Maybe you studied French in high school or took a few lunchtime lessons in Spanish at your place of work. There is a chance that you have never really learned a language as you are put off by the time involved. If you are looking to learn a language, we look at a few of the languages that are easy to learn for native English speakers.
According to some, this is the foreign language of the future, and with a fair few British people possessing second homes in France, the need to speak French is not an unusual one for Brits.
It has been estimated that a third of the English language derives from French thanks to the Norman invasion some 900 years ago. Most Brits know a smattering of French already as it is widely taught in state schools and expressions such as je regrette rien and je ne sais quoi are part of the modern vernacular.
Italian includes a lot of words that we can easily understand from English, which certainly helps with vocabulary acquisition. Stiletto, al fresco and ghetto are used in both languages.
Italian is also a highly readable language and possesses only 21 letters, making it even easier to pick up than English to somebody new to the language.
This is considered to be the easiest language to learn for native English speakers as both languages come from the Germanic language family and so vocabulary is familiar. It is an easy language grammatically as there is no conjugation of verbs.
The one downside to speaking Afrikaans is that it is not as widely spoken as French or Italian, for example, and while it will help you in Namibia and South Africa, the people there will usually speak English to a good standard.
This is the closest foreign language to English and is spoken in a part of the Netherlands by around 500,000 people. Vocabulary, structure and pronunciation are virtually the same.
So, if you speak English and somebody asks you if you speak any other languages, you can also honestly say "some Frisian."
One of the great advantages to Spanish is that in most circumstances, words are written as they are pronounced. This means that there will be no Youtube videos about Spanish being a crazy language to learn.
With pronunciation being relatively simple, another great advantage to Spanish is that it is seen as an attractive language to have in your linguistic armoury. A recent survey found that 37% of British employers considered Spanish to be one of the top foreign languages for employees to know.
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