Top 10 Hardest Languages to Learn

Being multilingual gives you an advantage over others limited to a single language. Multilingual speakers are at the forefront of new prospects, whether for gaining a deeper understanding of the heritage of a nation or for the fundamental need to live together besides conducting business.

You are given the fascinating list of the “Top 10 Hardest Languages to Learn” for those daring language enthusiasts seeking a real linguistic challenge.

All such linguistic marvels need tireless dedication and firm persistence since they are distinguished by demanding cultural complexities, challenging grammatical systems, and phonetic diversity.

There are specific challenges that come with each language. But relax; if you put in the effort and have the right attitude, you can overcome these challenges.

List of Top 10 Hardest Languages to Learn

Here is the list of the top 10 hardest languages to learn.

  • Korean
  • Finnish
  • Arabic
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Icelandic
  • Hungarian
  • Navajo
  • Basque
  • Polish

1. Korean

Several things make learning Korean difficult. Since it has no clear connection with other languages, Korean stands apart as the most widely spoken language in the world. This makes it a very distinctive language.

Age, seniority, and familiarity regarding the person you’re conversing with are common examples of linguistic hierarchy. At first glance, Korean has a special writing system called Hangul that takes some practice to grasp while being logical yet precise.

Beginners may be complicated by how vowels and consonants are combined to make syllables. While Hangul reads from left to right, similar to English, it also flows from top to bottom, and its characters are frequently taller than those in the Latin alphabet.

When adjusting mobile applications and desktop programs, this might provide difficulties. Hangul has twenty-four characters, all of which are phonetic, making pronunciation rather simple.

The structure of words, which is the reverse of English, must be clarified, making it challenging to build sentences correctly.

Homonyms words with the same spelling and sound but distinct meanings are abundant in Korean. Pure determination and practice would be required to learn the Korean language and overcome challenges.

2. Finnish

For several reasons, learning Finnish is frequently seen as being difficult. It’s believed that the difficulty of learning Finnish derives from its linguistic resemblance to Hungarian. Finnish, in contrast to Hungarian, only has Fifteen tenses.

Because of this, Finnish is a challenging language to learn since even little changes to a word’s ending can significantly impact its meaning. Its grammar is also quite complex.

Because of the extensive use of cases in Finnish, learners need to understand and employ different noun and adjective forms according to their function in a sentence. Finns utilize loanwords from various languages, and the language has a distinctive vocabulary. Finns have a lot of original terms as well.

 Learning and retaining this terminology might be difficult, and pronunciation might be another issue. Finnish speakers employ the present tense and rely on context because there is no future tense.

Learners might need to familiarise themselves with Finnish’s distinctive phonetic characteristics and sounds. The individual would require a certain time and practice to perfect the proper pronunciation of vowels, consonants, and diphthongs.

Despite these difficulties, it would be interesting as well as beneficial for the individual to learn Finnish.

3. Arabic

For many reasons, Arabic is frequently seen as needing to be easier to learn. Over four-twenty-two million people worldwide speak Arabic in one of about over 25 distinct dialects. As a result, the Arabic you learn in Morocco may sound different from the Arabic used in Bahrain. 

At first, compared to many other languages, Arabic has a unique writing system and is a right-to-left written language. However, the numbers that go with currencies frequently continue to be written from left to right. 

Learners must acquire a new set of symbols as well as learn how to read and write in a different direction. The Arabic language has a large and varied vocabulary. The context is essential to properly understanding the language’s many phrases with various meanings.

Learning difficulties might arise from regional dialects and variations. As discussed above, Arabic dialects vary widely in pronunciation, vocabulary, and syntax, making communicating with speakers from different places more difficult.

The grammar of Arabic could be clearer. It has a comprehensive system of verb tenses, noun declensions, and grammatical patterns. The complicated root word and pattern structure make it more difficult to accurately create and comprehend words and phrases. 

The pronunciation presents an additional challenge. There are a variety of sounds in Arabic that may not be present in other languages. For non-native speakers, the prevalence of guttural sounds and strong consonants might take a lot of work to learn.

4. Mandarin

Mandarin is a member of the Chinese Language Group. Mandarin provides several distinct difficulties that make it challenging for many people to master the language. To begin with, Mandarin has a logographic writing system where each character stands for a word or idea. 

Learning the hundreds of characters needed to read and write well takes a lot of effort. Characters have many pronunciations, so it’s important to master the ones for a situation to communicate effectively. 

Learning is challenging because of the liberal usage of idioms and aphorisms that have evolved over centuries. In addition, Mandarin grammar differs greatly from English grammar. 

It lacks the use of plurals, tenses, and verb conjugation. Rather, context, phrase structure, and grammar contribute significantly to meaning. Another area for improvement Mandarin offers is its large vocabulary. 

It includes various idiomatic phrases, measured words, and fine distinctions that need careful study to understand and use properly. Many words sound identical but for a slight tone difference that completely changes the meaning, which makes learning them more difficult. 

