I am sure many in our community who only speak one language have dreamed of learning a second or third one. When traveling it can be very important to learn a few local words. The gift of gab could be more important than you know.
There’s an old joke, “What do you call somebody who speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call somebody who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call somebody who speaks one language? English!”
Of course English is the de facto language of business and so it’s very easy to get lazy and stick to what you know, however it important is it for native English speakers to learn another language. And it turns out that many English natives have a strong desire to do so. So we did some research and came up with a list of the easiest and hardest languages for English speakers to learn and approximately how long it will take them. Because as we have learned time and time again, having a second language is a true gift.
You’ll find the full Foreign Service Institute language difficulty ranking list below. No matter which category you’d like to take on, you can get a start at our Free Foreign Language Lessons collection, many of whose materials come produced by the FSI itself.
Category I: 23-24 weeks (575-600 hours)