Top List of the hardest languages to learn

We had so many interesting responses to this article that we decided to create a poll to see what people think the hardest languages to learn overall are. We also wanted to find out what people think the hardest language to learn to pronounce correctly and the hardest language to learn to write correctly are. The hundreds of votes have now been counted! Take a look at the results of the hardest languages to learn poll, to find out what languages people voted for.




1. Basque
2. Hungarian
3. Chinese
4. Polish
5. Japanese
6. Russian
7. German
8. Korean
9. English
10. Swahili



There are some controversial questions which to some extent may never be satisfactorily answered. For instance, why is the train always late when we are on time and on time when we arrive too late? One important question, which falls under this category, is the following: What is the hardest language to learn? When I went to school we had to choose between French and Latin. All the students who decided in favor of Latin were absolutely sure that there was no trickier language on earth to learn. However, the other group, which devoted itself to the French language, was of the opinion that when it came to difficulty no language could come close even to the difficulty rating and kudos of learning French. Is it at all possible to prove either one of them wrong?

As so often is the case, the answer to this question lies partly in the eye of the beholder. For somebody from Spain learning Portuguese doesn’t present too many difficulties and lots of learners from the Netherlands find it quite easy to master the English language. As a matter of fact, different language families as well as cultural issues lead to a different approach of learners towards different languages. Due to the similar or identical characters of Japanese and Chinese, the Japanese can easily understand written Chinese. Interestingly, grasping the Chinese pronunciation has turned out to be more of a challenge for Japanese learners. All this shows, that there are many different aspects that need to be taken into account in order to pass a reasonable judgment on the matter. As English is the nearest thing to a world language there are lots of tools and textbooks that facilitate acquisition of the language, by contrast, this is not true for minor languages spoken by a smaller group of people.

While the common consensus tends to describe Chinese and Russian to be among the most challenging languages, a survey conducted by the British government has shown that this is not necessarily true. According to their results, which are based on interviews with diplomatic staff around the world, they found that on the list of the most difficult languages Basque is the top dog, followed by Hungarian with dozens of word cases. Surprisingly, among the interviewees Chinese was not considered to be hard to learn.






*Top List based on forum discussions in 23 countries

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356 thoughts on “Top List of the hardest languages to learn”

  1. arabic is definetely harder to learn than swahili.
    arabic should be in the top five because:
    a) there is classical arabic and then spoken arabic.. they are pretty different
    b) spoken arabic is very different from country to country.. Tunisian arabic is very different from Egyptian , Egyptian very different from Jordanian, and Jordanian very different from Yemeni arabic, and Yemeni very different from Moroccan Arabic ( i would know this because i live in the arab world)
    c) there are letters/sounds in the language that are not present in any other language in the world
    d) for each word there are atleast 3 or 4 synonyms to it.. if not more. and 3/4 synonyms is just in classical arabic.. add to that the colloquial and you are forever messed up.
    e) even arabs have a hard time with reading/writing/speaking in classical arabic.. only Imams/news reporters really actually speak in classical arabic

  2. You forgot about my language! Cantonese!!!!! For me it seems as if i was born knowing it all, but it should be pretty hard for other people right???

  3. I think it depends on what you consider successful language learning and what part of the language is most difficult. We all know that according to the critical period hypothesis, it’s near enough impossible to become as fluent as a language learner in later life. Obviously some people have very high linguistic intelligence and language aptitude plays a role.

    Certain European languages are routinely mentioned as being the most difficult to learn – Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Basque etc. These languages all have quite complex and complicated grammar (which would be my guess as to why these are routinely selected as the most complicated). However, I think that is a narrow-minded view on what a language is completely. Literacy should be considered and in which case Japanese, Chinese and Arabic would all be much more difficult surely? Pronunciation is also very important – especially for tonal languages. And let’s not forget that there are many languages which are routinely looked over, probably because of social and political reasons (many African languages and the languages of the indingenious people of America and Oceania etc.).

