i think hard work is more important than the talent, but the talent is very useful too. learning a foreign language especially the one that is very different from your native language is very difficult, no matter how clever you are. no hard work, no progress.
here, i introduce a chinese genius to you, he's Gu Hongming, who was familiar with French, Italian, Ancient Greek, Latin, Japanese and Malay, as well as Chinese, English and German when he was 25 years old. nothing but hard work which is learning books by heart.
when he was 11, he learned "Faust" by heart, and then all Shakespeare's works. so suffering but he made it.