Learning a different language can be fun. Not only is it a mark of distinction among your peers, but it also opens the door to interactions with completely different cultures. With that said, some languages are easier to learn than others. So unless you are a glutton for arduous mental stimuli, we recommend you stay away from these 25 of the most difficult languages to learn in the world. If you have managed to learn any of these languages, we congratulate you!
An Austronesian language, Tagalog is the language spoken by almost a quarter of the total population of the Philippines.
Navajo is one of the Southern Athabaskan languages that are spoken in the southwestern part of the United States and has about 120,000 to 170,000 speakers.
This North Germanic language is the national language of Norway. Norwegian, together with Swedish and Danish, is mutually intelligible with other variants of Scandinavian languages like the Icelandic and Faroese languages. It’s also one of the working languages of the Nordic Council.
The Persian language belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European languages and is mainly spoken in Afghanistan and Iran, as well as Tajikistan and other countries with Persian influence. This language is known to be a continuation of the literary language of Sassanid Persia called Middle Persian language and around 110 million people speak the language worldwide.
For centuries, the Indonesian language has been the lingua franca of the entire Indonesian archipelago. It’s considered one of the most widely spoken languages in the world because Indonesia is the fourth most highly populated country in the world.
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This language is a West Germanic language that is mostly spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium and Suriname. It currently holds an official status in Aruba, Sint Maarten, and Curacao; and in many portions of Europe and the United States. Dutch language is closely related to English and German and does not use the Germanic umlaut as a grammatical marker.
The Slovenian language is part of the South Slavic language group and is spoken by over 2.5 million speakers around the world, mostly in Slovenia. This language is one of the 24 official and working languages of the European Union and is based on Upper and Lower Carniolan dialect groups.
A West Germanic language, Afrikaans is spoken by the natives of Namibia and South Africa, as well as Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is considered an offshoot of different Dutch dialects and thus a daughter language of Dutch.
Spoken by more than six million people around the world, Danish is a North Germanic language that currently holds a minority language status. In Greenland, around 15-20% of the total population speaks this language. It is mutually intelligible with Swedish and Norwegian languages and is a descendant of Old Norse.
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque Country, which spans from the northeastern part of Spain to southwestern France. Almost 27% of the total population of Basque territories speaks the language.
Welsh Language is part of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages used in Wales. This language also used to be called “Cambric,” “Cymric,” “Cambrian” and “British tongue.”
More commonly known as the Modern Standard Urdu, this language is normally associated with Muslims in Hindustan. Urdu is also the official national language and lingua franca in the country of Pakistan. One of the 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution of India, it is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi and is identical to Hindi in terms of grammar and basic structure
Hebrew is a West Semitic language that belongs to the Afroasiatic language family and was first used by ancient Hebrews and Israelites during the 10th century BCE.
Korean is the official language of North and South Korea and is spoken by over 80 million people around the world.
Considered the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, Sanskrit is a dialect of Old Indo Aryan that originated from the Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-European. It is also listed among the 22 scheduled languages of India and covers a rich and vast tradition of drama and poetry as well as philosophical and technical texts.
Croatian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language and is one of the official languages of the European Union. It is based on the dialect of Eastern Herzegovinian, which is also the basis of many other languages, including Montenegrin, Standard Serbian and Bosnian.
The official language of Hungary, this language is a European Union language that is spoken not just by the communities of Hungary, but also by Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and Romania. It belongs to the Uralic language family and has mutually intelligible dialects.
Also known as Scottish Gaelic, this language is a Celtic language that is spoken by the natives of Scotland. It’s a member of the Goidelic branch and was developed out of the Middle Irish Language, just like Manx and Modern Irish.
This East Asian language is the national language of Japan and is spoken by more than 125 million people around the world. A member of the Japonic language family, it’s considered among the most difficult languages in the world because of its close relationship to Chinese and because of its complex system of honorifics.
An Indio-European language spoken by the people of Kosovo, Alabania, Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, the Albanian language is a centuries-old language that was first spoken by the old communities of Montenegro, Italy and Greece. It shares lexical isoglosses with other languages such as Germanic, Greek and Balto-Slavic, but its vocabulary is quite unique from other languages.
This North Germanic language is an Indo-European language that was largely influenced by Danish and Swedish languages after the colonization of the Americas.
More popularly known as Siamese or Central Thai, Thai language is the official national language of Thailand. It’s a member of the Tai-Kadai language family and almost half of its words are borrowed from Pali, Old Khmer or Sanskrit. Thai is basically tonal and analytic and is known for its complex orthography and markers.
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam, as well as a first or second language for many of its ethnic minorities. Vietnamese vocabulary has borrowings from Chinese, however the Vietnamese alphabet in use today is a Latin alphabet with additional diacritics for tones, and certain letters.
Today’s Arabic language is a descendant of the Classic Arabic language that was first spoken during the 6th century. This language is spoken in a broad range of territories, stretching from the Middle East to the Horn of Africa. Most of its spoken varieties are unintelligible and are said to constitute a sociolinguistic language.
A group of language varieties, Chinese language takes many forms that are not mutually intelligible. This language is spoken by about a fifth of the total world population and is considered among the most difficult languages to learn. The Standard Chinese language is spoken in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Singapore.