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I'm Italian and I've been studying Esperanto for four days. I think Esperanto has a mix of words from a lot of languages. Anyway, what is the language that is most similar to Esperanto and who is most advantaged when learning Esperanto?

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For the vocabulary it definitely helps to know a Romance or Germanic language, as that is the source of most of them. Anyone that knows a little of a lot of languages (from Greek "kaj" to Russian "krom", Swedish "ju... desto") has an advantage. The correlatives come from Slavic languages, while the accusative is present in a number of Indo-European languages. Here a little more on language similarity from the inimitable Claude Piron. As for my personal experience, my German, French and English knowledge have all given me a leg up in learning la lingvo internacia. After learning Esperanto, I have a hard time getting back to Spanish, so that might be the language it is the most similar to in my head.

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Definitively people speaking Romance languages like Italian, Spanish and French. Esperanto shares a lot of vocabulary with them, and in a language where grammar is so easy, vocabulary matter a lot.

I would also say any Western has an advantage: Esperanto is written with the Latin alphabet, shared by many of the western languages, and doesn't make use of concepts like tonality, which many Asian languages use.

  • So, I am Italian and I'll learn Esperanto without many difficulties? – Mattew Aug 30 '16 at 18:32
  • You wouldn't have many difficulties compared to any other language no matter where you are from. But being Italian would certainly make it even easier. – joaquinlpereyra Aug 30 '16 at 18:33
  • That Esperanto doesn't have tones is hardly a point that makes it less easy to learn for people speaking tonal languages. – Charlotte SL Aug 30 '16 at 19:01

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