    Ultimately though, all languages have things that are easy and things that are hard, Germanic and Romance languages are often thought of as easier but there are nuiances in grammar that can confuse even the best language learners. My last point is that I think people have this idea that the more different a language is, the harder it will be but from a pedagogic point of view, sometimes the similarities between two languages can cause too much language transfer.

  4. Basque is not difficult, it’s one of the most easiest languages in the world.
    I think:
    1. Chinese
    2. Russian
    3. Japanese
    4. Arabic
    5. Hungarian

  5. Oo What about danish?? Only 5.5 million speeks it…
    Also because they have letters in the danish alphabet never seen anywhere else…
    Æ Ø Å
    The danish toungtwiser “Rød Grød Med Fløde” is really hard to pronounce..
    Chinese (Mandarin) Isn’t that hard… You just have to learn the words…
    It’s not like english “I walk, I went” Their words are infinitive…

  6. Talking about tough languages , I would like to know about Thai as I am keen on learning it.
    Like many other asian languages , Thai is a tonal language ( it uses 5 different tones ) and changing the tone can completely change the meaning of the word.
    Also , the script is is quite different.
    So , please let me know what you think of Thai and how easy/difficult is learning it.
    I am a native of India and stay in India. Your valuable suggestions would be greatly appreciated .

  7. Hahaha English is in this “objective” chart, but the Bulgarian isn’t… The second one is much, much more difficult. The German is easier than Bulgarian, too. I’ve learned English and German and my opinion is a real assessment. I can’t say anythink about the other languages, because I haven’t learned them.

  8. Wow, I’m amazed that so many people mention Spanish as a difficult language. As others have said, Spanish is probably the easiest for an English speaker. Easier in some ways than English, in fact. You never have to worry about how to spell a Spanish word. It is spelled exactly as it is pronounced. English spelling, on the other hand, is a complete nightmare. French (based on the year I spent studying it) is a similar incoherent mess. The only problem I ever remember having with learning Spanish is the subjunctive tense, which still confuses me. But I’m talking about the written language. The spoken language is a whole different minefield.

    Part of the problem may be that Spanish is such a rapid language. Languages have different speeds, you know? Swedish sounds rather slow, and even though I never studied it, I can make out some of the words. French is pretty slow, too, and I can grasp some of what people are saying even though I cannot begin to pronounce it.. Japanese sounds quite fast to me, and Spanish has to be one of the fastest of all. I can read Spanish pretty well, but even after years of study, hearing a native speaker can sound like, holaquepasalalapalnalmalanalaquemalaadios. I don’t even try to rattle it off like a native speaker and always feel slow witted when I try to talk to them.

  9. Have anybody ever tried to learn/speak Polish, I wish you a good luck, German is easy, just as English is, no doubts. All the Slavic languages are difficult but even for them Slavics – Polish definitely is one of the the most difficult to speak, learn and understand. Spelling is impossible, even for Poles. Polish is among the10 hardest tongs of the major languages

  10. I enjoyed this post and reading all of the comments but I must give my own two cents. My native tongue is English but I studied Spanish and latin as well. Currently I am learning Mandarin and I have found it quite simple aside from the writing. Mandarin has no tense and pretty much no gender aside from a few words so its simple. What makes Mandarin hard, is that fact the pronunciation can be the difference between words, ex; ma, ma, ma and ma (all different meanings). I must say that English is definitely one of the hardest languages due to it’s massive vocabulary (the largest). Also! To add to that, thousands of words are added to it each year. English also has slang, abbreviations, and acronyms. Not to mention spelling words correctly with all of the loopholes. In short, English is easy to “learn” but nearly impossible to master. People who have spoke english since they were children find it easy, but they probably don’t know a few hundred thousand words or so…

  11. This list of the hardest languages in the world is wrong!! I’m Polish and i definitly think that Polish is the hardest language in the world. It should be 1st on this list. I’m 15 and i still can’t speak polish correctly( without any mistake)

  12. I’m confused why lots are saying Polish is so hard my father studied in Poland and he told me he learned it very quickly and it is an easy language?

  13. Swahili should not be on the list at all… I’ve met so many people who think it’s a click language so that’s probably why it’s up there….

