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What Is The Hardest Language To Learn

  • Author:Nora
  • Source:zidbits.com
  • Release on:2014-07-07
What Is The Hardest Language To Learn

Using the few objective factors at their disposal, the consensus among experts is that there are 5 languages in contention for the title of “most difficult”. Those languages are Korean, Cantonese, Japanese, Arabic and Mandarin. While they require roughly the same length of time to gain fluency and comprehension, one language just slightly edges out the other four. According to the NVTC and the Foreign Service Institute, Japanese is, on average, arguably the hardest language for an English speaker to learn. Japanese took an extra week or two longer than the other four and currently reigns supreme as most difficult.

We would like to again stress that this is just for native English speakers and is only an average of difficulty. The difficulty can and will vary on an individual basis, even among native English speakers. One individual may have a hard time picking up Mandarin while another has trouble with Korean.

Since it’s impossible to say which language is going to be the “most difficult” for you on an individual basis, we’ve provided a handy infographic below that will give you a general idea of difficulty levels among the most common languages. You will note that while it takes around 88 weeks (2200 class hours) to gain fluency in a language like Arabic or Mandarin, it only takes 23 weeks (575 class hours) to gain fluency in French, Italian or Spanish. Again, this is due to those languages being more closely related to English.

The statistics and rankings included in the infographic below were taken from data released by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State. Please keep in mind that these estimates are only intended for native English speakers.