Many of us bad language learners are on the lookout for shortcuts to learn a new language and one popular idea is to learn a language that is reputedly easier to learn and after which, as an added bonus, learning any other language becomes easier too! (hopefully)
Now which language is easier than any other is endlessly debatable but there certain languages that almost everyone can agree on that are difficult to learn (although to a certain extent that depends on what language you currently speak) such as Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, etc. Here are some of the languages commonly thought of as being easier to learn..
This is a language which was created relatively recently (1887 in fact), in other words it is not a natural language of a specific region or people although there are now a few native speakers. However it does have a loyal following and there are speakers all around the world who are eager to meet other Esperanto speakers and so you can often find a place to stay for free on your travels with other esperanto learners eager to practice the language. Since it was a language purposely designed, rather than one that evolved over thousands of years, it should be easier to learn and there are plenty of resources available for free to help with learning Esperanto.
Swahili is a bantu language spoken widely in east africa which has incorporated Arabic, Persian, English, French, German and Portuguese words. It is quite often described, rightly or wrongly, as an easy language to learn and there are many resources available online to help with learning it which certainly makes it easier if not exactly easy. Perhaps because it is a mix of so many other widely spoken languages, this makes it somewhat easier to learn for some people, particularly polyglots!
Tagalog, or Filipino as it is also known, is the language of the Philippines. Tagalog also comprises thousands of words from spanish making it quite a lot easier to learn for anyone that already speaks spanish and presumably the reverse also applies. Speakers of tagalog frequently mix in english words as well resulting in what is often called taglish. Tagalog can be a good language to learn because wherever you are in the world you are likely to find a local philippino community so it should be relatively easy to find native speakers to practice with.
Well perhaps not an easy language as such, but it is an international language and so if you do not already speak english fluently you can always find opportunities to practice it and immerse in it – movies, music, tourists, business, internet and of course the venerable BBC all provide learning resources.
In general, which language is easier to learn depends on what languages you already speak. If you speak spanish then tagalog is easier. If you speak arabic then perhaps swahili will come naturally to you. If you speak english.. well we just expect the rest of the world to speak english as well and be damned if you don’t! 😉