We are going to describe the top 10 hardest languages to learn in the world and also discuss 5 more difficult languages. Don’t take it as a sign to give up. There are several online resources and language learning software that will get you understanding and speaking with confidence.
List of Top 10 Hardest Languages to Learn
We describe the top 10 hardest languages to learn for English speakers. We also list 5 more hardest languages of the world according to the learning for all the speakers.
It is difficult for an English speaker to become master in Chinese language as it is on top position in the list of hardest languages to learn.
There are no alphabets in Chinese language, there are only characters. It is the most spoken language in the world. Writing Chinese is much difficult for English writer.
One Chinese word can be pronounced in four different ways because this language has four tones and each tone has different meaning therefor it is called tonal language.
To learn this language, you must know about this culture. If you have ability to speak Chinese does not means you have also ability to read. Learning this language is very useful in business point of view.
2 – Arabic
Arabic language is one of the maximums spoken languages in this world. Arabic is the language that gives you a valuable vision into the culture. It is written from right to left.
There are very few words in this language that are common with English, which makes it difficult.
If we compare Arabic with other languages, we will come to know that many letters are written in a lot of ways depending their place of adjust in the word, vowels are not used in written so translating is difficult as compare to other languages.
This is hardest languages to learn for English speakers because the patterns of speech and letter sounds are very different than English Language.
Arabic is also spoken by the people in Syria but their Arabic is different from Saudi Arabia. It is one of the oldest languages and most beautiful spoken language.
There is very interesting thing about Arabic language that there are some symbols in this language called zair, zabar, paish which are used in up and down of letters.
If we change the place of symbols, the meaning of word totally changed. So that’s why this is one of the hardest language to learn.
3 – Japanese
You know Japanese is one of the hardest language in the world because learn Japanese is not an easy task for English or all the speakers. There are thousands of characters in this language to learn before learning this language.
There are 3 writing systems named Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. Kanji is used for writing the original Japanese language in a symbol.
In Hiragana, there are characters for writing the original vocabulary of Japanese language. Katakana is used in writing the words that are composed of foreign language.
Meanwhile, for learning this language you also have to learn the Japanese culture. For example if you are greeting someone, you must low down your head.
When you became master in this language in writing and speaking, it will be easy for you to learn other languages like Chinese, Korean.
4 – Hungarian
Hungarian grammar is actually so hard to learn for English speakers due to its most difficult rules with 26 different cases due to which it includes in the list of hardest languages to learn.
Not only this, there are also some essential cultural implications which make it more difficult to learn in separation that’s why the most of the European languages face with this problem.
There are cultural elements in this language that make it more challenging to learn specially for English speakers. It is related to the small language family just like Finnish.
5 – Russian
Russian language is evaluated a 2 of 3 in difficulty by the (FSI), which positions languages based on how long it would take the average native English speaker to learn it, so it’s not as difficult as some of the other languages on this list.
Russian uses a Cyrillic alphabet made up of letters both familiar and unfamiliar to us. It is also hardest languages to learn ranked as Russian uses many consonants bunched together like Polish that makes spelling and pronunciation a challenge.
Regardless of its difficulty, Russian might be value the extra effort to learn. It’s a very ethically and culturally relevant language. If you want to learn languages from home, check out this article from Porch.com
6 – Korean
Korean Language is a comparatively upfront alphabet that doesn’t take too long time to learn, it is not like the characters used in Chinese and Japanese writing systems due to that you can start sounding out words quickly.
Korean language has no relationship to other languages which makes it the most strange and sole language. But there are also many challenges in this language, like its own alphabet and difficult grammar.
Furthermore, this language has a specific word order. In other words, Korean is like no different language that you may have heard.
For example, the Korean language defines the subject represented first, then comes to the object, and finally finishes with act.
7 – Finnish
Finnish has a status for presence a complicated language to learn, and with good cause. It has nouns with 15 different cases, but in English, they have only 3: subjective, objective, possessive.
The language belongs to Finno-Urgic language family, so it doesn’t contain any Latin or German impact to help you predict what something means.
Here is a thing that does make it a slight easier that it is written the way it sounds in the similar alphabet like English language.
