• By - Qx32


funny color choice


Right ? I thought first: russian is that easy ?


Да нет)


I was suspecting German be easier than French because Germanic


I studied both and French is much easier. Two genders and the most difficult bit is remembering the irregular verbs. German nouns have three genders and there are 16 options each for the definite and indefinite article, depending on gender and case. Cases change on whether the noun is the subject / direct object / indirect object / governed by a preposition. Don't even get me started on word order and complex verbs.


French has a lot of similar vocabulary because of the Normans, also simpler grammar than German


Umm, but French has way more exceptions and the German grammar is easy if you know how it works


I'm German and I don't get German grammar


German grammar is a bitch


many germans dont even understand 75% of german grammar. and now politically speaking left winged people wanna introduce the construct of "gendern". to somehow explain the "rules" and motive behind this is a nightmare since its not been added to the language officially and thus many different parties use their own style. basically for jobs like teacher, worker, architect, doctor (just any job in general) you would have just the generic male form (teacher -> lehrer [noun for male teachers]). but women and lgbt+ feel excluded because "lehrer" is also the plural regardless of gender. now you would have to write "Lehrer:in" because a lehrerin is a female teacher and with : you include everybody. but they want you to adjust every single word that is connected to gender. basically they wanna do the genderless thing like in english with just "the teacher" and nobody gives a fuck if the teacher was male or female but with unnecessarily stupid extra steps


>and now politically speaking left winged people wanna introduce the construct of "gendern". That has nothing to do with "politically speaking left winged people". It's people who aim to be inclusive. Scientifically there's no doubt that gendered versions are discriminating because of the association they cause.


do right-winged people also support gendering? i mean gendern, or at least the : was brought up by minorities like lgbt and right winged people wouldnt support that would they?


>do right-winged people also support gendering? Most probably don't. But in Germany the political system is different from the US where there are only two parties and you are either "left" or "right". The political system and parties are way more complex here. There are 7 parties in the parliament and three of them (Greens, Social democrats and Free democrats) are forming the government ranging from left leaning (Greens) to center left (Social democrats) and center right (Free democrats). However, what's considered "left" in the US is just center in Germany. Bernie Sanders is considered far left/socialist in the US, but here he'd be center/center left, but also has many views that center right here stands for. >was brought up by minorities like lgbt and right winged people wouldnt support that would they? It's not only about LGBT, but also about equality of women and men in general. But my personal impression is definitely that "right winged people" (depending on the definition of that description) usually are not in favor of it, yep.


Lmao I wonder if they have the same openion about "die" being both the feminine and plural article...


no, thats not a problem for native speakers at all if context is given




This sub has become a best of worst maps of internet


Why should shorter wavelength mean easier? I know it's probably unusual, but aren't these associations very subjective and arbitrary? I don't think it's so bad.


Yeah this is not in any way "Map Porn". It's an abomination to look at. It physically hurts my head to look at and try to make sense of.


The UK's and by extension England's and English's colour is red. So it makes some sense.


But the UK is pink


The parts showing where English isn't majority in the UK are also wrong. The map is pretty shit, I'm just trying to make it a little bit better.


Where is yellow?


Indonesian and Swahili are two examples. Both are standardised languages with some of the grammatical complexities ironed out, but both are unrelated to English.


Look at the left, no category III languages in Europe


I wonder how knowing more than one language already affects one's learning experience.


Good question. I'm a language teacher, and I think it's quite possible to learn the skill of learning languages, such that you get a running start with the next language. That said, the skills you learned from learning Indo-European languages may not transfer, say, to Chinese, or might even be counterproductive.


As someone who learned French in School, is learning Mandarin now, and has studied at least a little Arabic and Latin, the skills carry over, regardless of language. The most important thing you learn is how to think about grammar in a systematic way. Most monolingual people never consider what a "prepositional phrase" or an "indirect object" might be, but once you know what those things are, you can learn how different languages use those components in different ways. The vocabulary, obviously, has less overlap the farther away you get, but that is mostly brute force memorization anyhow.


