Poll: Which language is the most difficult?

Which language is the most difficult?

English
Chinese
Czech
Spanish
Russian
Urdu
It depends
No language is harder than another

Statistics Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 26,243
  • Comments: 158
  • Added: September 2003

All Polls:

  • Polls: 1,059
  • Votes: 568,042
  • Comments: 4,419

Comments:

Torsten

We had a similar discussion here on the Weblog when there was the question 'Is English an easy language to learn' and I think it depends on quite a number of factors such as the learner's mother tongue, their environment, whether or not they already speak a second language etc. I don't think that there are 'easy languages' and 'difficult languages'.

Casiopea

Relatively speaking, I agree that no one language is harder than another; however, there are aspects of certain languages that can definitely make learning difficult, not to mention make communication somewhat awkward (e.g., North American Athapaskan languages have a 4th person: who could that be?)

Red5

Doesn't it depend on what your first language is?

srpki

it only depends on what you think so there is no real answer to qestion

italianbro

I agree with Casiopea

willbut

Casiopea, could you explain this fourth person a bit- it is beyond my ken.

welare

depends on your motherlanguage.

barok

Languages with large character sets (Chinese, Japanese) are the most difficult to learn. Even Japanese native speaking Junior High Schoolers, can't read Japanese Newspapers.

italianbrother

It depends on the student itself, though Chinese, or Japanese, or Arabic, would seem to me quite difficult to learn, however, for another student Latin, or Italian, or French might be as difficult as the latter languages are to me.

willbut

Languages carry logic systems- if they are very different, it makes it more difficult.

Xanch

it's supposed that the most difficult languages are the latin ones cause those has more expressions and are the most "exact" languages (also German) . I am a native spanish speaker, I've lived in Canada, USA, Japan and I have never seen a foreign person who can speak a good spanish, they always have problems with verbs when they speak.

Mark

Many people say that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. I have a differnt opinion on that. English is one of the easiest most common languages on the planet. At the time of writing this comment, I've been studying English for one year and half.

Kamil_Rak

I say the most difficult language is Polish because of its grammar, pronunciation and so many, many, many, other things and rules.

Barok! I learn Chinese and Japanese, also. It is very easy. One says that writing is extremely difficult in Chinese, but it really is not because there is many simularities between them. Sometimes it's much more diffcult to memorize how to pronounce that that then memorize how to write that that... If Chinese language had Latin alphabet it would be a language even easiest than the easiest-English.

I have been learning English for one year, and it seems to be the easiest language. :)
I, also speak little French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Korean and... something else...

tdol

I'm trying to learn Japanese and it is very diificult coming from English.

queenmaabd

I believe all languages as equally difficult (or easy!). We all master most grammatical language hurdles by the age of five, no matter what language we are learning! It's only our later conditioning in life and the different cosmovisions that each language provide sthat make it harder or easier for us to learn a second language.
I was raised bilingual. I speak both Spanish and English and consider them both easy. I've also studied French, and I don't think it's difficult.

Marek

I am Polish native speaker and I too think that Polish is very difficult for non-native ones. From the other hand a lot of western language speakers have difficulties in learning Russian which is for me "extremely" easy! I presume that for me the most difficult language to learn would be Chinese, though it has a simple gramma rules, but thinking is quite different than in Indo-european tongues. By the way as a hard-to-learn language speaker I think that English is very simple but its simplicity in technical language for instant seems sometimes difficult to understand. My Italian girlfriend said that for her Polish was a perfect language for poetry because of its possibilities in writing rhymes with many combinations (declension). That's the conclusion.
You might also ask what is the most beautiful language? For me English, Italian and French sound lovely.

adam hellbound

Finnish.

adam hellbound

But it's also the most fun.

Tom trig

Which language is the most difficult to learn? That all depends on your native language. For a Japanese person, Mandarin Chinese is a lot easier than English. For a German or Dutch person English is very easy to learn. For an Italian, French is simple. Polish is easy for a speaker of another slavic tongue like Russian. Then again you have unique languages such as Hungarian, Finish, Korean, Greek, some Indian languages, etc that are unique and are probably difficult to learn for any non native speaker.

sophia

Lithuanian language is the most difficult language is whole wide world. If you don't believe me try to learn it yourself:))

anna

Have you ever heard anything about Armenian language, both Western and Eastern? It is extremely difficult!!!!!!

frank

portuguese

gustoenglish

It depends on the native language of course, but if there are a myriad of rule exceptions, it makes learning a language very difficult. Japanese is a bear! This is why many people consider Spanish easy to learn. There are very few rule exceptions. I have a friend who speaks 7 languages fluently and he said Chinese was the toughest.