8 – Polish
The question what are the hardest languages to learn? may have different answers. In this language, two areas can give English speakers a hard time, spelling and grammars. The words of this language are full of consonants, which makes them hard to spell and pronounce.
On the other side, Polish uses a Latin alphabet, so the letters are much more familiar to English speakers than those used in Chinese, Arabic and other non-Latin languages.
9 – Vietnamese
In the recent years, Vietnam has become a famous visitor’s choice, about 30% more travellers coming to experience the Vietnamese culture.
People there are very friendly and being able to talk to them in their native language will give you a deeper understanding of their beautiful country.
The tonal differences and written character differences are also a big difficulty for non-native speakers. For example, in Vietnamese each letter is ascribed a tonal symbol, with simple letters like a letter ‘o’ having more than 10 variations.
10 – Icelandic
Icelandic is near as difficult as some of the languages on this list of hardest languages to learn.
The fact that it is spoken by less than 400,000 people on one island and is mostly unchanged since Iceland was established in the 9th and 10th centuries mean that is also pretty complex and distinctive.
Iceland is one of those countries who make up new words for newly created objects instead of adopting an English or other language word.
5 More Hardest Languages to Learn in the World
1 – Basque
Basque is a language spoken only in the Basque Country. Because it’s a language isolate, many people find it difficult to learn. It is a language, not an Indo-European language, just because it is in Europe.
Due to its age, it’s considered to be an old language by linguists. Languages like Basque are remarkably different from those of modern times.
Unlike English, Basque alters not only the end but also the beginning of the verb. The verb also shows subject and object by including participles and pronouns.
The Basque language is stuffed with information in its nouns, which have 12 cases, as well as many suffixes and prefixes that can change their meaning.
No cognates either, by the way. Additionally, Basques have some easier characteristics. As with Basque, there are no similarities between it and other languages.
However, it is less challenging than Korean because it borrows some vocabulary from romance languages. Basque is different from any other language in the way it is written and spoken. To make matters more challenging, there are at least five distinct dialects.
2 – Persian
There are 110 million native speakers of Persian, which is also known as Farsi (Iran), Dari (Afghanistan), and Tajik (Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). Why is Persian so important? The Indo-European nature of Persian leads to some useful cognates in the English language.
Let’s look at the Persian word setareh, which means star. The English language has even incorporated several Persian words into its vocabulary, including bazaar, candy, caravan, checkmate, and kiosk. The Persian writing system, however, makes learning this language difficult.
The Persian script is right to left, although their alphabet has four more letters than the Arabic script. The Persian alphabet may not be as tricky as Arabic (since it has no capital letters), it joins words together and has redundant letters.
Last but not least, Persian grammar can be difficult to grasp because it has a significant number of prefixes and suffixes that add to words.
3 – Telugu
Telugu is one of India’s 22 scheduled languages and is native to states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Despite being dubbed as the “Italian of the East,” Telugu is a melodious language but monotonous for non-natives who are unfamiliar with western languages or Sanskrit in particular.
Non-natives have difficulty understanding the language due to a combination of factors, including the script is hard to learn and the pronunciation. Listening to songs and watching movies are fun ways to learn the language!
4 – Turkish
There is no doubt that Turkish is a popular language, one whose history and culture are rich. Originally from Turkey, it has also been widely adopted in Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Greece.
Despite its ease of pronunciation, its grammar, and its listening aspect, this language requires much time and effort for non-native speakers. Among its positive attributes are the use of Latin alphabets and its phonetic nature.
5 – Czech
It is part of the Slavic language family, though it does not use the Cyrillic alphabet, and adds great complexity to its vocabulary. Take a look at its case system for nouns. It can be extremely difficult to correctly decline nouns because there are 7 cases among 4 genders.
There are 15 times more possibilities in Czech nouns than in German, for example. It has a complex way of declining numerals, too, with six cases for adjectives and seven for pronouns.
You mustn’t forget the irregular verbs and nouns too (OH MY). The pronunciation of Czech is quite difficult because of the way consonants cluster together in words, making it a difficult language. It is also considered difficult by many learners to say ř.