Interesting. My partner and I are learning Burmese. This will be my 2nd language and I'm finding it relatively easy - my SO speaks 7 European language and can't make any sense of the sentence structure at all.


Portuguese is absurdly related to Spanish. If you could get fluent in one of these, I can guarantee that you gonna learn the other one way faster


As portuguese, they are mutually intelligible. The other is basically a weird accent with some different words and a different way of writing to better suit said pronunciation. Think American vs British but on steroids.


I wouldn't say absolutely intelligible, it's more like absurdly close. Like, me being a Brazilian I can't understand much an Argentinian speaking fast and with a lot of slangs, but if a Spanish speaker don't use a lot of slangs and speak slowly, I can understand 95% I guess


Well, yes. But, for example, chileans are known for speaking in a weird and difficult manner that not even other spanish speakers can understand. Argentinians sound like italians, which sometimes makes it harder too. Mutually intelligibility doesn’t necessarily mean you understand all dialects at all speeds. I’ve noticed that, even brazillians, when they get to Portugal, take a few days to fully adjust and start understanding us normally.


It entirely depends on what the other language is. I’m an American native English speaker and I studied French for four years. I’m now trying to learn Spanish as well, and I’ve found it’s very easy for me to read Spanish since many of the words are cognates in French and English. They do both have Latin roots after all. I do mix up words from time to time, but that happens even if you only know one language lol.


i'm on my fourth language (Spanish), and I'm annoyed as fuck at the weird self-reflexive versions of verbs there, and ignore the stupid Subjunctive altogether. That annoyance never happened while learning English and Latin before.


Spaniard here. Sadly those forms (reflexive & subjunctive) are widely used in everyday and academic language. Most Erasmus students at my university haven't learned those forms properly and have issues when it comes to communicate wishes, desires and mental states, and therefore I strongly recommend that everyone learning Spanish gets a good understanding of the subjuntivo y verbos reflexivos. Cheers.


Latin uses the subjunctive almost identically to Spanish, though. I guess you also have infinitive + accusative, but apart from that, it's used in all the same situations.


The United States does not maintain diplomatic relations with the Celts.


I feel like the colour order should run the other way. I associate red with difficulty and blue with ease.


there you go [https://i.insider.com/5a27212d7101ad7bcc1385cc?width=1106&format=jpeg](https://i.insider.com/5a27212d7101ad7bcc1385cc?width=1106&format=jpeg)


Why did France change category in your colour-inverted version?


So did german.


Ah! Wonderful!


yeah, but for the UK, France are their age-old rival, so coloring them red makes sense


Frequent repost, and also out of date and provided without any context. The current, simplified classifications are at [https://www.state.gov/foreign-language-training/](https://www.state.gov/foreign-language-training/) . As that page notes, these specifically relate to the agency's experience training U.S. diplomats (for whom American English is the mother tongue) and >illustrate the time *usually* required for a student to reach “Professional Working Proficiency” in the language, or a score of “Speaking-3/Reading-3” on the Interagency Language Roundtable scale. These timelines are based on what FSI has observed as the *average* length of time for a student to achieve proficiency, though the actual time can vary based on a number of factors, including the language learner’s natural ability, prior linguistic experience, and time spent in the classroom. This has never been intended as a guide to how difficult the languages are generally or how difficult they are to learn for the general public.


Why such a big difference between Icelandic and Norwegian/Swedish. Aren't they pretty similar? What makes Turkish easier to learn than all other non-Indo-European languages?


Norwegian and Swedish are related to Icelandic, but Icelandic preserves a fairly archaic and complex state of grammar and the other two have become a LOT less grammar-heavy.


Icelandic has 4 noun cases like German


> Why such a big difference between Icelandic and Norwegian/Swedish. Aren't they pretty similar? Icelandic preserves many constructions as cases and inflexions, that are lost in English, Norwegian and Swedish (and Danish and Dutch).