  14. What!? I’m confused to those who say ‘the korean alphabet is harder than the japanese’ actually for a matter of fact korean hangul is SOOO MUCH easier. I learnt it within a week (really it’s that easy!), it’s just a little hard to get used to. With japanese there is SO MUCH KANJI, it’s ridiculous quite really, not even native speakers know all the kanji and they probably never will. Hangul > Kanji/katakana/hiragana.
    And also as far as pronounciation English isn’t that hard (well I am a native speaker), but grammatically speaking, English should be number 1.

  15. To say the truth studies have shown that one of the hardest languages in the world is Albanian,,, because it is not related to any other languages,,,,,,,,you guys should try learning it………….

  16. English is very hard to learn it should be in the top 5 very higher!
    English is hard for even people that are English!
    Japanese and Chinese is very easy……especially Japanese when you get the college you can take that class I Know a zillion words in japanese and I also know how to write them….Buh yea english should be higher

  17. Hi 😉 In my opinion English language is not that hard, how people are writing. I’m 15 and , I think, I’m really good in this language.
    But German language is definitely hard language. I learn it 2 years and I can’t remember a many words .
    And I’m going to learn Spanish language, And I believe that I can do this, it’s all about my attitude to learning this language.
    I’m from Poland, and for me, this language is not hard, but I know, that people which doesn’t speak in this language, they’re think, that is a very hard language to learn.

    Sorry for mistakes 😉

  18. lol…a lot of people here underestimate german…the grammar is absolutely uncomparably to english….there are just way more expressions in german because of the dialect and all the different countries that use german as their language…swiss german vienna german etc…..everyone has specific terms and words that only native speaker now of…and believe me…when a foreigner is stuck in saxony…good luck….you wont understand anything even if you have a phd in german…
    and pronounciation is also really hard…for example…i lived in the US for 4 years and well i’m flued and could easily have gone to college and my american english teacher never critizied my pronounciation and believe me..she was a b****….
    if a foreigner starts german as an adult will NEVER be able to sound like a native speaker..but we germans dont care as much as the arrogant baguettes from france do…we are constantly wasted anyway..lol..
    if anyone wants proof to my statement learn german for a LONG time try to read Goethe,Schiller or Brecht…
    believe me you can stop after the first 2 pages…FAUST is the WORST!!!!
    But i have to admit….there are even meaner languages to learn…dutch for example…god i hate this language…sounds like constant puking and the grammar is sick…

  19. really, no offense at all english speakers but i do not believe english should even be on the list.

    i can tell because i speak spanish, english, russian and french. And english, by far has been the easiest language to learn and understand, french is VERY similar to spanish and it was way harder than english.

    what makes it easy its the absence of accents and genders among other things, on the other side theres spanish which is difficult for it has genders on every object and accents on words every now and then (im not saying spanish is difficult its just a little more complicated than english) and so is french (i hate it), and learning russian was hell.

    really i dont mean to offend anyone but i thought you may want an opinion from someone who actually had to learn english and other languages from cero.

  20. Guys, but what are u think about Polish language? I live in Poland, i study English, and i think it’s not that hard (shouldnt be on 9th place…).

  21. Damn guys, 9.English? haha =) i can say 20 language that is more difficult than the english… i leaned much language; spanish, mandarin, russian, latin, english and german. the most difficult was russian and latin for me, much cases, inflexion, etc. Mandarin is easy if u can remember to the caracters, all is just practice. in the last summer i was writhing about ETA, so i learned some words in basque, it is not difficult, just different than others. Spanish is easy if u know use “subjuntivo”, i think this was the most difficult to learn for me. Idk about polish, just my aunt from Poland, he says it looks hard because have totally differently pronunciation, but isnt hard, his wife lives in poland 2years ago and he speaks very good, we can say perfect just she has a little accent =) Im hungarian, so i dont say nothing about hun. Just i tell u i have friends who r living here 10-15years ago, and they still have gramatical problems whit the most easyest words too =)

  22. Although I have not learned most of the languages on this list, I think people are underestimating the difficulties of learning and becoming fluent in English. I am a native speaker, so I always believed it was an easy language until i traveled to latin america and taught some friends English there. I am almost fluent in Spanish, which is considered an easier language due to its phonetic spelling and more or less straight forward grammar.

