What's the easiest language for English speakers to learn?

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by ASU55RR, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    You might want to read up on your Chomsky mate. And on Northern European history in general.
     
  2. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    I would agree that it's easy to learn to speak. Written Dutch is a different matter altogether though!
     
  3. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    helemaal niet! engels, nou dat is well 'n nachtmerrie om te schrijven!
     
  4. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    Het is Engels en wel niet well! Hahaaaaaaaaaaa

    I'm married to an Englishman. He can speak Dutch but I don't think he'd be capable of writing a decent Dutch sentence.
     
  5. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    dat wist ik al!

    daar kan ik niet helpen.
     
  6. Paganitzu

    Paganitzu Member+

    Aug 16, 2006
    Eindhoven
    Club:
    PSV Eindhoven
    Simpele zinnen gaan uitstekend :cool: Waarschijnlijk kan je beter Nederlands schrijven dan ik Engels kan.

    In principe klopt "daar kan ik niet helpen" wel, maar het wordt nooit tot zelden zo gebruikt. "Daar kan ik je niet mee helpen" is beter. Don't ask me why it's better, have no idea.

    "Students" at VWO (6-year Pre-University education) can't write Dutch without mistakes. For spelling tests, grades between the 2 and 4 (scale = 10) are not wierd, same accounts for the grammar tests. Above 60% scores below a 5.

    It's like English, easy to learn but hard to master. For me, it's both difficult. I still can't write Dutch flawless and don't talk me about English.

    Why is it koekenpan and beretrots without that "n". Why is it havoër (kid at HAVO) and why is it it's VWO'er (kid at VWO)? It simply doesn't make sense. It all has a reason, but there are so much of it that's it impossible for me to remember what rule for applies on which word.
     
  7. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    See this is the thing about Dutch spelling and grammar. It does not make any sense even though they've tried to simplify it. Try to explain the word 'er' to foreigners!
     
  8. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Hanover
    Club:
    Hannover 96
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    While my written Dutch certainly is not stellar but full of mistakes, I was astonished to see Dutch kids at university make mistakes often and that I was able to notice some of them.

    I agree though, everyday Dutch is not hard to English speakers to learn. For writing I still think it is PSanish, because the grammar is more logical and closer to English.
     
  9. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    yes, to get back to the real question...

    i may make a fool of myself now, since i haven't spoken dutch in over 25 years, but always considered it the easiest language for me to learn...

    before i moved to france i spoke dutch better than any other language except english, and compare how it came about:

    after 3 years french in HS and 3 in college, plus 6 months living in quebec during which i was forced to speak only french and spent about an hour every night book-learning...

    2 years college italian and 4 months in italy in similar circumstances...

    starting to learn dutch from absolute scratch with only a pocket dictionary, when it was easier for everyone to speak english with me (luckily i had some patient friends) and nights were mostly for partying... it took about 6 months to get a similar level.
     
  10. johan neeskens

    Jan 14, 2004
    You're an English native speaker? That explains it then. If your native language is Germanic you will always find it easier to learn another Germanic language than you would a Latin language.

    The only Latin language I've found easy to learn is Spanish as you only need to know a handful of words to be able to converse in it. French is really difficult!
     
  11. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    not really true for an english speaker: german is much harder to learn than spanish or french. there are fewer cognates than in latin languages, and just as many false cognates (germans wouldn't give their friends a gift for example), and the syntax and grammar (especially declensions) are both very complex and completely different from english.

    dutch has a similar syntax but many more cognates, and the declensions have been done away with. it lies halfway between german and english in many respects.

    i get along OK on the phone or on business trips in german, and after only 60 hours of lessons (individual though, that helps) but that's mainly because a good groundwork in dutch provided a stepstone.
     
  12. cinnaminson

    cinnaminson New Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Philadelphia
    what about cymraeg? have you ever tried to learn it?
     
  13. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    no, but i know a welshman who had to do it in school and could make neither head nor tail of it. just like most irishmen know about as much gaelic as i know japanese or arabic, even after years of it at school.

    acc to them, if you don't grow up in the hinterlands speaking these languages from the cradle they're very difficult. it is possible to become fluent in them but it will be your life's work, and there are better things to do, even if you're welsh.
     