Universities will often get native Icelandic speakers to translate Norse texts because the languages are similar


Also, Icelandic vocabulary is very conservative with few loan words.


How do they assign names to "new" things? For example, "computer" or "Virtual Reality"


Computer is "Tölva", a portmanteau of "Tala" (number) and "Völva" (oracle). Computers are number-oracles. "Virtual reality" is just translated (near) directly - sýndarveruleiki : something to the manner of "illusion/vision reality". Most neologisms are descriptions, reused words adapted to new use, translations, or what amount to portmanteaus like the case of computer. There are a few more examples, but generally a new thing gets introduced, someone introduces a potential candidate word (be it the media, a person on twitter, a novelist, whoever) and either that catches on or it doesn't. If it doesn't some bastardized version of the original term is adopted as a loan word and slowly starts morphing to fit into the grammar of the language. It's not exactly a formal process.


> Computer is "Tölva", a portmanteau of "Tala" (number) and "Völva" (oracle). Computers are number-oracles. I have to say I love that!


Computer is ordinateur in French: The one that brings order. Sadly Microsoft do their best to debase that French meaning lol.


Coining new compound words from Icelandic derivatives.


Icelandic also has some sounds, like the clicks in the word jökull, that are very difficult for English speakers.


Not a click


I’m sure it’s not technically a click, no. Just the closest my English mouth can come to describing that sound


That's not a click, it's actually a affricate made from a t sound onset being laterally released as an l. Much different to acc click consonants




Here’s one: https://forvo.com/word/jökull/


It's been said that a viking transported through time, would be able to understand and converse in modern day Icelandic with little issue. It's a dialect of old Norse that has changed very little over the past millennium. On the other hand Swedish & Norwegian evolved from old norse, and are mutually intelligible, but Icelandic is not, it's like comparing olde English to modern English. Olde english example: "On Westmyntre 7 Harold eorl feng to Englalandes cynerice swa swa se cyng hit him geuðe 7 eac men hine þærto gecuron 7 wæs gebletsod to cynge on Twelftan mæssedæg 7 þa ylcan geare þe he cyng wæs he for ut mid sciphere togeanes Willelme "


Turkish - simple grammar, relatively simple phonology, uses Latin script based (relatively) phonetic alphabet. All these from the POV of an English speaker, as the whole ranking, of course.


All of those may be true (I don't know, I've never tried to learn), but Turkish, unlike Germanic/Romance languages has virtually no common roots with English, which means that English speakers have to learn an entirely new set of phonemes which will likely be unfamiliar to them, and they have a much smaller chance of recognizing words that share a common root.


Turkish does have quite a few loan words from French though, which means that you will have some overlap. This includes some common words like “doktor” “enteresan” “müzik” “filim” which are doctor, interesting, music and film respectively. I do agree though that a lot of the words have completely different origins, including from Arabic or Persian.


>What makes Turkish easier to learn It has straightforward connection between the written and spoken versions. That is, there are few/no silent letters and no homophones. Turks have no situation as Anglophones do differentiating between "to", "too", and "two"; "their", "there", "they're"; no issues with all the unused letters in "knife" or "through".


The structure of Turkish is pretty easy. It has verb tenses in much the same way English has. Aspects of the logical structure are pretty alien, but it is very, very consistent and logical. The hard part is the total alienness of most vocabulary (i.e. all vocabulary except for French loan words and Turkish words we use in English, such as "yogurt").


Icelandic grammar is way more complicated


Icelandic is WAY different from the Scandinavian languages.


Just try and pronounce their place names.


We got an Icelandic woman at our faculty. The first name is easy, the second name is next level already. That is still however easy compared to the names of some volcanoes out there.


Their last names are just their dad’s first name


Like the Eyjafjallajökull volcano


Nah. If you learn the different letters, Reading Icelandic from a norwegian perspective isnt that hard


To my understanding, Swedish is the *least* similar of the main Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian Bokmål). Danish and Norwegian are the most intelligible between the three - Bokmål is a variety of the Danish language. Icelandic is really only similar to “western Norwegian dialects” and is sort of its own thing. I think it’s one of the least intelligible languages between the Nordic languages outside of Finnish.


