The most difficult languages ​​in the world to learn


While it can be difficult to learn a new language as an adult, there are some that tax our faculties more than others. Although it is a bit subjective which language is the most difficult to learn, there are some that are definitely more difficult than others. And instead of listing very obscure languages ​​that are no doubt difficult (Tamil, Icelandic, Estonian, Polish, Hungarian), here are some of the most widely spoken and challenging ones. If you ever travel to places where these languages ​​are spoken, it may be easier to get a personal translator.


Since you are reading this in English, you obviously speak English. You may be wondering if English is difficult for non-native speakers to learn. If you’re fluent, you can overlook the oddities that make it a difficult language to learn: however, there are inconsistencies in spelling (“i before e except after c”) and pronunciation (ration does not rhyme with nation – while than rationally it should). English has also borrowed words and phrases from various languages ​​(particularly French), occasionally turning it into a hodgepodge that doesn’t always make sense.

The most complicated of the rest – Japanese

Compared to Japanese, English is a walk in the park. For starters, Japanese has three “alphabets” or writing characters: kanji, hiragana, and katakana. In other words, to be truly fluent, you have to learn three alphabets, all of which are understood by other native speakers. Some people consider it to have four alphabets, as there is one called ‘romaji’ which is generally used to help foreigners – it is a phonetic translation into Latin characters.

There are approximately 6,000 kanji characters, and the only way to know what they mean is to memorize them (since guessing the meaning is next to impossible). Hiragana and katakana each have about 50 characters that are used to form multiple words, which means you can make mistakes if the correct word elements are used in the wrong order.

There are some other difficulties. If your native language is English and you are learning Japanese then it can be difficult because Japanese grammar is almost opposite or inverse to English grammatical structure. Another difference from English is that the Japanese tend to have a roundabout way of talking about things; instead of saying yes or no directly, they could say “I’m thinking so” or “maybe yes”. Then there are different forms of Japanese that are used depending on the situation you are in: formal, everyday, and even different ways of speaking to men or women. If that’s not confusing enough, Japan has different dialects that are spoken in different cities.


One of the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world is not the easiest to learn. One problem with Chinese is an alphabet that is unique and quite difficult to master. If you usually read in English, this is an immediate test, especially since there are about 20,000 characters that are difficult to draw, let alone memorize.

Once you get over the Chinese reading problems, there are many more differences: in Chinese there are no cases, no genders, no tenses, no verb changes. While the grammar may not be too difficult, it is very different from English, and tonal pronunciation (where different tones of the same words mean completely different things) is difficult to master.


Arabic is a language where the spoken and printed language (in the media, books, and online) are quite different. There are many dialects, so an Arabic speaker from one region may have difficulty understanding someone from another.

Reading and writing is difficult as letters can change shape depending on where they are written in a word, plurals often change the word much more than in other languages ​​(unlike easy changes in English, which often just add a ‘s’). Then there is the fact that it reads from left to right.

An Honorable Mention: Finnish

Finnish is only really spoken in Finland (with a few Finns in Sweden and Norway). It is a complex language, which requires a lot of patience to learn.

Much of Finnish seems to include multiple vowels, all strung together over and over again, making the words extremely long and difficult to read, let alone pronounce.

Finnish has no Germanic or Latin roots, so much of the vocabulary is completely foreign to English speakers. There are also 15 noun cases, compared to English which only has five, as well as six types of verbs.

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