What is the Hardest Language to Learn?

What is the Hardest Language to Learn?

This question is pretty hard to answer since the answer will vary from person to person.

First, the answer depends on your native language. If your native language is English, you’ll have an easier time learning German than say Mandarin or Arabic.

But that’s not all. While one native English-speaker may find it extremely difficult to learn Hungarian, he/she might find it relatively easy to learn Japanese.

Another may have it the other way around, finding Hungarian easy and Japanese difficult.

With that said, we can put together a list of the hardest languages based on the average native English-speaker.

Even though a new writing system can add an extra layer of difficulty, the hardest aspects of languages are usually perceived to be grammar and sentence structure.

1. Mandarin

Mandarin is one of the languages in the Chinese group of languages. It is one of the official Chinese languages.

This is the number one hardest language to learn for English speakers. Unfortunately, it is also the most spoken language in the world.

Although difficult, learning Mandarin is very rewarding.

China is a leading player in financial markets and foreign economics. It is also a popular tourist destination.

Therefore, if you are interested in business or tourism, Mandarin is the language to learn.

2. Arabic

Arabic has many dialects. The Arabic dialect spoken in Egypt is different from the Arabic spoken in Syria or Saudi Arabia.

Most learners of Arabic learn the Egyptian dialect.

Arabic’s writing system is difficult. Each letter can be written in three different forms depending on its location in the sentence.

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In addition to that, Arabic has three different symbols to represent vowels that are used with individual letters.

3. Japanese

Japanese uses three different writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

The word order in Japanese sentences is different from the English word order.

On the bright side, it is easier than Mandarin.

4. Korean

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) ranks Korean as one of the hardest languages to learn, but it is a bit easier than Mandarin and Chinese.

The Korean alphabet is called Hangul, and it only has 24 letters, so you can learn it easily and quickly. Also, it’s completely phonetic, so you never have to guess how a word might be pronounced like you do in English and other languages.

While the same word often has different meanings in Korean, you can figure out which meaning the speaker is referring to based on the context of the sentence. And, you don’t have to use pronouns if you don’t want, either, because the listener can usually infer who you’re talking about.


Learning a second language has so many benefits. Not only does it open up abilities to interact with new people and new cultures, it can give you better job prospects, too. And science shows that learning a second language can stave off dementia and prolong your life!

To learn how to learn any language quickly, check out the How to Learn Any Language Easily course. You can get it via email or ebook.



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Layla Ashraf is a writer who loves learning, reading, and traveling. She speaks five languages and is a college student.





Layla Ashraf is a writer who loves learning, reading, and traveling. She speaks five languages and is a college student.
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