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11 Easy Languages For Non-Native English Speakers to Learn

Are you a non-native English speaker? Don't worry, we've curated some of the easiest languages you can learn if English isn't your first language!

Wondering what's an easy language you can learn as a non-English speaker?We often interact with many language lovers from around the world who can understand basic (or even good) English but aren't 100% fluent yet. In this case, the language options one can learn easily will differ from a native English speaker.

Why is this the case? Let us quickly explain.

Language Family Trees

Just like our own heritage, foreign languages have their own family backgrounds. The majority of languages have its roots from one or two generic languages, like Indo-European.

Over time, the new variance of languages began to form but many of these languages share a lot in common. For example, Spanish and Portuguese (both from the Latin family) have similar words, grammar structures, and more, making it easy to learn if you already know the other.

Yes, this means that languages that are in the same language family are easier to learn than languages outside of their family. Makes sense in hindsight, right?

OK, that's enough language history lesson for today. Let's move on to sharing some easy languages for non-English speakers to learn!


In order for us to determine which languages are easy to learn, we had to look at the main factors required to learn a language.With that said, we considered:

  • Accent Pronunciation
  • Common Vocabulary
  • Cognates
  • Native speakers available to practice with
  • and more

We wrote a post about the easiest languages to learn for English speakers, which allowed us to focus on a specific language family. However, since 'non-English' speakers are fairly broad, we're going to categorize our answer based on the most popular language groups.

11 Easy Languages to Non-English Speakers to Learn

Germanic Languages

Germanic languages originate from the Indo-European family, containing many of the common languages we know and love today. They include languages like Greek, Swedish, Danish, and even English!For those who already speak one of these Germanic languages, the following languages will be easy to learn.
*The following is listed in no particular order*

1. English

# of speakers: 983 million
Overall easiness: 8/10

You're probably not surprised by this one. English is the international language used for entertainment, politics, business, and more. Given how accessible it is to learn, many people from around the world are at least proficient in the language. This makes it easier to go from beginner/intermediate to advanced level rather quickly.

2. German

# of native speakers: 129 million
Overall easiness: 6.5/10

German is rooted as a West Germanic language, like English, and those who are somewhat proficient in English, Dutch, Yiddish, or more will have a much easier time learning. For example, notice the similarities in German and Dutch in the example below: "What came first: the chicken or the egg?"

3. Norwegian

# of native speakers: 5 million (2014)
Overall easiness: 6/10

Most people wouldn't be able to recognize a Norwegian accent right off the bat. Main reason being, it's not a very common language that's portrayed in the media, unless you're from a Scandinavian country. Overall, it's not vastly different from its fellow family languages, but given the lack of resources to learn and practice, it can be harder than most.

4. Swedish

# of native speakers: 9.2 million

Overall easiness: 7/10

Swedish is a preferred language by most when compared to Dutch or Norwegian. That's because Swedish is known to contain fewer conjugations than Dutch. In addition, there are more resources to learn Swedish because of its International popularity and the higher number of native speakers versus Norwegian.

Romance Languages


Ah yes. The languages of love. It's one of the most common languages sought out by western countries, because of the popularity it has received in the media. From Spanish to French, you'll find great poets, authors, and contemporary music created using these beautiful languages.

5. Spanish

# of native speakers: 527 million
Overall easiness: 9/10

Spanish is by far the most spoken language out of the Romance language. It's the top 3 most spoken language in the world, and it's commonly used by people living in Europe, South America, and North America. You'll find plenty of Spanish learning resources, native speakers, and commonality if you can already speak one of the Romance languages.

6. Italian

# of native speakers: 66 million
Overall easiness: 8/10

What's a standout feature about Italian is that it's written as it is spelled, causing very little confusion for pronunciation. In addition, Italian has fewer verb forms than French or Spanish. However, given its low number of speakers, you won't find as many speaking opportunities compared to these other Romance languages.Bonus: Italian words end in vowels, so you'll often hear something like "I would like to order-a some ice-cream-a."

7. Portuguese

# of native speakers: 229 million
Overall easiness: 8/10

Portuguese shares a lot of commonality amongst its Romance partners on a grammatical basis. For those of you looking to learn just enough to make a small conversation, you're covered. Since most small talk conversations are similar, you can easily 'disguise' yourself as a confident Portuguese speaker! The hard part for some non-English speakers is the nasal vowel sounds that are required for the Portuguese accent.

8. French

# of native speakers: 229 million

Overall easiness: 7.5/10

Even though French is part of the Romance language, it's not the easiest language to learn despite how popular it is. Sure, you can find plenty of learning material online to practice your skills. But the makeup of the language itself is where the challenge is.Compared to English, there are more verb forms (17 versus 12) and pronunciation is always tricky with silent letters and vowel sounds.

Sino-Tibetan Language Speakers

9. Mandarin

# of native speakers: 1.09 billion
Overall easiness: 7.5/10

Yes, the mother of all languages. Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world reaching over a billion speakers in total.Despite how the media portrays Mandarin (as one of the hardest languages to learn), it has many components that make it easy. Compared to Indo-European languages, words in Mandarin have only one grammatical form.

Many English speakers note the difficulty of speaking Mandarin because there are no direct translations to the English language. But if English isn't your first language, then this shouldn't necessarily apply to you!

10. Cantonese

# of native speakers: 72 million
Overall easiness: 6.5/10

Compared to Mandarin, Cantonese is a noticeably harder language to learn. Couple of main reasons being: it's not as popular (fewer resources), and there are more tones (eight versus four) you need to learn. The environment is a huge factor when it comes to how fast you can learn a language, and compared to Mandarin, there are fewer opportunities to practice Cantonese.

Overall, if you already speak a language in the Sino-Tibetan family, such as Mandarin or Thai, it is easier.

11. Thai

# of native speakers: 44 million
Overall easiness: 7/10

Like some of its fellow language members, Thai contains many tones (five), consisting of over 44 consonants and 36 vowels. This means that the same word can mean five different things, depending on how it's said.

So yes, it is a difficult language to learn. Is it impossible? Absolutely not!

It's just a different language, with different components than we're normally used to.

So what's the easiest language to learn for Non-English speakers?

You may have already guessed that there's no definite answer to this question. The easiness of a language will be based on what language you can already speak, your environment, and your motivations.

There are plenty of people who have no background in a particular language but are so motivated to become fluent, that they can learn in half the time. On the other hand, a native Spanish speaker can easily pick up Portuguese with very little effort, given how similar it is.

What's important is that you take these 3 factors into account: environment, current language knowledge, and personal motivation. If you can find a language that fits into all three, then you've hit jackpot.

But don't worry about perfection.

What's important is the journey of learning, embracing the struggle, and having fun along the way building real relationships.

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