Just to stir the pot a bit…
I thought I would post this chart from my upcoming talk at the Polyglot Conference in Fukuoka (2019). I’ll be giving a talk in which I describe the structure of some of my favorite Asian languages, and what to expect if you decide to learn them (the talk is called “Which Asian Language Should I Learn?) and will likely be posted online in a few months.
Many English speakers are really daunted by the idea of learning an Asian language. I want to give them a quick and easy way to choose the language that is best for them according to their goals and their skill set.
For example, would you like to learn a new script, but Chinese is too scary? Try Korean!
Do you prefer a language without tones? Japanese or Indonesian might be up your alley.
I’ve rated each language for how easily they can be learned by an English speaker, broken down for Reading & Writing, Pronunciation, Grammar & Syntax, and Ease of Finding Language Resources.
These ratings are based on language science but with a healthy dose of my own subjective experience.
Disagree with any of these ratings? Change my mind! Let’s start a healthy (and useful!) discussion so that new learners can benefit from our knowledge.
After some discussion, I’ll update this post with more specific information about what went into the rankings. But first, I’d like to hear from you!
If you’d like to make sure you are notified when I post the update, please subscribe!