Alisa

I do agree with the person who proves the fact of logical systems' existing. I know lithuanian, my motherlanguage is Russian, English is excellent. Know a bit of French, Dutch, German. I wish I could learn Urdu as well. But as future maths teacher can't help dening that all our world is just the limited system...and all languages also...the most difficult language(-s) is(are) in your mind the better for you:)

Jiří

you don´t know czech,so you can´t take it as easy language.I don´t know who can say it is English,my god.You don´t know grammar

Alessia Lee

I am a native speaker of Italian and Chinese. yes, my mum is from China and dad is from italy. I speak both. I know Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Korean and Japanese. OK, I tell you which one is the heardest for me. Japanese. Even though my native language is also Chinese, which uses complicated letters as you know...Japanese is so hard.
For me european languages look so simple as I speak Italian as my native language as well. But this Japanese language....I would say pronunciation is simple BUT we foreigners never get the right accent. each word you pronounce easily but native speakers` voice tone and accent so hard! japanese has keigo which means polite form. It is not like Italian TU and LEI (If you know....in spanish TU and Usted) They have heaps of those...okay for saying YOU, they have anata,anta, kimi, omae, temee, kisama poliite to rude.
Can you believe they have 6 ways for saying just YOU. This is okay just YOU topic..what about verbs...nouns...ok horrible. They have many ways for one word depends on each situation. You always have to think if you are more senior than the listener or the listener is more senior than you...and also when the 3rd person gets included for a topic, then again you have to use another verb but which means the same ....ahhhh what am i saying...i get confused.
It is not like Italian verb conjugation..ok we have voglio and vorrei,, (want and would like to) but Japanese polite expression is not this level. I would say in order to be able to speak jap like a native speaker, you just need to work in a Japanese company....to see how the polite expression is being used...and you also have to know friendly form and normal form...ok, hard. just hard. I hv been learning this language for 15 yrs but I am not perfect yet. No way. But my Spanish and English, i only studied for 3 yrs and my eng is this level...I would say my english is better than my Japanese...now you see how hard the language is.

sathiyabal

Basque language from North Spain is the most toughest language in the world

SS

My motherlanguage is Russian, so it is the easiest for me :). I'm trying to learn Hungarian, and believe me, it's rather difficult - for example, it has about 20 cases, it hasn't verb "to have", instead of it there are a bunch of possessive suffixes, finally, it is different from any other European languages. But compared to Russian, I think, Hungarian is easier.
And what to say about Chinese: yes, it has many hieroglyphes, but the grammar not so tough. It is more likely unusual as compared to European languages.

martinahr

Croatian, according to the list which included all world's languages is the second hardest after the Greek.
It can be the truth due to the fact that any foreigner never managed to learn it.

SS

Maybe it's simply because nobody sees any use of Croatian? :D

Mike

To ss,
Yeh, it is simple cos nobody sees any use of Croatian.. The world important languages are: English Spanish Chinese Japanese French Arabic.
Arabic Japanese Chinese are difficult for me . Chinese grammar is not hard though, also Japanese pronunciation is not hard, although its structure is really hard to understand. Next I wanna try Arabic.
I learn Japanese and Chinese as my business is related with the 2 countries. Chinese looks hard but it is easier than Japanese.

Mike

To ss,
Yeh, it is simple cos nobody sees any use of Croatian.. The world important languages are: English Spanish Chinese Japanese French Arabic.
Arabic Japanese Chinese are difficult for me . Chinese grammar is not hard though, also Japanese pronunciation is not hard, although its structure is really hard to understand. Next I wanna try Arabic.
I learn Japanese and Chinese as my business is related with the 2 countries. Chinese looks hard but it is easier than Japanese.

shadi

Tell Me More Arabic Complete V5

radu

i wonder how many of those who voted for chinese as the hardest language to learn actually did try to learn it

Naiya

english is the hardest language for me.

bobb

spoken japanese I found to be very easy...easier than french. My first language is English

canute

"No language is hard to learn,teach or use in this world". Getting to be fluent in ones language is a function of time,attitude,learning facilities,practice(Listening,writin
g,speaking and reading),time and future usage of the language.

