What are the Hardest Languages to Learn?

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Did you know that the majority of the world's population is bilingual? Nearly 43 percent of people speak at least two languages fluently, giving them the versatility they need to travel to other nations and communicate with ease. If you only know your native language, it can be a challenge to travel internationally, communicate in other languages and do business with speakers from other countries. With more than 7,000 languages in the world, many people wonder which is the hardest to learn.

 

What Makes Language Learning Hard

 

Many people feel frustrated when trying to learn a new language, but the truth is that language learning is challenging for almost everyone. Adults find learning a new language more difficult than children, whose brains are wired to learn massive amounts of new information daily. In order to learn a new language, your brain has to build entirely new frameworks to support it. It has to assign new meanings to objects and interpret those correctly while developing new vocabulary, accents and variations. Just like the toddler who calls every four-legged animal, "doggie," there is a process that the brain has to go through to master language. In addition, there has to be ample opportunity to practice the new language, and most people aren't immersed in a foreign language daily. This makes it challenging for even the most determined learner.

 

The Hardest Languages to Learn for English Speakers

 

Mandarin Chinese

 

Mandarin Chinese is one of the most challenging languages for native English speakers to learn, as learning to speak Mandarin means learning an entirely new alphabet, mastering the various tones in the language and special characters that look nothing like the Latin alphabet that English speakers use. Mandarin Chinese has four distinct tones which change the meaning of a word based on how it is pronounced. One common example is the word "ma," which can either mean mother or horse, depending on the tone you use. Not a mistake you want to make. Some people describe Chinese as the most difficult language to learn for English speakers. What is the hardest language to learn in the world? Some would say Mandarin Chinese, hands down.

 
Arabic
 

Arabic is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, and is often described as the hardest language to speak and learn. Arabic has several different dialects that vary based on the region, so people who are interested in learning Arabic first decide which dialect they want to learn. From there, they have to learn the Arabic alphabet, which is a fancy script that is drastically different from the Latin alphabet. Arabic is written from right to left instead of left to right, and this can take some getting used to. Finally, Arabic omits many vowels, which makes reading a challenge. What is the hardest language to learn? Some people would describe Arabic as one of the hardest languages to learn.

 
Russian
 

Russia is so large that its geography spans the continents of both Europe and Asia. Russia has 11 time zones, and 35 languages are spoken in the country. Russian is the most difficult to learn for English speakers who find the grammar rules difficult. In some Russian dialects, the verb "to be" does not exist. A person would not say, "I am a parent," in Russian. They would say "I parent." Russian uses a Cyrillic alphabet, which can look confusing to speakers who are used to a Latin alphabet. In addition, many Russian letters look the same as Latin letters but sound different. The "B" is pronounced like a "V" for example. Russian is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world, and it may take years to become fluent. It is widely spoken, so despite its difficulty, it may be worth learning.

 
French
 

Many people ask, "Is French a hard language to learn?" The answer is that it depends. Because there are so many French words in the English language, French is often easier to learn than some other languages. In addition, the French alphabet is similar to that of the Latin alphabet, so it is a bit easier for English speakers to pick up on it. More than 220 million people speak French, so if you learn this romance language, you will be able to travel freely to much of the Caribbean, some African nations, and France with ease.

 

Is English One of the Hardest Languages to Learn?

 

Many people who are learning English find that it is one of the hardest languages to learn. English borrows words from a number of languages, making it challenging to learn. In addition, English has words that are spelled the same but mean different things. Words like bear, bare and bear can refer to an animal, a lack of clothing or a directional term. Too, to and two are often confusing and is only one example of challenging grammar rules.

 

Translating documents from English to Other Languages

 

With more than 7,000 languages in the world, it is impossible to learn all of them. There will be times that you need language translation services to bridge the gap between the language you know and the one you don't. If you have ever used a translator app and found out how ineffective (and sometimes hilarious) their translations are, you will understand why you need a human, native speaker who can translate your documents for you. What is the hardest language to learn? Well, that answer depends on who's asking (and in what language they're asking!)

 

Translate your marriage license, birth certificate or school records into other languages with ease when you use document translation services. Perhaps you need to translate official documents for international travel or be able to market to customers in a variety of languages. When you need accuracy, depending on a bot or an app just won't cut it. There is no need to try to learn French, Spanish, Chinese, German and Russian or any of the other hardest languages to learn. Translation services companies will do the job for you. Call us today for a free consultation for all of your translation needs.