Top 10 Languages that are Hardest and Most Difficult to Learn

A language is a common platform using which people can communicate and exchange their ideas.  A language can be difficult to learn because of its complex grammatical rules, style of writing or its vocabulary. Also, hard going of a language depends on the viewer. On a general basis, these 10 languages are the hardest to learn:

10. English

English was developed during the Anglo-Saxon era in England and has risen to the stature of ’global language’. In contrast to other Indo – European languages, English is deficient in use of gender pertinent grammar and agreement of adjectives. The meaning of English sentences is conveyed by word order and modal verbs and is based on pronouns. The reason for popularity of this language is reduced variation in the native English all over the world. Though learning English is not very difficult to grasp but its dynamic idiomatic nature makes it harder to speak.

9. French

French is a favorite language of poets and writers as it is a romantic language. The numbers of people who speak French as their mother tongue are surprisingly high. The support for inflection in this language is moderate and uses a lot of tenses. There are 16 vowels in all, of which some are used in some of the dialects. French pronunciations are obtained strictly from their spellings. It shares several earth-shattering features of Romance languages such as two genders, new tenses etc.

8. German

German is developed in West German and is a well-known language. It uses the 26 Latin symbols as alphabets in addition to the three vowels with umlauts and letter ß. German experiences high rate of inflection in both nouns(it incorporates 4 different cases and 3 genders) and verbs(2 conjugation classes-weak and strong and 3 moods-indicative, imperative and subjunctive). Most of its vocabulary is originated from a branch of the family of Indo – European languages. Most of the German sentences have verbs at the end so infinitives have to be added.

7. Chinese

Chinese languages are a major group of languages of Eastern-Asia and are a substantial part of Sino-Tibetan language family. They are also known as the Sinitic languages. The meaning of a sentence is dependent on the word order and structure of the sentence. The most interesting fact about Chinese is this that it uses no numbers (singular or plural), no tenses and no voices either! It uses grammar extensively to depict the mood and meaning of any sentence.

6.  Estonian

Estonian is a Uralic language and is also the official language of Estonia. Its origins are very ancient; the most common day-to-day expressions can be traced back to as far as the Ice age.  This language exists in two forms-Tallinn (northern dialect) and Tartu (southern dialect). A word can be inflected in 14 different forms (e.g.:-nominative, illative, partitive etc) depending upon its usage in the sentence. The funny fact about this language is that there is no future tense in its verbal forms.

5. Hungarian

Hungarian is a distant relative of Finnish and is derived from the Finno-Ugric tree of languages.  It being an agglutinating language makes a four-square use of prefixes and suffixes. Like other European languages, Hungarian too does not distinguish in genders. Also, it is a highly inflective language in which nouns can take up to 238 forms, making their use complicated.  Its grammar explanations are terribly convoluted which is unreasonably long and difficult to understand.

4. Russian

Russian is a principal part of the family of Indo-European languages and is the most widely spoken language of Eurasia. Russian is primarily based on phonetics and uses Cyrillic alphabet that comprise of 33 letters. Its alphabet consists of five vowels and consonant sounds of two types-hard (plain) and soft (palatalized).  The two consonants can be differentiated by stressing on certain sounds and vowels can be differentiated on the basis of length. The meaning of a word is completely changes by adding suffixes or prefixes making it vocabulary difficult to clench.

3. Japanese

Japanese comes under Altaic family of languages. Words are represented in Japanese using a character system that encompasses around 10,000 to 15,000 characters. It comprises of three set of characters-Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana. It can be written in two formats:

  1. From top to bottom in horizontal lines; the Western style
  2. From right to left in vertical columns; the Japanese style

Grammar of this style is plain-vanilla without any gender articles. Several homonyms are also included with same pronunciation and different meanings. The combination rules for adjectives and verbs are very easy and have hardly any exceptions.

2. Finnish

Finnish is Finland’s official language and is derived from a branch of Baltic-Finnic languages. The most exciting feature of this language is the extensive use of phonology; using which vowels is divided into contrasting categories. Vowels from the two categories cannot be used in one single sentence. The use of sound is also very important with consonants and ‘p’, ‘ t’, ‘k’ are called the stop consonants which have their own semantics.

1. Polish

Polish is a West Slavic language and is the native language of Poland.  But due to migration it is also widely used in many other countries. It makes use of polish alphabets which are closely related to Latin symbols and also makes use of Latin vocabulary. This language assimilates 3 genders i.e. feminine, masculine and neuter; 3 tenses i.e. past, present, future but no articles. Polish uses seven different cases to distinguish the usage of noun in any sentence, which makes it difficult to master this language! However, its use is diminishing day-by-day so measures are being taken to preserve this language.


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