I am learning Chinese now!

Alexey

English, as a matter of fact, is the easiest language to learn. Unlike Russian, of course. Russian is hardest language to learn in my opinion, because of the different alphabet, way of thinking, arrangement of thoughts, and the ability of deep expression of thoughts and feelings in a wariety of ways. Russian language is very rich in terms of expanded vocabulary and huge amount of rules of writing. One could say something in million of different ways using the intonation skills, vocabulary and many other advantages so that the phrase would have different meaning and strength. Russian language is powerfull and wonderfull.

Majority of people are thinking that Chinease is a hardest language, just because of that fancy symbols, but the most important part of language is not in the way of writing. Yes, it is hard language and a good pretendent of the place of hardest languages in the world, but I don't think it would ever be as great as RUSSIAN.

Miles

in my opinion, it really depends on what is your mother language !!
Japanese say Japanese is easy
Chinese say Chinese is easy
but..
i think area is also an important factor.
People livin in East Asia learn Japanese or Chinese..etc. faster than Western;in the other hand people livin in wester learn English or French..etc. faster than Eastern

Ali Hassan

Hi,
My name is Ali Hassan and I am a Pakistani whose first languages are Urdu and Hindko.
I think some languages are easier than others. At least in the beginning. Languages with less morphology, like English, Farsi, Chinese, are a lot easier to get started making sentences with then say languags with many cases like Urdu, Russian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Arabic, and Turkish. But if you work at it any language becomes easy.
For me Chinese was really easy, English was easy, Farsi was easy.
Spanish and French were a little harder because of the more complicated conjugations.
Turkish was really hard. But I cracked the code in the end.
But my god Arabic, it keeps kicking me down.

Kongkek Kuat

It depends on whether the question is on the written form, or the spoken form. Being a Mandarin speaker, and ethnic Chinese, and having been exposed to variuos other languages, I find that the most difficult language to read and write is Chinese -- the trick here is simple: All you have to do is remember about 3000 words for a decent command of the written language, and about 5000 to 6000 words if you want to express technical words. This is excluding the other 35,000 obsolete words. But the spoken form of the various Chinese language is not difficult. As for the spoken form, I would agree that the more 'cases' a language has, the more difficult it is to learn to speak it.

Ashley

I don't think it truly matters what language your native language is when you start learning a different one. I think the most difficult language to learn is the language you are trying to learn. If you're learning Spanish at the time, Spanish is the hardest language to learn. Same goes for all other languages.

camoron

i agree with

casiopea said

Edwin

I was under the impression that Icelandic was supposed to be pretty hard?

Benjamin

I'd say spanish is the most difficult language to learn after french Of course french grammar and its pronunciation is 15454,44,21 times more difficult than English one , there is no verb conjugation, no gentler between male and female i would say english is the easiest to learn as second language.

mimi

I'm a native Chinese speaker and also a beginner in learning English. I agree that whether a language is difficult is decided by the learn's mother tougue. Perhaps many people think that Chinese is very difficult. But I must say that if you want to learn Chinese, speaking-Chinese is enough. It is very easy in grammar and totally differnt from written-Chinese which I admit is very hard, even for some Chinese themselves. And today there are more and more people in China beginning to study English. If you want to go to china to study or for a tour, there will be no problem in communication.

CliffMickelson

Zuni is probably one of the most difficult in the world for a non native speaker to learn

AndreasE

Finnish or Polish. Can't decide but I think they are one of the most difficult languages ever crafted. Finnish has 15 (!) cases to distinguish, and each and everything is aligned in gender AND case AND (usually) numerus. So is Polish. The numeral system is extremely difficult.
Finnish: one gets the "yksi + nom.", everything >= 2 gets the numeral + partitive. BUT POLISH! Number 1 is extra; 2-4 too, then from 5 on it gets the genitive plural!!! About as difficult as in Russian.
The word ring (on the finger) is hard as hell: 1 obraczka - 2, 3, 4 obraczki - 5 - {INF} obraczek!

