Folium: Why People Think Spanish Is Easier Than French via ThoughtCo

Folium: Why People Think Spanish Is Easier Than French via ThoughtCo

Folium: Why People Think Spanish Is Easier Than French via ThoughtCo


During my high school experience, there was a general consensus that Spanish was a far easier language than French. Although both were offered, there were two French teachers and four Spanish teachers to accommodate the far greater number of students taking Spanish. Even then, the French classes were small. In the upper levels of French, the numbers eventually dwindled to three students to a class. So why is it that this consensus doesn’t just exist in my hometown?

There is a common myth among English speakers in the United States that Spanish is much easier to learn than French. In high school, many students chose Spanish in order to meet the foreign language credit requirement… The same rumor abounds on many college campuses throughout the states.” – ThoughtCo

For some, they argue that Spanish is more applicable to the many immigrants from South America coming into the country or the many Spanish speakers that have already settled in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the States, whereas French is the fourth or fifth most spoken language. Others argue that Spanish is simply an easier language to learn, making for less work and an easy A. 

Inforgraphic via World Atlas

Infographic via World Atlas

Yet, both Spanish and French are Romance languages. If they’re supposed to have a connection, how is it that one could be significantly easier than the other? Is it spelling, exposure, or pronunciation? In trying to dispel this linguistic dilemma, the ThoughtCo team found there to be some truth to pronunciation as a factor. “Spanish is a phonetic language, meaning that the rules of orthography are very close to the rules of pronunciation.”

What kind of learner are you? Kinesthetic, aural, or perhaps visual?

What kind of learner are you? Kinesthetic, aural, or perhaps visual?

Depending on what kind of learner you are, kinesthetic, aural, or visual, because Spanish has less aural variation than French, Spanish may be easier for you! The statistics, the learning styles, the opinions…it’s a lot to take in. But, personally absorbing it, digesting it, then allowing some pressure-free self-reflection to determine resulting feelings and theories has proven extremely rewarding. Not only have these three factors made my learning experience and language acquisition faster and less stressful, it has aided my struggles in other college courses.

For example, when I took the statistics into consideration, I discovered that almost any foreign language was worth learning, and that Spanish, the second most spoken language in my home country, was definitely worth learning. As a visual and kinetic learner, seeing the language in visual form is, for me, a must. I can’t exactly pick up a language through enough exposure listening to it, I need to see it and interact with it as often as possible to get things to stick. Knowing this about myself helped me to make an extremely important and strategic decision that led me to my newest obsession, American Sign Language (ASL). ASL combines my learning styles into a single language, and because of that, I have reached a comfortable level of fluency that I have yet to reach with either Spanish or French. This is both an indication that I need to take what works for my brain into consideration when it comes to spoken languages and more broadly, learning, and validates my educational strengths and needs. Everyone’s journey is unique, especially when seeing the world through the lens of another language, another understanding, another perspective. What will yours be?

ThoughtCo presents both sides, arguing for which language is easier over the other. From the phonetics to the number of verb conjugations, “Why People Think Spanish is Easier than French” ensures both languages are thoroughly reviewed. But what about your experiences? Do you think one language is easier than the other?

Renee Burns
LEAF Contributor