THE EASIEST AFRICAN LANGUAGE TO LEARN
Swahili is said to be the easiest African language for an English speaker to learn. It’s one of the few sub-Saharan African languages that have no lexical tone, just like in English. It’s also much easier to read as you read out Swahili words just the way they are written.
Nearly every language is made up of the same basic parts of speech which are sometimes only understood clearly after learning a second language so if you know any 2nd language that will help. Here are several reasons I think Swahili is one of the easiest languages to learn even though it is very different from English.
- One hallmark of Swahili is that (unlike English) there are very few exceptions to the grammatical rules.
- Vowels only have one sound and there are no vowel combinations to figure out, that is, in the case of adjacent vowels both sounds are made unlike English and German.
- The emphasis for every word is on the penultimate (second from last) syllable.
- Numbers 2 and 3 above in combination take all guess work out of pronunciation.
Granted there are 8–10 noun classes that must be learned and aside from some subtle patterns the only way to know which class a noun belongs to is to memorize the singular and plural form of the noun which are usually a root with 2 different prefixes. Click here for a broader explanation of noun classes.