Finding the easiest languages to learn is of course very subjective, and there is no definitive answer to this question. However, there are some languages that have certain characteristics to them that make them easier to learn for native English speakers than others.
There are several government entities and organizations which classify languages according to how difficult they are for English speakers to learn in terms of the number of hours that are needed to become conversationally fluent.
According to the Foreign Service Institute, the following 3 languages are from a list that have been classified as Category 1 languages that are related closely to English. It is expected that learning any of these 3 languages would take approximately 575-600 of classroom hours in order to become reasonably fluent.
Here are a few reasons why Afrikaans is one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn:
The grammar is easy and logical. There is also no gender or verb conjugation. It is a Germanic language that is very closely related to English and German and shares a lot of vocabulary.
The main drawbacks are that Afrikaans is a relatively isolated language and doesn’t have a high number of speakers.
The vocabulary, like Afrikaans, is derived from the same Latin-based vocabulary. This makes it relatively easy to learn new vocabulary words.
However, Norwegian does have lots of variations and dialects, which in some situations can make it difficult to communicate. There is also a very small number of speakers and the language is relatively isolated.
If you’ve taken a course for speaking English or you’re a native English speaker then you may be ready to move on to another equally as valuable language. Spanish is a relatively easy language for English speakers to learn. It is also a language that is used quite frequently in the United States and some other English speaking countries. There are tons of movies with Spanish subtitles, bilingual resources and tens of millions of Spanish speaking individuals throughout North America. All of this makes it very easy to practice Spanish and learn the language.
Spanish also has a history that is very similar to English. Many words are mutually intelligible or have a slight variation. Many English words also work their way into Spanish, given the close proximity of the U.S. to Mexico and several other Spanish speaking countries.
There are also some drawbacks or difficulties when trying to learn Spanish. There tend to be thousands of different ways of saying things. Spanish also has many “dichos”, or sayings. Its verb conjugation can also throw many people off. The various past tense and subjunctive versions can also initially be hard to get. The non-logical grammar changes, verb conjugations and genders make it quite different in some respects from languages like English and Afrikaans.
There are a number of languages that are all fairly similar in terms of how difficult they are for English speakers to learn. However, learning a language is a very long process that takes a lot of determination, persistence, dedication and hard work. You need to have enough motivation to truly become fluent in a foreign language. The easiest language for you to learn is one that you actually really want to learn, for whatever reasons.