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6 juliol 2014 @ 9am

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Easy languages to learn… for English speakers

Linguistic distance

Comparative linguistics divides individual languages into language families (Lewis, 2009). Within and between language families there are different degrees of proximity measured by the overlap in lexicon, phonetics, grammar, etc. The distance between a native language that one already speaks and a new language one wants to learn affects the effort one has to put into studying the foreign language. The smaller the distance between two individual languages, the easier it is to study the new language (Beenstock et al., 2001).

* Beenstock M, Chiswick BR and Repetto GL (2001) “The effect of linguistic distance and country
of origin on immigrant language skills: Application to Israel”. International Migration 39(3):

* Lewis MP (2009) Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Dallas, TX: SIL International.

Gerhards, Jürgen (2014), “Transnational linguistic capital: Explaining English proficiency in 27 European countries”, International Sociology, 2014, Vol. 29(1) 56–74


First one: Afrikaans. Followed by French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Italian, Esperanto and Frisian… ¿?

Does The Telegraph folow linguistic distance criteria? Where is German?

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