If you learn a foreign language only partially, to a basic or early intermediate level, then beginning Spanish is easer than beginning French.
If you learn to competency (not just fluency), then Spanish and French have equal difficulty for monolingual English speakers. Both require about 600 hours of study to reach competency. They are sister languages to each other. Differences between them are comparatively minor.
Both have two grammatical genders (masculine and feminine). Both have no grammatical cases (but remnants of the old Latin case system can be found among some personal pronouns). Basic word order is SVO (subject-verb-object), but other word orders occur. Adjectives come before or after nouns. After is the most common, but many adjectives can occur in either position, usually with a change in meaning from literal to figurative or vice versa.
German is slightly more difficult at 750 hours of study. It has three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), four grammatical cases for nouns and pronouns. Basic word orders are V2 for main clauses (the verb must be the second element, although additional verbs end the clause) and SOV for most dependent clauses. Adjectives come before nouns.
English has no grammatical gender (he/she/it, bull/cow, boy/girl etc -refer to physical sex. Grammatical gender works very differently). Nouns have two grammatical cases (common and possessive). Some personal pronouns have two other cases (subjective and objective). Basic word order is SVO (but other ones occur at times, including remnants of V2) and adjectives come before nouns.
All four languages (Spanish, French, German, English) are Indo-European (IE) languages.
English borrowed a ton of vocabulary from Old French, and also a fair amount from Latin itself. Both Spanish and French evolved from Latin, so both have a lot of words in common with English. Most English words of five letters or more came into English via Old French. They are distant cousins to English, but linguistic evolution has coincidentally made a lot of the grammar similar to Modern English, and borrowing from French and Latin has provided a lot of similar words. Spanish and French recently evolved from Latin and are sister languages, very closely related to each other.
English and German are both Germanic, meaning that both descended from Proto-Germanic (a descendant of Proto-Indo-European). English did not evolve from German itself. They are cousin languages to each other (and distant cousins to the other two).
Basic English vocabulary is Germanic (about equal in number with words taken directly from Old French). That's mostly Anglo-Saxon (aka Old English) and Old Norse. Many of those words are related to German words, but it's not always obvious, particularly in pronunciation (but sometimes spelling as well).
One example of the differences for THE.
English. one word (two pronunciations).
Spanish: five words (el, la, los, las, lo).- filling five distinct functions.
French: three words (le, la, les) - filling three distinct functions.
German: six words (der, die, das, dem, den, des) - filling 16 distinct functions (each word has at least two different uses. Some have four uses).
studied linguistics and the history of languages. taught French; intermediate German (and Italian & Japanese). Frequently exposed to Spanish (and read many articles on it). https://www.effectivelanguagelearning.co... -from the U.S. Foreign Service Institute