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This world of languages

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The question of language difficulty is a controversial issue. Some people discuss the obstacles on the road to solid linguistic skills. They make hit parade of reasons requiring great efforts.
-    Tones

-    Difficult grammar

-    Widely spread opinion    

-    Difficult writing system

-    Similarity to native language

-    Personal opinion

-    Long years of ineffective studying

Moreover, many people claim that their native language is the most difficult to learn. Maybe it is a way to stroke their ego. However, it is possible to overcome all obstacles and difficulties. It is well-known fact that learning of some languages needs more time than other is.  

The list of most difficult languages

1.    Chinese (1.2 billion of native speakers)

A tonal language with difficult writing system could be a real challenge. The word’s meaning depends on the intonation of pronunciation.  Tone creates different words. It is possible to learn Chinese characters all your life and still not know all aspects.

2.    Arabic (221 million of native speakers)

There are four forms of writing of letters, which depend on a place in a word. Vowels are often not included in writing. It makes the translation from Arabic difficult. The language sounds unfamiliar for native English speakers.

3.    Japanese (122 million of native speakers)

This language has three separate writing systems and two alphabets. It is necessary to know thousands of characters. It has borrowed many technical English terms since 1945. The main difficulty of Japanese language is the differences between written and speaking codes. Moreover, the sophisticated system of politeness and formalities gives foreigners hard time.

4.    Korean (66.3 million of native)

The system of verb conjugation, syntax and grammatical structure makes Korean difficult for learners. Sentence structure seems strange for beginners. When speaker describes the action, he has to use subject first, object and end with the action itself. The adjective is used after noun for describing something. The difficult alphabet is influenced by Chinese. Moreover, this language does not belong to any linguistic family. The vocabulary is unfamiliar for English native speakers. The unique writing system Hangul combines the principles of syllabaries and alphabets. Korean has seven speech levels characterized by verbal endings. They depend on the formality of the situation.

5.    Thai (20.4 million of native speakers)

This language is a part of Tai-Kadai family.  Some words were borrowed from Sanskrit. Spoken and written language belong to different registers. Their using depends on social context.


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This seems to be just a promotional content. Nevertheless, I am glad I read the whole content, because I really didn't think about which languages are hardest to learn. It seems it all goes to Asian group of languages, which certainly would sound very strange to anyone coming from Europe or America. There is Arabic on the list, too. I am not sure I would be able to learn how to speak any of these listed..unless i put a lot of effort.

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