What are the Hardest and Easiest Languages to Learn?

Learning a foreign language is a relatively difficult task, however, some languages are much harder to learn than others. For this reason, if you are an English speaker and your goal is to learn a new language fast, you should pick languages such as Spanish or Italian. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a real challenge, choose languages such as Arabic or Chinese.

The infographic below shows the difficulty levels of a variety of languages based on the number of hours required for an English speaker to achieve reading and speaking proficiency. German (which is not on the list) would be placed between easy and medium, requiring about 750 class hours.


Via: Voxy Blog

Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and that the ability to learn a new language varies greatly from person to person. Personal factors, such as motivation and the amount of exposure to the language, significantly affect the process of language acquisition. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I believe that studying abroad is perhaps the most effective way to learn a new language. Do you agree?

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To read this post in Portuguese, click here.

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36 responses to “What are the Hardest and Easiest Languages to Learn?

  1. Pingback: Quais São as Línguas Mais Fáceis de Aprender? | Abroadee·

  2. yes, as much as it is useful to learn a foreign language in your own country it is 1000 times better and more efficient to move abroad and put your skills to the test!

      • Tagalog(Phillipines) is a easy language too! Im a native english speak but I found speaking tagalog easy! Like komunikasyon (communication) transportasyon (transportation) telepono (telephone). And verbs are just easy as 1..2..3! Like maghuhugas=will wash naghuhugas=washing naghugas=washed. But I think it may take a long time for you to study it. Another! Philippines is once occupied by the Spanish so there are some similarities between Español and Tagalog! I hope this can help!

  3. Pingback: Languages: How long would it take you to learn one? | William Penn University Study Abroad·

  4. Thanks for the info (: ! Very useful
    Maybe the data is not so up to date ? Since Thai population is 66.8 millions.

    • Hi Bob,
      I’m not sure where Persian would fit in, but I think it could be placed in the medium group because despite being an Indo-European language, Persian is based on the Arabic script. But this is just my guess! :)

    • Hi
      I think Persian would fit in the hard list. the grammar is as easy as Arabic but the alphabetic system is not the old Persian but an imitation of Arabic so it is hard to learn it as there are too many exceptions and you have to memorize them all. The problem arises when you want to use the language in a real life situation. By studying the language, you can probably read 80% of the texts but you cannot understand people or speak back. it would take very long as Iranians chew the words in particular ways. I know people studying Iranian language here in Tehran for 4 years and still having difficulty communicating.. Hope that was useful :)

    • Right? If you’re a native speaker of a romance language, it’s easier for you to learn the other romance languages indeed. And I think the same goes for other groups of languages. Good point, Fox! :)

      • Since my native language already have different sentence structure than English, learning a 3rd language or 4th for me became easier since i can compared it to both my native and English. Any similarities or differences became easier to comprehend and tackle.

  5. I really enjoyed your post! You write about things that interest me. I enjoy your style of writing. I’ve had a good time reading the three post that I’ve seen so far.

    I learned Spanish as an adult. I was twenty-five at the time. I’m convinced that the younger you are, the easier it is to learn another language. If I had not been required to speak it every day for two years, sometimes extensively, I never would have learned it. Thanks for reminding me of some of the good things in my life!

    • Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for leaving another kind comment here! :)
      I agree with you, the younger you are, the easier it is for you to learn a new language! That’s why I believe all young kids should be learning foreign languages at school!
      I’m glad you managed to learn a new language as an adult! :) I’ve been trying to learn other languages as an adult myself and I know that it takes a lot of effort and dedication!

      I’m very glad you’re enjoying the posts! :)

      Un abrazo!

  6. Spanish was pretty easy to learn, and a lot of fun to read. French is a bit more difficult for sure, but I’m finding it real enjoyable. Something about the language flows easier off the tongue and vocabulary is very easy to grow.

  7. hey, they left out Esperanto again. It’s indicated as “6 weeks”. To be honest, I needed a little more than that to piece it all together after a 5 day crashcourse :-)

  8. Pingback: Top Blog Posts of 2013 | Abroadee·

  9. I want to learn Korean so badly because of kpop :3 I can speak chinese , english and dutch. Is it difficult to master Korean?

    • I find it hard, I speak Chinese, Malay, English , Thai and some German. I am currently doing Korean it’s very new since it’s not ABCD and using symbol. Conjugation of verb, and ‘polite’ form of speaking/writing…

      • German is a bit easy. Im now in a german class. And slowly, im loving it! That language is so nice. Well Deutschland is a beautiful land, too. I

  10. I find that english speakers have more trouble with slavic languages such as russian and polish, than languages such as Mandarin or Japanese.
    w całym mojim życu ani jednego człowieka nie spotkałem który sie nauczył mówic płynnie po polsku lub po rosijsku.
    However, I have met many people who have learned to speak Mandarin in about a year or so of immersion + classes.

  11. Hi, everyone can you guide me, which languages are easy and which hard to learn..Plz suggest

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