Top 10 Hardest Sounds to Make in Languages

Language is an incredible tool that allows us to communicate with each other, express our thoughts, and connect with people from all around the world. From the softest whispers to the loudest screams, language is a diverse and complex system that has evolved over thousands of years. And as much as we love to speak our mother tongue, we can all agree that some sounds are simply harder to pronounce than others.

Whether it's a rolled "r" that just won't roll off the tongue, a guttural "ch" that feels like you're choking on your own spit, or a nasal "ng" that sounds like you're humming with your nose, some sounds are just more challenging than others. But what makes a sound difficult to pronounce? Is it the way our vocal cords vibrate, the position of our tongue, or the way we shape our lips?
The Top Ten
1 R with Háček The R with Háček (Ř, ř) is a unique sound found in the Czech language. It's a combination of a voiced alveolar fricative (similar to the 'zh' sound in "measure") and the alveolar trill (like a rolled R). This sound is quite challenging for non-native speakers to pronounce.

It's very hard and it almost took me 3 weeks to get it right.

It took me a full year to learn that.

2 Throaty H The throaty H, also known as the voiceless pharyngeal fricative, is a sound that originates in the back of the throat, giving it a distinctively raspy quality. It is commonly found in Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew.

I am a native speaker of a language like this and still find myself sometimes missing it, it's very hard to do sometimes.

3 C in Xhosa In the Xhosa language, the letter C represents a dental click, which is produced by placing the tip of the tongue against the upper front teeth and then releasing it quickly to create a sharp, clicking sound. This click is an integral part of the Xhosa phonetic system.

To do the 'c' in Xhosa pull the tip of the tongue away from the back of the upper front teeth; tsk, tsk.

If you don't know, Xhosa is a click language. It has 3 different clicks. X and Q are rather simple, but I find C to be very hard.

4 Actual Q The actual Q sound, or the voiceless uvular stop, is a sound produced by closing off the back of the throat (the uvula) and then releasing it, creating a brief stop in the airflow. This sound is common in languages like Arabic and some dialects of Quechua.
5 Æ The Æ sound, also known as "ash," is a vowel sound that is a combination of the 'a' in "cat" and the 'e' in "bet." It is found in languages such as Danish, Norwegian, and Old English.
6 ΠThe Πsound, called "oe" or "o-slash," is a vowel sound that is a blend of the 'o' in "bore" and the 'e' in "bet." It is used in French and some older English texts.

I find so many people failing in this one, because they expect it to be like "ce" why didn't you say so.

7 Trilled R The trilled R, also known as the rolled R or alveolar trill, is a vibrant sound produced by rapidly vibrating the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, just behind the upper front teeth. This sound is common in languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Russian.

Although I can do this sound now, it took me until I was 5 to do so.

I still don't know how to do this.

8 W The W sound is a voiced labio-velar approximant, produced by rounding the lips and raising the back of the tongue toward the velum. It is a common sound in languages such as English, German, and Dutch.

Personally, I myself find it hard to make this sound when it is not in my native tongues. I see many ESL also pronounce it more as a V.

9 Th The Th sound represents two distinct phonemes: the voiceless dental fricative (as in "think") and the voiced dental fricative (as in "this"). Both are produced by placing the tip of the tongue against the upper front teeth and allowing air to flow through the small gap. This sound is commonly found in English and Greek.

For foreign Speakers mainly, it sounds like some messed up D.

This is simple it's the same as the Welsh 'LL' but just move your tongue to the top teeth.

10 LL in Welsh The LL sound in Welsh is a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative, produced by placing the tip of the tongue against the upper front teeth and forcing air around the sides of the tongue, creating a distinctive hissing sound. This sound is unique to the Welsh language.

There is actually an easy way to do it the easiest way to do the LL in Welsh is that you can do the position of the English 'th' open the bottom jaw and keep the edge your tongue touching the upper teeth then move tongue back little behind your upper teeth then you just blow.

The ll is a another one of the hardest sounds what you do is you put your tongue into the position of english l and t then you blow little soft.

The ll is really hard because you had to blow with your tongue on top of your mouth.

The welsh LL is actually really because all you do is put your tongue behind your teeth and blow like 'Th' but more sounds like 'lh'.

The Contenders
11 The Polish ‘CZ’ and ‘SZ’ In Polish, the 'CZ' sound represents a voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate, similar to the English 'ch' in "chair." The 'SZ' sound is a voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative, akin to the English 'sh' in "ship." Both sounds are crucial elements of the Polish phonetic system.
12 Ng The Ng sound represents a voiced velar nasal, produced by closing the back of the tongue against the velum and allowing air to flow through the nose. This sound is common in languages like English, as in the word "sing," as well as in various African and Asian languages.