  14. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I took a couple Irish courses in college, actually, just for fun. Celtic languages are particularly tough because they're VSO (verb-subject-object) languages, which does all sorts of funky things to word order in sentences. Add to this the fact that there's no real verb "to have" (i.e., you say "The book is at me" instead of "I have the book"), there's grammatical lenition all over the place, and often inscrutable pronunciation rules and you have a real tall order making any progress learning these kinds of languages.
     
  15. THE HUN

    THE HUN New Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Club:
    VfB Stuttgart
    "The book is at me"

    That is yeserday's and today's old and modern Bavarian .
     
  16. pablo85

    pablo85 Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Why is it that Germans always say that Dutch is an accent of German. It is a Germanic language, just as Frisian and English (English is also influenced by other languages) and German. In the history languages flowed over into other languages in other regions. Denmark/Southern Norway and Southern Sweden are the area's where the northern part of the Germanic language probably comes from, so you can say you are talking an Scandinavian accent..:D

    Dutch is further away from modern German than all Latin languages are from eachother.
    I can understand English far easier than German, whether you like it or not. But our parents learned German at school because our economy depends on Germany, it is not like it is easy for us to speak to you.

    Dutch should be easy for English people, they just have to know how we pronounce some letters, like the ou au oo aa oe ij, o e a w r g k
     
  17. AFCA

    AFCA Member

    Jul 16, 2002
    X X X rated
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Iran
    Spanish is probably the easiest language to learn.

    If you put some effort into it, you should be able to go very far in just two months time.
     
  18. Duiz

    Duiz Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    London
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I speak English, Spanish, French, and in the middle of Russian.

    I find that if you learn the language using your native language, you only learn the language by proxy. Generally, the mechanics of grammar and pronunciation being similar can make it easier to adapt, but it is always best to start from scratch.
     
  19. Dave30

    Dave30 New Member

    Jun 4, 2012
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    I am an Asian.. to be more specific.. an Indian.. My mother tongue is not English but still i love English..!! Its not at all dificult.. i can read..speak..write...eat..& sleep..fluently in English..lol!! :p
     
  20. Skippysasquirrel

    May 11, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm late to the game, but I'll play along: Scots :) also Dutch to an extent...

    I would say that either German or French (yes, I know, but hear me out). German, at the most basic level (let's say semesters one and two of college-level foreign language) is just a matter of memorizing definite articles. The vocabulary is largely familiar to an English speaker, and quite easy. Then, I would say that at a little bit higher level (semesters three and four of college-level foreign language), French is probably easier. So much of our technical and multi-syllabic speech is Romance based (either from French or directly from Latin).
     
  21. Skippysasquirrel

    May 11, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I believe this is how it is expressed in the Celtic languages as well, and is probably not that uncommon in other languages.
     
  22. joaommx

    joaommx Member+

    Sep 27, 2009
    Lisboa
    Club:
    Sporting CP Lisbon
    Nat'l Team:
    Portugal
    Why portuguese only "to some extent" when it's the most similar language to spanish from those you mentioned?

    Might it be due to this?

    Many have pointed out Frisian or Dutch, and that might even be truth, but I find it hard to believe that the most similar language to ones mother tongue is usually the easiest to learn. I guess it depends on how you define "learn", but take portuguese and spanish for instance. Both languages are quite mutually intelligible and here in Portugal most portuguese tend to think they can speak spanish to some extent even though they have never learnt it, they'll use some spanish vocabulary and try to mimic spanish verb terminations. Jokingly we call that "portuñol", and it really is easier for spaniards to understand it than just plain portuguese, but you can't really call that spanish.
    If we do try to learn spanish, we'll be able to speak it decently in a few dozen hours of classes, but to master it and to speak it flawlessly, it takes a lot of dedication (more than I've experienced with english) because there are a lot of "false friends", that is, things that look like they are similar between both languages but actually aren't, and that will lead us to make many mistakes.

    Opinion of a portuguese native speaker who has english and spanish as second laguanges.
     
  23. Skippysasquirrel

    May 11, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In my experience the closer the languages are, the less likely someone is to put in that time and effort, and that sometimes translates into "difficult to learn." I'm a native English speaker with three years of German (and some time in the country), and I made a casual effort to learn to read Dutch. It was hard. False friends from both sides, and it was really only a "casual" effort. That doesn't make Dutch a hard language, it makes me a half-asser lol
     
  24. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    MidAtlantic
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

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