Learning a new language is a great way to prepare for a visit to different places around the world. While it’s true that you can speak English practically anywhere these days, nothing can still compare to having knowledge of new words and phrases. This way, you will you be able to interact with the locals more, and in turn, they will appreciate the effort you put in learning about their country.
Don’t let intimidation get in the way—with a wide array of phrasebooks and audiobooks available in bookstores and online, learning a new language has truly become easier. If you’re an English speaker planning on learning but don’t have anything in mind just yet, here are some of our suggestions on the easiest and important languages to learn for you.
Spanish – this may already be on your mind while thinking of a new language to learn, and you’re in the right track. This is an easy language to grasp because the words are pronounced as they are written, which means you’re going to remember phrases and sentences faster.
French - French words may be difficult to pronounce at first, but you will certainly get the hang of it if you’ve already familiarized yourself with the difficult parts such as the silent letters and the verb forms. The French language has influenced the English vocabulary, so it’s not really as unfamiliar as you think. When you finally learn even just the basics, your trip to France will certainly be more rewarding.
Italian – Like the Spanish language, you will not have much difficulty in spelling and pronunciation, as the words are written as they are spelled. Influenced by Latin, the Italian language is easy to learn because the pronunciations are clear and relatively easy to grasp.
Chinese / Mandarin – Okay, this language is not really that easy to learn but if you really want to challenge yourself, this would be a great place to begin. The tones and the way of writing in Chinese or Mandarin are challenging, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll definitely enjoy it. Also, if you’re heading to China or simply just in the nearest Chinatown from where you live, knowing how to speak this language will do wonders—for sure, shopping deals will be made faster, and food will come sooner.
Norwegian - The easiest things to learn about the Norwegian language are the verbs. If you look closely, you’ll discover that they actually have simpler uses for them compared to the English language (for instance, words in the past tense are formed with an -s, and that’s it).
Japanese – Thinking of take a trip to Japan? Learning the Japanese language will help a lot. Sure, it will be easy to speak in English or simply point at the menu when you need to order sushi, but having Japanese phrases in mind will come in handy as well. This may take a lot of years of practice, but learning the basic terms and phrases shouldn’t take long.
Have you tried learning a new language? What are the advantages and disadvantages did it give you? Travel entails learning new things, and language is one of the ways in which you will be able to interact more with new people. If you have suggestions on other easy languages to learn, share them with us. We’d love to hear and learn from you!