Top 10 Hardest Languages to Learn
I feel like the only difficult part of Arabic is the complex grammar. I can read Arabic and its alphabet/writing system is honestly probably the easiest part of the language.
I'm full Arabic and I have no family that doesn't speak Arabic and I really find it difficult. I'm labelled as an English first language student and everyone(my family) excepts me to be the greatest in Arabic. In fact, I can speak in my accent (informal Arabic) but I will never be able to speak formal Arabic with anyone, in any situation. I strongly agree in your opinion about the letters and their pronounciation and as someone who was being taught Arabic and is surrounded with people who speak Arabic since I was a young child, I still don't know how to pronounce some of them.
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've spent countless years and thousands of hours completely dedicated to learning Mandarin Chinese. The people who don't think it's very hard are English speakers who have never attempted to learn a new language. With all my countless hours of practice, I literally can't even understand natives. If you think Chinese can't be that bad, take ten entire years out of your life to learn it, and you'll see it's much harder than you think it plus. Although the tones and grammar is logical and easy, the writing system is so tedious to learn (even with simplified characters) that it takes years to learn even a basic sentence, let alone write one. It takes forever to write a single character, and many characters have different things in common, but can have completely different pronunciations. Plus, the speaking can be very difficult because sometimes the meaning of the sentence depends on tones, plus there aren't many sounds that can be made in Chinese, so many words sound nearly identical, ...more
There's cantonese and then there's Mandarin, I prefer Mandarin for some reason. The writing is cool and it sounds like a bunch of unique sounds..it makes me crave Chinese food
I am a Singaporean with a Chinese heritage, but I still suck at it.
These are a few reasons why Chinese is so hard to learn:
It has no alphabet.
It's written form has no clues as to how it is actually pronounced.
There are many homophones; the same phonetic sound can have a completely different meaning depending on context.
All the words are only distinguishable by four tones, which only differ slightly in pitch and enunciation.
There are about 8000 characters.
So... There you have it
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 know Japanese really well, and I have been wanting to go to Japan for years, that's why I learned this language, Japan is such a beautiful place and I want to see it in person someday, I speak British, so I am that "not your average British girl" person.
Currently learning Japanese. Pronouncing the words themselves isn't that hard. But the writing's a killer. Hiragana isn't to bad. There are 46 basic symbols, and depending on the words you're writing, you sometimes add little symbols at the top or write a normal symbol but smaller next to a bigger symbol to change the pronunciation slightly. But once you try to learn Katakana, it gets so much harder. It's similar to Hiragana except many Katakana symbols look exactly like Hiragana symbols, but are pronounced completely differently. Plus you don't even know when to use Hiragana and when to use Katakana. And don't even get me started on kanji...
crazy. kanji has so many way of readings and pronunciation depends on the context. Grammar is so different from English or another European languages. Keigo and Kanji are killing me. Writing email in japanese is so indirect and hard
2 Original scripts, both having 46 characters. Other than the Japanese R, there's no different pronunciation (from English anyway). No tones, but uses kanji to verify on word from the other. Speaking of kanji, there's over 1000 characters, with different parts to it. To top it off, you need to actually memorize the words and verbs. It's not said hard, just has lots of text to memorize.
This is actually the second language I studied (still trying to memorize words and kanji but got the alphabet down), though I didn't have much issue (probably because I'm young, the younger you are the more you can memorize).
Too many characters in this language. Really hard to memorize. There are a lot of tones. It really takes a years to master it.
When people talk about Chinese as a language they probably mean Mandarin, not Cantonese.
Mandarin isn't the only Chinese language. There's cantonese, too.
This is true. It is not Chinese, but Mandarin!
Hungarians are considered the worst in foreign languages within the EU. This is primarily due to the fact that learning foreign languages for Hungarians is as challenging as it is for foreigners to learn Hungarian.
Please note that while Hungarian is widely regarded as one of the most difficult official languages in Europe, it is not the most difficult when compared to numerous isolated languages.
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).
Yeah, hungarian is definitely the most awkward language to study.
Strange language, not very useful. If you can say some stuff. Hungarians will be impressed
Russian, unlike the other languages that are ranked hier in this list, has complicated grammer. No other language above has inflection as numerous as Russian, noun cases, verbs of motion etc. Russian also has gender to which all other words must change in the sentence like no other language above does. Definitely underrated!
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 in English, it's red, but in Russian has red specific colours, and that specific colours has also words. That means that Russian have also really much words. Thanks if you read it all and understanding me.
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
The alphabet is cool, Russian cursive is insane. Its pretty tough but surprisingly a lot of people speak Russian
I am from Austria, but I can speak Polish, because my parents are from Poland. When I compare Polish and German, I have to say that Polish is really more difficult, but I love the moment when my friends try to read a polish sentence and that sounds so funny. Also, it sounds so beautiful when you know how to pronounce everything. AND when you can speak Polish, you understand more languages, than when you speak German. Okay, in the end I can just say that German is easy and cool, Polish is a little bit difficult beautiful and very useful!
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.
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.
It's just the words I couldn't pronounce. The words are very hard and confusing and it takes my a while to read it perfectly. Overall, this is a beautiful language.
I really want to learn Finnish. My family tells me there is no use because almost no one speaks Finnish, and the ones that do speak English as well. Finnish is very hard, however. I can sing a couple songs in Finnish but only because I've listened to them so many times. The songs are called Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan, (Death Makes an Artist), Taikatalvi, (Enchanted Winter), and Eramaan Viimeinen, (The Last of the Wilds). All come from the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish.
