Top 10 Most Difficult Languages in the World

Today we will take a look at the top 10 most difficult languages in the world and where it is spoken around the globe.

hardest languages in the world

Have you ever wondered what the hardest languages to learn are? For whatever reason, if you’ve ever wondered about which languages are the most difficult to learn – for English speakers, at least.

There’s a lot of debate about which language is the most difficult to learn. Plus, those that are difficult to pick up are usually tough for entirely different reasons.

For instance, tonal languages—where the pitch of your voice can change the meaning of a word—are notoriously challenging and difficult.

Moreover, there are languages that have either incredibly rigid or extremely loose rules for grammar. If a language has one, two, or all three of those hurdles, it can get frustrating and be considered hard to learn.

Hardest Languages to Learn for English Speakers

When it comes to the ease of learning a new language, no two languages are similar. That’s because the ease of learning depends on the native language. Check below;

1. Mandarin

Mandarin is a language within the Chinese language group and is actually the most spoken language in the world.

Learning Mandarin’ – is often cited as the most difficult language for English speakers to learn. As it happens, I disagree. But it’s certainly a big challenge.

Another hurdle is the four tones: Chinese is a tonal language, and words have different meanings depending on the intonation.

For example, mai with a falling tone means “sell” (mài卖) – but when pronounced with a tone that falls and then rises, it means “buy” (măi买).

2. Arabic

To the beginner, Arabic might look totally impenetrable due to its exotic script. But apart from the fact that vowels are often omitted and one or two other complications, the alphabet is not so difficult to learn.

Unfortunately, the writing is just the start. Arabic has some pretty tough grammar to get to grips with. And some of the sounds will need practice.

There are also many distinct dialects of Arabic, with the Arabic of Egypt being very different from the Arabic spoken in Saudi Arabia, for example.

3. Cantonese

If you think standard Chinese is testing, try Cantonese. Mandarin has four clearly defined tones, unbelievably, nobody really knows how many there are in Cantonese.

However, many overseas Chinese are Cantonese speakers, so you stand a good chance of finding someone to practice with.

4. Vietnamese

If you want to try getting your tongue around a language that’s devilishly hard to pronounce, Vietnamese could be the one for you.

It features six tones (two of which are particularly tricky), a large number of vowel sounds and several sounds that are unlike anything in English.

Northern Vietnamese is also quite different from the Vietnamese of the south, adding another layer of difficulty.

One positive is that modern Vietnamese is written in a version of the Latin alphabet. That said, there are quite a few extra accents and tone marks that you will have to contend with.

5. Thai

Thai is another tonal language, although its five tones are relatively easy to master.

However, unlike Vietnamese, it’s written in its own unique script. And Thai writing is a particular challenge.

A large number of letters is not the biggest issue (there are 44 consonants and 15 vowel symbols). some sounds have more than one letter. And you need to remember which one is used in any particular word.

6. Japanese

Japanese has a reputation for being one of the world’s hardest languages, and for good reason. It has not one but three scripts you need to learn Japanese.

Hiragana and Katakana, used mainly for writing foreign and Japanese words respectively, are phonetic, both containing 46 characters.

Much more difficult is Kanji, a system based on Chinese characters, of which several thousand are in common use.

7. Hindi

Hindi is another challenging tongue for speakers of English to learn for many of the same reasons as Arabic.

There’s a new alphabet to tackle, there are some sounds that will require work. And there’s some tricky grammar to master.

The big advantage is that, with around 120 million native speakers, you won’t be short of partners to practice with.

8. Russian

The Russian language is evaluated as 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.

It uses a Cyrillic alphabet made up of letters both familiar and unfamiliar to us.

It is also the hardest language to learn ranked as Russian uses many consonants bunched together like Polish which makes spelling and pronunciation a challenge.

9. Czech

Czech is a language that lulls you into a false sense of security. But although it’s written in Latin script, don’t let it fool you – it’s a notoriously tough tongue to conquer.

To the untrained ear, it’s easy to mistake it for the Russian language. And like Russian, it makes use of cases – this time, seven. It also has no fewer than FOUR genders.

10. Hungarian

Hungarian grammar is actually so hard to learn for English speakers due to its most difficult rules with 26 different cases which it includes in the list of hardest languages to learn.

Not only this but there are also some essential cultural implications that make it more difficult to learn in separation that’s why most European languages face this problem.


Most Difficult Sport to Get a College Scholarship in this Generation

Nike Scholarship and its Eligibility Criteria in 2023/2024

Different Types of Google Scholarship Available in 2024/2025

The Most Prestigious Scholarship in the World Right Now 2024

Is it Hard Winning a Coca-Cola Scholarship in 2024

How Do I Apply for the Dangote Foundation Scholarship in 2024/2025

What is the Easiest Type of Scholarship to Get in 2024/2025?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *