Learning a new language brings immense joy and great opportunities to gain tremendous benefits. Are you ready to learn a new language? Do you have the potential to learn even the hardest languages? If yes, then gear up!

Like every student or learner with a distinct learning style, similarly, all languages are not equal. Some are easiest, while some are the hardest or the difficult ones to learn.

Every language differs from each other in terms of complexity, variant characters, alphabets pronunciation, and several words. So, it is not an easy task. Which is the hardest language to learn, according to you? Can you guess which one is the most difficult language to learn?

Through this article, you will gain insights into the hardest languages to learn.

It is not easy to consider one language as the most difficult one. It all depends upon the learner’s potential and the previous language they have learned. It also depends upon the learner’s mother tongue.

For instance, English speakers would find languages like Japanese, Arabic, and Hungarian as the most difficult language to learn. The reason behind it is its complex grammar system, phonics, and other features that make them the hardest languages to learn.

As every task involves tremendous hard work and will power, so is the case with learning a new language. You need to be focused enough and put in a lot of effort to gain mastery over it.

We have compiled a list of languages, which are the hardest languages to learn.

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Hardest Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Given below is the list of the most difficult languages to learn:

1. Mandarin Chinese

Where it’s spoken: Northern and South Western China, Taiwan

Why is it hard?

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of the people living in China. It is one of the oldest languages in the world. Is Chinese hard to learn? It is the most difficult language to learn due to the following reasons:

– The writing style is based on the Latin alphabet, which makes it most difficult for English speakers.

– It comprises thousands of special characters, which is not an easy task to memorize and learn.

– Not only writing, but its tonal nature also makes it the most complex one.

– This language contains four tonnes, which means one word with four different pronunciation and meaning. So, it becomes difficult to learn four varied pronunciations and meanings.

These are the few reasons which make this language the hardest language to learn.

2. Arabic

Where it’s spoken: the Middle East and North East Africa

Why is it hard?

Is Arabic hard to learn? This language is amongst the top five most difficult languages to learn. The reasons which make it the hardest are as follows:

– It is a language comprising of a non-Latin alphabet. Unlike Mandarin Chinese, it has only 28 script letters, but learners still face difficulty familiarizing themselves with varied writing styles.

– Another reason for the complexity is the exclusion of many vowels in words. So, it becomes difficult to read.

– It’s sounds, and phonics part also makes it the hardest language to learn.

– Difficult grammar, the existence of verbs before the subject, and the dual form of words all make it a complex task.

3. Polish

Where it’s spoken: Brazil, Canada, Ukraine, Belgium, UK, US.

Why is it hard?

In terms of complexity, this language is number three on our list. The reasons which make it hard are given below:

– Complex spelling and grammar.

– Overburdening of words with consonants, which increases the complexity of learners in terms of pronunciation and spelling.

– But, keeping aside all the complexity, this language uses a Latin alphabet, which makes it easy for English speakers to learn and memorize.

– Phonetics makes it the hardest language to learn.

4. Russian

Where it’s spoken: Russia, Belarus, Central Asia.

Why is it hard?

– This language is in love with the Cyrillic alphabet, which might have the same resemblance but possess different sounds. For instance, the sound of “B” in the Cyrillic alphabet makes a “V” sound.

– As this language omits the verb “to be” in the present form, it becomes difficult for beginners to form simple sentences.

– It comprises distinct vowel sounds, which make it a complex task for learners.

– It is also in love with consonants, which make spelling and pronunciation difficult to learn.

Coming to its plus point, it is the most beneficial language in terms of career advancement and growth opportunities.

5. Turkish

Where it’s spoken: Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania.

Why is it hard?

Its complexity depends on various reasons:

– It is an agglomeration of prefixes and suffixes attached to the words, which makes it a complex language.

– This language might be confusing as it contains vowel harmony. It means that vowels change to make a word flow smooth.

– The next reason is the difficult vocabulary words, which make it the hardest language to learn.

– But, unlike other languages, it comprises easy grammar and spellings, which are easier to memorize.

6. Danish

Where it’s spoken: Denmark, Iceland, Greenland.

This language comprises of simple grammar and various similar words familiar to English.

Why is it hard?

As compared to the other languages, Danish is the least hard one to learn.

-It is hard only because of its pronunciation and speaking styles.

-It is monotonous.

7. Korean

Where it’s spoken: South Korea, North Korea.

Why is it hard?

Korean is counted among the oldest languages in the world. It is hard due to the following reasons:

– Its complexity increases due to its pronunciation.

– It comprises of difficult grammar system.

– Lastly, the sentence order is different as verbs come at the end of the sentences.

8. Navajo

Where it’s spoken: United States

Why is it hard?

Due to its unique features, this language becomes hard.

– It comprises various consonants which are unfamiliar to English speakers.

– It is also an agglutinative language that uses prefixes and suffixes by replacing prepositions. But, due to its presentation feature in an unpredictable manner, some people term it as non-agglutinative.

– Another reason is it lacks familiar words, and its varied grammatical style made it so difficult that allied used Navajo speakers to send coded communications at the time of World War 2.

– Due to the lack of a dictionary, this language became difficult to decode.

These reasons contribute to making this language the hardest language to learn.

9. Finnish

Where it’s spoken: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Estonia, Canada.

Why is it hard?

It is a tricky language to learn due to:

– It comprises 15 various cases of Nouns.

It belongs to the Finno-Logic language without Latin or German influence, making it an unfamiliar one.

– It has long vowels and consonant sounds with complex grammar.

– It requires the knowledge of conjugation, consonant, gradation, the case system, and pronoun declination to frame a basic simple sentence.

10. Vietnamese

Where it’s spoken: Vietnam, Southern China.

