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Anna
How do you think which language is the most difficult to learn? :D
Apr 20, 2019 3:51 PM
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Comments · 27

First of all, for the title of your post, I recommend changing it to: "Which language is the most difficult to learn?" or "Which language do you think is hardest to learn?"  You should not ask both "how" and "which" in the same question; you should use only one of those two.

Second, a lot of people often say the "hardest language" is Chinese / Japanese / Korean / Arabic, but that is a very Western-centered viewpoint

In reality, the "hardest language" honestly depends on what the native language of that person is, and also which other languages that person knows.

For a Chinese speaker, Romance languages and German languages are hard.

For a Persian speaker, Arabic will be relatively easier to learn, because the two languages share a lot of common vocabulary and similar writing systems.

I speak English, Chinese, and Spanish, so Eastern Asian writing systems (Japanese, Korean) are easy for me, and Western languages in the Romance and German families (Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, etc) are easy for me as well.  Languages like Arabic and Russian would be hard for me.

April 20, 2019
I agree entirely with Guyomar’s excellent answer.

“There is no universally "most difficult" language. It all depends on your frame of reference.”

Absolutely true. To a native speaker of any language his native language is easy for him. And, this is because he never “learns” his native language to begin with. It’s just an aspect of human growth. It’s something that just grows in his head. It’s part of being a human being.

” The idea that some languages are inherently hard is usually promoted by people who do not learn languages and mistakenly think that a different script or greater number of declensions must mean a language is harder than others.”

This is exactly correct. The number of declensions and different script of a language has nothing to do with its difficulty in learning. It’s completely irrelevant.

“Others who promote this view are people who derive some kind of pride from the illusion their language is inaccesible to anyone outside their group and reflects more sophisticated thinking.”

Exactly. People who don’t learn other languages take false pride in thinking their native language is difficult for others and hence says something about the native speaker’s inherent skill and intelligence in speaking his own native language, when nothing could be further from the truth. It’s also not uncommon for such a person to also wrongly believe his native language is more expressive, or more precise in elucidating ideas and sophisticated concepts. A complete myth.
December 22, 2019
It always depends on your mother tongue and language learning experience. I'm German and I can speak Japanese and Chinese but Arabic is driving me nuts. But actually it's not that difficult. I think I just lack the proper motivation to master it.
April 20, 2019
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December 22, 2019
For me is Dutch!! I give up for while because it is almost impossible 😕
December 22, 2019
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Anna
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English