German language learning: Easy or not
German when compared with other languages such as Mandarin Chinese, Korean, etc is a very simple and easy-to-learn language. However, some learners would still face a lot of difficulties while learning it when compared to easier languages like Spanish or French. A major reason behind a language being easy or difficult depends on the learner and the type of languages he/ she has acquired before. Despite that it will not be wrong to consider German as one of the simplest languages to learn, I mean it is not complex, the words and letters are easy to understand and learn. It does not have complex characters or pronunciations.
If you are an English native or someone who is well versed with English then German is going to be an easy peasy language to learn. I said this because Both German and English belong to the same group of language families that is the West Germanic group of Indo-European language family. Both languages are highly similar with the use of the same alphabets. They also have borrowed words that are very commonly used. Many words are also similar in terms of pronunciation. It is often said that anybody who knows English can understand a German sentence without making a lot of effort. Moreover, Grammar patterns in both languages are also similar. The functions and use of verbs and modals are the same in both languages. The verb changes according to the tenses. The nouns are also similar except the plural nouns where you do not just add a suffix -s, -es, -is like English. In German the suffixes -n, -e, -s, -er along with an umlaut. For example “das buch” meaning “the book” will become “die Bücher” meaning “ the books”.
As said earlier the answer to the question “is German really the simplest language to learn” mainly depends upon the learner. Even learners speaking or having knowledge of Dutch will find German a lot easier. If taught to the speakers and learners of Mandarin or Japanese, they will find it difficult to adapt as they are habitual to the complex characters and pronunciations of their language. Similarly, learners or speakers of Spanish and French would also find German difficult as these languages belong to different language families. The Grammar patterns and morphology of these languages differ from that of German. Not only this, pronunciations and vowel sounds also differ from each other.
It is not important whether a language is considered easy or difficult. What is important is which language actually suits your needs and you are comfortable learning. There can be various factors that can make a language appear simple or difficult and a lot of them differ from learner to learner. Any language whether simple or difficult can be mastered with practice. Learners must focus on what they are learning and try to practice it as much as they can. Remember practice makes a man perfect! With practice, you can easily ace any language despite its difficulty level.
Along with that, a learner must learn right. Choose the right material and curriculum based on your usage and needs and learn what is necessary then you might as well cover the not-so-relevant parts later. And work on building a vocabulary.
German is definitely a simple language to learn. But it depends mostly on the learners as well as the instructors. I have seen professors with exceptional teaching skills that have made complex languages easier, and professors who have made simple languages complex for a learner. The factors that rank the languages on the difficulty meter are many and are mostly analyzed on the basis of the learners and their background.