What is the easiest language to learn?

December 18, 2023

Ready to learn a new language? Want to know which ones you can learn with ease? Whether you’re concerned about time and effort or just want to feel accomplished ASAP, take a closer look at this list of easy languages to learn

After all, while mastering some languages can feel like climbing your own personal Everest, there’ll be other languages that you’ll be able to pick up much faster. 

So, instead of fighting an uphill battle or plowing on with a language you’re not loving, why not let us tell you which language you’re destined to power through in record time?

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Before getting into the nitty gritty of vocab, verb conjugations and all that other hullabaloo, it’s worth asking yourself: which language will I find the easiest to learn? 

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Your unique language experience could make some languages easier to learn than others. Success in the language-learning department depends on a bunch of things: where you’re from; what you’re good at; and even what – or whom – you choose to surround yourself with. In truth, a lot of it comes down to the individual. 

That said, there’s no denying that there are languages that many people find easier to learn!  This list in particular focuses on easy languages to learn for English speakers, based on how long it takes to learn them according to data from the US Department of State.

So, what is the easiest foreign language to learn?

10 Easiest Languages Chart



Approx. Time to Learn



24 weeks



24 weeks



24 weeks



24 weeks



24 weeks



24 weeks


Fairly Easy

30 weeks



36 weeks



36 weeks



36 weeks

If you were wondering, “What is the easiest language to learn?,” it’s true that it depends on what languages you speak already. However, some languages are just generally considered harder than others.

Foreign languages that have more complex grammar rules, unique writing systems, and trickier pronunciation for non-speakers, regardless of their previous language-learning experience, will be harder for everyone. In fact, many of the hardest languages to learn have unique writing systems, complex grammar, or tonal elements – meaning you have to master vocal pitches on top of everything else.

These languages, on the other hand, are relatively simple, especially for English speakers. They use the Roman alphabet, don’t rely on tone or pitch to add meaning, and in many cases share some vocabulary with English!

The top 10 easiest languages to learn, according to experts

To say any language is an easy language to learn is speaking relatively, of course. Mastering any language takes a little time and elbow grease! 

But, if you’re looking for something you can gain fluency in quickly – or are finding that your tongue is tripping on the language you thought you wanted to learn – these are the top options for English speakers.

1. Dutch

Approximate time to learn: 24 weeks (600 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten

Dutch is a Germanic language with significant grammatical and vocabulary overlap with English. In fact, among widely spoken languages, it’s the one that’s most similar to English.

For example, the Dutch word for ‘workplace’ is werkplaats, ‘rainfall’ is regenval, and if you wanted to say ‘pardon me?’ because you didn’t understand something someone said, you’d say Pardon, wat zei u? (pronounced “pahr-dohn, vat zay ew?”)

Worth noting: Technically speaking, Frisian, another much less common Germanic language is the most linguistically similar language to English, but given that there are only around half a million speakers put together of three different Frisian dialects, resources and opportunities to learn and practice Frisian are much fewer!

2. Spanish

Approximate time to learn: 24 weeks (600 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Official status in 20 different countries, including Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Cuba, and many more

Experts often list Spanish as the easiest language to learn, period. But why is Spanish an easy language to learn? Because Spanish pronunciation is fairly straightforward, the grammar is more flexible than other Romance languages, and it shares some vocabulary with English as well as the other Romance languages.

Plus, as one of the most spoken languages in the world, there are tons of resources available to help you learn, and native speakers are easy to find.

3. Italian

Approximate time to learn: 24 weeks (600 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City

Italian is a famously beautiful language, but is Italian an easy language to learn? We say yes! Italian pronunciation is very predictable once you understand how sounds are translated into spelling, and Italian grammar is easy enough to master. 

And if you happen to have taken Latin in school, you’ll likely have even more of a leg up as Italian is probably the closest living language to Latin.

4. Swedish

Approximate time to learn: 24 weeks (600 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Sweden, Finland (along with Finnish)

While a little further away on the family tree than Dutch, Swedish and the other Scandinavian languages (like Norwegian and Danish) are also Germanic languages, like English. That makes them relatively easy for English speakers to pick up.

While Swedish pronunciation can be a little tricky – it has three additional vowels you’ll have to tackle – the grammar is fairly simple and Swedish vocabulary has some overlap with English, making it another great option if you’re looking to learn an easy language. 

Worth noting: Norwegian and Danish are also easy languages to learn in the same family and take around the same amount of study. We picked Swedish to represent the Scandinavian languages because it’s the most widely spoken, but you can consider all three worthy entries for this list!

5. Portuguese

Approximate time to learn: 24 weeks (600 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Macau

While we’ve been looking at languages from an English perspective, if you find yourself asking, “What is the easiest language to learn for Spanish speakers?” Portuguese would probably be it!

Portuguese can be a little trickier in terms of pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary than Spanish or Italian, but is still a pretty easy language to learn in the grand scheme of things. And if you already speak some Spanish, all the better!

The big thing to note is that there’s a pretty noticeable difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese, which evolved new phrases and words to reflect the many cultures and peoples represented in South America.

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6. Romanian

Approximate time to learn: 24 weeks (600 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Romania, Moldova

You may be surprised to see Romanian on this list, but in fact, it’s another Romance language, meaning it shares linguistic DNA with Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French. 

Sure, there’s a Slavic influence on the language, and you’ll have to get used to a few unfamiliar diacritics and some grammatical quirks if you choose to learn Romanian. But it should nonetheless be surprisingly smooth sailing, if you have the time and motivation to learn!

