If English is your native tongue, these languages have been widely regarded as the easiest to learn fluently. English is a combination of both Germanic and Romantic dialects, giving speakers a broad range of similar or identical vocabulary. Let me be honest and say learning any language can be difficult and time-consuming. But here is a list of the top 5 easiest languages for a native English Speaker to learn.
Afrikaans is spoken throughout Africa (primarily in South Africa) with numbers estimating from 10 million to 15 million speakers worldwide. Both English and Afrikaans derive from the West Germanic language making pronunciation and vocab similar.
In Afrikaans, there is no conjugation of verbs. No memorization of dozens of verb tables, just to be fooled by the plethora of irregulars (cough cough, Spanish). There's no gender either. If you hate learning grammer, Afrikaans is the language for you.
Spoken by millions of people all over the world, Spanish isn't just widespread, it is pretty fácil. Being Latin-based, Spanish shares a lot of its vocabulary with English. Take the words importante, interesante, natural, and simlilaridad. These words are cognitives (words that look/sound similar to an English word) and there are thousands and thousands of cognitives in the Spanish language. Aside from a bit of a complicated grammar, Spanish is relatively easy for anyone to learn.
Technically, Esperanto isn't a "natural" language, it was created in the late 1870s and early 1880s by L. L. Zamenhof. Zamenhof wanted a universal language that was easy to learn. Esperanto should be #1 on this list, but resources and speakers of this language are rare. Esperanto has easy-to-learn grammar, no irregulars (you read that right!) and memorizable vocabulary.
Very similar to both Spanish and French but not as popular of a language. A lot of habits English speakers have are mirrored onto Portuguese. Speakers may have a bit of trouble with the pronunciation though.
Portuguese is also spoken in Brazil - which currently has the world's 6th best economy - so speaking Portuguese could definitely be helpful in the future.
Taught in nearly every country, French is very commonplace and the resources to learn this language are plentiful. French has fairly easy grammar and vocabulary - but it's pronunciation is notoriously difficult. English speakers will be delighted to hear that French - just like every other language on this list - share similar vocabulary. French does introduce gender nouns which we don’t have in English (like Spanish) but French is a wonderful beginner language anyone can learn.
South African on September 14, 2019:
That is incorrect that Afrikaans has no gender (haar = her, sy = her, hom =him, hy=him). And does not stem from Germanic origin, but Dutch, mixed with seafarer variants of Malay, Portuguese, Indonesian and the indigenous Khoekhoe and San languages.
Mellissa on April 25, 2018:
I'm not sure about Afrikaans but I'd say Norwegian/Swedish is much easier than Spanish. There's hardly any conjugation and a lot of cognates!
Janisa from Earth on March 16, 2018:
I disagree with you on Portuguese. Despite the similarities and lots of cognates, there's still the grammar aspect, different verb tenses that don't always have English analogs. And Brazilian texting slang... well, that's a whole new language on its own ;D