Easiest Language to Learn Survey
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Easiest Language to Learn Survey Results
The reasons for Spanish were varied but not surprising. Many found the grammar relatively easy with its regularity and easy spelling. Others keyed in on the common vocabulary, either borrowings between Spanish and English, cognates or common borrowings from Latin. Still others found that the ability to study the language was easier because of the availability and abundance of learning materials, or the widespread opportunities to come into contact with and use the language on regular basis.
French is still a very popular language to learn among native English speakers. Many find it to be similar in syntax and certainly vocabulary. The availability to use and study French also make it seem an easy language to learn. Many have made the same comments of Italian.
German and Dutch are sometimes perceived as easy because of their close relationship with English. A number of write-in votes appeared for this same reason - Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Afrikaans and Frisian all have many characteristics of English because they are all Germanic languages. Frisian (spoken in a small area of the Netherlands) is regarded as the language most similar to English but because it is spoken by so few people it is pretty much off the radar for most people.
Of the 20 different languages offered up in the write-in votes, English was the most popular, but not by much. Many of my visitors are not native speakers of English, so it's not a surprise to see it appear in the survey.
Esperanto was the second most popular write-in vote. I excluded Esperanto from the survey because it is a constructed or invented language and therefore has an unfair advantage over natural languages when it comes to ease of learning. I do agree that it is far easier to learn than any other language.
The other write-ins included Arabic, Turkish, Romanian, Portuguese, Latin, Indonesian, Korean, Tagalog, Greek and Interlingua (another constructed language).
ASL or Sign Language was also a write-in vote. Clearly it requires a completely different approach than learning other languages. Perhaps if more people discovered that it was easier to learn than many other languages, then more people might learn it as a second or third language.
The opportunity to learn a language or use it seems to be a big factor for people, and I have found this to be a key consideration myself. Those languages that are popular not only have abundant learning materials available, but also present many opportunities to use the language or at least be exposed to it on a regular basis. The opposite is also true - those languages that are not widely spoken do not have many learning materials available and there are far fewer opportunities to be exposed to the language on a regular basis. This factor makes some languages seem easier or harder to learn, whether they actually are or not. Each persons learning style could be hindered or enhanced depending upon the type of materials available to learn as well.
It is interesting to note that Japanese appeared as a write-in on the Easiest Language to Learn Survey, and also as a difficult language to learn on the Hardest Language to Learn Survey. Some pointed out that learning only spoken Japanese, and holding off on learning the difficult Japanese written system, made Japanese much easier to learn than expected.
Russian, English, Arabic, Korean and several other languages all also appeared as write-ins in both surveys. It just goes to show that individual experiences can differ widely, so don't depend 100% on the opinions of others - learn as much as you can about the subject and form your own opinion!
- Simone Weil