Zekitcha

The concept of easy/not easy is soooo relative: it will depend on your will to learn, your need of the language, on how much material you have to learn it, on how available natives are to help you, and so on. My native language is Portuguese and, unfortunately, most people in my country do not speak good Portuguese. In fact, I've never seen a foreigner speak good Portuguese (although they all think that it is very easy), because its pronunciation is so hard and because the verbs are very irregular, full of tenses. I have learned several languages, like English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and I can say that each of these languages has its difficulties. For instance, Russian is very easy to pronounce for a Portuguese native, because we have all Russian phonems. But we do not have noun declination, so it gets hard when you have to employ the cases. Chinese grammar is so easy... But its pronunciation is difficult, because the sounds are very alike. So, if you learn a language thinking it's so difficult that you will never be able to grasp it, do not even start. To grasp a language, one must be curious and fearless as a child.

alex

I hate when people says that portuguese has difficult its pronunciation and writing sistem is quite easier than spanish or english well the easier languages for a native spanish speakers are
: portugues, italian,arabic and japanese although spanish grammar structure and verb tenses are similar and difficult as french it's difficult to pronounce for spanish speaker i facts portuguese must be the easier language in the world its pronunciation is simple as can be.

MangaAngel

I am studying Japanese and Chinese as a native English speaker. What helps me to learn a language is to forget grammar until you've learned a considerable amount of the foreign language you study. Grammar just causes confusion and worry in the mind of the student and can interfere with the learning process. But it also depends on your lingual interests and/or skill to pick up certain languages with a certain degree of ease.

Zekitcha

It's funny that some people think Portuguese is the easiest language to pronounce... Well, I speak Portuguese and I notice that THE ONLY people who can speak Portuguese properly are the Slavik natives. The rest... well, the rest THINK they are doing a nice job. But thay all sound like gringos eating bananas.

Oktyabrina

I'm a native speaker of Russian. I think that Chinese is the most complicated language ever, also Thai. These characters and intonations.... That's something!!!! I would take me 2 lives to learn it all! I also find Finnish and Hungarian extremely difficult because of loads of cases, weird phonetics & unusual vocabulary that isn't connected with any other language. English is easy, the only complicated thing is that every words is pronounced in its own way, there are so many exceptions of rules! I also find Italian easy but the thing about it I don't like is how prepositions conjoin articles.... it takes a lot of exercising to learn it

Goli

I'm a native English speaker with a fair amount of knowledge of numerous languages. Everyone told me that Farsi is a difficult language, but I found it very easy. Spanish, of course, was easy. Same goes for Portuguese, Swedish, and to some degree, French.

Frankly, I think the hardest languages in the world are English and Japanese. English has no real conjugation structure a learner can go by-- it's all irregular. And the some of the consonants and vowels are extremely difficult for non native-speakers to pronounce, owing to the fact that it was influenced by such a wide range of different languages.

Japanese...well Alessia Lee summed it up well in her post.

And I must disagree with the person who said that learning the grammar should wait... if you know the grammar, you can do anything you want with the vocabulary, otherwise you'll find yourself lost. I know from my own experience that either waiting on grammar or skimping on it can give you a big handicap later on. The times when I've put grammar first I've always been very glad.

Yuliya

I'm a native Russian speaker, though I'm not from Russia. My level of English is quite fluent, and I've learned it myself. So I think that English is not so difficult to learn unlike Russian. I actually think that it's so much easier. Russian grammar is much more complicated than English. I work with the Asian company and must admit that Chinese language is difficult to learn. But, eventually, I must agree with t he author of this article that the difficulty of the language depends on many aspects. For instance, I found it not so difficult to learn English without any teachers, by myself. Meanwhile other people's level of English is much worse, even though they've studied it with the teachers. So it all depends on lots of circumstances.

SIncerely,
Yuliya.

Kristof

Among European languages, I have had the most trouble with Greek and Lithuanian. Finnish is pretty God-awful as well, even though my native language is Hungarian and the two are distantly related. Tried to learn Japanese at one point and it was like hitting my head against a brick wall for half a year.

Park~

Chinese is not that hard~
It might seem unfair for me to say that as it's my primary language(cantonese). But the truth is Chinese grammar are so straight-forward than you could ever think.
Dialects of chinese like cantonese may be "a little bit" harder as the written form of the language is not entirely the same as the spoken form, both in terms of grammar and pronunciation.
I've tried learning japanese for a while, it's way harder than english!!! and that i nearly gave up now...