    However, in my travels, when others tried to practice speaking English with me, they sounded awful. I´m not saying this because I have never heard non-native speakers speak the language (There are plenty of immigrants who live in my hometown and speak English as a second language). Their pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary were horrible, but they were convinced that they ¨knew¨ English. They also asked me questions about differences in pronunciation between words such as ¨ice¨ and ¨eyes¨ and ¨peace¨ and ¨peas¨ and had a lot of trouble with grammar usage such as when to use gerunds, the present perfect, and past progressive, which are things that are much easier to master in Spanish.

    I think the phenomena of thinking that English is an easy language is due to its wide usage and its being taught in schools around the world. Many people have taken classes and can speak the language on a certain level. However, I am a firm believer in the saying that you cannot truly learn a language unless you practice speaking with native speakers. I can say, without a doubt, that most of the people who I taught English to would not be able to order food in a restaurant in English let alone converse with native speakers. I thought I was an advanced Spanish speaker until I actually was in Latin America and realized that I couldn’t understand half the things being said to me and that most people didn’t understand me either.

    With that being said, I do think English is a difficult language. I don’t know how it should be ranked in the overall list of hard languages, but it is not ¨so easy¨ as people have commented.

  23. HATSCHI , i agree with you . German is NOT easy at all . The grammar is very difficult and you have to practice all the time . Almost everything is inflected in this language. You should check out the grammar on canoo.net . It’s so complex that you’ll give up the unfortunate idea ( if has ever crossed your mind) of learning german . Stop complainig about Turkish so much , i’ve learned both turkish and german . Indeed Turkish pronunciation is more difficult , but when it comes to grammar , stands no chance against German .

  24. Hey, yeah my native tongue was Serbian originally, but then I was taught only English when I was around 3 or 4. English could be pretty difficult I suppose. I’m teaching myself Mandarin and Japanese, both of which are pretty easy. Grammar is hardly a problem and the characters couldn’t be easier. Ive always had a knack for pronunciation and character recognition. Russian is fairly straight forward as well. Serbian is one of the easiest language to speak, write, and read. French is fun as well. I think that this list should be revised because Finnish and Icelandic are impossibly difficult. Arabic is quite difficult as well although I find the characters rather simple to recognize, the grammar is RETARDED Hebrew is not much fun either unfortunately.

  25. Hi everyone!

    I’m from Lithuania (like some of the people who posted here).
    Now, I do speak English well and to me it seems like a really easy language to learn, BUT – there’s always something out there you may not know or understand…as with ANY language…literally..
    This whole “which are the hardest languages” thing is really absurd due to the fact that people are very different all around the world. For example, English is almost like a native language to me, but I have a few friends who just don’t get the hang of it at all…and we’re all Lithuanians!
    Every language has it’s pros and cons: Some are easier to write, but are hellish when it comes to pronunciation and vice versa. So really, there is no point in arguing about that.
    Of course, it’s a good thing when a group of friendly and open-minded individuals gather for an intellectual debate, but some points made by certain people are just irrational.
    So in conclusion, I’d like to point out that this whole language thing is clearly dependent on one’s point of view and abilities rather than limited to some silly norms or something 🙂

    P.S.: Anyone interested in intellectual talks are welcome to drop me an eMail: xquatrox(at)inbox.lt

    Thank you and have a nice day! 🙂

  26. To all people that say Polish is easy- in my life I’ve never met foreigner able to loose accent and learn which form of word is proper to use. If You are convinced You’re speaking perfectly, it’s just because Polish people don’t lecture those who make mistakes, like eg. French people.

