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Russian or Arabic?


YeahImOriginal
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i am currently studying slovak, russian and arabic and i was wondering which language was harder for people to learn? since i already have a relatively large knowledge base of slovak and since it is connected as a slavic language to russian i feel im having an easier time. however both russian and arabic are written in different alphabets and have vastly different pronunciation i am interested in which language people thought was the hardest and their own experiences in either language. :)

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i was wondering which language was harder for people to learn?

One language can be harder to learn than the other language depending on the persons language background, but there really is no general rule to that.

But if you want me to help you choose, I would need to ask you a favour:
Make a list of what you love about the 3 languages you've mentioned, why you want to learn those, what makes you want to learn those, etc. and post it all here.
That way we are better able to help you choose the right target language.

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 I have an amazing Polyglot friend and he would probably say Russian is the hardest out of those three. He speaks about 10 languages (German, French, English, Chinese, Cantonese, Russian, Spanish and some others) and he always told me that Russian was actually the hardest language for him to learn. We both studied Chinese and he was always like: Chinese is ok but Russian is really hard. However, I have to admit that I have not studied either of those 3 languages (yet). ;)

 

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i am currently studying slovak, russian and arabic and i was wondering which language was harder for people to learn? since i already have a relatively large knowledge base of slovak and since it is connected as a slavic language to russian i feel im having an easier time. however both russian and arabic are written in different alphabets and have vastly different pronunciation i am interested in which language people thought was the hardest and their own experiences in either language. :)

For your background, Arabic is clearly more difficult. For me too. In fact, although Russian grammar is the toughest I've tackled, I would still probably put Arabic ahead. Not because of the writing system, which I hear is fairly straight forward, but because to have a really useful level in Arabic most experts say you need to learn Classical Arabic and the dialect of the place where you most want to use it. In other words, you'll need to learn 2 languages.

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I'd say Arabic. I've read multiple times that it's been named the hardest language to learn. Take a look at this link that I got from a quick Google search:
http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty

The more common languages like Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ranks in Category I with an estimated time of learning of 23-24 weeks (575-600 hours) as they are among the closest to English (assuming you're a Native English speaker). German comes next in Category II with 30 weeks (750 hours), and then there's Indonesian, Malaysian and Swahili in Category III with 36 weeks (900 hours). Two of the languages you're learning, Slovak and Russian, are both in Category IV with 44 weeks (1100 hours).. and then there's Arabic in Category V with 88 weeks (2200 hours), along with Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. These languages are, directly quoting the website, "Languages which are exceptionally difficult for native English speakers."

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If I were to take that seriously, I would have been over-proud to speak the hardest language in the world from an English speakers' perspective.
This table basically tells you the similarities with English, but it's not a mathematical formula to learn languages at all.

To my experience I can say this:
Language similarities are both easy and hard.
Easy because you don't have to learn a lot of words.
Hard because you don't learn a lot of words because you think you would know them any way.
It works well for reading and listening, but you will have trouble while speaking or writing (and facepalm yourself when you re-discover it's a similar word to English).

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Wow, @YeahImOriginal, kudos to you for tackling Slovak, Russian and Arabic....that to me sounds like a mammoth task! I have no real first hand experience of any of those languages, but I too would have assumed Arabic would be the hardest out of them all. I mean, it's one of the oldest languages and also known to be extremely hard to learn. When I used to work with schools, not many students chose it, and the feedback was that out of all the other foreign languages,  it's very hard. I agree that it would also depend on your background and the other languages you already speak. But I bet you're just the person to take it on, if you're learning all these other difficult languages :) 

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