5 Easiest Asian Languages To Learn (Tips, FAQs)

Learning an Asian language is an ambitious undertaking. As a result, Asia is the birthplace of many different languages and linguistic families.

Asia, the biggest continent, is home to the greatest number of languages.

More than 4.5 billion people live in Asia, speaking more than 2,300 different languages, which is incredible.

Most native English speakers and native speakers of other Western languages view these Asian languages as extremely challenging to learn.

Although the best language to learn indeed is the one in which you are most interested, it is also important to note that some of these Asian languages are far more challenging than others.

After learning an Asian language, doors will open for you in the form of intriguing career offers, the chance to become a polyglot, travel to various exotic destinations, explore various cultures, and make contact with fascinating new people.

If you’re curious about learning an Asian language, I recommend reading to see which ones are the easiest.

What Are The Easiest Asian Languages to Learn?

1. Malay

Malay is the official national language in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei in Southeast Asia.

The Malay term for it is Bahasa Melayu.

There aren’t many significant linguistic distinctions between this and English, making it one of the simplest Asian languages for native English speakers to pick up.

The most challenging Asian languages for native English speakers to learn are tonal languages with extremely diverse pronunciations and writing systems.

You’ll notice that none of these traits are present in Malay.

However, there are many similarities between Malay and English.

The fact that the Latin alphabet is used in Malay, just as it is in English, will offer students a significant head start.

Most of these letters also have pronunciations that are extremely close to their English counterparts, which may be a huge time saver for those just starting to learn the language.

The comparatively simple grammar used in Malay is also why it is so much easier to learn than other languages.

You won’t need to study the grammatical genders of nouns or verbs, nor will you have to memorize their conjugations for person, number, or tense.

Learning a new language is much easier when you don’t have to memorize a ton of verb forms.

This allows you to go on to sentence construction much more rapidly, facilitating early engagement with the language.

2. Indonesian

Bahasa Indonesia, or simply Indonesian, is a language with close linguistic ties to Malay.

These two languages are so similar that they could as well be treated as a single entity. The two are, according to some calculations, around 90% alike.

They have a high degree of mutual intelligibility due to their shared alphabet, pronunciation, grammar, and a large portion of their vocabularies.

If you’re looking to study an Asian language, Indonesian is a great choice. Millions of individuals throughout the world use Indonesian as a second language.

They speak it as if it were the official language, with native-like fluency and disregard for proper grammar and syntax.

The Latin alphabet is the basis of the Indonesian writing system, making it the Latin alphabet’s most Latin-friendly Asian language.

However, numerous other Asian languages also utilize the Cyrillic alphabet.

This is because both the vocabulary and the sentence or grammatical structure of Indonesian are quite straightforward.

Therefore, whether English is your first or second language, you will gain a lot by studying Indonesian. Indonesian is unusual among Asian languages in that it uses the Latin alphabet.

If English is your first language, you won’t have to put in as much effort to pick up the basics of a new writing system.

The incorporation of so much borrowed English vocabulary into Indonesian has facilitated the study of that language.

Studying Indonesian is a long-term commitment, but there isn’t a huge amount of vocabulary that you’ll need to master and retain.

3. Filipino (Tagalog)

Filipino is the term for the standardized form of the Tagalog language.

While English and Spanish have a lot in common with Filipino, the latter also borrows from the former in the range of 10% to 20%.

The similarities between English and other Western languages and Filipino make learning Filipino much simpler than learning many other Asian languages.

Most Filipinos and many individuals from other countries use it as a second language, bringing the total number of speakers to almost 215 million.

A sizeable community speaks Tagalog in several Western countries, including Canada, Guam, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Roughly 24.2 million people throughout the world are fluent in Tagalog.

Tagalog is the lingua franca of the Filipino diaspora and the sixth most spoken language in the United States.

This is another language that relies on the Latin alphabet. With the addition of Ñ and Ng, the English alphabet contains 26 letters that can also be found in Filipino.

Because the letters are pronounced similarly to how they would be in English, the learning process may be sped up significantly.

The meaning of a word can be altered by one of Tagalog’s five vowel phonemes. Yet, in non-final syllables, the length of vowels can vary from short to long.

Learning Filipino also benefits from not being a tonal language.

The tone of voice has a comparable impact on the meaning of words in spoken Filipino as it does in English.

4. Khmer

Officially, this is the language of Cambodia. Although not widely studied, the language has several advantages over other Asian languages that make learning simpler.

