Challenging Languages in the World to Learn

Learning a new language opens the door to multiple career opportunities, boosts your social network, enhances decision making ability, and above all keeps your brain healthy.

However, some languages are easier to learn, while some require a lot of hard work to master.

Some of the hardest languages in the world to learn are:

  1. Mandarin Chinese

The number 1 spot goes to the most spoken language in the world: Mandarin Chinese.

This tonal language is rich in vocabulary, idioms, aphorisms, and homophones making it extremely difficult to learn. 

Mandarin Chinese has 4 tones, so one word can be said in four different ways, each having a different meaning. 

For instance, depending on how you pronounce it, the word ‘ma’ can mean “mother,” “hemp,” “horse” or “scold”.

In addition to the normal challenges, people studying Mandarin must also learn and understand thousands of special characters which makes its writing style tough for English speakers.

  1. Arabic

If you are an English speaker, it can take around 88 weeks or 2200 hours for you to achieve general proficiency in the Arabic language.

Learning the Arabic language is not easy because of the following reasons:

  • There are no vowels
  • Most words are written in different forms. For instance, Arabic has over 100 words for ‘camel’ 
  • Types of dialects can be completely different from one another. For instance, an Arabic speaker from Egypt might not understand an Arabic speaker from Morocco
  • Words are written from right to left 
  • Some of the Arabic sounds don’t exist in other languages
  • The grammar and vocabulary are tough to understand 

Despite the difficulties, you can learn the Arabic language by enrolling in an online Arabic course designed by reputed teachers.

3. Polish

Polish is one of the hardest and widely spoken Slavic languages.

Spelling, grammar, and pronunciation are tricky areas in which Polish can give a hard time to English speakers. For instance, szczęście means “happiness” and bezwzględny means “ruthless.” 

Pronouncing even the individual letters ‘sz’, ‘ś’, ‘ź’, and ‘dż’ can be hard.

In terms of grammar, there are seven different ways to conjugate a Polish word.

4. Danish

As compared to other languages, Danish has simple grammar and shares plenty of cognates with English. 

Then, what makes Danish hard to learn?

Danish is one of the toughest Scandinavian languages mainly spoken in Denmark.

This tricky language has a huge number of vowels that make the pronunciation challenging and the whole process of learning longer and harder. 

For instance, mit navn er (“my name is”) is pronounced “meet now’n air.” 

Mastering Danish pronunciation requires constant practice.

5. Korean

Spoken by 77 million people, Korean is the official language of North and South Korea. 

If you are considering learning the Korean language, hats off to you!

Korean is one language that doesn’t have anything in common with other languages around the world.

It has unique words, alphabets, complex grammar, tough pronunciation, and vocabulary.

In the end…

No language is hard to learn.

All it requires is patience, continuous practice, the right resources, and motivation to reach fluency in any language fast and easily. 

Ready to push yourself beyond your limits? Comment below!

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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