One's own language is the easiest, of course. Next would be closely related languages. I think English is both easy and difficult for most other related language groups. Easy because it absorbs other languages and people will notice familiar words. Hard because there is so much vocabulary to learn and so many different ways to say the same thing (because of such a variety of vocabulary). I understand that for English speakers there is a State Department list of levels of difficulty between English and other languages. I believe the highest difficulty langauges are Mandarin and Arabic.
Your mother tongue first, and related languages next. For us that would mean: if your first language is English, Germanic languages (e.g. German, Dutch, Swedish) are probably easiest to understand. But a lot of Romance languages might be easy to understand as well. French has a lot in common with English. And most schools nowadays teach Spanish, so you get a background from that language quite easily.
Much more difficult for English speakers are languages like Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Arabic or Russian. But if your mother tongue would be Mandarin, learning Cantonese would be a lot easier than, for example, learning French.
This is a very broad question and does, of course, depend on the extent of your knowledge of languages. If, like me, you are a native speaker of English but also study German, Dutch is a very easy language to grasp as it is very closely linked to Old English and Modern German. Dutch would, however, be tricky for a native speaker of Arabic, for example, because the two languages are on completely different branches of the language family tree.
Not only do 'nurture' factors play a role in this (how one has been educated and where one has been raised), but so do 'nature' factors; that is, a person's innate ability to pick up language. Given that language is innate in humans, everyone learns at least one language, but fewer are able to learn several due to their brains being 'more suited' to some areas (such as mathematical equations) than others (such as words or drawing or playing music etc). So essentially one could argue that the ability to learn several languages is down not so much to 'intellect', but more one's ability to learn languages.
Thus, with this combination of factors, the answer to this question would differ for every individual on the planet!
by StricktlyDating7 years ago
I teach Spanish, and if English is your native language, I think Spanish is not too difficult to learn. Of course, I could be biased.
by klevifusha8 months ago
If you were able to learn a foreign language without any effort, which language would you choose to speak and why?
by Julaha9 years ago
I think it should.Here is why.It will improve the quality of the HubPages. Currently, because Hubbing is allowed only in English, many people who are not comfortable with English are forced to write in English. This...
by SmartAndFun4 years ago
Should my daughter take Spanish or Latin?When my daughter attends high school she must take foreign language. The choices are Spanish and Latin. We live in Texas, so Spanish would come in handy here. Latin, I hear, will...
by Rajan Singh Jolly6 years ago
Which are the 3 most spoken languages in the world?
by Joween Flores3 years ago
Since I got bored on Facebook, and cannot sleep (it's 4:44AM here), I decided to create this forum to discuss how many hubbers can speak many languages. I am actually born in the Philippines, and particularly living in...
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