It’s time for a shameless plug on my part for anyone who’s trying to decide on what classes they should take. So today I got bored and decided to take a look at easy languages to learn, and guess what I found?
Apparently Afrikaans is one of the easiest languages for English-speaking natives to learn. The Afrikaans program at BYU is currently floundering as far as I understand, and frankly, having taken just one semester of it, I find that saddening. Afrikaans is kind of what I’d call a gateway language. It’s basically Dutch for kindergartners. It’s only got three verb tenses, so learning it is almost entirely vocabulary – which is to say it’s super easy. Easier than Spanish. For real. I’m currently brushing up on my Afrikaans using Google Translate and the Book of Mormon. For pronunciation, Google Translate doesn’t work well, but it’s really good for getting just what you need – the vocab.
And since it’s a Germanic language, you can understand several other languages – my brother is currently learning Norwegian, and a lot of the words carry over. Checking out that same list, you’ll be able to understand the Danish and Swedish to some extent, not to mention the Dutch.
So for those of you who’re still struggling with class selection and have a huge hole to fill, pick Afrikaans. Do it. Nine times. Even a single semester of it you won’t regret, because it gives you a huge in to other Germanic languages.