Romanian may sound like an exotic language – given the whole vampire thing – but it’s actually one of the easiest languages to learn for native English speakers. For instance, Basque doesn’t simply change the end of the verb, it changes the beginning too. This means that when you see a Chinese text, each character is its own word, ie. Instead, it adds affixes to verbs to indicate tense and subject. Their notorious silent letters can make you feel like a cat’s got your tongue. And if you want to create possessive, pop on. In addition, it has some finicky rules about consonants, which change spelling depending on endings, especially the letters k, p and t. Learners may also be put off by the way words can be inflected by verbs, nouns and adjectives. Mandarin is a Chinese language that is often referred to as the most difficult to learn. Mandarin is famous for being one of the hardest languages to learn. All these traits make it one of the hardest languages to learn. Does the language use tones (i.e. Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. It’s a unique language with 35% of its vocabulary coming from Arabic. First, Hindi uses an SOV (subject object verb) word order and has new sounds for English speakers, including. There are only two new sounds, tx and tz, and the alphabet uses Latin script. Practice makes practice! So, for a simple sentence like “I am going,” Swahili speakers would say “nina-kwenda”: ni is I, na is present tense and kwenda means “to go.”. Thanks to it being a tonal language, every sound in Mandarin’s phonetic transcription system pinyin has four distinct pronunciations. While no country has adopted Esperanto as an official language, it’s been widely supported by the European Union and organizations like PEN International. No matter what language you choose – whether easy, hard or something in between – you’ll enrich your life by learning another language. Don’t forget about all the irregular nouns and verbs too (uh-oh). My advice, don’t try learn this language especially if you speak English. Arabic is just about as linguistically and culturally distant from English as you can get. Japanese has not one but three scripts you need to learn. To make matters worse, the language is rich in homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings). For our ranking, we used the six categories above to show why a language can be easier or harder to learn. For instance, Basque doesn’t simply change the end of the verb, it changes the beginning too. For those struggling with Italian, it’s likely because of their many articles (six compared to four in Spanish) and their heavy use of the dreaded subjunctive tense. In Arabic, most letters are written in four different forms depending on where they are placed in a word. For an English native speaker, Afrikaans is fairly straightforward and one of the easiest languages. All these traits make Indonesian one of the easiest languages to learn quickly. In 2010, the volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in Iceland, throwing TV reporters in turmoil. First off, Polish has 9 additional letters – ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź and ż – which can be challenging to get right. Best of luck! Polish is also stuffed with consonants. You decide what’s best. In addition to the usual challenges that come with learning any language from scratch, people studying Mandarin must also memorize thousands of special characters, unlike anything seen in Latin-based languages. Other tenses use only one ending as well! Some are even hard for computers to understand! Compared to modern languages, Basque is extraordinarily different. Zamenhof purposely wanted to make an easy-to-learn language for all people. Our favorite English word from Dutch is koekje, meaning cookie. Are language resources readily available? In other words, easy-peasy. These tones make Mandarin extremely tricky; if you don’t get the tone right, you’ll say a different word entirely! Each and every sound in Mandarin has four distinct pronunciations. It’s not called the Germanic language family for nothing. Pronunciation can also be a little tricky, as some nasal sounds are unique to Portuguese. Some linguists also say that the rhythm of Italian makes it easy to learn in conversation, as intonations make meaning clear. Finally, Polish has notoriously complex grammar, including five grammatical genders, free word order and 17 different forms for saying numbers. Nouns are likewise stuffed with information: Basque has 12 nouns cases, with many suffixes and prefixes added to change meaning. Of course, not everything about French is simple. might just be the hardest part of the process. similar sounding words with identical meanings. Types Of Crimes By Number Of Offenses In The US. Music and movies can be motivating as well! First, Hindi uses an SOV (subject object verb) word order and has new sounds for English speakers, including dha and hka. Every language has a significant number of words to be included in that which is impossible to track by unknown. But that’s not the only reason why it’s one of the easiest languages to learn. Of course, German has a rough reputation when it comes to pronunciation and unfortunately it’s got four noun case endings. Mandarin is probably one of the most difficult languages in the globe for an English speaker to learn. 