> To my understanding, Swedish is the least similar of the main Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian Bokmål). Danish and Norwegian are the most intelligible between the three - Bokmål is a variety of the Danish language. The pronunciation is more similar between standard Swedish and Oslo-Norwegian, than between No <-> Da. In writing (Bokmål) you are correct; not every swede can distinguish between written Danish and Bokmål. But it is not so hard if you know what to look after.


> Danish and Norwegian are the most intelligible between the three From a Norwegian point of view: Written yes. Spoken? Hell no!


Icelandic is way more different from any dialect of Norwegian than Norwegian is from Swedish.


>I think it’s one of the least intelligible languages between the Nordic languages outside of Finnish. There is no such thing as "Nordic languages" unless you refer to Scandinavian languages with that name, although it's rare. Either case, Finnish is not part of it.


When I say “Nordic languages” I’m referring to all languages that fall under being geographically and/or culturally Nordic. Why would it be wrong to use this term? I know Finnish (and Sami) is linguistically unrelated to the Scandinavian + Icelandic/Faroese languages but due to the Nordics geographically including Finland I still think it’s a valid term imo.


Turkish is not much easier, but rather a couple of other languages are harder. If you look into the full data, most of non-Indo-European languages are also in the exact same category together with other non-Germanic and non-Romance Indo-European ones


Icelandic is basically how vikings spoke 1000 years ago


"Haraldr Sigurðarsonr stendr fyrir þér: aldregi var víkingr slíkr lands né lagar. Hah, ertu hræddr?"


Why is Gaelic grayed out and not included?


Because the U.S. foreign service will never pay for intensive Gaelic study because there are no high-ranking foreign officials who only speak Gaelic


Or people.


Was wondering the same thing. Where would Gaelic fall on this scale?


Everyone who speaks Gaelic also speaks English. So no point in learning it as a means of communication with foreigners.


As a Portuguese who has met Romanians and discussed their language with them, as well as watch a LangFocus video on Romanian, I really disagree with this map. Romanian is much more difficult and complex than all the other Romance languages. It has cases and declensions, which none of the others really do.


A lot of people in this thread don’t seem to realize how many English words have latin roots even though it isn’t a Romance language. That’s why all the Romance languages are considered easier than say, German. An educated English speaker is going to be familiar with a lot of words on first impression.


As an Italian I can confirm Of spoken at a medium-slow pace Spanish, Portuguese and even French are more or less understandable Romanian, I can barely make sense when written


As a native Bulgarian speaker, Romanian sounds like it has a few Bulgarian or other slavic words are thrown in. Sometimes it's the exact word in Bulgarian pronounced exactly the same way.


I don’t know, putting aside alphabet, Arabic is easier for an English speaker to learn than Hungarian. Just my $.02


Yeah, Hungarian is usually considered to be the second hardest after Mandarin. Which sounds about right as a Hungarian native hehe


I have tried to learn a little Hungarian and it’s definitely not easy! I’m a massive water polo fan (in America), and my dream is to see Ferencvaros play live once. Some day… Hajra, Fradi! I speak Arabic, and conceptually, it’s not that bad but the grammar is certainly complex.


That's so nice to hear, best of luck on your learning journey! Your women's polo team is a pain in the ass :p Hungary hosts quite a lot of waterpolo tournaments (or anything water related, for that matter) so I'd say you have a great chance to see either the NT or Fradi too. Combine it with a sightseeing tour and you're in for a really great time!


I mean, if we're putting aside alphabet, Mandarin doesn't seem that hard. Fairly similar grammar to English, and yeah tones are wacky but the phonetics are pretty simple & more limited than almost any major language. Only really tough thing about it (aside from alphabet) is that it's high-context, but plenty of non-Western languages are, right?


Nem értek egyet vele, azért annyira "nehéznek" tekintik, mert nem próbálják tanulni, ti magyarok meg annyira büszkék vagytok róla hogy mindig van valaki aki azt mondja "ez a világ 4. legnehezebb nyelve ! Nem, 3. ! Akár 2. is !", mivel ez már semmit sem jelent, pl. egy észtnek sokkal egyszerűbb finnül, mint angolul tanulnia. Maga a nyelv szerintem sokkal logikusabb a struktúrájában, mint a legtöbb európai nyelv, minden szó úgy mint egy Lego, van alapszavad és csak toldalékolod. Én személy szerint elég jó szintet értem már el másfél éven belül, annyi idő alatt pedig nem hiszem hogy ugyanolyan szinten tudnám beszélni az arab nyelvet, mert már az ábécét kell tanulni (valójában abjad), ami már nagyon külön működésű, mint a latin, közös szó meg egyáltalán nincsen. Én francia anyanyelvű vagyok és sok ismerős szót ismertem fel amikor kezdtem magyarul tanulni, sok francia, de főleg latin eredetű szó van a magyarban, ami nincs az arabban, a nyelvtan meg teljesen másabb is.


Ez az! Orosz vagyok, én is tanulok magyarul, egyetértek minden szavaddal. De szerintem az is fontos, hogy szeresd a nyelvet amit tanulsz. Ha igazán akarsz nyelvet megtanulni, semmi se állíthat téged


És miért tanulsz magyarul, ha szabad tudni?


Érdekes meglátás, köszi. Kurva jó a magyarod, föleg, hogy másfél év alatt. Gratulálok!


“Putting aside alphabet” lol. But how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln? This chart is put together by the language institute of the U.S. diplomatic corps. The purpose is to show how long someone being sent to a certain country will need to be in language training in DC before leaving for post assuming no prior knowledge of the language.


Honestly the Arabic alphabet isn’t that bad to learn. You could have it mostly understandable in an afternoon. 80% of it just different symbols for normal English sounds. In Arabic it’s the unwritten soft vowel sounds that you sort of just start to understand after awhile. And the grammar that is a mindfuck for an English speaker. I was conversational in it for a short period of time and learning the alphabet was the easiest part and probably the only part that I retain anymore in any proficiency. Meaning I can pronounce most Arabic words I see written out but have no idea what they mean.


Alphabet is like the easiest part to learn about a foreign language


I get it, but for me personally, foreign alphabets have been fun and a breeze, whereas the struggle begins with grammar and pronunciation.


24 weeks for french? Are you f kidding me?


This is for people studying at the FSI, which holds intensive classes for people working in the state department. They study many more hours per week than the average language learner. Category 1 is 24-30 weeks, but 600-750 hours.




It’s a student’s full-time job when they are at FSI doing language training. My husband went through French training. He also studied at night in addition to class all day. Keep in mind also that foreign service officers are smart and motivated, and learning foreign languages is part of the deal.


If English is your mother tongue you already know half of the French vocabulary


It's the opposite


English already has many French phrases. RSVP, à la carte, déjà vu, etc


Cherry comes from French as well, so do basically all of Latin originated words (of which there are a lot in English).


I think most English speakers underestimate just how many Latin words there are in English. To use a random example, when people speak of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force or the Marines, of soldiers, officers, generals, colonels and admirals, of presidents and mayors and prime ministers, they're speaking Latin all the time.


Languages difficulty *for native English speakers* This ironically means that it's irrelevant to the experience of majority of Europe... Kinda funny.


I mean it says that in the bottom left.. and it’s from the *Foreign Service Institute*, an American organization.


What's ironic about it? It was made for US diplomats I think, so it's kinda important for it to be from the english speaker's perspective


Well you could make the same thing for French or German and it would look similar lol. It’s just a map.


No. for example the link between romance languages and German would be weaker than English and any of those


sure, so you could just make a map about German speakers compared to everyone else. There is nothing ironic about this map applying only to English speakers because that’s the point of the map.