Doubleb

Actually, If you want to go buy history and linguistics, the most diffucult lang. according to many scholars is Navaho Indian

Simona

I'm a linguist and speak a few of the languages mentioned above to some extent. As a native speaker of Slovene I find Polish, Croatian and Lithuanian very easy, but it's easy to understand that someone who's not used to flective languages might find them hard to learn.

I know a Hungarian who speaks both Polish and Slovene perfectly and she says that Slovene is way more difficult to master with its dual, accent and vowel reduction. Funny, I thought it was easy :)

For me the most difficult language to (try to) learn was Albanian. Its grammar is not that difficult, but all words are so extremely similar to each other that I couldn't memorize them for long. It seems like the only vowel they know is ë. Even Finnish words although not similar to anything else I know are easier to remember with their nice, open and diverse vowels.

john

Romanian

Gravity

Have you ever tried to learn Hungarian? :D

navin

very difficult question indeed. I can speak four languages fluently; Marathi (local language of Western India), Hindi (India's national language); English and Japanese.... I have learnt Sanskrit (ancient language of India; like Latin) and a bit of german....
I think from a grammatical difficulty; far-eastern languages are the easiest as they have no grammer at all if you compare it to european or even indian languages... Japanese is the most difficult if you want to master it both from a written and spoken (all the polite, humble, normal usage of verbs) point of view.. I am starting to learn Chinese from Monday just to get a better grasp on the characters.. To read a Japanese newspaper, you have to master around 2000 characters; for Chinese it is around 5000... would be a great challenge!!!! Each Chinese character has only one pronounciation; each Japanese character has multiple pronounciation which makes it difficult to master;

Dmitry

Russian, of course. I think it's more hard than Finnish or Hungarian for its punctuation, orfography and writing system.

Brian

Please they are put to say that English this but difficult that espaol does not know anything those that say that are that the mere truth espaol this but difficult one that Chinese although Chinese hoiga very extrao but is but easy that espaol

frujudo

Please they are put to say that english to the this difficult mas that the spanish bola de estupidos ignorantes el ingles es el mas facil que existe a muchos les resulta muy dificil aprender el castellano

nick

i learned spanish in a year on a study abroad term...its not very difficult.

try finnish. that looks hella confusing.

shebo

I think Turkish is the most difficult language!

zelaki

It depends. I am a native chinese mandarin speaker, we chinese normally find that english is the easiest language to learn. Japanese is the easiest language to pronounce. however Russian is extemely difficult if not impossible to learn, especialy its pronounciation.

whatever

Trust me Russian is an easy language to lear. Th structuce, especially, tenses are really simple. I do understand why Chinese is picked to be the hardest, but I also think it;s because of the signs themselve, not the language. And for those who has any doubts, Lithuanian is the most beautiful but at the same time the hardest language in the world.

khaleel

i am a native speaker of arabic, english, and am half fluent in spanish. i think arabic is hard because of all the types there are. Bedoin, syrian, palestinian, saudi, morrocon, libyan,tunisian, and native jordanian. even if you get these down there are 3 levels of arabic. normal(casual-for the street), average(for experienced adults, and very difficult(for the news, elections, and impotrant people). not to mention how many variations of grammar there are and how many possible ways to say a sentence. It is said to be the most beautiful language in writing and orally

Templar

Well, I also thinks it depends heavily on your mother tongue. I speak English (self-taught) and German as foreign languages. My mother tongue is Portuguese, which I think it figures in the list of the most difficult languages in the world.
Mainly the brazilian Portuguese for they messed up a lot of grammar rules :-).
Also, although the pronunciation at first glance might be easy, we have certain nasal sounds that so far I didnt meet any foreign person able to pronounce it correctly. The grammar structure is more difficult than the spanish one and we have more phonemes than in Spanish.
I don't know where Alex got the idea that Portuguese is easier than Spanish, but they are horribly naive if they think so. :-)
My wife speaks French, English and Spanish (German is her mothertongue) and she always say that Portuguese is so difficult for her, because of the messy pronounciation (sometimes we just very slightly pronouce some word endings, etc).
Concerning German, it just looks difficult. In my opinion, it's because they use lots of words together, which become big words and since the beginners dont have a huge vocabulary, they can't figure out the composite words. As soon as one gets to know more words, it starts to get a lot easier to memorise and remember the words. I like German because it's such a logic language! Whilst in the romance languages we would describe some things in a nearly romantic way ( :-) ), in German (or English) it would be many times a lot shortened description (and very exact).
Also the German language is not so messy in its pronounciation (most words are pronounced as they are written, unless some foreign words: those are pronounced in they original way most of the time). Languages are just a matter of time to learn. English was easy for me because nowadays one gets just comfortable with its sounds since they are a small. I mean, most films I watched or songs I listened to have been in English. So I just grew familiar with its sounds and structure. The more in contact you are with the language, the faster you learn. Simple as that.

