It is difficult to determine which language is the hardest to learn, as it depends on which languages you already know. With that in mind, we tried to compose a list of languages that would be extremely difficult, as long as you are not already a speaker of one of its relatives.
An obvious inclusion. A language with the greatest number of speakers in the world is strangely difficult to learn. This language is a tonal language and any given sound in its writing system has 4 ways it can be pronounced. Mandarin is also filled to the brim with homophones, idioms, and aphorisms. These are generally quite difficult for any foreigner to grasp, and the thousands of symbols within it do not make it any easier.
In Arabic, you will find that any letter can be written in one of 4 different ways. Vowels are also excluded when you are writing, which makes translating Arabic an exceedingly difficult task. Arabic is also quite rich in dialects, meaning Arabic in Egypt is quite different from the one spoken in, for example, Saudi Arabia.
With its 26 different cases, Hungarian has potentially the most difficult grammar in the world. Suffixes are used to decide tenses and possessions, rather than utilizing the word order. Cultural elements found in the language also make it a unique challenge to learn.
Japanese is not that difficult when it comes to speaking, at least compared to say, Mandarin. What is difficult, however, is writing. Before you even learn to write the basic things, you will need to learn thousands of different characters. Furthermore, it has 3 different writing systems – hiragana, kanji, and katakana.
Much like Hungarian, Finnish has extremely complicated grammar. There is a variety of personal endings which help conjugate verbs, which is quite difficult when your native language is, say, English. Verbs are also influenced by the gradation of its consonants. Nouns have a variety of cases, making it hell for anyone that does not speak it.
Furthermore, it is also filled with colloquialisms, meaning that even after you have learned the language the official way, you will still have a long road ahead of you.
Korean is the most spoken language without a relationship to any others. This means that the language itself is entirely unique and may as well take the top spot on this list because of this. It is filled with things that English speakers might find strange, such as action verbs ending common sentences.
Navajo is a language that is all about verbs. Descriptions are given via verb as well, meaning there is a lot of adjectives we use without a direct translation to the language. Furthermore, the language is packed with sounds that have no equivalent in most modern languages.
While Icelandic is not quite a language isolate, it is spoken by only 400,000 people on a remote island. It stayed basically unchanged throughout its thousand-year history. Rather than adopting words for new concepts from foreign languages, it either coins new ones or gives an old word a new meaning. It is potentially the most difficult one to learn remotely, as there is little in the way of resources available online.
While Polish is not quite as mind-shattering as Hungarian, it still has a solid 7 different cases. Furthermore, it is laced with an intricate and complex gender system that is crucial to fluency in the language.
Basque is a language much like Korean, and its written and spoken forms are different from any other language. There are also 5 dialects you have to wrestle with, so while it may be less difficult than Korean, it is far from being the same.
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