Language learning is a challenging but ultimately a rewarding activity. While some languages are easier to learn than others, there are a few that stand out as being particularly difficult. If you’re looking to challenge yourself and pick up a new skill, one of these languages may be right for you. In this post, we’ll discuss the seven most difficult languages to learn in the world.
5 most difficult languages to learn in the world
Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with about 1.2 billion speakers. So, it’s no surprise that it also tops the list of the most difficult languages to learn. Mandarin Chinese is difficult to learn for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, English speakers (and anyone else accustomed to the Latin alphabet) will find the writing system extremely difficult. In addition to the usual difficulties that come with learning a language from scratch, Mandarin students must memorize thousands of special characters, which is unlike any of it seen in Latin-based languages.
There are a few other Chinese dialects, including Cantonese, which is spoken mainly in south-eastern China, as well as Hong Kong and other parts of Southeast Asia, and has different written characters and pronunciations. It is also extremely difficult to learn.
The good news is that with enough dedication and hard work, anyone can learn Mandarin Chinese. The bad news? It’s not going to be easy. Mandarin Chinese is notorious for its difficult pronunciation and characters. There are four main tones in Mandarin, and getting them all correct is essential for proper pronunciation. For example, depending on how you say it, the word ma can mean “mother,” “horse,” “rough,” or “scold.”
Next is Arabic which is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn and also in the top-five most spoken languages in the world. The language has a different alphabet, different grammar, and a different word order from English. In addition, there are numerous dialects spoken throughout the Arab world, making it even more difficult for learners to navigate. It’s best to first decide on which dialect you want to learn and then start learning. There are numerous resources available online and in libraries, as well as private classes and tutors. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to join the more than 300 million people who speak this fascinating language.
Arabic is another language with non-Latin alphabets. Its 28 script letters are simpler for English speakers to understand than the thousands of Chinese characters, but learning a new writing system takes time. The absence of most vowels in words makes reading and writing in Arabic especially challenging for beginners. Arabic is also written from right to left rather than left to right, which requires some practice.
Russian is a Slavic language, and it is the seventh most spoken language in the world by a total number of speakers, which does not make learning Russian any easier. Russian has a reputation for being very complex, with a large number of verb forms and a Cyrillic alphabet that can be daunting at first. Russian grammar rules are extremely complex, with numerous exceptions. Furthermore, many students struggle with pronunciation because stress in words is inherently uncertain and not labelled in writing, and there are numerous homonyms.
The need to understand the Russian alphabet is yet another barrier for many people who want to learn the language. They might be stunned to discover that the Russian alphabet only takes about 10 hours to learn.
Japanese is a language spoken in East Asia. The most difficult aspect of learning Japanese is that has nothing at all in common with European or Slavic languages. Japanese students are frequently put off by the writing system, which employs three scripts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. This necessitates the use of thousands of characters on a regular basis. Furthermore, the Japanese language has a variety of ways of conveying politeness and formalities.
One of the most difficult languages to learn in the world is Korean. This is because the language is built on a unique alphabet system that has 24 letters. The word order of Korean can be particularly difficult to grasp for speakers of English and some European languages. Verbs with conjugations at the end, particles instead of prepositions, and so on can be difficult to understand.
In addition, Korean is a highly inflected language, which means that the ending of a word can change depending on its function in a sentence. This makes sentence construction quite complex, and can often lead to misunderstandings. Start by learning the basics of grammar and pronunciation, and then move on to practicing conversation with a native speaker. With enough practice, you’ll be able to fluently speak this challenging language!
Languages are difficult because they are so different from each other. But, if you have the right attitude and willingness to learn, then it shouldn’t be too hard to pick up a new language.