Hardest Languages to Learn


The Top Ten

1 Arabic

The thing no one realizes about Arabic that makes it harder than any other language is that EVERYTHING is backwards. Just look at an Arabic book, they read the other way than almost every other language. They also speak backwards. If I were to say "The green ball hit the wall when I saw it." In Arabic, that would be "I saw the wall when the green ball hit it." That might not be exact, but everything is reversed. On top of that, it has a new alphabet, different grammar, etc...

Arabic is hard but it's so stupid to say so because it's "backwards". It's a very old language so you can't say the writing is backwards just because it's the opposite to what you're used to. Arabic is hard for many other reasons. Grammar is so complicated that most Arabic speakers aren't aware of the accurate grammar rules. They speak modern Arabic (slang) in different accents, which is a lot easier than the mother Arabic language itself.

I agree that arabic is hard but Vietnamese is also hard too! So many signs and me, a Vietnamese finds it difficult! There are so many adjectives that I don't know.


V 24 Comments
2 Chinese

As a native English speaker, I find this hard because there is no alphabet, but it is a beautiful language!

I am a Chinese and learned it for so many years and I still can't get it. I hate it and I give up!

I will learn during 2 months to speak Chinese and during one year and a half I will live in Hong Kong and will have to speak Mandarin! Wish me Good Luck! It will be a real Challenge but at the end it will be really beneficial!

I am a native Arabic speaker, however Mandarin is very difficult I love this language and I have been learning it for 8 months! It is a wonderful challenge...

V 9 Comments
3 Hungarian

As an English speaker, this language defies everything that makes sense to me. There are so many noun cases, it's difficult to learn to pronounce, sentence structures seem to have a mind of their own (at least as far as I can tell as a beginner).

I agree with it, my friens, but the most beautiful as well!

Hungarian is a beautiful language! Sziasztok emberek!

Actually I speak Hungarian, I was born with it here in a Hungarian minority in Romania. And here is an inaccurate comment saying "Boldog Szulteznapot". Actually it is "Boldog Születésnapot" - MatrixGuy

V 1 Comment
4 Japanese

As an experienced linguist, I find Japanese the most difficult language. Although it only uses characters half the time, the two long alphabets aren't that better of an alternative. Grammar is very different compared to most other major languages. Honorifics, counters, yuck. At least it doesn't have tones.

We have lots of onomatopoeia, counting styles according to different objects, Chinese characters even natives sometimes mess up, 2 alphabets with 50 letters each. If I had to learn it as a second language I would go insane.

My first language is English, and people say that English is the hardest language to learn as a second language BUT-I want to learn Japanese and it's pretty easy for me

I started learning Japanese in September 2016 and I still haven't got the hang of it yet. Because it's horribly difficult. - ItsDaWorldOfSNuGGLEZ

V 4 Comments
5 Russian

I am Russian and I go to Russian school because I live in Belgium. Well what can I say:Russian has really MUCH grammar rules, and also like un English is red red but in Russian has red specififc colours, And do's specific colours has also words. That means that Russian have also really much words. Thanks if you read it all and understand me.

Russia is hard but it's good to learn it

Loads of grammar. Like even if you're a proper Russian, born there, went school etc. You still wouldn't know all the grammar rules. Plus it has its own Cyrillic alphabet which is complete different from Latin

Words on Russian: easy to spell, hard to write because of unhuman grammar.
There's 2 letters on Russian that made ONLY for grammar (ь, ъ).
Also it has more words, than English: Green=зелёный [z'el'on'y], зеленоватый [z'el'enovat'y] e.t.c.

V 4 Comments
6 Polish

Polish isn't THAT hard.
The cases have a lot of rules, but few exceptions, there's only 6 (The 7th is starting to disappear) anyways!
Unlike Spanish, French or English, we only have 3 tenses (and 2 aspects. )
Unlike Danish, French or English, spelling is obvious and phonetic.
Plus we have a lot more Latin/French/English loanwords then most people think. - PolishGuy

Polish is really easy to speak, once you have gotten the hang of it.. But when I was a 1st time polish speaker, I couldn't understand the writing to it. everything looked like random letters since English speakers usually have vowels between certain letters that the polish language doesn't.

Polish isn't that hard As a native English speaker, I find this easy because there is alphabet, but it is a beautiful language!

