Are some languages harder than others?

From the point of view of children learning their first language, no! Children around the world acquire language at pretty much the same rate. But as adults learning a second language, we are likely to find languages which are more closely related to our own easier than others.

For example, German is easier for a native English speaker than say Chinese because for starters, you can actually read the German alphabet, but Chinese script is somewhat more complex.

Willkommen bei Deutsch! (German) vs 欢迎 学 汉语 (Chinese)

Although in the case of Chinese, we would simplify this for English-speakers by teaching you pinyin, the Romanised system that would enable English speakers to learn Mandarin

without having to learn the script.

For example, 欢迎 学 汉语  becomes Huān yíng xué Hàn Yǔ.

With languages from the same family, say Romance languages eg Spanish, French, Italian; there are vast similarities, so knowing one language would give you a significant advantage in learning another. Some say French is harder than Spanish, or that Spanish is harder than Italian, but ultimately we think the difference is not huge, so choose the language you prefer to learn.

We recently covered the topic Which language should I learn? 

In the next few days, we’ll be answering the question “which is the most popular language?”.

More on why learn a language and why learn with Euroasia.

FAQs previously covered:

1. Why is it a good idea to learn a foreign language

2. What does learning a language really involve?

3. What’s the best way to learn a foreign language?

4. As an adult, can you learn a language the same way that you did as a child?

5. How can I obtain instant/magic results in learning a language?

6. How long will it take me to learn a language?

FAQs coming up:

11. So which languages will I find easier than others?

12. Which is the most popular

language?

13. Can learning a

language be fun?

 

Posted via web from Euroasia

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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.

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