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Hardest Language You've Ever Tried to Learn


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What is the hardest language you've ever tried to learn and what made it difficult for you?

For me it was definitely Russian or Hebrew. What I struggled with in both cases was the completely different alphabet and some new sounds.

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Once tried to learn Japanese as part of a literature class that I was taking... I couldn't comprehend all the little strokes involved in writing. Needless to say that I don't speak Japanese.

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I had to read a few original Hebrew works as part of my literature course. I found it absolutely, well Hebrew! But the hardest languages for me are those that do not follow the Roman alphabets - Chinese and Japanese in particular, I cannot make out the subtleties in their dots and strokes.

But to be honest, any and all language will seem hard if I don't practice, which I don't.

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I think hebrew or arabic are the most hardest. The writing and the pronunciation makes it harder. Languages that use characters seems really hard for me. There was a time that I want to learn hebrew. But watching videos online I gave up.

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This answer will sound silly compared to the tougher languages so far, but mine is French. I couldn't understand the pronunciations for the life of me. Sometimes there would be 5 letters in a word that you weren't supposed to pronounce, which made no sense. The accents were way too confusing. Verb conjugation was a mess.

Overall, I stumbled miserably until I switched to Spanish. It felt like several chains were lifted and replaced with rational grammar rules.

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The hardest language I've ever tried to learn is Cantonese.

What makes Cantonese so difficult is the fact that it has 7 tones.

If you get your tones wrong, then you've said something other than what you intended.

I can't imagine how a tone deaf person learns Cantonese or any other tonal language.

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I'm in Orlando, Florida sipping rum and coke at a beautiful lakeside resort.

My mood, if you have not already guessed, is great!

The only sad thing is that my vacation ends in two days and then it's back to the rat race.

The good news is that I plan to come back again to this very same resort next year.

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That would be Turkish!

They have some additional letters, but I got them now. However, every time I feel like I understand something (like grammatical), I ask something to see if it applies - and it doesn't! Compared to Swedish (and English, for that matter), the grammatical system of Turkish is quite complicated unless you are sitting with a university book about it.

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What is the hardest language you've ever tried to learn and what made it difficult for you?

For me it was definitely Russian or Hebrew. What I struggled with in both cases was the completely different alphabet and some new sounds.

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Hebrew is really easy!  Specially reading it ;)  But I agree with you, the fact this language uses no vowels can be really confusing for all those people who are just starting to learn this language.  I'd never say this was the hardest language I've tried to learn tho.

In my opinion the hardest language I've tried to learn so far is with no doubt dutch!  I just don't get the dang pronunciation!!!  Also the excessive amount of consonants in some words is just crazy!  I also hate the fact some of the words don't even resemble their written for at all!  Like the word for ''mafrau'' <----  that's how it is pronounced!!!  No idea how the heck I should be writing it!

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The hardest foreign language i ever learned is the Japanese or the Nippongo language. I took it as one of my cognate subjects in graduate school. The Hiragana, Katakana are easier to learn than the borrowed character writings.

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I have to say that one in particular stands out for me; Arabic! Classical Arabic uses so many sounds that do not exist in English or other languages. It has six sounds that are articulated from the deep throat region alone (German has only one: 'ch'. Or maybe two if you count the Northern German 'r' sound).

Like Hebrew, consonants represent the word roots and you slot in vowels into the word to produce new words - derived words, conjugations, declensions, singular/plural for nouns etc.

Plus the fact that Standard Arabic as you learn in school books is not really spoken on a colloquial and most Arabs use regional dialects among themselves - an Iraqi would not be able to understand what a Moroccan was saying!

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When I was in my 2nd year of high school, it was mandatory for us to take foreign language class. That year, the language was Nihongo. Coming from and English / Spanish speaking house, this was very difficult for me to digest. I couldn't understand anything, it was as if the sentence structures just wouldn't register in my head. I spent a year trying to learn the language, and today I don't remember one word, sadly.

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I haven't tried to learn many languages yet, but French was absolutely the hardest for me. While I had a fairly easy time doing things like memorizing vocabulary words in German, in French my mind just couldn't hold on to them. Even now, words I know I learned in French, I can't remember.

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I've studied Spanish, German, and Russian, and Russian was by far the hardest language. I only took Russian for one year so maybe it would have gotten easier, but I guess I'll never know! It was hard because it has a different alphabet so I never really got past having to sound out each word as I was reading. Spanish and German have the same alphabet as English (mostly) so there isn't really a lot of sounding out words. Russian is an interesting language though. Maybe some day I'll give it another try.

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For me, it has been Arabic. Well Modern Standard Arabic, the grammar is very hard, the prounciation takes a lot of practice to get right and it's just a nightmar. Plus, all Arabs speak a local dialect so if you only speak MSA and go to Egypt or Morroco you won't understand anything. Another language that was hard for me was Armenian, not becaue of the language but because sources were so hard for me to find on it.

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Guest isabbbela

Aside from speaking Portuguese (my native language) and English, I speak Spanish, (try to) speak French and tried briefly to learn some German.

I would say German was by far the hardest one! French was quite tricky and the grammar and accents are pretty complex, but German to me was extremely difficult. I gave up because the teacher was bad and unprofessional and never got back to learning it. But in the months I studied German it was very difficult for me to learn it, just cause the pronunciation is so hard, the words are not similar to others I already know and the sentences seem to be in a different order! I think it's beautiful and I might try to study it again, but I know it will be challenging.

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For a while, I went through a phase of being obsessed with learning a Scandinavian language (I would still like to learn but it's not high on my priorities list). I started off with Swedish, learnt a few words, got bored, then moved onto Danish. I tried to learn conversational Danish using podcasts but it was still quite tricky - each phrase needed a lot of repetition before I could get my tongue (and brain) around it!

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