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Hardest language to learn?


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It always depends on what your native language is and if you are actually interested or not. People say Spanish is easy, but what if Mandarin is your first language? Then Japanese or Cantonese is easier to learn for you. So I don't think the question can never be separated from the context of who is learning and what their native language is.

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I think that French is the hardest language for me to learn. I have tried to learn it three times and I have not yet grasped how words work together. I love this language and I hope that I will find a good teacher one day who will assist me learn it.

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I'd say one of the Arabic languages are probably very difficult to learn especially to those of us who use our own version of alphabet to spell out words, because if you had to learn their language then you'd have to start from scratch. I know Chinese is also different, but having grown up with it, I'm a bit biased in thinking that it's somewhat easy or at least somewhat similar to the English alphabet in some very subtle ways.

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Any level three language would be the hardest in my opinion. You have level three languages that use different breathes while pronouncing the syllables. Or they might have Cyrillic text as opposed to the Roman alphabet. That being said, the Latin language while supposedly the easiest strike me as very intimidating because many people are fluent in them and therefore extremely critical. I think when you attempt a difficult language, the native speakers may show more appreciation and sympathy because they know it is difficult and not many can do it. It is difficult to use a language like Spanish because so many speak it fluently and there are so many accents and dialects that you stand the chance of constantly being corrected depending on who you are attempting to speak with.

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I think it's very hard to choose a hardest language, honestly. It all depends on your mother tongue and such. For example, people that speak English natively will have problems with the Asian languages due to the languages being extremely different in almost every possible way. It works in reverse too, Asians have trouble learning English, especially because of pronunciation.

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Hands down, this one: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taa_language

Read the Grammar and Phonology description and you will know why.

Holy cow, Batman! Yeah, maybe that one is the hardest one. We often don't think of ¨strange¨ languages like that. Probably would make Mandarin look like a walk in the park.

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In my experience, my native language of Hmong is possibly the hardest language I know to speak. There's so many tonal differences that sound similar to another word that if you, make one slight incorrect intonation, the word you speak will mean a whole different word; source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hmong_language. There are possibly harder languages I do not know of or speak, but if people are curious to learn a hard language, try Hmong. 

As far as I know, it's the tones and inflections of a spoken language, that makes a language hard to speak.

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It always depends on what your native language is and if you are actually interested or not. People say Spanish is easy, but what if Mandarin is your first language? Then Japanese or Cantonese is easier to learn for you. So I don't think the question can never be separated from the context of who is learning and what their native language is.

I would say Chinese, I just cant seem to understand it, from any logical point of view, I do not know why, but maybe I should try harder.

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I would say Chinese, I just cant seem to understand it, from any logical point of view, I do not know why, but maybe I should try harder.

I have the same trouble. I can say some things in Chinese, but listening and differentiating the tones are just so difficult. When I was living in China I got up to a very basic level of Mandarin, just enough to get around town and order in restaurants, shops, etc. But I couldn't even really have a basic conversation. There are cognates with English, but most aren't useful for everyday conversations. But at least CHinese pronouns are very easy!

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I think it would be a challenge for me to learn any language that doesn't use the English alphabeth. Just seeing the formation of the letters in these other languages gives a a lot of doubt in my ability to study them. So languages such as Chinese, Russian and definitely Hebrew may be difficult for me to learn.

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To me, it seems like French and Chinese would be hard languages to learn. Chinese in particular seems really daunting and difficult at first glance. I get discouraged just looking at Chinese writing. Seems really hard to pick up and there a lot of odd symbols.

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Mmm... thats a toughy.

I'd say Hebrew, because learning possibilities are quite minimal, and only a few rare languages are anywhere near hebrew. English isn't like it. Russian isn't like it. Heck, turkish isn't like it. It is very unique. Even the asian languages, I watched enough kung fu films to get used to the feel.

But Hebrew, I would say is the toughest for me.

Oh man, Taa...  :amazed:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hands down, this one: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taa_language

Read the Grammar and Phonology description and you will know why.

Wow! plus I'd never even heard of the word ethnonym.

Sometimes I think that English must be the most fiendishly difficult language to learn because of all the homonyms, idioms and words which contain letters which are not pronounced eg: psycho, aesthetic, phlegm...I mean the pitfalls seem endless.

But then I look at at Arabic and Mandarin and my brain starts to cave in on itself. :wacky:

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I have always heard that the hardest language to learn is English. I especially hear this from my high school Spanish teacher, and he is fluent in many languages including French, Hebrew, and a few others. I did not believe him when he said that English was the hardest language until he actually explained it to us. There are so many different rules that must be learned in the English language that can get sometimes difficult and confusing. There are so many different sounds that letters can make and one word can mean so many different things(not that this does not occur in other languages).

Even though I have not personally tried to learn many other languages, I am starting to believe that if English was not my native language it would be very hard. There are people who have trouble with even when it is their native language. Mostly because they are used to a lot of the slang words that have been created in the English language. I'd like to know if there is anyone out there who agrees with me. :smile:

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First of all I would like to say: Welcome to www.linguaholic.com laniñabonita!

It's a pleasure having you here!

I am on my way to university and I am very busy at the moment, so unfortunately I can't write a reply to this 'question' yet. However, I will definitely reply later on! Have a good day.

kind regards

Lingua

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I'd say it's really depends on the person. For example, someone from Japan would be able to learn Chinese easily because they share the writing system, so it would only be a matter of grammar and pronunciation. On the other hand, for people like us, learning Japanese and Chinese is extremely difficult because it would mean that we would have to learn almost 2000 new symbols, each with 2 or even 3 pronunciations.

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I would say that Chinese, Hebrew and Arabic languages are the hardest to learn. Many people have told me that Italian is difficult because there is a male and female for everything and the tenses are hard to understand. I guess it depends on the individual and their home language too.

For me understanding Italian made it easier to learn Spanish, Portuguese and French as the words are similar in meaning.

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I would say that any language not actively learned and spoken nowadays is the language that is most difficult to learn. I think languages like Hebrew and Latin (to a lesser extent) would be the most difficult because few people speak/learn it, meaning that there are fewer learning resources and opportunities to use them.

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:karate:

I have heard that Polish is the most difficult, but I think it depends on how your mind works.  I think I would have more difficulty with a tonal language than Polish because I am not oriented to that way of speaking at all.

I also read that article, I think they determined that by checking at what age the children reach the "linguistic maturity" i.e. the ability to fluently use the language and with Polish children it was no sooner than at the age of sixteen! (or maybe it just means us Poles are a little slow...;))

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it depends on the individual.  For me, I find leaning Chinese characters a bit taxing, my son, on the other hand, is learning Chinese and breezes through it, but he finds saying certain Spanish words difficult.  I find that a lot of people find learning Russian a bit challenging,  I'm not fluent by any means but I find that speaking Russian words is relatively easy for me. All languages can be challenging in their own way.

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I have always heard that Chinese or Japanese are the hardest to learn because just little changes in intonation can completely change the meaning of the words, but this is coming from the perspective of a native English speaker.  As others have pointed out how closely the languages are related to your native language has a  huge impact on how difficult it is to learn.

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