  27. At the beginning-sorry for my English (I learn it now and I try to speak/write for practice and learn something new:) )
    So, every nation think their language is most difficult (that it looks on this forum).
    Every language is difficulty! If someone want speak and write perfectly in foreign language it’s always very difficulty! For example: if you learn polish, for basic communication need 3 months of learn, if you want to learn all rules of this language-need few years! And it’s same in all languages! How fast we learn foreign languages depends only from ours hard work:)
    Sorry again for my English(soon be better:)
    Regards

  28. Dear All,
    I am Hungarian, I have learned English since I was 18, now I am 21. I live in the UK with Iraqian partner. I have lived and studied in Austria for over 3 years as well.

    Many people say, “English is the easiest one” and I have to agree with them. I learned Hungarian as I was child. I studied German in school, in Austria. The German grammar is horror compared to English, but still easier than Hungarian. We use approximately 1500-2000 words in daily routine. For each person (I , you, he, we…) we have different ending on the verbs, similarly to German. Our alphabet contains over 40 letters.
    My partner, who is very good to learn languages (speaks Persian, Arabic, English, Polish and Kurdish) could not learn Hungarian after 3 years. I was able to learn to speak Soranian Kurdish after a year ( not professional level, but i was able to talk with his mother).

    By the way, for the person who is correcting others’ writings I have a message: “Can you talk any other languages with the perfect prounciation? Can you learn to write in any other languages 100% correctly, with no grammatical errors???? Can you read on any other languages and understand that fully?

    I am studying at a University in the UK, and I feel sorry for the lecturers who correct essays, because quote someone “English native speakers have grammar and silly mistakes just as foreign people”.

    I am sure if you would want to do, you still could not learn any other languages from the top ten hardest languages. It takes a life time to speak, write and read as a native speaker…

  29. You’re honestly putting English as one of the most difficult languages to learn? Seriously? English only has one gender, while (for example) my native language Norwegian has three genders. I can speak for the rest of the world, but I personally find English very easy to learn. Easier than French, for example.

  30. Well I’m an American, of Hispanic heritage, so English and Spanish are my main languages and i speak them fluently. I tried learning German in high school (I kinda put it on hiatus after i finished high school a year ago), it is difficult… 3 genders and some complex grammar rules, although i do like the flexibility it allows the speaker/writer in terms of sentence structure. I’m currently learning French, which is easy for an English/Spanish speaker… pronunciation is the only thing that is tough. (no offense to any Frenchies here, but why have so many letters that end up not even being pronounced?? it’s so illogical)

    I’m not sure how English can be considered tough, yes there are a bunch of exceptions to everything and pronunciation is illogical as well (Wednesday anybody?)… but there’s no genders! Aren’t genders just so incredibly pointless? And they are tedious to learn.

    Has anybody mentioned Latin? I heard it has like 6 cases, not to mention that it’s pretty hard to practice since few people speak it and there’s no Latin media (music, film, etc.)… or at least not within the past millennium. -_-

  31. my native laguage is Slovak and it is really hard language
    many students have problems with slovak grammar in writing and it is our own language 😀
    i think that it is impossible to learn Slovak language without speaking with native Slovak person
    and many people who listen our pronounciation say that it is impossible to say
    but i am proud that i speak *the hardest language in the world*

    On September 27th a linguistic consortium in Paris has come up with following results:

    the easiest languages to learn:

    10. mongolese

    09. aramaic

    08. greek

    07. norwegian

    06. italian

    05. romanian

    04. croatian

    03. bulgarian

    02. english

    01. the easiest language in the world spoken by more than 300 million people is spanish

    the most difficult languages: (linguists examined complexity of grammar, syntax, historical development, pronunciation, orthography, letter styles, signs, etc.)

    10. german

    09. french

    08. chinese

    07. japanese

    06. korean

    05. persian

    04. arabic

    03. finnish

    02. hungarian

    01. the most difficult language is Slovak

    The most difficult is grammar structure. Slovak language is the only one with seven grammar cases (nominativ, genitiv, dativ, accusativ, local, instrumental, vocativ), exquisite words, soft and hard “i”, declension of adjectives and verbs, in other words almost each and every word in this language is being declinated. There are many other characteristics which are not found in other world languages. It is said, or estimated, that it takes about 12 years to learn it completely, but the linguists say, that there is no one on this earth who can speak this language perfectly knowing all the grammar rules.

