7 Hardest Languages to Learn in the World
By: Jalil Javed
Languages act as a cornerstone for all civilizations. In this blog, we will discuss which languages is the hardest languages to learn in the world. Historically speaking, languages have played an irreplaceable role in creating civilizations and helping them develop.
One cannot talk about the impact that is left by various civilizations without talking about the native languages. Languages play a crucial role in helping us map history. And the impact of all civilizations can very easily be measured by the impact that their native tongues have.
Knowing that we will be comprehensively discussing what the hardest language to learn in the world is. Though it is not going to be easy to objectively quantify what the most difficult languages to learn in the world are. Still, we can create a pretty clear vision as to what makes certain languages difficult.
There are many reasons, which plays a role in making many languages difficult. That is why it cannot be easy to calculate a definitive answer as to what is the single most difficult languages. A language can be difficult depending on many different reasons.
What Makes a Language Difficult?
The factors that make languages hard to learn include:
- Sound System
- Sentence Structures
There are many different factors that make some languages difficult and others easy. Among these factors are Vocabulary, Dialects, and Alphabets used by the language.
Some languages have a very small set of alphabets (For Example, English) whilst others have a comparatively larger and more diverse and non-linear set of alphabets (such as Mandarin and Arabic) Languages like English that have a smaller set of alphabets that number to 26 is easier to learn.
This, compared to other languages like Mandarin is easier. And the complex vocabulary involved with Mandarin makes it one of the hardest languages to learn in the world.
The Role of your First Language
Among other factors that play a role include things such as the diversity of different words involved in making a certain language more difficult compared to others. For example, some languages have a little amount of grammatical gender.
This compared to some languages like Polynesian, which has different and diverse “noun classes” that are used to define a person’s gender.
Another factor that plays a major role in measuring how difficult one language is compared to another is the kind of grammatical structures that the language uses.
Languages that include Arabic and other Semitic languages have many different types of sentence structures used to define various situations make the languages a difficult one to learn.
What this shows is that there are many diverse languages in the world that are more difficult compared to others whilst there are some languages (including English) that have very simple and easy to use grammar, punctuation, and syntax.
This makes English one of the comparatively easier languages to speak among the vast number of other different languages that are spoken around the world.
The role of the Learners First Language
The hardest language to learn in the world differs vastly depending on the subjective nature of the language with respect to the person that is learning it. In this case, it is easier for someone to learn a language that is in the same language tree or language family as a language that they have as a mother language that they use for all different types of communications.
In case you want to learn French, it may be easier for you to learn languages such as Spanish, Italian or Portuguese whilst compared to Arabic or Hebrew.
The reason for this is that when you learn a language that belongs to the same Language tree as a language that you are already fluent in, then it will be easier to learn whilst compared to a language that is from a different language tree.
In another case, if you want to learn Urdu, then it will be very helpful for you if you already have a strong grasp on another language from the same language tree.
For Example: If you have a strong grasp on Persian or Hindi, then you will be able to learn Urdu more easily. This is because Urdu is a language that is in the same language tree as the languages that have been mentioned above.
It can be easier to learn a language in case you can speak a language that is similar to the languages that you can already speak well and know well about.
The Hardest Languages to Learn in the World
Mandarin is a language within the Sino-Tibetan language group and is actually the most widely spoken language. For an English speaker, however, mastering Mandarin is very difficult. This is because of it being a tonal language.
In Arabic, a lot of the letters are written in many different forms depending on where it is put in a word, and to make things more complicated, vowels are not a part of the writing. This makes translating a lot more difficult when done into Arabic compared to most other languages.
Also, Arabic has many varying dialects, which means that the Arabic spoken by people in Syria is very different from the one spoken in Saudi Arabia.
Other Difficult Languages
What is the Hardest Language to Learn in the World?
Listing the hardest languages to learn in the world becomes easier once you have a grip on what factors make a language difficult. These factors as mentioned above play a major role in determining the difficulty of a language to learn.
Other factors that play a role in determining the difficulty of a language to learn include:
- The history of the language
- The language family that it is from
- The punctuation of the language