If you speak one of the 25 most difficult languages to learn in the world, you are one step ahead of the crowd. Learning a different language can be fun and open new possibilities. However, some languages are easier to learn than others. Just what are the most difficult languages to learn?
From Korean to Arabic to Hindi, some of these languages not only incorporate parts of the tongue and mouth in exotic ways, but they also have a written language that looks extremely different than what you are reading at this moment, English. On the other hand, if you were born speaking one of these “difficult” languages, you probably wouldn’t think anything about how tough it can be for someone unfamiliar with it.
Interestingly, even if you learn one of these languages in school, if you don’t use it on a regular basis, you will lose it. Speaking a language and being able to communicate and improve requires practice. If you don’t practice it, you will lose it. Additionally, other factors contribute to how you learn and retain a language.
Fortunately, nowadays, there are countless apps to help you as well as social media groups to join and even local groups to practice your newly learned language. Retention depends on how proactive you are at practicing and using it on a daily basis. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 25 most difficult languages to learn in the world!
An Austronesian language, Tagalog is the language spoken by almost a quarter of the total population of the Philippines. Its grammar and uncommon sentence structure make it pretty difficult to master.
There aren’t many similarities to Germanic or Latin languages, which makes it difficult for many learners to have any reference or connecting points. Most of the written versions of this language use a Latin based alphabet; the attempts at a written version of this language didn’t happen until the 1930’s.
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.
Mutually intelligible means that it can be understood by people who speak other similar languages. Norwegian is also one of the working languages of the Nordic Council.
This language is known to be a continuation of the literary language of Sassanid Persia called Middle Persian language. Around 110 million people speak the language worldwide.
This language is a West Germanic language that is mostly spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname. It currently holds official status in Aruba, Sint Maarten, and Curacao.
It’s also spoken in many regions of Europe and the United States. The Dutch language is closely related to English and German. It does not use the Germanic umlaut as a grammatical marker.
In Greenland, around 15-20% of the total population speaks this language. It is mutually intelligible with Swedish and Norwegian languages. It’s also a descendant of Old Norse.
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. It is also identical to Hindi in terms of grammar and basic structure.
It is also listed among the 22 scheduled languages of India. Even more, it covers a rich and vast tradition of drama and poetry as well as philosophical and technical texts.
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. It also has a complex system of honorifics.
Albanian is an Indio-European language spoken by the people of Kosovo, Alabania, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Macedonia.
This language is a centuries-old language that was first spoken by the old communities of Montenegro, Italy, and Greece. It shares similar word features with other languages such as German and Greek. However, its vocabulary is quite unique from other languages.
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 written alphabet and markers.
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. However, there’s a big twist that makes this language quite difficult.
The Arabic you might learn in a classroom might help you with reading and writing. However, when it comes to speaking with native speakers, it depends on where they are from. For instance, an Arabic speaker from Morocco might have a very difficult time understanding an Arabic speaker from Egypt.