can be used to insist that one language is universally more difficult than another, there was a study conducted which judged the languages which gave the most difficulties to British diplomats (a group of people who are used to learning languages). According to the results turned up by the British Foreign Office, Japanese was considered to be the second most difficult language to learn, and the language which British diplomats claimed was the hardest language to learn turned out to be Hungarian. Some of the more difficult aspects of the Hungarian language include the presence of 2 conjugation patterns for almost every verb (definite and indefinite), low transparency (a student will have to memorize every vocabulary word), and strange word order. While these are all good reasons to consider Hungarian a difficult language, the aspect of the language which gave the diplomats the most trouble was the 35 cases. This does not mean that Hungarian is the most difficult language to learn, it simply means that this language gives British diplomats the most trouble. The Tabasaran language, spoken by the Tabasaran people in the southern part of the Russian Republic of Dagestan has 48 cases, so it is a safe bet that this language would cause British diplomats more trouble if they needed to learn it.
The Benefits of Learning a Second Language:
Florence, Italy Learning a new language may seem like a daunting task, but the energy required does not come close to touching the rewards offered to those who are capable of communicating in different tongues. Learning a new language can provide you with incredible job opportunities and unique experiences that most people will never encounter. My semi-recent trip to Italy gave me the opportunity to interact with the locals and see the world from the point of view of a grape grower in Verona or a catholic priest in Rome. I was able to completely embrace this beautiful country and all of its pleasures because I spoke the language of the locals. It was this remarkable experience that gave me the incentive to help others expand their worldview and life opportunities through learning languages.
Best Language to Learn:
What is the Best Language to Learn for Business?
One of the most common reasons that people learn foreign languages is to increase their potential value to employers. Large companies in America are constantly trying to discover new markets overseas, and they need people who speak the language to earn trust and establish relationships with foreign colleagues. Finding a language that is in high demand could be the beginning of an amazing career; the key to making the most out of your language learning experience lies in determining what the best language to learn for business will be.
Mandarin is one of the most obvious answers. China has been quickly becoming one of the most popular hubs of outsourced American services. There are more speakers of Mandarin Chinese (800+ million native speakers and 200 million who speak it as a second language) than any other language in the world. American companies have cracked into the Chinese market, and they are focusing heavily on promoting their products and services to the more than 1.3 billion people living there. At this rate, Chinese will soon rival English as the most important language for conducting international business, especially in Southeast Asia.
Hindi is another language which will prove to be vital to the future world economy. The most widely spoken language in India is the fourth most widely spoken language on the planet (366 million). Becoming fluent in Hindi will also allow for someone to communicate with speakers of Urdu (the most widely spoken language in Pakistan). Pakistan and India have become sources of many outsourced services, and with more than 1.3 billion citizens combined, they represent a market that many American companies are targeting as opportunities for growth.
Spanish is also a language that can provide lots of unique work opportunities. For someone living in America, there will be plenty of jobs available for Spanish speakers. This could include communicating daily with some of the 22 million Hispanic workers in the United States or doing business internationally in the 25 countries that list Spanish as a national language. It is estimated that by 2050, 10% of the world’s population will speak Spanish.
Learning a foreign language is one of the quickest ways to get a step ahead in business. There are plenty of other languages which can serve as a wonderful advantage in the business world. Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, French, Russian, and German are some other languages that will prove to be hugely beneficial to anyone looking to conduct business internationally. Your own personal ambitions will determine which language will be the best language to learn. Mechanical engineers may benefit from learning German, fashion designers may want to focus on French or Italian, and architects may have an advantage if they learn Mandarin or Japanese. While certain languages will provide more opportunities than others, the ability to speak multiple languages will give anyone an advantage in the business world.
Tips on Learning a New Language:
Foreign Language Study Tips That Will Help a Student Learn Any Language:
Tips for learning a new language Here is a list of tips on learning a new language that will serve as useful advice to anyone looking to learn a new language. Following these tips will put a new student on the right path to becoming conversationally fluent in any new language.
Spend the Time: Far and away the most important factor in the time it takes to learn a language is how much time the student spends immersed in the culture. A student will without a doubt see a direct ratio comparing the time spent learning and studying and the time it takes to become conversationally fluent in a new language. This time could be spent reading, writing, speaking, studying words and phrases, or watching foreign films with subtitles. In order to learn a language, the student must genuinely enjoy the time he or she puts into learning the language.
Listen and Read Everyday: When driving in the car, the language student should listen to cultural readings. Listening to the language overtime will allow for the student to get used to the language. When at home, he or she should dedicate time to listening to the recordings while reading the material. One hour of dedicated reading will be more effective than many hours in class.
Focus on Words and Phrases: A majority of the focus of any new learner should be placed on learning words and phrases. A student should take time to examine words through reading and listening and notice how they come together as phrases. A good place to start building a vocabulary list would be reading online, using online dictionaries, and using vocabulary lists from textbooks and workbooks. Learning vocabulary should not be limited to lists though. Everywhere the student goes he or she should be on the lookout for new vocabulary terms. Gradually a student’s list will grow until he or she understands enough vocabulary to converse effectively.
Take Responsibility for Learning the Language: If a student wants to learn a language, he or she must take action to ensure success. This is best helped by choosing content of interest that the student will be interested in reading. A student cannot wait for someone to teach him or her the language. A teacher cannot teach someone to become fluent; this lies in the hands of the student. A student should go about learning like a child: speak and write when motivated, explore, and ask questions.