Why is it hard?

Its complexity is due to the following reasons:

– Difficult pronunciation, unfamiliar grammar and six alternative tones make it a difficult language.

– According to the FSI, anyone wanting to gain mastery over it must spend at least 1,100 hours in class to gain proficient skills.

– It contains a high number of vowel sounds.

– It also comprises more pronouns, unlike English, and uses “classifiers” ( words that change nouns), which are unfamiliar.

11. Mongolian

Where it’s spoken: Mongolia, East-Central Asia.

Why is it hard?

– It is hard due to its complex pronunciation.

– Due to its unpopularity, it lacks resources to gain mastery over it.

– It is in love with its culture and history strongly, so it is hard than other languages.

– The sentence structure is different from other languages.

– It comprises agglutinative morphology, which adds various suffixes to the word for altering its meaning.

12. Hungarian

Where it’s spoken: Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia.

Why is it hard?

It is hard due to the given reasons:

– It comprises 18 cases and 14 vowels, which make it a complex language.

– It lays stress on more idioms and phrases which are hard to memorize.

– It has various vowels and consonants, which make it a tricky language.

– It is also an agglutinative and vowel harmony language.

13. Thai

Where it’s spoken: Thailand

Why is it hard?

It is hard because:

– It has complex pronunciation and writing styles with five different tones and long and short vowel sounds.

– The alphabets in this language have 44 consonants and 32 vowels, which make it tricky.

– Its writing system is difficult for both Chinese and English speakers as it is derived from an Indian-script.

14. Icelandic

Where it’s spoken: Iceland

Why is it hard?

This language is hard due to the given reasons:

– It has many letters that are unfamiliar to English speakers. It also comprises four cases and three genders, making it hard to learn.

– According to the FSI, it is the most difficult language to learn, and it ranks fourth in the list in terms of complexity.

– It comprises complex grammar, vocabulary, tricky pronunciation.

– To attain mastery over it, a person needs to spend around 1,100 hours.

15. Georgian

Where it’s spoken: Georgia

Why is it hard?

Its complexity is due to the following reasons:

– It comprises its writing system, which is not familiar to English speakers.

– It has a tricky pronunciation, which makes it hard to learn.

– It is unique and isolated to other languages comprising of a difficult verb system.

16. Czech

Where it’s spoken: Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Republic

Why is it hard?

It is hard due to:

– Complex pronunciation.

– It contains multiple consonants together, and the grammar structure is different from English, which makes it hard to learn.

– Confusing and tricky verbs.

17. Albanian

Where it’s spoken: Albania, Sweden, Italy, Greece.

Why is it hard?

This language is hard due to the following reasons:

– It has a 36-letter alphabet for which you need to spend a lot of time to attain mastery over it.

– It comprises of exceptional grammatical rules which are hard to memorize.

18. Greek

Where it’s spoken: Greece, Cyprus.

Why is it hard?

The Greek language is amongst the hardest languages to learn due to the following reasons:

– It has varied alphabets and difficult grammar structures, making it a complex language to learn.

– It contains many grammatical rules, gendered nouns, and unusual conjugations.

– Phonics is different as compared to the English language.

19. Japanese

Where it’s spoken: Japan, Palau.

Why is it hard?

The Japanese language is hard to learn because of the given reasons mentioned below:

– It has a complex writing system which is variant unless you know Chinese.

Although the grammar is simple, it uses particles for parts of speech that are not familiar to English speakers. Thus, it becomes hard for English speakers to learn.

– It involves great memorization skills as it contains thousands of characters.

– It requires various forms based on its context.

20. Cantonese

Where it’s spoken: South China, Hong Kong, Macau.

Why is it hard?

This language is also on the list of the hardest languages to learn because of the given reasons:

– It has eight tones in totality, which makes it the most difficult language to learn.

– Its writing system is based on pictures that make learners unable to learn phonetics.

The simplified version of this language, which is Mandarin, lacks resources to learn.

21. Estonian

Where it’s spoken: Estonia.

Why is it hard?

This language is hard to learn because of the following reasons given below:

– It has 14 noun cases, which makes it hard for English speakers to learn.

– It also comprises consonants and vowels with three varied lengths: short, long, and very long.

– The grammar is filled with many exceptional rules that need lots of practice if you want to gain mastery.

22. Burmese

Where it’s spoken: Myanmar, Burma.

Why is it hard?

It is hard due to the given reasons:

– It requires around 1,100 hours of study to achieve proficiency in reading and speaking skills.

– Lack of resources to learn and shortage of teachers with limited learning opportunities.

– Complex grammar structure, Burmese script, and vocabulary make it a complex language to learn for English speakers.

These are the list of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn.

Final Thoughts

Now, according to you, what is the hardest language to learn? The reasons stated above can give you the thoughts on which language is the hardest. It is not so easy to learn a difficult language. Learning a complex one involves lots of effort and time. But no doubt, facing a challenge by learning the hardest language gives immense pleasure and satisfaction.

Learning the hardest and new languages will help form connections with different people and cultures also. So, gear up to overcome the challenge.

Enjoy learning and forming connections!

The post 22 Hardest Languages to Learn for English Speakers appeared first on TechPrevue.

Angelica Gaskins
Angelica Gaskins is the Editor of Techtear. She’s an award-winning blogger and author, and an occasional consultant on tech startup marketing strategy. She focuses on technology related news coverage, other editorial content, and working with the growing community of correspondents and contributors.
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Angelica Gaskins
Angelica Gaskins is the Editor of Techtear. She’s an award-winning blogger and author, and an occasional consultant on tech startup marketing strategy. She focuses on technology related news coverage, other editorial content, and working with the growing community of correspondents and contributors.
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