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Which language is easier to understand?

  1. NA the great profile image73
    NA the greatposted 6 years ago

    Which language is easier to understand?

  2. VirginiaLynne profile image98
    VirginiaLynneposted 6 years ago

    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.

  3. Scarlet Hemlock profile image59
    Scarlet Hemlockposted 6 years ago

    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.

  4. DaniellaWood profile image85
    DaniellaWoodposted 6 years ago

    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!