Relax and Have Fun: A student should not worry about what he or she cannot remember or cannot yet understand. As long as a student is consistently learning and improving, the language will eventually become more clear in his or her brain. This will occur on a schedule that cannot be controlled. Enjoy the language, and spend time studying it; that is the key to success
How to Study a Foreign Language:
Helpful Advice On How to Study a New Language.
Learning a language is something that many people will attempt, and very few will succeed. In order to aid the students who view learning a language as too intimidating, I have compiled a list of study methods which will make learning a language seem like less of a chore.
Movies and Television:
One of the most popular methods of learning a new language is watching films or television programs with subtitles. A student can do this by adding foreign subtitles to any American DVD or renting foreign films with English subtitles in a student’s native language. It is far more effective to relax, enjoy the program, and soak up a language rather than actively learning. This obviously cannot take the place of studying, but it will certainly prove to be a fun, effective study method. Watching television and films also gives the student an opportunity to learn slang terms and conversational language.
CDs and Tapes:
Language course cds are great for learning on the go and for people who do not have much time to focus on studying. It is simple to listen to language cds on an mp3 player in the car, during a workout, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Ensure that every minute you spend waiting is spend listening to language tapes. These tapes allow the student to work at his or her own pace and it will generally ensure that the student is learning from someone with a proper accent.
Everyone loves music! It is important to have fun while learning, and listening to music is a great way to find great practice material that the student really enjoys. Try purchasing albums or songs from foreign musicians. Songs are catchy, and with repetition, the student will eventually learn all of the words. Listening to native music is another great way to get into a cultural mindset. Immersing oneself in a culture consists of listening to their music as well.
Visit the Country:
Immersion is generally accepted as the best method of learning a foreign language. Living in a country where they speak the language is a surefire way to ensure that a student learns to converse in a language. Being in a foreign country will force someone to learn the language if he or she wants to communicate. Living in a world where they speak the language is the ultimate form of immersion and the most effective method of learning a language.
Read Newspapers and Magazines:
Foreign magazines and newspapers are wonderful tools for learning a foreign language. This method of study allows for the student to read material that he or she would probably read anyway, and learn a new language at the same time. A student can stay updated on local news in the country of focus or read a translated version of a magazine that he or she reads regularly. Seeing the words in a magazine or newspaper makes learning the language feel very fluid. Plus, it will give learners an opportunity to develop a vocabulary of terms related to popular conversation topics such as economics and politics.
Phrase Books and Dictionaries:
Phrase books and dictionaries will be your best friend when you are in a foreign country. It is extraordinarily useful to have the ability to look up words and phrases whenever necessary. Phrase books are wonderful tools, but they should not be relied upon too heavily. They are great for learning simple greetings and touristy information, but these books will not help you learn things such as sentence structure and grammar.
Talk in the Language for a Day:
As a form of immersion in everyday life, it could be fun to go the entire day speaking only in another language. It will be a fun way to boost your confidence about hearing yourself speak a language.
If this sounds a little too extreme, you may want to try just narrating your life internally in another language. The thoughts to not need to be spoken in order to be helpful practice. Putting forth the effort and thinking about a language will be an excellent form of practice.
Find a Language Partner Online:
A student can look online for language tutors just about anywhere, Any native speaker of a student’s targeted language is a realistic candidate to help him learn. Most native speakers would appreciate the opportunity to help someone learn their native tongue. This could potentially be done in way where you and a new friend simply swap language tutoring. Learning a new language from a live person who is striving to communicate is a very effective method of mastering a dialect.
How to Learn a Language:
what is the easiest language to learn The most important step when it comes to learning a language.is ensuring that you have the right tools. It is very commonly accepted that immersion is the most effective method of learning a language. The memorization tactics which so many schools like to encourage are only good for causing frustration and making students feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. Additional stress will never help anyone learn anything! Learning a language should be a fun, rewarding experience!
When striving to learn a language it is best to have a partner to speak the language with. When learning a language, speaking it is far and away the most effective method of learning. To simplify this process, I would recommend interactive language learning software such as Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone’s software has strategically laid out lessons to guide students in the right direction at their own pace, and it interacts with the student requiring them to devote their attention to the task at hand. The voice recognition software even instructs the student when their pronunciation is off to ensure that the student does not learn in the wrong direction. If this is not enough interaction for you, Rosetta Stone offers free online private tutoring sessions for every customer. This means that any question the student comes across can be resolved through the help of a native speaker.
Interactive software is important, but other forms of practice material should not be replaced entirely. Textbooks and workbooks are great practice tools to ensure that you learn the alphabet quickly and effectively. The extra vocabulary sections and practice material will greatly enhance the speed at which you pick up the language as well. This is especially important for eastern Asian languages and others with exceptionally difficult alphabets.
Another resource that will prove to be incredibly useful in your quest to learn a new language is foreign films with subtitles and reading material native to the culture you are studying. These essential methods of practice will introduce new vocabulary terms and emulate conversation which will require close attention to focus on the conversation. This will give you a good look into the culture you are focusing on and provide a fun, laid-back method to practice your new linguistic skills.
If you are serious about learning a language, the next step in the process will be making friends with native speakers. This may seem intimidating, but it is much easier than one would think. Most native speakers are flattered when someone takes the time to learn their language and they will be happy to converse with you and answer any questions you may have relating to their language. If you are learning Spanish this may mean visiting Mexican restaurants and speaking with the staff; if you are learning Arabic or Hindi, gas stations and convenience stores would be a logical place to practice your developing skill set.