  32. Serbian and croatian language also have the same 7 cases like slovak. I speak all 3. The slavic languages are relatively poor languages. Other than the languages above mentioned, I spek english, italian and german. At the time learning: finnish, turkish and hungarian. It’s wrong to think that hungarian is related to finnish. They just sound similar, but have different everything else ( I thought i’ll learn two languages “for the price of one”, what a mistake). Turkish have more in common with hungarian than finnish. From the mentioned languages, hungarian is far the most complicated one, have a unique grammar and large % of words with unknown origine, thus can’t relate to any other word from another language.

  33. I would have to say that English is a very hard language. You do have to conjugate like the verb to be; Is, are, am, was, were, be, been, would. Plus if the subject is singular, the verb is plural and viceversa. Non-native English speakers obviously haven’t been through an English class at an English school. We don’t learn the language, we already know how to speak and write it well, we learn grammar, which is every kid’s worst nightmare. People who say English grammar is simple haven’t been through an English class. English maybe isn’t hard to learn for some people, but take the word like people, pronounced peepal. It would be pronounced in other languages with their rules like Pay oh p lay. But the plural form for tooth is teeth but for booth is booths. Plus derivatives. Extreme- Extremely, Extremity. There aren’t any set rules for English, but that doesn’t make it easy, it makes it harder because that means you can’t teach yourself the language as well. And you can’t say, “I did good” you say, “I did well” We don’t have genders but we have a lot of proper ways to write things. Written English may not be that hard, but written English is different in Great Britain rathern than in America. Great Britain- Saviour America- Savior. Plus there is a multitude of English slang, and they all depend on where you live. In England, some word might mean something good, but in America is could mean something completely different. If you say English is easy, I dare you to sit in one of our AP English classes and then tell us what you think. But still, you can’t judge a language, any latin-based languages would have a hard time learning languages like Chinese, but if you speak Chinese, you would have a terrible time learning English. Someone I know who was from Germany said that the hardest part of their lives ever was learning English. She had to learn it because her family was moving here. There are many sound alikes in English. Like here and hear. To completely different things. In America, you get the southern accent, like y’all (you all). The north has their own accents. Like I’m from central America, known for not having an accent, but you go south, they call pop coke. If I said I want a pop there, they would have no clue what I’m saying. The English language has never ever been learned fluently, there are so many rules to learn. I’m a native English speaker and I learn new things everyday. Btdubs, English is known internationally because America is the super nation of the world. Not saying we’re better than anyone else but we are a superpower, that’s why everyone learns English, not because it’s easy. I think English is the hardest language in the world, and someone who learned English and Chinese said that English is way harder. But I would also think that, say, Arabic is harder than German because English derives from the same group and Arabic doesn’t. It also depends on your personal preference, if you’re more willing to learn English than Polish, than English would come more easily to you because you want to learn English and don’t want to learn Polish. I think English is the hardest because it’s literally impossible to become fluent in proper English, plus there are thousands of accents. Plus we shorten worlds. Instead of saying probably, we would say prolly or probly, which to a non-native would sound completely different. But learning any language in itself is hard, because you have a certain intimate relationship with your language and not with the other, unless you study abroad, but will never learn that language as well as your native tongue. Oh and don’t forget that english has a ton of sayings like Dance your heart out which would be literally impossible and make no sense to someone speaking a different language, but makes total sense to us. Here’s a list of weird sayings. I’m gonna do that, not correct spelling or pronunciation but that’s how we say “going to” Oh and by the by, ain’t ain’t a word so don’t say ain’t. Never say never. Let’s make love would literally mean make it which is impossible to make love. Oh, and Americans aren’t as stupid as some people think, though we still are haha, but the school I go to, we have really stupid people and really smart people. I’m American and I love foreign affairs and learning different languages. I’m not overweight and hate eating non-healthy foods. I work out all the time and yeah!