k_nntang

I think Japenses is diificult language beacuase it has many characters and it is hard to pernounce.

DvB

I have been lucky enough to live a rather privileged existence and speak many languages fluently. I am a native of Britain and have lived for extended periods of my youth in Sweden and France. I speak all three languages, I am glad to say without accent and at a native's level. I speak several other European languages but, perhaps bizarrely, with a Swedish accent. I think the problem we have here in this conversation is the difference between native fluency of conversation and pronunciation and the mastery of grammar. For example our Portuguese-speaking friends would suggest there are none who can speak Portuguese simply because they have never met a foreigner who has overcome their accent. Believe me when I say this is no longer an inhibitor for a student of English to full proficiency. There is a very large difference between native pronunciation and mastery of grammar. In the case of a tonal language e.g. Chinese, from whose country I am actually posting this message, pronunciation can indeed be a rather great set-back to communication. In a European language on the other hand, insistence upon perfect pronunciation is petty and pedantic. In terms of grammar, it is true in my experience that Japanese is the most difficult to learn, but again this is entirely dependant upon your native tongue. A further differentiation needs to be made in respect to conversational and written language. In the case of the Chinese in particular, the history of the language itself has lent it a rather large, yet rarely seen, vocabulary and writing style which is entirely beyond the average student.

Melloni

The article says that Japanese is the second hardest language and that Chinese is hard, but English is my first language and I find Japanese much easier than German. I don't think it depends so much on relation as effort put into it and teaching method. ^^" As I teach myself Japanese through books, online resources, anime and manga, I teach myself in the way I learn best. However, in my German class at school we get taught only phrases, not the basic grammatical structure and vocabulary needed to make our own sentences. Therefore the amount of things I can say in Japanese is very different and much more varied than the things I can say in German. ^^" (Also I practice more. Anime is more interesting than my German textbook. XD)

Rajasekhara Chemikala

My mother tongue is Telugu. Linguists say that Telugu is Italian of the East. I like English language because it has great literature. It is link language between cultures. English is mother tongue of Global Citizen. I try to read other literatures through English language. it is high time to produce more translations in English.

Jake Stewart

Scottish Gaelic has few rules and is a nightmare to spell. Its grammar is extremely complex and alien to an English speaker. To let you know how hard I find it, to relax from studying Gaelic I read a Colloquial Norwegian text-book ! Now there's an easy language to learn !

SilverTab

I'm a native French speaker... I started learning english pretty young (parts of my family only speak english) and I find english to be much easier than french. French has to many exceptions and weird rules...plus so many verb tenses, etc etc...that it is difficult, even for a native speaker, to remember'em all! Just the "Participe Passe" alone is an interesting case...

At the moment I am starting to learn chinese (mandarin) and I have to admit I really love it. It's interesting since it's the first tonal language I ever tried to learn and it's a great challenge! But parts of it are encouraging! Like the fact that they are no verb tenses, etc etc.. (i.e. "shi4" is always to be..etc).

In any cases I think it's mostly a matter of what you are used to to begin with. True, some languages are supposed to be more difficult than others...but I'm pretty sure a native speaker of any tonal language (thai, chinese, etc) will find it easier than a westerner to learn a new tonal language etc...