7. French

Approximate time to learn: 30 weeks (750 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Official status in 28 different countries, including France, Belgium, Canada, Haiti, Cameroon, Rwanda, Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea, and many more

French is widely spoken – and widely considered the language of love! So, of course, many prospective learners wonder, is French an easy language to learn? And the answer is, generally, yes! Although as you can see, it takes a little more work to master than the first six entries on this list. 

French is a little trickier for a few reasons. First, because many of the verb conjugation endings sound fairly similar, spoken French needs pronouns and context that can often be dropped in some of the other Romance languages. Plus, the pronunciation and spelling can be trickier for new French learners.

And finally, like Portuguese, the dialects of French can be very different, with wide variations in pronunciation and vocabulary (though always mutually intelligible!).

The good news is, French shares more vocabulary with English than any other Romance language thanks to the historical connections between France and England!

8. German

Approximate time to learn: 36 weeks (900 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland

Is German an easy language to learn? Yes and no. Since it is a Germanic language – albeit one of the ones least like English – English speakers will have a big advantage when starting to learn German. Pronunciation can be a little tricky at first, but is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it.

However, German grammar is infamously befuddling, which is probably why it takes a little longer to learn than, say, Swedish or Dutch.

9. Malay

Approximate time to learn: 36 weeks (900 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia

Learners who want to look past European languages might ask, what is the easiest Asian language to learn? And that would have to be Malay – although Indonesian, a close linguistic cousin to Malay, deserves a special mention too.  

Worth noting: For many years, Malay and Indonesian were considered the same language, and names are still tricky. For our purposes, when we say Malay we mean Malaysian Malay (a.k.a. Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia), while Bahasa Indonesia is what we’re calling Indonesian.

Both languages use the Roman alphabet, are fairly straightforward to pronounce, and Malay grammar – though very different from English – is easy to use once you know the rules.

So why does Malay edge out Indonesian for ease of learning? Because Malay has a fairly notable overlap with English due to the former British colonial presence in Singapore and Malaysia. 

10. Swahili

Approximate time to learn: 36 weeks (900 class hours)

Where it’s spoken: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania

Last but certainly not least, if you’re looking for a new language to learn, consider Swahili! It’s a Bantu language, meaning it can open the door to hundreds of other related African languages, and it’s technically no harder to learn than German! 

Swahili shares a significant number of loan words with English and even more with Arabic, so if you have any Arabic under your belt, this could be a great choice for you.

And those are the 10 easiest languages to learn!

But remember: while these may be considered the easiest, they may not necessarily be the easiest ones for you.

For example, let’s say you were wondering, is Korean an easy language to learn? 

The truth is that in terms of sheer hours you’d need to put in to learn fluent Korean, it’s one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn. The US Department of State says it takes 88 weeks of study to learn Korean (as compared to the 24 to 36 weeks of the other languages on this list). 

But if you have a passion for Korean culture or Korean friends and family to help you practice, you’d probably find that you have more motivation and opportunities to work on your Korean! In that case, Korean would probably be much easier for you to learn than, say, Romanian.

What makes a language easy to learn for you? 6 factors to consider

Wondering how the quiz works? Here’s the low-down on our logic.

1. Your native language

When you’re diving into a new foreign language, you’ll naturally turn to your mother tongue as your reference point. This means you’ll likely find it easier to learn a foreign language that shares similarities with your native language. 

For example, it’s no coincidence that many native English speakers find French to be an easy language to learn, despite some of the technical challenges. There are a whopping 10,000 English words that closely resemble French words (we like to call these cognates).

And if you’re already fluent in a Romance language like French? Well, chances are that you’ll find it easier to learn another language in the Romance family, like Spanish or Italian.

2. Your exposure to other foreign languages

Whether you’re an English speaker and your grandparents speak Italian, or you’re Japanese and you love rocking out to Drake’s biggest hits in English, any exposure to a foreign language will probably mean you’ve already started picking up bits and pieces without realizing it. 

So, if you have to choose between learning a foreign language from scratch and learning one that allows you to build on your existing knowledge? It’s a no-brainer.

3. Your strengths as a language learner

While some of us may have a knack for grammar, others might get their kicks out of memorizing a bunch of vocabulary – or even a whole new alphabet. 

Whatever your language talents may be, it’s worth identifying them when you’re considering what the easiest foreign language might be for you. Pick a language that’ll play to your strengths and you’ll find the ‘hardest’ parts of learning a particular language can be the most fun!  

4. Your grasp of grammatical structures 

The way you understand grammar will, again, naturally link back to the patterns and structures you’re used to seeing in your native language. And for that reason, you’ll often find  easy languages to learn among foreign languages that have similar sentence structures and word orders to your mother tongue.

5. Your pronunciation

They say where you’re from helps you decide where you’re going – and the same is true for deciding which foreign language you’ll find the easiest to learn. 

A massive part of mastering any language is the speaking part – so if you choose to learn a language that uses similar sounds to the ones you’re already used to pronouncing, you’ve already won a large part of the learning battle. 

For instance, Scottish folks who’re used to rolling their ‘r’s find Spanish pronunciation easier than most!

6. Your motivation

Having said all that, don’t forget that you’ve got to actually want to learn a language to find the learning process ‘easy.’ Because, as much as we’d all like to think otherwise, learning a new language doesn’t happen overnight.  

It takes time and effort to learn and perfect any skill, so, what is the easiest language to learn? It may just be the language you’ve got the most motivation to pursue. 

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