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.
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!
Some words can have over 100 meanings.
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.
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.
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.
If English isn't your first language, it can be extremely difficult to learn. Mostly because of the weird spelling quirks, like knife, or pterodactyl. Also, words such as there, their, and they're can be tricky for people learning the language.
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 TheTopTens 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!
This is the language where the Romance languages came from. It is hard besides thqt there are accusative, genitive, ablative, dative forms and the plurals are really complex since it has 5 declensions.
Lack of resources make the language hard, although it depends on your determination.
If you know the suffixes and such then you are on a good way. Still more alive than Inari.
I've just voted here to be able to comment. So I just want to mention that in other threads with the same question many say, that german is hard for english natives. It could be, because words differ a lot at first. But when an english native gets the hang of the language, he ist mostly able to speak with almost no accent. For me as a native german it is much harder to accomplish this in english, than for an english native with german. English has more words in common with latin language, but the grammar is more german and every english person should be interested, in their ancestor linguistic roots and the closest is german.
I'm learning german right now, and it may not be as hard as other languages because it's very straightforward, but it can be difficult, but it's probably harder for me than it is for other people because I know a lot of Spanish, and Spanish is really simple compared to German.
Honestly, it's not all that hard. I've learned a few basic words, and it's quite easy. The accent is a bit difficult for me, but I'm catching onto it. Other than that, it's easy!
I agree! I am from Germany and even many people with German as native language have problems with German.
I find Icelandic a very interesting language, as it rejects loanwords from other languages and that people who speak it can understand Old Norse and Old Icelandic(?).
That being said, the archaic grammar make this 50x more difficult.
In my college, as soon as it was heard by many that it was hard, a LOT of people decided to take it.
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.
How is French and German harder than Korean? I tried learning it once and the pronunciations and letters are too difficult
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
Korean is hard, but I heard it's the easiest of the East Asian languages
It is very difficult and people who think that they can speak, they just think...
Who learns this language? people just study the mythology. I only know how to say I love you
Greek should be 1
The tones is what's hard because, unlike Chinese where they have tone character symbols alone and Chinese has a total of 5 tone characters, Vietnamese has 6 and what even weirder is that, this has a tone mark on top of another accent witch is very confusing and difficult to pronounce with that letter.
Vietnamese is hard this should be number 2, because there is a lot accents, they even have two different accent on one letter, and it is very tricky to pronounce it, even spelling it in the Vietnamese languages is hard. Too hard.
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.
I'll be learning Vietnamese as my third language. English is my native language and Español is my second. My only input is that all language difficulty depends on how much you really WANT to learn it... and WILLING to put the time into learning it.
As a native speaker, Latvian is one of the most ridiculous languages ever with its massive list of grammar rules and sometimes just nonsensical reasoning behind why things are like this or that. Oh and don't forget the few words that have drastically different meanings or some kid is gonna make fun of you across the street. But otherwise, it's quite pretty for a language.
The script is super hard. There are so many consonant and vowel repeats and you have to remember how to use each.
The pronunciation of the tones and the vowel length is just very hard as it requires a unique pitch.
The grammar may be simple but it is extremely irregular.
The sentence structure changes a lot in each topic.
I'm Thai and I think this is a very hard language.
It is near impossible to master unless Thai is your first language.
I have really experienced the Thai language. It has hard script and romanization.
Many varieties of tones and extremely difficult to read.
I haven't tried to learn Hindi, but it seems pretty hard.
Basque is the only European language not related to another language. It's hard.
everything difficult about Mandarin + the hardest thing about mainland SE Asian languages = Cantonese. it has at least 6 tones and the characters are sometimes even more difficult to read than that of Mandarin.
There is literally no way it can be down at 54 at the time of writing. This language is kinda like Chinese except... they added an additional 5 tones, more characters, and what's written doesn't even match what's said sometimes.
Cantonese is even more difficult then Mandarin Chinese since it has 9 tones instead of 4, and in Cantonese the written word may not match what is said.
I'm a Chinese and I didn't know how to read it and write it in traditional yet!
I'm NEVER gonna LEARN IT
There are a lot of silent letters and the pronounciation of the French R. The grammar and vocabulary are okay since some of the words are just the same in English.
I am Canadian with Japanese origins, I really enjoyed for having learned French. Yes, it's a difficult language to start learning but once you speak a bit you always progress. I don't really know if I have any accent but when I've been in Paris anyone was kind with me, French people adore when you speak their own language and the do love accents. And now in Montreal, I fell in love with a so pretty and charming French girl.
French maybe poetic or romantic but it is quite hard for the first two years of your learning. I found it an easy ride afterwards. I am a south-Asian, so I had trouble with the accent. Grammer and all those rules, I never had trouble with that but four-fifths of my class did; so I guess that is tough too. Merci!
I know French is for sure not the hardest, but it's spelling and pronunciation is very demanding. I just want to say that it is the hardest romance language, and the the majority of the words you say have loads of silent letters and stuff. However French doesn't COMPARE to Arabic!
Never heard of It before, usually mainly unknown languages are harder, and according to the first page, it is easier than English.
Albanian is way harder than most of these languages probably top 15
I'm also a native speaker who lives in Turkey. However sometimes my mind can be confused because of the Turkish words! I've learned how to speak English one year ago and it was really EASIER
Amharic is kind of similar to Arabic but it's still baffling to learn.