The Easiest and Most Difficult Languages for English Speakers

There are very many different languages around the world – hundreds of them in fact! Some languages are the most useful languages to learn because they are spoken more widely than others. Every language is different and the length of time it takes an English speaker or a non-English speaker to learn a specific language is different too.  It’s not that easy to say which language is easiest and which language is most difficult to learn as certain things need to be considered before any conclusion can be drawn.

Difficult LanguagesLanguages around the world have their distinctive family backgrounds and many have their roots in one or two common languages, such as the Indo-European language family. Over time and with geographical separation of different communities, languages around the world begin to change their form but they still keep some shared characteristics. For example, Portuguese and Spanish come from the Latin family so they still share similar words and grammar, making them simpler to learn for those who are already fluent in one of these languages.

As well as the language itself there is the motivation and interest of the learner to consider learning any of the most useful languages to learn around the world and also the need and desire to learn a language. For example, in Europe, German could be considered to be the best language to learn for business. In other parts of the world, Mandarin Chinese may be considered to be the best language to learn for business.

There are some languages that do share some common features with English, while there are others that don’t. There is today almost 6,500 spoken languages in existence throughout the world, but 2,000 of the languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers! Mandarin Chinese is the most widely used language and is spoken by 1,213,000,000 speakers, followed in order of the most speakers by Spanish, English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and Western Punjabi.

If you are wondering which are the most useful languages to learn you need to consider your own preferences and the languages around the world that you will get the most useful value out of. If you have a vacation preference you may find that country’s language is one of the most useful languages to learn. If your job involves traveling to another country, that country’s language would be the best foreign language to learn. Also, if you have married someone who speaks a different native language than yours his or her language may be the best foreign language to learn.

What is the Easiest Language to Learn for English Speakers?

Do you Speak English

● Out of the top easiest languages to learn for English speakers, which answers the question “which is the easiest language in the world,’ is Danish. This is because of its grammar, which has only nine verb forms, including the passive, which also occurs in English.  It has plenty of Germanic-based vocabulary so a motivated English speaker should be able to reach some level of fluency after only 6 months of persistent study.

● French comes second, even though English speakers find difficulties with pronunciation. Because of the Latin origin of the vocabulary, it’s far easier to learn than other languages.

● The third easiest language to learn for English speakers is Italian, because of the ease of pronouncing the letters which are written as they sound.

● Portuguese is also rated as one of the easiest languages to learn for non-English speakers because of such features as fewer prepositions and simple pronunciation is usually not too difficult for English speakers. Because the words are written as they sound, Spanish also ranks highly as the easiest language for English speakers to learn.

A keen language learner can expect to gain a reasonable understanding of these languages in less than six months. The top easiest language to learn in the world for beginners is considered to be Spanish. The second top easiest language to learn in the world is Italian, also because of its easy grammar. ‘Is English the easiest language to learn?’ is a question people often ask and the answer is that it is quite an easy language to learn because it doesn’t have any cases and genders, and the grammar is relatively simple, but it’s not the easiest language to learn in the world. No matter what language you need or choose to learn, stay positive. It’s not impossible to learn a new language and choosing the easiest language to learn for non-English speakers is a good place to begin.

What is the Hardest Language in the World to Learn?

The answer to the question, ‘is English the hardest language to learn?’ is easy, because some languages don’t share any common characteristics with other languages. This makes them the hardest languages to learn for English speakers.

There are Several Languages that Fall into this Category:

● Arabic is considered to be the hardest language in the world and one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers because most letters in Arabic have four different forms and choosing the correct one depends on the place the letter is in a word. Vowels are absent in written Arabic which causes difficulties too.

● Mandarin Chinese comes second in rank as the hardest language in the world. Experts in Mandarin consider that 2,200 hours are needed in order to achieve an acceptable level of proficiency. This is because of its tonal sound and the huge numbers of words, characters and rules. To make it even more difficult, Mandarin’s phonetic system includes four different types of pronunciation.

● Japanese is the next hardest language in the world and is similar to Chinese because of its characters which run into their thousands all of which have to be learned before a learner can write anything acceptable in the language. The language also has three different writing systems each having their own unique alphabet so it takes up to three years of learning before being able to hold reasonable conversations with Japanese speakers.

● Korean also answers the question ‘is English the hardest language to learn?’ because it’s a unique language. It doesn’t resemble any other languages, so it can take up to 2,000 hours to learn to an acceptable level of fluency.

If anyone asks you ‘is English the hardest language to learn?’ tell them it’s far easier than Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean!


The German language, although related to English, can also be a difficult language to learn and speak for English speaking people. However, there are a huge and varied number of easily available resources for learning German available to anyone who is interested in doing so.

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