Language is the most significant representative of any culture on the globe. There are thousands of languages people speak worldwide, and we don’t know even half of them yet. Learning a new language has become extremely common nowadays. Many people and students are learning languages, and some have opted for it as their career path. So we can say that language is not only joining communities but is also helping us in shaping our future.
As we stated that there are ‘n’ numbers of languages, people are gradually shifting their preference to some of the less-known languages to understand the communities better. However, many students are still happy to learn common foreign languages such as Spanish, German or French. But, if you like to take up some challenges and learn and ace a complex language, today we will discover the top 10 hardest languages to learn.
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Before answering the question of what are the hardest languages to learn, let us first understand why people should learn different languages. There are mainly two significant benefits of learning languages among other- career and culture.
Learning a language is an add-on to an individual’s skill which gives a boost to their career. It certainly looks good on your CV or resume, which provides you with a competitive advantage. It helps you stand out from the other monolingual competitors. There is a huge demand for bilingual people in every occupation as they can easily communicate with people of different communities and spread their message smoothly. It is even better if you opt for some hardest languages to learn as it ensures your place in a good position in a good company or office. The technicality and prominence is major factor deciding on your package as well.
Learning different languages brings people and communities around the globe closer. The ability to communicate to others in their language deepens our connection with them and their culture and vice versa. People realize and learn the significance of different traditions, cultures, religions, history, art, and society. As a result, it develops a sense of respect, empathy, positive attitude, and acceptance for others.
Arabic is considered the toughest language to learn, which itself has a dozen varieties in it. It is the national language of 25 countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, while Mali and Senegal have Arabic as their national language. However, Arabic speakers in different regions do not speak the language in the same way. In other words, Arabic has many dialects such as Gulf Arabic, Levantine Arabic, etc., which makes it one of the top 10 hardest languages to learn.
Arabic has completely different foreign alphabets, written from left to right, and some of the dialects are entirely different from one another. If you want to learn Arabic, you need first to choose the dialect you want to study. Clearly, Arabic is one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn.
The hardest languages to learn usually have completely different alphabets, grammar, and entirely different dialects. One of the world’s hardest languages to learn is Mandarin Chinese. The language Mandarin belongs to the group of the Chinese language. What makes it a difficult language to master is its different tone. Every word and sound in the Mandarin language system has a different pronunciation.
The language is rich in technicalities such as homophones, aphorisms, and idioms, which carry cultural and historical significance. Hence, learning Mandarin means learning the entire culture and society along with the history and folk.
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The Japanese language is renowned as one of the hardest languages to learn, especially for English speakers. If you want the answer to the question- what is the most complicated language? The answer is Japanese as it has three separate writing systems- Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Its sentence structure is the opposite of English, and Japanese grammar itself is complex and challenging to learn. Another essential factor that plays a vital role in making you an excellent Japanese speaker is politeness and respect, which varies for someone elder or younger.
The beauty and culture of Hungary attract many people to learn Hungarian, but mind you, it is one of the globally known hardest languages to learn. However, it is known to be one of the most rewarding and exciting languages as well. What makes Hungarian interesting is that you can play with the order and cases. Talking about the difficulty of the Hungarian language, it has 35 cases, and a complete understanding of grammar is a must to convey even a simple message.
The official language of the Scandinavian countries- Finland and Sweden, Finnish is ranked fifth out of the top ten hardest languages to learn globally. After the Hungarian grammar, Finnish grammar is renowned for being the most complex and challenging grammar. Although it may sound and look quite similar to English, it has completely different lettering and pronunciation. Finnish grammar is way more complicated than English. Besides, there are modern and classical/traditional Finnish speakers, and both these have many differences, making it hard to learn.
The craze for the Korean language is visible in the entire world. With the wave of Korean pop, there is a sudden surge of Korean language students. But, it is not an easy language to learn. It is one of the most strange, unique, and toughest languages to learn as it has no genealogical relationship to other languages. It has its own alphabet, complex grammar, and particular word order, which adds to the challenges of this language. Though it might not be one of the hardest languages to learn, it is the trickiest language.
Just like Chinese, Mandarin, and Japanese, Vietnamese has quite similar features as a language. It is a tonal language that comes with multiple dialects and historical significance. As the name suggests, Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. But, a lesser-known fact is that Vietnamese is a recognized minority language for people in the Czech Republic. The most challenging element in learning Vietnamese is pronunciation. There are six tones in the Vietnamese language which dictate the meaning of a word.
Other than the major Asian languages, Europe also has some of the hardest languages to learn. One such language is Polish, and it is nowhere near easy. The complicated gender system is a difficult task in Polish. However, it is still manageable for English speakers as Polish has similar alphabets and sounds, particularly for vowels as English. Hence, it becomes a little less complicated or mind-boggling language to deal with. But, it is still one of the hardest languages to learn for non-English speakers. If your native or second language is English, Polish will be fairly less difficult for you. However, someone who has no link to English, such as Chinese or Korean, will find Polish tough.
The next one on the list of the hardest languages to learn is the Russian language. There are around 150 million Russian speakers worldwide, making it one of the most famous European languages. The intricate casing, gender system, complicated grammatical rules, and novelistic writing style make Russian quite complex. The major mistakes made by students and learners of the Russian language are with pronunciation and spelling. Russian is a Cyrillic script renowned for being a confusing script, where the alphabet ‘B’ makes the ‘V’ sound.
The Icelandic language has been consistently ranked as one of the hardest languages to learn, and the credit goes to its archaic vocabulary and complex grammar. The two biggest challenges a learner faces with Icelandic are pronunciation and conjugations. The language has its links to German, Norwegian and Faroese languages, making it a confusing language. Other than that, the Icelandic conjugations can easily mess with your head. Besides, the language is spoken on a small island which gives an edge to it.
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Learning languages is an excellent skill that one can acquire. It will boost your career and make you feel more connected to different cultures around the globe. There are some easy languages to learn like Spanish and French, while there are many difficult ones to study. The languages listed above are some of the hardest languages to learn, and if you are looking to gain a skill that comes with a challenge, you can learn these languages.
However, the quality of a language being the toughest one to learn depends on multiple factors. Prominence, origin, similarity, and dissimilarity to English or someone’s native language play an essential role in determining the complexity of a foreign language. It also depends on the learner as the language that one may find difficult could be an easy one to learn for another student.