I started to learn Dutch, but in Duolingo it is only for English speaking. I did more mistakes in English, than in Dutch :D And I stopped learning it abot two years ago, but still read ‘v’ and ‘g’ as a Dutch letters literally everywhere. Beautiful language, need to continue learning.


I loved learning Dutch! Then when I tried using it in the Netherlands everyone replied to me in English! :D


As a native Dutchman, I can confirm that happens often. Especially in the touristy areas


AHH yeah you need to tell us to speak Dutch to you and most prefer it when you keep talking in English because that's quicker and easier to understand them broken Dutch most of the time


I think that’s what it was, to be honest. As much as they might have (I hope anyway) appreciated my attempts at Dutch, it was probably just quicker in English.


Sorry daarvoor!


> Beautiful language Speaking as a Dutch person: Wat?


well there are also no cat 5 languages in Europe


Will never understand how Danish can only be 24 weeks. Fill like every non Danish teacher I have had, always fucks something up either with numbers, grammar or just the words for a/an. Even the teachers from Sweden fcked up some times.


I'll give an input here I'm a native English speaker but also spoke a Russian/Ukranian dialect growing up but we won't look at that. I took Spaniah in school like every other American and never really found any degree of fluency or even basic sentence forming. I got to a point where I could comprehend a fair ammount, but actually conversing no. I currently live in Romania, it's been over a year since I moved here, and good lord I can barely do anything with my knowledge of the language. I can understand alot of what's said to me, but actually constructing the sentences because of grammar change is a fucking nightmare. What I mean by this is, every word changes depending on the gender of the noun or adjective. For example You are handsome - tu ești frumos (masculine form) You are beautiful - tu ești frumoasă (femenine form) I know that dosent sound bad, just adding an o and ă, but that's the easiest example. There are so many more complex changes and grammatical differences.. I know Romanian is very similar to the other Romance languages, therefore I find it difficult. I took German for 2 years in university, then randomly decided to enroll in German classes following graduation. German was IMMENSELY easy once you get past the pronunciation differences and compound words. The grammar is not that much different from English. Many simple sentences in English are waaaaay more comparable to each other than in Romance languages. Example My name is Bob - mein name ist Bob (more commonly ich heiß meaning "I'm called") Hello - hallo Yes - ja No - nein It only becomes difficult when you want to remember long complex words like versicherungsgeschäften or geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen. Alot of people I see comment on the gender system in German which is way easier than Romance languages. Just learn the Der die Das for the word, and learn the word as that. Die Kazte, Das Hund, Der Vogel. Sometimes it changes, but it's not bad imo. So to sum up all this, German as an English speaker was way easier to learn than any Romance language I have attempted, and that's even after being immersed in a Romance speaking country. I'm sure it woukr be just as easy for Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish.


English may be considered a Germanic language, but as a unilingual English speaker, I find Latin-based languages much, much easier to comprehend, especially Spanish -- funny, given the only language class I've ever taken is French. Germanic languages are all way out there for me in terms of my ability to comprehend them.


That's quite certainly not the case the other way round. English is much easier for me as a native German speaker than for example French is. (In fact I probably had at least twice as many French lessons than English lessons yet I can barely construct a simple sentence in French.) I think from the perspective of a native English speaker we have to keep in mind that the English language incurred heavy influence from French during many centuries so a lot of the original Germanic vocabulary has been superseded by Romance vocabulary. However most of the "basic" vocabulary is still clearly Germanic so I'd assume the beginnings of learning German for example should actually come easier to a native English speaker than the beginnings of learning French. Just try for example to name the different parts of the body (fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, ...) in English, German and French and see which languages are closer to each other ;-) But when it comes to more "complex" vocabulary things change quite quickly, I guess.


>I think from the perspective of a native English speaker we have to keep in mind that the English language incurred heavy influence from French during many centuries so a lot of the original Germanic vocabulary has been superseded by Romance vocabulary. Exactly this. English is easily the most Latin of the Germanic languages and, with the exception of Romanche, French is the most Germanic of the Latin languages.


