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Best suited foreign language for me to learn? watch

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    I presume no foreign language is easy to learn and all require dedication and commitment, but I would appreciate your opinions of suggesting a language I could learn that is generally regarded as easier to pick up. I am english speaking so perhaps a language that is in someway related may be of best choice for me. It would be nice to learn a language in which 90% of the population of that particular country aren't fluent in English as learning their language would be of no real benefit. All countries will have friendly and arrogant people but perhaps a country that is welcoming or slightly similiar in culture to the UK would be an ideal language to learn. I'm probably taking a gap year so it may come in useful. I will be self-teaching myself, so a language that has good resources to buy, such as software, CD roms, Books etc. would make things easier for me as I won't be attending lessons or paying for a tutor.
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    Spanish, its phonetic, straight forward and widely spoken....by far the easiest language to learn..
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    what about an up and coming country, come a few years time, there will be big money for people who will work for UK or US companies and need links to companies from say china? so chinese? or japanese? but then japan is already pretty linked to uk and us so that might not be as greater choice.

    i would say chinese if available, not many english speak it, so it is a bit of a niche, and would possibly swing a job interview at a company.
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    I'd say Hindi, but then again, that'd be a bit pointless because English is widely spoken in the Indian world of business (and India is going to be the next service economy of the world!).

    So i would suggest Chinese. No real experience with difficulty to be honest. Just seems hard to pronounce.
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    I would recommend Spanish
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    (Original post by X7502)
    I presume no foreign language is easy to learn and all require dedication and commitment, but I would appreciate your opinions of suggesting a language I could learn that is generally regarded as easier to pick up. I am english speaking so perhaps a language that is in someway related may be of best choice for me. It would be nice to learn a language in which 90% of the population of that particular country aren't fluent in English as learning their language would be of no real benefit. All countries will have friendly and arrogant people but perhaps a country that is welcoming or slightly similiar in culture to the UK would be an ideal language to learn. I'm probably taking a gap year so it may come in useful. I will be self-teaching myself, so a language that has good resources to buy, such as software, CD roms, Books etc. would make things easier for me as I won't be attending lessons or paying for a tutor.
    Hmm, you've just got to be a bit more specific, really. Language is not only about how easy it is or where you'll go on a gap year, but also what sort of culture you enjoy.
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    Spanish, it's by far the most simple major European language to pick up, and obviously it's spoken throughout S-America if you're thinking of interesting gap year destinations.

    As for related to English I'm afraid it's slim pickings, English is a germanic language so Dutch, Swedish and German are all close relatives. But all those countries have high rates of English knowledge (which basically nullifies the benefit of learning their language), and none of those are simple languages to pick up IMHO. Nor are they that widely spoken except with German and even then only within Europe.
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    Japanese? Not that hard to learn to speak, very difficult to read and write but thats not so important. Also most japanese don't speak much english so if you ever went there would be useful.
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    if you want a place that doesn't speak english, look for a language that isnt used in europe because wherever you go in the EU, loads of people know bits of english, defnately avoid german because like the whole of germany speaks english lol. an extra challenge would be to learn a language that doesn't use the roman alphabet (our alphabet) what about mandarin/cantonese or japanese (japanese is much easier as it doesn't have accents on the characters and each vowel only has one pronunciation, ask if that needs to be made clearer lol) also what about russian? ive heard its quite easy to learn.
    WIll you actually be going to this country and communicating with locals, or do you just want to learn a language for the hell of it?
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    Espanol! FTW it's quite simple to pick up considering it's a whole new language. And loads of people speak it. It's so easy to practice and after a few months you'll be able to survive in the country. Plus it's a lovely language to learn and sounds laavley.
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    I quite liked the idea of learning Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian etc. but I've heard that they are regarded as more difficult choices compared to Spanish/French etc. and there are few good resources out there for me to buy. Supposedly there is a generalised reputation that most Scandanavians are cold, distant and don't speak very much unless it's important, a friend said that this was mostly true, but I've yet to go there myself so I don't know if it's a correct stereotype or not. I recently thought about dutch, but am I right in my understanding that most Dutch people can speak English fluently anyway? I'm wavering on the cultures of Sweden, as it has admirable architecture and countryside and Spanish because of a wide variety of resources available to self teach myself and popularity as a holiday choice for tourists.
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    I'd say Spanish because of all the reasons which have already been said - it's simple, phonetic and widely spoken.