The fact is most of us pronounce this wrong.

13 The X in Pashto The X in Pashto represents the voiceless velar fricative, a sound produced by constricting the airflow at the back of the mouth, near the velum. It is similar to the ‘ch’ sound in the German word "Bach" or the ‘j’ sound in the Spanish word "jalapeño."

The X in pashto is hard because In order to produce the sound of /ښ /one needs to touch the back of tongue with theuvula and let the air out in order to create a hissing sound. However, in western (Kandahari) dialect, this sound is straight away produced in the fashion of /sh/.

ښ = x

14 (ړ) R in Pashto The ړ sound in Pashto is a voiced retroflex flap, produced by quickly flicking the tip of the tongue against the hard palate. This sound is similar to the rolled R in some Indian languages and is unique to the Pashto phonetic system.

The 'R' is very very hard to pronounce I can't even do it because you have get whole tongue curl back then you have to quickly flaps down.

15 õ in Estonian The õ sound in Estonian is a close-mid back unrounded vowel, similar to the 'u' in the English word "hurt" but with the lips unrounded. This vowel sound is unique to Estonian and a few other Uralic languages.

The sound pronounced with the tongue in the same position as the o sound, but with lips unrounded; kind of halfway between the e in get and the u in hung.

Sound pronounced with the tongue in the same position as the o sound, but with lips unrounded; kind of halfway between the e in get and the u in hung.

16 The French ‘r’ The French 'r' is a voiced uvular fricative, produced by vibrating the uvula at the back of the throat while allowing air to flow through. This sound is distinctively throaty and is characteristic of the French language.

The French 'r' si one of two most difficult sounds in French (it's difficult for young French speakers and foreigners) to pronounce the French 'r' try to pronounce it raspily in the back of the throat (it sounds like when your coughing up a hairball).

The French 'r' is one of two most difficult sounds in French (it's difficult for young French speakers and foreigners) to pronounce the French 'r' try to pronounce it raspily in the back of the throat (it sounds like when your coughing up a hairball).

17 Ы The Ы sound is a Cyrillic letter representing a near-close near-back unrounded vowel, similar to the 'i' in the English word "bit" but with the tongue slightly retracted. This sound is common in Russian and other Slavic languages that use the Cyrillic script.
18 ع in Arabic The ع sound in Arabic is a voiced pharyngeal fricative, produced by constricting the airflow in the pharynx (the back of the throat). This sound is unique to Semitic languages like Arabic and is often challenging for non-native speakers to pronounce.
19 Lateral click x in Xhosa The lateral click x in Xhosa is a sound produced by creating a suction effect on the side of the tongue against the upper molars and releasing it quickly to produce a clicking sound. This lateral click is a prominent phoneme in the Xhosa language and other Bantu languages with clicks.
20 x̌ in Klallam The x̌ sound in the Klallam language is a voiceless uvular fricative, produced by constricting the airflow at the back of the throat near the uvula without voice. This sound is similar to the German ‘ch’ in "Bach" but further back in the mouth. It is an essential phoneme in the Klallam language.

The sound is made near the adams apple, a hard x sound.

21 R in Czech The R sound in Czech is an alveolar trill, which is produced by rapidly vibrating the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, just behind the upper front teeth. This trilled R is common in Czech and other Slavic languages, as well as languages such as Spanish and Italian.
22 X The X sound typically represents a voiceless velar fricative, produced by constricting the airflow at the back of the mouth near the velum. This sound is similar to the ‘ch’ in the German word "Bach" or the ‘j’ in the Spanish word "jalapeño." It is common in languages such as Greek, Dutch, and Basque.
23 Q The Q sound often represents a voiceless uvular stop, which is a sound produced by closing off the back of the throat (the uvula) and then releasing it, creating a brief stop in the airflow. This sound is found in languages like Arabic and some dialects of Quechua.
24 Rl The Rl sound is a rare combination of an alveolar liquid (either a flap or a trill) followed by a lateral approximant, as in the Australian English pronunciation of "Carl." This sound is produced by rapidly flicking the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge and then allowing air to flow around the sides of the tongue.
25 þ The þ sound, called "thorn," represents a voiceless dental fricative, similar to the 'th' in English words like "think" and "bath." It is produced by placing the tip of the tongue against the upper front teeth and allowing air to flow through the small gap. This sound is commonly found in Icelandic and Old English.
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