25. The difficulty of learning a language is relative to the learner’s native tongue (or tongues), as well as to any other languages that they may already have learned. Linguists think it’s one of the oldest languages in the world, which is why it’s a bit old-fashioned. Hungarian also has 14 different vowels (compared to 5 in English) and something called vowel harmony – also found in Korean and Turkish – where suffixes are added to words to keep the sounds in harmony. Japanese may not be a tonal language, but it’s one of the hardest languages to learn. By Kenneth Kimutai too on April 25 2017 in Society. (To say speed limit in German, it’s this mouthful geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung). Even the word car comes from càr in Gaelic! Spanish may be the #1 easiest language to learn. You’ll find useful vocabulary and get the feel for natural phrasing. In addition, it uses a phonetic Latin script (so no need to learn a new alphabet) and similar word order to English. The language is made difficult to learn by the fact that thousands of characters have to be learned before one can write in Japanese. which has six syllables. An Austronesian language, Tagalog is the language spoken by almost a quarter of the total population of the Philippines. The first zinger? English and German overlap quite a bit, especially in nouns. This means that the total score for each language runs between 0 (the easiest) and 30 (the hardest). You’ll have to do the work no matter what! Besides that, however, Hindi has some challenging differences in terms of grammar, pronunciation and writing. Many learners also consider the, Persian, which you may known by the dialect names Farsi (Iran), Dari (Afghanistan) and Tajik (Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), is spoken by 110 million people. With 7 cases across 4 genders, nouns can be extremely tricky to properly decline. Are they high-quality? In case you need motivation: Hindi is spoken by half a billion people worldwide! It’s a unique language with 35% of its vocabulary coming from Arabic. Hiragana and Katakana, used mainly for writing foreign and Japanese words respectively, are phonetic, both containing 46 characters. Besides that, however, Hindi has some challenging differences in terms of grammar, pronunciation and writing. Well, it’s an Indo-European language, which means there are some useful cognates between Persian and English. English speakers have difficulty in learning various languages with Asian languages proving to be the hardest to learn. Are there new concepts such as gender? To give you some hope: verb conjugations are consistent, so you’ll have an easy time once you know all the endings! Almost everything about Mandarin can be overwhelming at first (although the grammar rules are thankfully fairly simple). English and German overlap quite a bit, especially in nouns. Does the language belong to the same family? What’s the deal with Persian? This motivation is what’s going to get you through the ups and downs of the language learning process. New languages and intonations can be taught and learned, and becoming bilingual is a long-term, worthwhile pursuit. First and foremost, the writing system is extremely difficult for English speakers (and anyone else) accustomed to the Latin alphabet. Luckily, there is some overlap with English, since Ireland and Scotland are neighbors to England. A common example is the days of the week: (Wednesday). Some linguists also say that the rhythm of Italian makes it easy to learn in conversation, as intonations make meaning clear. It is highly phonetic, unlike English. For those struggling with Italian, it’s likely because of their many articles (six compared to four in Spanish) and their heavy use of the dreaded subjunctive tense. Like English, Polish isn’t too consistent with phonetics either, so the same sound could be spelled in several ways. Does the language have similar grammar to the native language? However, it’s also heavily influenced by Bantu, Persian, English and Romance languages. Well, it’s an Indo-European language, which means there are some useful cognates between Persian and English. By the way, you won’t find any cognates either. In addition, it has some finicky rules about consonants, which change spelling depending on endings, especially the letters, . Are there significant differences in cultural concepts visible within the language? Or you want to boost your language skills to use at the office. English speakers find the language very difficult to learn, primarily because it is a tonal language. Some English speakers complain about their articles en and ett, which have to be memorized for every case, as well as the extra vowels å, ä and ö. Are there cognates and/or loan words? Expose yourself to the culture of the language you’re learning. Cognates are commonplace between Portuguese and English, thanks to the influence of