The language is part of the Mon-Khmer family language, which includes Vietnamese.

The Khmer writing system, which is somewhat different from the Latin alphabet, might be scary to those unfamiliar with it.

Thankfully, Khmer is a phonetic language, so you can sound out most words even if this is the first time you’ve seen them.

As with many other languages, Khmer lacks tonal distinctions. As a result, it is much easier to pronounce than its relatives, Thai, Lao, and Vietnamese.

However, Khmer follows the SVO (subject-verb-object) grammatical pattern used by many European languages, including French, English, Spanish, and many more.

Similarly, the sequence of words to construct sentences is generally sensible. Therefore, the grammar is manageable for students of other languages.

This might be a fantastic choice if you want to study a language that is not widely studied or have a real interest in Cambodia.

But keep in mind that there are fewer good resources for learning Khmer than for studying other, more frequently spoken languages.

5. Korean

Although the Korean language shouldn’t be termed “simple,” it does have several characteristics that make it much easier than other Asian languages.

Lack of high-quality materials or content in a language is one factor that might make it challenging to learn.

Learning a language quickly requires extensive exposure to the target language, but this can be difficult to do without high-quality material to engage with.

Korea doesn’t have this problem.

Many individuals are interested in learning Korean because of the country’s attractiveness as a tourist destination and its abundance of globally popular cultural exports (K-pop, Korean food, Korean movies, and Korean TV series, to mention a few).

Because of this, many materials are designed to help non-native speakers learn the language, so you should have no trouble finding good resources to help you learn.

Access to such a wealth of media produced in Korean is a great way to get exposed to a real-life context and language usage.

A great technique to learn a language rapidly is to expose yourself to music and television series in that language.

Regarding language, it’s worth noting that Hangul, the Korean writing system, is straightforward to study.

Even though it doesn’t utilize the Latin alphabet, you should be able to learn the Korean script quite quickly.

Since Hangul’s creation in the 15th century was motivated by a desire to help more Koreans read and write, the writing system was purposefully made to be simple and plain.

The Korean writing system is one of the more straightforward alternatives to English.

Tips For Learning A New Language

There are several factors to consider while choosing a language study method.

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning; rather, everyone has their preferred method of absorbing new information.

But there are several tried-and-true approaches that many language learners find helpful.

Some examples are shown below:

1. Determine Your Language Objectives

There are many positive outcomes for learning when one sets objectives.

Enhancing factors are drive, respect, and assurance.

Successful people set and work toward goals, too. Set some short, intermediate, and long-term goals for your language learning when you’re starting.

These can be useful for providing focus and organization to your studies.

By adopting this strategy, you can begin to increase your understanding and mark off your accomplishments systematically.

Setting deadlines for your language-learning goals is a great way to stay on track and motivated.

2. Learn Basic Vocabulary

If you’re struggling to learn a language, a good first step is to study some basic phrases and words.

Building your comprehension will help you use the language effectively in everyday situations, such as having and following simple conversations.

3. Practice Speaking The Language

Recognizing, comprehending, and duplicating sounds is essential in language learning.

Many students of foreign languages place a greater emphasis on these first two areas than on the study of vocabulary and grammar.

However, this may cause you to avoid speaking practice, which slows your progress.

Learning a language does not require constant interaction with native speakers (although this can help).

Speaking aloud, recording yourself, and talking to yourself are great ways to boost your confidence as a language learner.

Frequently Asked Questions On Easiest Asian Languages To Learn

What is the most useful Asian language to learn?

The most useful Asian language to learn is Mandarin Chinese. There are more than one billion speakers of this language on the planet.

Which is the toughest Asian language to learn?

The toughest Asian language to learn is Chinese Mandarin, especially for English speakers.

Is it tougher to learn Korean or Japanese?

It is tougher to learn Japanese than Korean. This is because Japanese is a tonal language, and your accent can affect your speech.

Is it better to learn Chinese or Korean?

It is better to learn Chinese than Korean. Although Korean is the simpler of the two languages to learn, Chinese is more widely spoken than Korean.


Additionally, these languages of among others, are commonly regarded as among the easiest in Asia to learn:

  • Burmese
  • Bengali
  • Lao, and Thai.

It’s not easy to pick up a new language. The tips above, however, can make the process less difficult.

If you want the best possible experience learning a new language, you should also find a learning style that works for you, make contact with a native speaker of the language, and immerse yourself in the culture related to the language you are learning.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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