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10 Most Difficult Languages To Learn | Amazing Facts

most difficult languages

It’s to your advantage to be able to speak several languages. Maybe you’re battling to get ahead at work because you can’t really understand simple instructions in English? Maybe you can’t read English, Mandarin, Spanish, German or French properly and the people at work don’t have the time to explain the meanings.

Some Of The Most Difficult Languages Open Up New Possibilities

It’s possible you need another language if you want to get ahead. There are language learning classes that make learning a language fun. The teachers are first-language speakers who won’t only teach the language, but enrich you with fascinating information on the cultures of these language groups.

The Most Difficult Languages In The World

But which language should you learn? What are the most difficult languages to learn? Certainly, you’ll want to know what is the most useful language to learn. We look at the top 10 difficult languages to learn – in no particular order.

Arabic

Egypt flagBelonging to the Semitic group of languages, Arabic is spoken in the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and North Africa. This difficult language must be one of the worst sounding languages too – guttural and loud. It is the religious language of Muslims, and the Koran is written in the Arabic language too. It has very little in common with European languages and you read it from right to left. Vowels are left out of written Arabic too which complicates things further. Arabic words always start with a single consonant followed by a vowel.

Mandarin

China FlagThe Mandarin Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with traces of the language being found to date back to 1766-1123 BC. It may be one of the worst languages to learn in terms of difficulty but it is spoken by some 1.09 billion people. Standard Mandarin is the most common language in China, used in all schools. If you’re brave enough to take it on, it will open doors for you as it is so widely spoken. It is also one of the 6 official languages at the United Nations.

Japanese

Japan flagMost English speaking people say Japanese is the worst language to learn. For starters, Kanji or Chinese characters have been brought into the Japanese writing system and each of these kanjis can have a host of readings depending on the usage. You would need to know about 1000 Kanji characters just to read and understand a Japanese newspaper. Japanese also make use of 3 separate writing systems – hiragana, kanji and katakana, and each contains 46 syllables. With Japanese grammar, the verb is placed at the end of the sentence and the structure just seems unnatural for English speakers.

Hungarian

Hungary flagHungarian is always listed as one of the top 10 most difficult languages to learn, spoken by about 13 million people. The English language has 5 vowels, with Hungarian there are 14 vowels. Variations of the basic a, e i, o, u and the pronunciation of each is somewhat different and can change the meaning of a word entirely. The Hungarian language has some long words too, with its longest word, Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért, having 44 letters. It’s an agglutinative language, meaning that different grammatical components can be added to a word to make it longer and also change its meaning. If you want talk like a native, you need to focus on studies and work on it many years.

Icelandic

Iceland flagThose who have tried to learn Icelandic say the Nordic language is near impossible to figure out. Verbs are conjugated for mood and tense and one Islandic word can have a huge range of meanings. Its complex grammar puts it on the list of most difficult languages to make head or tail of. It’s an inflected language – a language that changes the ending of some words when the way in which they are used changes. English speakers coming to Iceland to learn some of the local dialect are likely to be frustrated by this confusing language.

Polish

Poland flagWhen the question is asked ‘what is the hardest language to learn’, this Slavic language comes up as one of the most difficult languages for English speakers. They have to twist their tongues to bring out some of the sounds. Some of the words sound exactly the same and there are 7 cases of each noun, but this will depend on what its function in a sentence is. Polish also uses a different word order so that the words you start with for an English sentence will be last in a Polish sentence, making it a complicated language to learn.

Finnish

Finland flagIt can be difficult trying to piece together a Finnish sentence because the form of each word written relies on another word somewhere in the sentence. Finnish has 8 vowels. There is a certain way to say them – some are pronounced at the back of your mouth while others are pronounced at the front of your mouth, with the letters ‘E’ and ‘I’ being used in any word. Finnish is also known as an inflected language, meaning that nouns will change according to the function they serve in a sentence. Also, Icelandic has 4 cases, Polish 6-7, but Finnish has 15. No wonder it’s known as one of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

Cantonese

Hong Kong flagIt seems one language isn’t enough in China and while Cantonese is simply a dialect of Mandarin, it can be looked upon as its own language. It’s a tough language to learn, the hardest language in the world for many. It’s a tonal language, meaning that the mere tone has the means to change the meaning of a word even if the pronunciation of the word is the same. Mandarin has 4 tones, while Cantonese has 8, with pitch shaping a syllable’s meaning.

Basque

Basque Country flagResearch reveals that Basque is ranked as the hardest language to learn. The regional dialects are separate, and a standard Basque is used for education and media. It’s another agglutinative language, meaning that words are formed with prefixes and suffixes. Instead of prepositions, with Basque, you use case endings to show the relationship between words, and with 11 cases, each takes 4 forms. The language is written in the Roman alphabet.

Korean

South Korea flagWith no tones and no pictorial writing system, Korean would seem easier than the other East Asian tongues, but it is still one of the hardest languages to speak. Even though the language uses a logical Hangul phonetic written system, speaking can be challenging with unique sounds that are difficult for English speakers. The grammar too, poses a challenge and verbs can be conjugated hundreds of ways and one sentence can be spoken in 3 different ways, but this will also depend on your relationship between you and the person you’re talking to.

Second Language Is A Great Advantage

Let’s face it, speaking several languages is going to be advantageous for you in our increasingly interconnected world, but some people opt not to learn certain languages as they’re just way too difficult to learn.

There are many beautiful languages from the more than 6900 distinct languages of the world but English must be the most beautiful language of them all. It is why 1.6 billion people make use of it every day. Not sure if there really is the most efficient language because when you speak your own language well to make yourself understood, it is an efficient language. Contact our English assignment helpers to improve your skills and grades, if it’s not your first language.

Efficiency in your own language is a valuable tool, but if another language can help you achieve more, then difficult or not, it needs to be learned.

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