French on English. Numerous Persian words have even been incorporated into English, including bazaar, candy, caravan, checkmate and kiosk. (Yay for simplicity!) One of the most common examples is the word ma, which depending on the inflection can mean mother, horse, scold or hemp. Japanese is an East Asian language with over 125 million speakers. In addition, their verbs have three persons, two numbers, two tenses and two moods. The first zinger? For example, a single word in Finnish can be translated into a full sentence in English. As if that wasn’t easy enough, Norwegian also has somewhat similar word order to English, at least compared to German. In the event of a tie, the language with the best resource score was ranked first. Not to mention that Korean uses lots of connectors, making sentences even longer! Some Spanish learners also struggle with the speed. Oh and Arabic is considered a macrolanguage, which means it has 30 different varieties worldwide! Generally speaking, however, the reasons are grouped into six categories: These are the main criteria for deciding whether a language is one of the easiest or hardest. Overall, Dutch is English’s closest cousin. However, it’s also heavily influenced by Bantu, Persian, English and Romance languages. First, Hindi uses an SOV (subject object verb) word order and has new sounds for English speakers, including dhaand hka. is to follow the famous 80-20 rule that states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. right to left)? The harder the language you choose to learn, the more it’ll stretch your language learning skills. There are only three verb tenses in Polish: present, past and future. For many, Esperanto is the easiest language in the world and considered a stepping stone for learning other ones. Words can also get long and windy because Koreans use suffixes to modify the word. The first difficult aspect is writing in Japanese. Since Japan is a polite culture, it’s important to use hierarchical forms to show respect to authority figures, too. Though within Europe, Finnish isn’t part of the Indo-European languages. However, not all languages are the same. Hungarians are the worst in foreign languages in the EU, and it's because for a Hungarian to learn foreign languages is about as hard as to learn Hungarian for a foreigner Disclaimer: while probably being one of the most difficult official languages in Europe, it's nowhere near the most difficult counting the countless isolated languages The linguistic factors that make a language easy or hard for different speakers are endless. That’s because Afrikaans evolved from Dutch colonists who came to South Africa in the 1600s. Gaelic starts out on the right foot: it uses the Latin script, has phonetic spelling and follows consistent grammar rules. Then there’s the grammar. One favorite Finnish word is. Given its Latin roots, Italian also shares lots of cognates, so get ready to find similarities between English and Italian. The good news? Mandarin is a language within the Chinese language group and is actually the most spoken language in the world. This does not mean that Hungarian is the hardest language to learn for everyone, but it causes British diplomatic personnel, who are generally used to learning languages, the most difficulty. In addition, Esperanto only has 5 vowels, simply word order and vocabulary based on the Romance languages. For English native speakers, this makes Hungarian one of the hardest languages to learn. Besides that, however, Hindi has some challenging differences in terms of grammar, pronunciation and writing. It is spoken by approximately 422 million people around the globe. Czech is also one of the hardest languages because of the way that consonants cluster together in words, making pronounciation a mouthful! All you need is -är to form verbs for everybody. Get a language partner or hire a teacher to get one-on-one time with a native speaker. In 2010, the volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in Iceland, throwing TV reporters in turmoil. Tagalog. Just consider its noun case system. The more experience you can get with real-life conversation, the better. Romanian is also consistently phonetic, so words are pronounced as they’re spelled. The language structure of the Korean language is very different from many other languages, including English. There are only three verb tenses in Polish: present, past and future. Don’t forget about all the irregular nouns and verbs too (uh-oh). Another benefit is that Afrikaan verbs don’t conjugate by person, so there are fewer endings and noun genders to learn compared to Dutch. B… While Spanish grammar is distinct from English, it’s simpler and has some basic overlap. Mamma mia! Your language goals will be different depending on whether you want to travel and speak with locals, converse in depth with a native friend, or read literature in that language. Is made difficult to pick up the Uralic language family for nothing easy enough, Norwegian also has similar to... A blank slate they are placed in a pinch, a single word in can! 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