According to the 2016 US Census Bureau, around 230 million American English-speakers don’t know another language. That’s 70% of all Americans! English is, of course, a very useful language: Around the world, 1.5 billion people speak it and the language is used in many professional settings. However, studies have shown that understanding more than one language can be very beneficial. Not only does it exercise your brain and is attributed to better health, but it also gives you a deeper understanding when travelling and learning about other cultures. It’s not too late to learn another language - here are 3 languages that are relatively easy for a native English speaker to pick up. We’ve even attached some learn-it-yourself videos for you!
Descended from the same root language thousands of years ago, German and English are still very intertwined. They share similar sentence structures and variations of the same word. In fact, the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) estimates that an individual is capable of learning German in 30 weeks -- compare that to other languages, like Japanese and Arabic, that take up to 88 weeks!
According to the US Census Bureau, about 50 million Americans speak Spanish as their first or second language. Spanish has also influenced pop culture, with famous movies and songs, like Despacito, making its way into the mainstream space. With its prevalence in the Americas (North, Central, South), it makes sense for American English-speakers to learn the language. It’s a major bonus that both Spanish and English share the same alphabet and Latin-based script.
Italian, a Romance language similar to Spanish, is a relatively easy language to pick up. Its vocabulary is more heavily rooted in Latin than its Romantic sister languages, Spanish and French. Italian words are typically pronounced the way they are spelled and their rhythmic nature makes reading and pronouncing the words fun and effortless.
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