"W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie"- try to read this! - BesWorland

V 7 Comments
7 Finnish

Some words can have over 100 meanings.

Finland is totally beautiful and has much better climates than more southern. It is really cold but hot in the summer. I wish to move to Helskini. Though this language named Finnish that they speak their is freakingly hard and way advanced.

I'm a native speaker though

They counted 2253 different word-forms for the word shop, "kauppa". Pretty much every other word in this language has the same amount of different forms. Fun!

V 1 Comment
8 Mandarin

I think it deserves to be called "Chinese" because we're talking about the family of languages, not just one over the other. Let's be honest, most of you can't tell the difference anyways. - somelifeonaplanet

Chinese does not exist. The real name is mandarin.

This is true. It is not Chinese, but Mandarin!

When people talk about Chinese as a language they probably mean Mandarin, not Cantonese.

V 1 Comment
9 Icelandic

In my college, as soon as it was heard by many that it was hard, a LOT of people decided to take it. - 1337

V 2 Comments
10 English

I'm a native Chinese speaker. If you want to see how hard Chinese is, give it a try. When I came to America, English was SO much easier than Chinese. You people out there should realize how easy English is compared to other languages. First off, English doesn't have characters unlike most languages. Next of all, it's a lot easier to pronounce, there are NO accents unlike most Asian languages. I believe that if you truly believe that English is hard, try Chinese or Arabic, you will see a HUGE difference.

Even though English is my native language, I'm looking at it from more of an objective standpoint, as in general complexity. The thing about English is that it's one of the simplest to get into and understand the basics, but the more you learn, the harder it gets. With most languages, once you get the ball rolling and understand the concepts, they get easier, with English it's the opposite. The more you learn, the more you realize how many exceptions there are to literally everything and how complex the language can really get.

Agree. I speak English and it is actually easy to make a mistake in English. For example, I may ask someone to write the word information and someone may spell it imfurmaishun. The phonemes are a little annoying. The tion in words actually make the sh sound. But I'd put it at #6 or #7. I have made a hard language list too and I put English at #6. - JackLawler

No I'm swedish and I spoke english fluently when I was 10 - LionLink

V 24 Comments

The Contenders

11 German

Well, I agree, but I would still love to learn it! Just very cool sounding to me. But those symbols, the one that looks like a demented letter B, it says a sharp S... ß

All very hard to learn, though.

I agree! I am from Germany and even many people with German as native language have problems with German.

The best hardest language in the world

What the hell? German is very easy.

V 7 Comments
12 Latin

To be honest, Latin is a pretty logical language. English is actually ten times more illogical than Latin ever will be, it's just the fact a lot of us on TopTens grew up learning it so we see English as "logical". I'm not even sure why it's a dead language, but whatever.

Sorry if that didn't make any sense at all! - vanilla

whaaaa? this is super hard!

Needs to be higher

If you know the suffixes and such then you are on a good way. Still more alive than Inari.

V 2 Comments
13 Greek

It is very difficult and people who think that they can speak, they just think...

Greek should be 2 Ancient Greek should be first

Greek should be 1

Not very hard. I can speak it and I am 14.

V 1 Comment
14 Latvian V 1 Comment
15 Korean

I'm trying to learn Korean but the person saying it on google says the words to fast so I can't really learn it, and there is a lot of words that becomes confusing for me

How is French and German harder than Korean? I tried learning it once and the pronunciations and letters are too difficult

Korean is easier though.

If you want to say boy friend you get the Korean symbol for boy, symbol for friend and mash it up together. - infinitecirculation

16 Vietnamese

Vietnamese is pretty hard. I mean, most of the words have more than one meaning at different pitches. Luckily they use the same alphabet as English.

Why is Vietnamese not higher? - JackLawler

17 Hindi V 1 Comment
18 Basque

Basque is the only European language not related to another language. It's phukkin hard

19 Romanian V 1 Comment
20 Danish

Super easy grammar, but dictionaries are useless unless they have pronunciations. One of the hardest pronounced languages ever. This language should be way higher up on the list.

It's next to impossible to guess the pronounciation of words just from the spelling. Tonnes of different wovel sounds, that sound the same to the untrained ear. Very few non-native speakers kan use the soft 'd' correctly - even after decades of daily practise.

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