Just my 2 (cnd) cents anyway ;)

Matt

So many people insist on saying their language is the most difficult. This is pure nationalism. Of course, what they're really saying is, "The way my people think is superior to the way everybody else thinks."

anna

Definetely POLISH ,next chinese and japanese

alžběta

řekla bych, že jeden z jejtěžších jazyků na světě je čěština. má šílenou gramatiku, kterou pořádně neumí ani žádný čech, natož cizinec.nechápu jk může mít tolik bodů aj, která je lehká a slovní zásoba oproti mému mateřskému jazyu úplně zanebatelná..já považuji za nejtěžší jazyk mandarínskou čínštinu..

Karola

The most difficult is Polish, definitely..
Then, maybe Arabic?

szabo csaba

In general opinion, the Hungarian language is one of the most difficult, but it sound very good and it's a very musical language.

Ilya

I'm fluent in English, Russian, and semi-fluent - if three is such thing, in Japanese... So that makes for three of the languages discussed here... I have also studies French, German, Spanish and Chinese... My opinion is that Chinese is overated - the pronounciation is hard, but the characters are really not all they are made out - there are only around 200 radicals, so once you know them, the characters become more like lego... Japanese is the same, but there are multiple readings, which makes memorisation much harder because it becomes extremely confusing.
From the languages I have learnt, I would say Japanese or Russian.
the former has a very strict sentence structure, with tiny changes in them causing large difference in meaning (as well as politeness levels).
the latter has accents on each word, which is hell to remember (to me it is equivalent to the Chinese or Japanese writing system, but more important as mistakes are spoken). Also there is no strict SVO rule, and the sentence can change in different ways for emphasis...

also, both languages are quite synthetic, and that is tough in my mind, even if you know another synthetic language (cause the rules are likely to be different)

FrankMcCourt

I can only speak for the languages that I've tried to learn- I won't judge a language's difficulty by what others say.

For me, I am a chinese-american, but my english is much more fluent than my chinese. I've attempted to learn Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese. I think that Spanish was definately the easiest for me, and even my pronunciation is horrible, I understand the grammar and the basic framework of the language. Chinese was easy for me because I learned it natively, so my accent is native. However, my vocabulary is very limited to casual conversation and I cannot watch the news and understand everything. I think the difficulty in picking up chinese for me is the memorization, since there are so many characters to know just because you have to. There are these radicals similar to prefixes and suffixes in each word, but if you don't know a word, you don't know it and it'll be difficult to try to figure it out in most cases. French was hard for me because the pronuncation is different from the writing, but I got past that after working at it for a bit.

Japanese is impossible. The pronuncation is very simple but the grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure is horrendously complicated. The sociological aspect of the language is an enigma within itself: Before saying anything, think about the person you are talking to. Who's older? Is that person a woman/man? What is that person's age? What's your social status and their social status? What's their relation to you? All these factors go into trying to figure out how to adress just one person; imagine trying to talk to several.

eion

Russian. It's hard for me, because of its awful six cases and declension endings. And the emphasis! I'll never know how to put it correctly: водЫ (water, genitive singular) and вОды (plural). Have you ever seen anything similar?

Electron

Well I would agree that it's relative, and that it depends what languages you are used to hearing. An average native English speaker will almost certainly find it harder to learn Spanish than a native Italian speaker.

Among the world's most difficult languages to learn as a second language, I would say are the following languages: Japanese and Chinese, because they use a lot of symbols you have to remember how to pronounce and write. Hungarian, because it's unlike any other language, the vocabulary is difficult to acquire and the language uses lots of suffixes even to indicate possession, roles in sentences and relationships with other worlds. English, since it has a very fine pronunciation that is difficult to imitate for non-native speakers, and has a lot of exceptions (despite apparently simple grammar).

I'm learning Hungarian as a pass-time, and it's only due to huge effort that I have made some progress. But no language is impossible to learn fully. :D Except maybe English.

Adam

English, despite the overwelming people learning english around the world i'd considered it to be the most difficult. one day i was in an english class and i asked the teacher how to speak a word, guess what he replied, let me check the dictionary. I was like WHAT you'r english native speaker AND a teacher. I was absuletly gobsmack.