  34. Also English may not have accents or any of the things that go above stressed letters or letters pronounced differently, but spoken English still has accents. Not accents, but more of stress. Take this sentence: You can’t say how many derivatives there are in English. The stress on derivatives is on the first i. If you put it on the first syllable, then it sounds like a completely different word and any natives will have no clue what you’re saying, whereas speaking Spanish, for example, you know where to put the stress, in English it’s more of a guess until you get it right.

    Also by saying that someone’s fluency shouldn’t be judged by grammatical errors and errors in general is a bunch of malarchy. If somone has perfect English and are completely fluent in it, then they have perfect grammar, spelling, etc. Sure a few mistakes are allowed because it can’t always be perfect, but if you write a sentence with millions of mistakes and think it’s correct, it’s definitely not fluent.

    Also native English speakers are extremely tolerant of someone non-native speaking English. We can honestly barely understand what you’re saying but can make out a few words to get a general idea, we’re just flattered that you decided to learn our language. Saying that it’s easy, for any language, is a misconception because all languages are going to be the hardest to someone. My brother is fluent in Japanese in two years, yet he said it was extremely hard and he studied nonstop and went to Japan and everything, just because he learned it in two years doesn’t mean that it’s easy. That just means that he studied it cautiously and 24/7. He has a japanese girl friend who is fluent in English and her classes in Japan are all in English. She understands exactly what they’re saying and everything, but when she came over here, I started talking to her in a normal speed, and I asked after I was done if she understood anything I said, she said, “no.” I like to speak fast so I did it to her, she just looked at me with complete horror on her face realizing that what she’s taught in her native land and what’s considered fluent there is completely different from what happens here. I even have non-accented English, I’m from the middle of America, so no accent, and she couldn’t understand a word I said. A girl in my grade is studying abroad here from Germany, she is fluent in English and understands what we say, but there was simple vocabulary she didn’t know like chaos. And saying that you can’t judge a language based off how many words there are is absurd, because knowing all the vocab is a big part in knowing the language, and I have no clue what some words mean or how they’re pronounced. Pronunciation is literally impossible in English just looking at the word and not knowing how to say it. Like in eyes and ice. The “C” in ice is pronounced like an s, but if you had the plural to any word in English, it isn’t an s sound, it’s a z sound. You would say “eyez’. You wouldn’t pronounce it like ice. That goes with any plural form of words.

    Finally, please join me in my homeland and spend a few days here speaking to the natives and tell me if you can understand anything we say. Odds are you can’t. Same with if I was speaking hungarian over there, I would have no clue what you’re saying because I grew up speaking it in the accent I have, not the formal accent you guys have.

  35. Hello people. I’ve read most posts, very interesting all of them.
    Some people say that English is easy, I think these people are partially correct. English is an easy language when it comes to reading and writing, however, English is very complicated when it comes to pronunciation, there are many words that are written differently but for a foreigner they should be pronounced equally, for instance “write and right” or “two and to”
    Some other people are claiming that Spanish is an easy language… These people clearly don’t have any knowledge of the Spanish language. If Spanish is so easy as you claim, please tell me, please explain to me, why David Beckham played for Real Madrid for like 4 years, and he never learned the Spanish language, is that logical to you? I mean, if Spanish is so easy, why David Beckham lived in Spain for such a long period of time and never learned the local language? Now, Zidane from France played in Real Madrid as well, and he was able to learn the Spanish language. So, you can claim that Spanish is easy only if you already speak a romance language. For Spanish speakers, Portuguese is easy, but again, that’s because both of those languages come from the same family.
    If Spanish is so easy, why I don’t see any European signers singing in this language? the only Europeans who sing in Spanish are obviously those from Spain… and Also some Italians. The Spanish speaking market is huge, 25 nations speak Spanish, if Spanish was so easy, why wouldn’t a singer learn Spanish to conquer such huge market? specially if such singer is from a tiny countries such as Croatia, Bulgaria, etc… i mean, according to some of you, English is difficult, so a singer from Croatia or Bulgaria probably doesn’t want to spend time and energies learning such a difficult language. But you guys also state that Spanish is easy, so why wouldn’t a singer from Croatia or Bulgaria learn such an easy language and conquer such a huge market?
    Thank you for your time.