As someone who speaks Dutch and English (so two Germanic languages), I think sometimes it’s harder to learn other Germanic languages because it’s so similar that it’s confusing sometimes. I.e. the Dutch word for “men” (plural) is “mannen”, but the Swedish word “mannen” in its turn means “the man.” Its all so similar, yet a bit different, which makes it confusing sometimes. Latin-based languages use a completely different structure and I think the fact that it’s further removed from our native languages makes it easier to learn. It’s like you can just shove the Germanic stuff aside to focus on the Latin stuff, instead of having to juggle between the different Germanic nuances.


I've actually though about this as well. Another thing is that English incorporates much more Latin (and especially French) than other Germanic languages do.


So I think that’s because English is actually most closely related to Dutch (Frisian technically) and that’s why that is. Also, between the Romans and the Normans there’s also hundreds of years of Latin influence on the English language, as well as Scandinavian influence from the Vikings


I agree completely. I knew some German a long time ago, and though I freely admit my grasp of it wasn't huge, once I started learning Dutch it was gradually erased. The most similar words first, but it took years before I started thinking fiets instead of rad (and I still remember it, at that). If you're not careful learning a new language can quickly become an update patch rather than a fresh install.


I think the difference here is that, as an English speaker, while you have some advantage with similar vocabulary in Germanic languages, that’s true in Romance languages as well - and there are a lot of additional complexities grammatically in some Germanic ones. Comparing Spanish and German for example. Spanish has a very similar sentence structure to English, whereas German has a significantly different one that makes things difficult. Spanish requires you to learn verb conjugations, but German has noun and adjective declensions too. So mechanically, German is a lot harder there. While you get some help in vocabulary with certain words in German they are somewhat strained cognates of relatively simple words (eg - speak/sprechen, think/denken, tower/turm). Whereas in Spanish many more complicated words are easier recognised cognates (action/acción, tradition/tradición, government/gobierno, doctor (medic)/mèdico, …).


Native English speakers could learn Dutch in 24 weeks. Barrie Stevens after 50 years in NL….


Fural dorgawn!


Surprising. In my experience Germanic languages are far more intuitive than Romance languages.


Most Germanic languages are considered as the easiest category right? Apart from German and Icelandic.


"this is why you should not underestimate languages." More than anything the map just shows the similarity of different languages to English.


Nothing was learned in weeks 35-38


Remember this is for if English is your base language. If your native tongue is any of these languages other related languages may be easier


I just want to know who came up with this insane color coding...


Horseshit. Spanish is way easier to learn than any of of the Scandinavian languages.


Lmao basque


I think greek would be easier to learn than slavic languages.... the phonology is similar to Latin language's. Since greek fed much of Latin. Slavic is entirely different.


I'm learning both (ancient) Greek and Latin and they sound completely different.


Phonology isn't a major langage learning difficulty. Some languages are hard to pronounce, yes. But pronunciation isn't the main task when learning a language.


But once you learn one you are good to go with the others. Bulgarian is probably the easiest


You would be wrong. Terrible grammar, non-phonetic spelling, a lot of irregularities.


You just used at least 2 greek words in that sentence...![gif](emote|free_emotes_pack|facepalm) Let's translate your sentence to greek and polish using the latin alphabet. Latin: Falleris. Gravissima grammatica, orthographia non-phonetica, multum irregularitatum. Greek: Tha ékanes láthos. Tromerí grammatikí, mi phonitikí orthografía, pollés paratypíes. Polish: Byłbyś w błędzie. Fatalna gramatyka, niefonetyczna pisownia, dużo nieprawidłowości I dare anyone who is a native english speaker.... to pick which of the greek or polish is easier to pronounce....


Is there no category III?


The legend says that there are no cat 3 languages in Europe.


I’m a native English speaker and speak a category IV language 😎😎


I’m a native category IV language speaker and speak English 😎 (among others lol)


Finnish is less difficult than Arabic. That surprised me.