Mirek

Chines lenguages is not very difficult if you are study this leanguages very often

GM

I think that the difficulty of the language depends on a person. It depends what language he/she speaks. Personally for me, Slavic languages are very easy. However, I would say that if Lithuanian (the Baltic l-ge) is not the hardest lang. to learn, it is not the easiest one. It is a highly inflexional language in which you can easily express ideas almost without prepositions. If you talk about verb... One verb has 13 participial forms (only in masculine) and add feminine... Moreover, accentuation system is almost impossible to learn. Accents are shifting; thus, those speakers whose languages have constant accent find it very hard to stress words correctly without a dictionary. On the whole, Lithuanian is considered the oldest surviving Indo-European language and believe me - it is very beautiful... Like a song...

Fry

Japanese isn't hard at all. Chinese is a bit tricky, but hardest by far I've studied is Finnish.

william

AS one knows,chinese is the most difficult language,it concluds all the thing in the world.It shows exactly all your feeling.If you donnot believe me,just have a try!

existence

Russian (because of grammar, pronunciation and emphasis) and Hungarian (grammar). Chinese and Japanese aren't so difficult, as everyone think.

Janet

I am a native Cantonese speaker and here's my thought on why Chinese is considered to be a difficult language. The writing system is indeed fancy for those of you who use the Roman alphabet but it's just like building blocks. It contains strokes and you can just build the strokes into one word. It does take some time though. I think what makes it messier about the writing system is that it's divided into two types: Simplified and Traditonal. Simplified Chinese is used in Mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia whereas Traditional is used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Maucau. I like Tradtional better, not because Hong Kong uses it but I find it more meaningful and have more relatedness to Chinese culture.

The Chinese language contains many different dialects but the major one to learn right now is Mandarin. I am semi-fluent in that dialect but I will admit that the pronounciation in Mandarin is pretty hard (for me at least). But Chinese in overall terms has really straightforward grammer and no plurals. Despite the fact my mother tongue is Cantonese, I reckon that Cantonese is actually harder than Mandarin. There are basically two speeches of Canto: slang and formal. During converstions, most people would speak Cantonese in slang. When it comes to writing, most people write it formally (at least for more professional standards).

English is my second language but it's almost like a native to me since I grew up in Canada. I can actually write English better than Chinese, though I really regret not paying attention in those Chinese classes my parents forced me to take. Reading wise, English is still better for me because I can only read 50% of the Traditional Chinese I see (reading Simplified drops to 15%). Speaking and listening wise, I think I'm on the same level with both languages.

In my opinion, I think it really depends what language your familiar with in order to determine which language is hard. All languages have their 'hard stuff' and their 'easy stuff.' I speak conversational French and the only thing that bugs me is the division of mascule and feminine stuff, along with a few pronounciations. I've learned some Japanese before and I find that the writing of it is much more complex than Chinese. It's writing system contains kanji (Chinese words), hiragana and katakana. I find that learning hiranga and katakana was pretty easy, but applying kanji to the writing is harder. Pronounciation of Japanese is pretty simple as well but I find that using it in conversations is pretty difficult me.

I'm planning on becoming multi-lingual so I really can't let the difficulties of a language get in my way. Sorry for the long essay I just wrote by the way =P

Fred

hah. i'm a chinese and speaks both english and mandarin.. i find chinese hard because you really have to memorise the characters to even read newapaper. any change in the stroke in the character can change the meaning. pronounce wrongly you get a different word. and chinese tend to use lots of idioms in their speech. i always dread memorising the characters and idioms cos it can never goes into my head. though spoken mandarin is easy... but written? nono.. english is much much easier to learn....

Nir

The most difficult language is German !!!!!

Josh

Russian, Lithuanian and Japanese.

Anoop

Malayalam(mother tounge of people in kerala,India,Asia) is the most difficult language to learn and read.

GG

you guys sayin lithuania is the hardest lang in thw world .. are u kidding me wow just cuz ur from there it dont mean its special theres arabic chines.. lithuanian is easy as hell u read it as you see it even english is harded wow ya gotta be kidding me

thomas

I think chinese grammar is dead easy, there is no gender and singlular/plural issue, add a "le" at the end of a verb makes it a pasttense, and add a "zhai" before a verb makes it a continuous, there is only one word for "to be", which is "shi", so u can say she is, he is, they is, we is, and i is. Also word order isnt difficult, u can say where is the cup, or the cup is where. The only problem is that each chinese word bears a not only a meaning, but a tradition, a concept, philosophy and ideology, sounds are not the essense of the language.

Z.

i think that chinese is the most difficult language, and after that Polish.

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