    I can see the benefits of learning more complex languages such as Mandarine, Japanese and Russian but tbh they are a lot harder than Spanish (and other European languages such as German - though they all speak English there) and will require a lot more effort and commitment, meaning that it's possible that you would get bored and give up.
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    (Original post by Lefty Leo)
    I'd say Hindi, but then again, that'd be a bit pointless because English is widely spoken in the Indian world of business (and India is going to be the next service economy of the world!).

    So i would suggest Chinese. No real experience with difficulty to be honest. Just seems hard to pronounce.
    Hmm. I might have said the opposite. The pronounciation is based on a ridiculously small number of sounds compared to, say, English, although the tones are hard, but the written language - which IMHO it's a little pointless to learn the spoken language without - takes a lot of time and effort to get used to. Chinese isn't as hard I think as people might perceive but it certainly isn't an easy language to start off with due to the necessity of learning an entirely new writing system (when coming from the alphabetic base of English!).
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    Dutch is so easy to learn for english.
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    (Original post by X7502)
    I quite liked the idea of learning Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian etc. but I've heard that they are regarded as more difficult choices compared to Spanish/French etc. and there are few good resources out there for me to buy. Supposedly there is a generalised reputation that most Scandanavians are cold, distant and don't speak very much unless it's important, a friend said that this was mostly true, but I've yet to go there myself so I don't know if it's a correct stereotype or not. I recently thought about dutch, but am I right in my understanding that most Dutch people can speak English fluently anyway? I'm wavering on the cultures of Sweden, as it has admirable architecture and countryside and Spanish because of a wide variety of resources available to self teach myself and popularity as a holiday choice for tourists.
    Finnish has mental grammar and almost 0 common vocab with English. Swedish,Norwegian and Dutch are all Germanic, so far easier but do you really want to learn languages spoken by only a few million people? Plus around 70-80% of people in these countries speak English. Mostly better than you'll speak their language. This makes it difficult to practice and frankly what's the point.

    If you want a challenge learn Russian, different alphabet, English isn't widely spoken in Russia, plus it's Slavic so it's a language base for lots of other eastern European languages.

    Chinese, Japanese or Arabic all sound exciting, are spoken by lots of people and would potentially be useful, but the complexity of learning them would be mental if you're only teaching yourself

    Spanish is still the best all round choice though, easiest to learn, most widely spoken as a native language, friendly sunny countries. Plus if you ever decide to take the learning further (say at Uni) you'll be able to get classes. Not so with Swedish.
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    Another vote for spanish. Very easy to learn and you've got some great Gap year destinations in S. America.
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    Chinese, hard but worth it in the future
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    Russian? I just like the sound of it to be honest!
    Aside from that, I would also recommend Spanish. It's widely spoken and not too difficult to learn IMO
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    (Original post by HoVis)
    Hmm. I might have said the opposite. The pronounciation is based on a ridiculously small number of sounds compared to, say, English, although the tones are hard, but the written language - which IMHO it's a little pointless to learn the spoken language without - takes a lot of time and effort to get used to. Chinese isn't as hard I think as people might perceive but it certainly isn't an easy language to start off with due to the necessity of learning an entirely new writing system (when coming from the alphabetic base of English!).
    I'm afraid it is quite a big challenge, especially if you're talking about getting to the fluency where one is able to read the newspaper.
    I've a friend who studied a Physics degree in his first year, along with Mandarin as an elective module. According to him, he did more work in Mandarin than any of his Physics modules. He had to practise writing ever so often, and memorise lots of characters.

    The thing is, with Mandarin, if you've not encountered that character, you won't be able to read it. Unlike English, where one can guess the pronunciation. No way you can do that with Mandarin. Also, often with Mandarin you'll find different characters with exact same tone and same pronunciation. Having said that, if you've not seen the character, you won't be able to write it.

    Ask anyone who is fluent at both English and Mandarin, they'll tell you Mandarin is way harder.

    Swedish is all right, but you'll find most people in Sweden are able to speak English. The same applies to Danish and Norwegian. Finnish on the other hand is quite tough, unless you've mastered Estonian or Hungarian. German and French generally speak good English. Arabic could be useful, although like Mandarin and Japanese, it's a lot of hard work.

    Spanish on the other hand should be quite straight forward. Most Spanish speakers I encountered only speak a limited amount of English. Once you've mastered Spanish, you'll receive your bonus - understanding the Italians.
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    (Original post by Beam...)
    Spanish, its phonetic, straight forward and widely spoken....by far the easiest language to learn..
    :ditto: plus, many people in other parts of the world speak Spanish as well.
 
 
 
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