Ever wondered what the hardest languages to learn are? It is simple to learn to speak your original language or a language that is related to it. However, studying a language outside of your comfort zone can open doors to new connections, increase your chances of landing a better job, make you more competitive and demanding globally, and so on.
To help you explore a new world and increase your self-confidence after learning these languages, we’ve hand-selected some of the hardest languages to learn in the article below.
With that, let’s dig into the article now!
10+ Hardest Languages To Learn (2023)
Have a look over the 10 hardest languages in the world below.
|Number of speakers||17 million|
Hungarian is part of the 24 official languages of the European Union. It is spoken by the people of Hungary and neighboring countries like Austria, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, etc.
It is popularly called Hungarian due to its origin in Hungary; however, its original name is Magyar which was first written in 1196 and belonged to the Uralic family members. Hungarian is one of the hardest languages in the world due to its various complex rules. The Hungarian language has nine more vowels than the English vowels, including the basic vowels “a, e, I, o, u” and further nine, including “á, é, í, ó, ő, ö, ú, ű, ü.”
|Number of speakers||274 million|
|Origin Country||Countries in the Arab peninsula|
The Arabic language is spoken by people all across the southern part of the Middle East and the Arabian peninsula. It is one of the most difficult languages to learn due to its complex grammar and reading rule from left to right. The Arabic language is from the Semitic language family. It was introduced in the mid-ninth century BCE. It is largely spoken in the Arab regions of the world around the Middle East, with the majority of people belonging to the religion Islam.
The holy book of Islam called the Quran, is written in Arabic. Furthermore, Arabic is a vast language spoken in different ways, including Modern Standard Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, etc. Hence it becomes difficult for non-Arabic speakers to learn Arabic; however, the spread of this language in the Western regions makes it a worthwhile language to learn for the future.
|Number of speakers||1117 million|
Mandarin, a language spoken in the northern and southwestern regions of China, is counted as the most difficult language in the world to learn. Speaking Mandarin is as difficult as writing Mandarin due to its complex grammar and writing system. Mandarin Chinese is popularly known as Northern Chinese. The meaning of the words said in the Mandarin language changes with the change in tone. Mandarin Chinese has four tones: level, rising, falling, and high rising. Hence, it’s a tonal language, making it even harder for non-mandarin speakers to learn it.
|Number of speakers||602.2 million|
Hindi is widely spoken in the Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern parts of India and neighboring countries Pakistan, Bhutan, etc. Hindi along with English are the two official languages spoken in India. It is written under the Devanagari script and is known to be one of the most challenging languages in the world to learn due to its complex grammar.
However, the number of people speaking Hindi is no less in the world. Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world after Mandarin, English, and Spanish. Furthermore, Hindi literature was introduced in the 12th to 13th century CE. Hindi is the descendant of the early form of Vedic Sanskrit.
|Number of speakers||10.7 million|
Greek is one of the oldest languages in the world, with the longest history of the Indo-European language; the earliest written Greek documents are Mycenaean documents. It is spoken mainly in Greece. Ancient Greek distinguishes it from modern Greek. It is a challenging language to learn for English natives due to its different vocabulary. For instance, “Me” in Greek is “emé”, and “horse” in Greek is “híppos.” The Greek language is related to Armenian and has been spoken in the southern Balkan. Greek is the most challenging yet great language to learn due to its long history.
|Number of speakers||55 million|
Polish, the west Slavic language written in Latin script, is the language spoken primarily by pole people living in Poland. Poland’s official language ranks as the sixth most spoken language in the European Union. Polish is closely related to Czech and Slovak. However, the pronunciation of these languages differs. It is influenced by Latin, French, Italian, etc.
It came from the Indo-European language family and emerged as a distinct language during the 10th century. The earliest Polish written documents include the book of henryków. Learning polish became profitable after the spread of the polish language to Canada, the UK, Australia, Israel, the USA, etc., after World War 2.
|Number of speakers||125.4 million|
Japanese, the national language of Japan, belongs to the Japanese-Ryukyuan or Japonic language family. Japanese was found in Chinese documents during the 3rd century AD. However, only a few words (not belonging to the substantial old Japanese) were in the Chinese documents. The modern Japanese language differs from the old Japanese. The complex rules of the Japanese language make it one of the most challenging languages to learn.
Japanese sentence structure differs from the Indo-European language due to its rule of placing the verb at the end of the sentence. The correct order of writing Japanese is writing the subject-object first and then ending it with the verb. The comprehensive grammar for expressing politeness and formality in Japanese and its nouns having no grammatical number or gender makes it a difficult yet interesting language to learn.
|Number of speakers||110 million+|
Persian, the official language of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Dagestan, and Russia, is one the most difficult languages in the world to learn. It comes from the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Iranian branch. Persian is popularly known as Farsi; modern Persian has no grammatical gender. The masculine and feminine subjects are used with the same pronouns; hence, it becomes difficult for the non-Persian natives to understand the language. New Persian is also said to influence the Arabic vocabulary in Turkic, Indic, and Iranian languages.
|Number of speakers||5.4 million|
Finnish, a language spoken largely across Finland, is a member of the Uralic language family derived from proto-Uralic spoken in the 8000 and 2000 BCE. The oldest script written in Finnish was found in the 1200s in Novgorod (now Russia). It does not appear the same as modern Finnish, which makes it evident how modern Finnish differs from early Finnish.
The history of the Finnish language includes the book “Seven brothers” written by Aleksis Kivi, which made its mark by bringing the feeling of patriotism among the people and the independence of Finland. Finnish proves to be one of the most challenging languages in the world. However, people learn this amazing language mostly because of the heavy metal music scenes.
|Number Of Speakers||17 million|
The Hungarian language is known as the Uralic language. Almost 17 million people speak the Hungarian language, which is mostly spoken in Hungary, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, and Romania. It is one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers. There are 14 different vowels in this language, and all of them has a different pronunciation.
The constants also have the most unexpected pronunciations when you compare them to the English language. Apart from all the complexities this language has, it is the most creative and amazing language, which contains some amazing words that do not exist in the English language.
We’ve reached the conclusion of the article, and by this point, you’ve probably decided which language you want to learn. The next step is to install language learning software, such as Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, etc. Learning a new language boosts your IQ, enables you to visit new places without hesitation, and helps you become more socially acceptable.
The language barrier is a significant barrier that hinders networking and detracts from your appeal. Whatever the cause, learning something new is never a waste of time.
Mandarin Chinese is the hardest language in the world to learn.
Languages, including Afrikaans, French, Dutch, Norwegian, etc., are the easiest to learn.
Frisian is the closest language to English which is spoken by a small population in Germany.
Languages like Mandarin, Hindi, German, Spanish, French, etc., help find more job opportunities. Hence, they are the most profitable languages to learn.