This implies that we can assign two distinct meanings to the same words in various tones. To learn vocabulary and construct sentences, learners must enhance their mental abilities.

5. Russian

For several reasons, learning Russian is frequently seen as difficult. Unlike English, where the Latin alphabet is used, Russian employs the Cyrillic script. For newcomers, the Cyrillic script might be perplexing at first. 

Six cases, a sophisticated syntax, and an unusual writing style distinguish Russian. To read and write with this script, learners must get familiar with a new cast of characters. It might also challenge to grasp Russian’s intricate verb conjugation and noun declension systems.

For non-native speakers, navigating the instances and comprehending their application can be a major challenge. The many conjugations and aspect pairs of Russian verbs also make it necessary for learners to understand the nuances of verb forms. 

It contains terms with varied root structures and loanwords from other tongues. By persisting and being committed, eager learners may overcome these difficulties and advance their Russian language skills.


6. Icelandic

Icelandic is an Indo-European language with Germanic elements that are connected to Norwegian. Not only are the sentences exceedingly long, but they spoke entirely differently the vowel sounds than in English. 

Icelandic is notable for its complicated grammar, which includes several declensions, sophisticated verb conjugations, and grammar contexts. Because of its unusual phonetic traits, such as silent and voiced letter differences, pronouncing can be difficult. 

In addition, the conjugations are incredibly difficult to understand. Because of the retention of many archaic terms and expressions, Icelandic vocabulary might need to be improved for English speakers.

7. Hungarian

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language, distinguishing it from most European languages. Its linguistic beginnings can be traceable back to Central Asian countries, and it has distant kinships with countries like Finnish and Estonian. 

Hungarian’s complicated grammatical framework is one of its distinguishing features. It includes an extensive case arrangement, with 18 cases showing the relationship across nouns and other phrase parts. 

Nouns, pronouns, and adjectives take different forms depending on case, number, and occupancy. This broad case structure can be difficult for novice learners to understand and apply appropriately.

Hungarian contains extensive verb conjugations in alongside cases. Hungarian verbs fluctuate depending on the tense, mood, component, and speaker. There are several types of the present tense, past tense, future tense, and conditional attitude. 

This implies that learners must acquire various verb forms to express diverse subtleties and periods. Hungarian word sequence is variable, which implies that the sequencing of words in a phrase can change. 

Because the meaning of a sentence strongly depends on the context and the right use of cases and endings, this fluidity in word order may occasionally render comprehension and sentence formation more difficult.

Non-native speakers can additionally need help with Hungarian’s phonetic approach.

8. Navajo

It is a sophisticated language with an extensive verb morphology that includes many components, modes, and classifications and is termed an indigenous language of the Navajo community. 

The Navajo language uses a complicated structure for tones and pitch accents, which makes pronunciation challenging for beginners.

Navajo has a completely distinct arrangement of sentences from English, which can take time to learn. Another challenge for beginners is pronouncing words correctly. 

The Navajo language uses a complicated system of pitches and tone voices, which considerably impacts the significance of words.

It’s difficult to acquire the exact pronunciation of these harmonic patterns because it demands good hearing and practice to accurately repeat the tiny variances.

9. Basque

It is an isolated language prevalent in the Basque Country, which includes parts of Spain and France. It is distinct and unconnected to any other language worldwide because it has no recognized linguistic cousins. 

Basque has complicated agglutinative grammar with many bending, case systems, and verbal conjugations. In addition, the language needs to include common word linkages to other European languages, leaving it difficult for beginners to locate similar words.

10. Polish

Polish is a Slavic language notable for its wide inflecting structure and complicated vocabulary. Mastering Polish causes a thoroughly comprehending of grammatical rules, as seven cases influence nouns, adjectives, verb aspects, and emotions. 

Because of the occurrence of nasal vowels and groups of consonants that are absent in English, pronunciation can be difficult for those who are not native speakers. The cultural backdrop is equally vital, as the Polish language and culture are inextricably linked. 

Memorizing the many Polish expressions and idioms can take time and effort. Learners can gradually negotiate the complexities of Polish and acquire mastery through perseverance, frequent practice, and exposure to the language.


Is English the hardest language to learn?

What is the second hardest language to learn?

What is the third hardest language to learn?

Final Words

After the detailed discussion on the hardest languages to learn in the world, ‌difficulties include complex grammar, diverse writing systems, unusual phonetic traits, foreign terminology, and cultural complexities. 

Mastering these languages needs commitment, perseverance, and a desire to conquer obstacles. Being bilingual has various benefits, including a better understanding of diverse cultures, more employment options, and improved cognitive capacities. 

As a result, for language enthusiasts looking for a true linguistic obstacle, these languages provide an exciting journey worth pursuing. We hope you enjoy our article Top 10 Hardest Languages to Learn. If you need anything else, let us know in the comment section. 

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