Finnish isn’t really a difficult language at least grammar-wise. Most of the difficulty for learners comes from it being different from most other languages so knowledge of other languages doesn’t really help you much. And probably also because written/standard Finnish quite a bit different from spoken Finnish.


Different alphabet


Circlejerk incoming “nooo, mine is harder, its hardest”


>Circle*jerk* >“nooo, mine is harder, its hardest” 😆 Ahh, I'm so immature 😏




Dutch is more similar to English - worth remembering that German is largely derived from the 'High German' spoken near the Alps, so further removed from the roots of English.


Lol High German near the alps


That's essentially what Low/High or Lower/Upper means, yes. Elevation.


Every English speaker I know have found German easier than any Romance language. Romanian especially is not going to be that easy.


As some one who has been studying French for 26 years and still isn’t fluent I’d say French is harder than mastering it in 24 weeks. Maybe if you lived there you could do it that fast


Is it the same in opposite way? Iam Czech. Learning German seem tougher than English.


From the view of a native English speaker? Because that’s an important information. Someone who knows German has less problems learning Dutch


Exactly. I know someone who took a Dutch crash course and spoke it after two weeks. He was fluent within weeks of practicing. English and Scandinavian languages (ex Finnish) are also easy to learn. Probably also helps to have a more “complex” language as a background.


Yes. This categorization is from the US State Dept. So it's for Americans entering the career of foreign relations.


I don’t think Swiss German is as easy to learn as standard German


As someone from the western balkans, I'm here to tell you that 43.5 of your weeks will be spent trying to find resources to help you learn our languages. The last 3.5 days are obv a breeze


So Romanian is easier to learn than German, for a native English speaker. Mkey. Sure.


Why isn’t Euskadi on here? That would probably be category 4 or 5


Nobody working in the U.S. Foreign Service has to know Basque.


I disagree with portuguese being easy. It's difficult to see foreigners master it. Writing and reading might be ok if you have romance backgroung but speaking it is a whole different story.


You can say the same thing about French and probably other red languages IMO. Anywho, this chart is about weeks of full time study to working proficiency, not to mastery.


Ah yes, the famous English dialect of Irish Gaelic


how is french easier than german? I mean, there are some similar words between french and english, but the french grammar is a fucking shit show


German grammar is harder than French. I learned them as 3rd and 2nd foreign language (English was the first and Hungarian is my mother tongue) and it was much more painful than croissiantaise.


The only issue with French grammar is conjugation, German has many more


german grammar is usually more difficult for english speakers


The structure of English sentences is closer to French than German ones.


Arabic is more difficult than Finnish?! I don’t know about that. Just because there’s a new alphabet too?


Arabic is known to be one of the most difficult languages to learn not only because of the alphabet, but also because of how specific the language is. In Arabic, if you change a letter, or even a sound, the meaning can become very different in lots of cases.


This is literally how every language works.


Not at all. English for example isn't that specific of a language, meaning, there are some actions/feelings that you can't describe with just one word. You don't have a word that describes the pleasure you get when someone else is being miserable for example, but in german and Arabic you do. Or you can't describe degrees of love or hate in English. Secondly, if you change any letter or sound, especially sound, in an English word, most of the times in turns into gibberish, while in Arabic, the outcome would be a different word in lots, and i mean lots of cases. Sometimes changing even one letter can change the meaning of a whole sentence, which again, isn't the case in English. Now this is coming from someone who speaks, English, German, Arabic, Turkish, French, and currently learning Korean.




I'm interested in knowing why you disagree. Also if you are fluent in Arabic.


I just wiped my screen, thinking there was a smudge over Romania. (I get that's for the Hungarian-speaking Szekelys, but still, well played OP.)


Szekelys are not the only hungarian speakers in transylvania btw


Learning ANY language well in only 24 weeks would be a hell of an accomplishment. That's half a year! I call bullshit


These are US Foreign Service applicants learning a language before being deployed. They study as a full time job (8 hours in class a day in class and then more at home).


I guess that makes sense. Man I wish I had that kind of time to learn languages…


no kosovo 👎👎