5 Hardest Languages To Learn For English Speakers

Are you planning to learn your favourite language this year and discover all the beauty that surrounds it in the form of literature, arts and culture? Or: Do you want to be smart and achieve proficiency in 2-3 different languages you might need in the future?

People learn languages for different reasons. But do you know that learning a second language is quite different than learning your first language. Your ability to learn a foreign language learn usually depends on the language you are already fluent in. If you are a native English speaker and want to achieve reading and speaking proficiency in one of your favourite foreign languages, you can easily start learning them at TUTOROO - Asia's biggest online marketplace that connect students with qualified language tutors for in-person languages lessons.


Are you interested in learning Mandarin or Arabic? Are you relocating to Finland, Japan or Korea and planning to learn Japanese or Korean to make things easier for yourself in the future? Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Finnish are considered the 5 hardest languages to learn for English-speaking natives. The reason why these 5 languages are difficult to learn is that their syntax, vocabulary, work order and writing system is way different from the English language.

Below we explore in detail each of these 5 languages and try to understand what makes them difficult.

1. Finnish

Finnish has approximately 5.4 million native speakers and it predominantly spoken in Finland. The grammar is extremely complicated in Finnish. It is a lot like Hungarian. where words are usually formed in isolated manner. It is very different from the way English speakers structure their words and sentences. It takes around 44 weeks to learn Finnish and may require 1,100 class hours to achieve proficiency in Finnish.

2. Arabic

Apart from the lack of vowels in the Arabic language, it's script is quite different from English as well, it has a right-to-left cursive script. It is a highly inflected language with a lot of rules that need to be learnt. In sentences, the verb often comes before the subject. The learner must be able to distinguish between singular, plural and dual form. To achieve proficiency in Arabic, it may take 88 weeks to achieve proficiency.

3. Japanese

Japanese uses a writing system that is based on Kanji, a set of characters that are adopted from Chinese. This is how individual characters in Japanese and Chinese are similar in appearance and meaning. Besides that, the Japanese uses another set of characters for grammar and foreign words, known as Kana. Learning grammar takes more time as it is more complicated.

4. Chinese

Chinese has 1.2 billion native speakers, and like Arabic, it uses a complex writing system that is unfamiliar to native English speakers. Learning Chinese from scratch means internalizing thousands of different characters in different shapes and forms. It takes around 1 year and 6 months for English speakers to achieve proficiency in Chinese.


5. Korean

Korean has 24 letters and uses Hangul writing system which is considered the easiest system to learn for English speaker. But Korean grammar is very similar to Japanese and requires a lot of effort and concentration to learn. Its different syntax, sentence structure and verb conjugations make Korean difficult to learn.

No matter which language you are interested in learning, you can always find a qualified and well trained tutor for in person language classes at TUTOROO. Sign up today and start learning your favourite language.

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