  36. Anyone who has an ability for language acquisition, will find even the most “difficult” languages such as Basque, Hungarian, Greek, etc easy to learn. Someone who is unfortunate not to be able to remember syntax, grammar and vocabulary, will find the most commonly assumed “easy” languages daunting to remember and master. I hope that this settles some points here

  37. lol English hard to learn….. is the world easy language to learn … (thats why everyone use it to talk on line and here….)

    i learned to speak when i was only 9-10 year (and started at 8-9) grammar easy there is no á à ã â etc now i speak fluent Portuguese,Brazilian,Spanish,English and even Portuguese gesture language
    And French but i don’t like it

    ..English hard….see Russian\Chinese letters when you need to learn a new set of letters thats hard…
    Chinese every word have 4 tones deferents and they change is meaning

  38. English is dead easy that is why everybody in the world speaks it! I don’t think European languages are difficult at all! I have studied Spanish, French, Lithuanian, Chinese, Japanese! Most difficult language is Cantonese to learn so many tones and people in Hong Kong write full characters not simple verse like in mainland China!

  39. I really don’t understand why english is on that list. For example, when I compare the english grammar and verbs to the frenchs one, french is a LOT more complex. And many sounds are actually absent in the english pronunciation. I think one of the good way to judge the difficulty of a language is to watch how much difficulty their speaker have to learn OTHER language.

  40. To the person who doesn’t understand why Polish is difficult: I have studied both Russian and Polish. The cyrillic alphabet of Russian wasn’t a problem for me. I could read most of the Russian newspaper after only a year of studying Russian. Polish, however, is very difficult. After several years, I can’t remember the case endings.

    Let’s see – simplicity of English:
    The monkey is here. I see the monkey. I gave it to the monkey. It is the monkey’s toy. I am walking with the monkey. The mouse is in the monkey.
    So, monkey remains the same except for the possessive case.

    Now, in Polish:
    Małpa jest tutaj. Widzę małpy. I oddał go do małpy. To jest małpa zabawki. Idę z małpą. Mysz jest u małp.
    In this case, I have to remember 4 different endings depending on what I am saying. And, if the noun is neuter or masculine, I have another two sets of endings to remember.

    Same difficulty with verbs:
    In English:
    I am making a hat. You are making a hat. He makes a hat. We are making a hat. You are making a hat. They are making a hat.
    No matter who the subject is, it’s the same “making” except for the third person singular “makes”.

    Now Polish:
    Robię kapelusz. Robisz kapelusz. Robi ​​kapelusz. Robimy kapelusz. Robicie kapelusz. Robią kapelusz.
    Every single expression gets its own version of the verb “making”. So I have to remember 6 versions of the verb and that’s just for the present tense.

  41. Hey.
    I would like to know a bit more about this study. What is it based on? WHom they asked exactly? How objective it is? Can anyone know the original study?

    I read through the comments roughly.
    A few things:
    It’s not too nice calling a language easy or even ridiculously easy, if you don’t speak it well. (I read some who calimed they spent a few weeks in a country and they almost speak) Any language need years to learn properly! (maybe esperanto is an exception but that’s an artificial one)

    THe difficulty of a language is nothing to do with the size of population which speaks s (Basque is not claimed to be the hardest because of its separation I’m sure though I can’t speak any.)

    Hungarian and Finnish have almost nothing in common. They are on the same family tree (finno -ugric) but Hungarian is on the ugric branch and these two branches are extremely distant…

    We cannot be objective as we see a language from our native language. (That’s why I’m interested in how have they found this list. Which language parts have been compared to others etc.)

    Everyone can be really proud to their own language. Languages are beautiful doesn’t matter how they sound in a forigner’s ears or how hard they are to others.

    So if anyone could help me in finding this study wiht more details about its methods I would be greatful.

    Thanks and have a nice day!

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