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What are the hardest languages to learn?

Would you like to speak many languages, but find that learning them is difficult? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! You may want to learn one of the hardest languages in the world, or who knows, you may already be able to speak one of them! What are the hardest languages to learn? Let’s find out!

 

Mandarin language

1. Is Mandarin hard?

One of the most difficult languages ​​to learn is Mandarin. Mandarin is a difficult language to learn because it’s full of idioms, aphorisms and homophones. 

The first and most important  thing that makes Mandarin a difficult language to learn is the alphabet, which is completely different from the western, Latin alphabet. In addition to the usual challenges that come with learning any language from scratch, people who are studying Mandarin must also learn thousands of special characters. Mandarin Chinese, which is the most common dialect in China, has four tones, so one word can mean four different things depending on how it is be pronounced. For example, the Mandarin word ma can mean “mother,” “horse,” “rough” or “scold” — depending on the way you say it. So is Mandarin hard to learn? Yes, it’s quite tough. Is it the most complex language in the world? It may well be.

 

Korean or Japanese

2. Which is harder to learn – Korean or Japanese?

Korean is probably the strangest of all Asian languages. What makes it difficult to learn is that it does not appear to be related to any other language in any way – which also holds true for Japanese. Korean has a unique word order, complex grammar, its own alphabet and many more challenges. It’s completely unique as a language and unlike any other language that you may have ever learned.

Japanese is not the hardest language to learn. In fact it’s easier to learn than Korean or even Mandarin. What prevents it from counting as the most complicated language is that it has just 3 independent writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Each of them has its own alphabet, but once you’ve learnt them, you can speak Japanese perfectly!

 

Polish language

3. Is Polish a hard language to learn?

Next on the list is of course Polish – one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers. What makes Polish so difficult to learn is the fact that words in Polish are loaded with consonants, which makes them difficult to spell and pronounce. The next thing that makes Polish quite a difficult language is that it has 7 cases! One plus point at least is that Polish uses the Latin alphabet so you don’t have to  learn a new set of letters from the beginning.

 

Icelandic language

4. Is Icelandic hard to learn? 

How hard is it to learn Icelandic? It’s also one of the top 10 hardest languages to learn! Anyone who has ever traveled to Iceland completely understands why. Nowadays Icelandic is spoken by fewer than 400,000 people on one island where this language has remained virtually unchanged since the country was settled in the 9th and 10th centuries! What makes Icelandic one of the hardest languages to learn is that Icelanders make up new words for newly invented objects instead of adopting an English or French one. This means that you need to  be living in Iceland to learn Icelandic completely. 

 

Finnish language

5. How hard is it to learn Finnish?

Finnish may look easy but don’t be fooled! Except for Hungarian and Estonian, it does not share any common traits with any other European language and stems from the Uralic language family. But what makes Finnish one of the most difficult languages to learn is the fact that it has a lot of grammar to grasp and may have extremely long words – even if you just want to say a simple thing! What’s more, Finnish has several dialects – and there is also what you might call a mixture of Finnish and Swedish, spoken mostly in the Helsinki area. Finns are also known to be shy and quiet so you should be very careful when listening to them as you may miss a lot of what they actually try to communicate!

 

Arabic language

6. Is Arabic a hard language to learn?

Another of the hardest languages to learn in the world is Arabic. Just how difficult is it to learn Arabic? This language has a lot of  varieties based on  the region or country in which they’re spoken — they can be radically different depending on where in the Arab world you are! No matter the exact version, one of the complications of Arabic is that it is written from right to left! What makes Arabic an even more complicated language is that some of the sounds used don’t exist in other languages. The grammar is also a challenge; verbs tend to come before the subject, and you need to  learn a dual form of words in addition to the singular and plural forms.

 

Now that you know what the hardest languages to learn are, you can either challenge Yourself and try to learn them – or just use one of our voice translators!