I’d like to learn a language, which is the easiest one to pick up? © Getty Images

I’d like to learn a language, which is the easiest one to pick up?

Bonjour le monde, Hallo Welt, {puts 'Hello World!'}

According to the US Foreign Service Institute, which trains US diplomats, there are 10 ‘category 1’ languages that share the most similarities with English, and are hence the easiest to learn. These include French, Spanish and Italian, and they all take about 600 hours of study to become reasonably fluent.

Advertisement

If you want to really impress, though, why not try Afrikaans? This is also category 1 and is more unusual as a second language. Alternatively, you could impress your partner with your earning potential and learn a programming language. Ruby is one of the easiest languages for novice coders and one of the highest paid. Programmers fluent in Ruby typically earn £79,000.

Read more:


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.