The 10 most difficult languages to learn
Quiz by bleumarine22
Last updated: November 18, 2013
First submittedOctober 14, 2012
Times taken3,998
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Africa and Middle East
Amazonian region
United States
Region in France and Spain
Level 16
Oct 16, 2012
I tried mandarin, cantonese, wu, before i tried chinese (since chinese refers to a group of languages). It's like asking for spanish instead of basque. If portuguese is accepted for Tuyuca (btw tupi and guarani should be there too), then those definitely need to be added. Also, are you sure, you've properly researched these? I expected to find Korean, Finnish (suomi), Swahili, Urdu, Hindi, Thai, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Turkish, Greek, Russian... Nice choice for a quiz, tricky one though...
Level 16
Oct 16, 2012
Also Khoisan and Bantu (the click languages).
Level 80
Apr 28, 2013
some of those languages you mention are known for being difficult to learn, but Korean is so easy. It doesn't have all the crazy tones like Mandarin and Thai, nor the complicated system of diacritics like Vietnamese. It's written language is one of the most elegant and logical in the world- maybe the only written language in the world designed completely from scratch by linguists so it lacks all of the confusing inconsistencies and needless complications inherent in languages that evolved organically over centuries. It has a fairly simple phonetic inventory. Honestly I think Korean is probably one of the *easiest* languages in the world to learn, along with maybe Latin and Spanish and a few others.
Level 65
Aug 6, 2017
Thai isn't so bad. Medium difficulty for English natives.
Level 48
Dec 26, 2018
Estonian should be replaced with Finnish. They are relative languages and Finnish is more difficult.
Level 56
Nov 24, 2012
Very good quiz
Level 80
Apr 28, 2013
I got 100% but only because there was such a generous time limit and also because Portuguese is accepted for "Tuyuca"
Level 27
May 12, 2013
I'd just like to mention that Chinese is not a language; it's the race of people that come from China. They speak either Mandarin or Cantonese. Very unfair that I got 9 because of that.
Level ∞
May 14, 2013
It depends on the definition of language. Chinese can be considered a single language, or a language family:

Level 51
Jul 2, 2013
I'd imagine that what languages are difficult to earn would be highly subjective and dependent on which language(s) you are already fluent in. Like, a Czech speaker would have an easier time learning Polish than someone who only speaks Tamil.
Level 59
Nov 17, 2013
you should accept "dine bizaad" for navajo

Level 58
Nov 18, 2013
Level 74
Aug 21, 2014
I wonder how they rated these languages? I'm surprised Welsh and Czech didn't make the cut.
Level 35
Sep 9, 2014
As a user of the Polish language I can say that it's generally true about the difficulty of our language (almost no rules, hard pronunciation, freestyle word order) but this ranking is generally extremely subjective. Some languages or groups of languages (Khoisan, Andamanese, Rotokas, some Aboriginal in Australia) are not even well studied.
Level 74
Feb 8, 2018
My mother claims Polish is easy because all letters and their combinations are pronounced consistently (unlike English, which is very inconsistent in this regard). It's a small consolation because almost everything else about Polish is a nightmare.
Level 24
Dec 19, 2015
Great quiz! I made one about the easiest languages to learn.
Level 42
Mar 23, 2016
I'm surprised Georgian isn't on here. Georgian doesn't have any similar languages and is almost completely unique, so there's really nothing to go on when you learn it. Also I'm fairly certain that Icelandic would be fairly easy to learn for Norwegian, Swedish and Finish speakers.
Level 45
Aug 25, 2017
Not Finnish; Finnish is more similar to Hungarian and Estonian than it is to Swedish.
Level 47
Jul 3, 2016
I was really surprised to see that finnish wasn't here! And also icelandic is very similar to danish, norwegian and swedish but not finnish though. And Estonian is also very similar to finnish.
Level 80
Sep 14, 2016
1. Language difficulty depends HEAVILY on what language you're starting with. You need to specify "Difficult for native English Speakers"

2. In terms of hours needed to gain fluency, Icelandic, Estonian, and Polish rank way lower than a bunch of excluded languages

3. Chinese isn't really a language.

Please check out this list:

While it isn't comprehensive, it does a MUCH better job explaining how this works.

Level 43
Dec 19, 2016
I wouldnt have got tuyuca in a million years if portuguese wasnt accepted. But i still dont think it should, since the 2 languages are completely different and have completely different origins. As far as i know, the only similarity is both of them being spoken in brazil and i think accepting tupi or guarani instead of portuguese (even though its still not the same language) would be much better as they at least are both indigenous languages of the region and not european ones
Level 60
Feb 11, 2017
Galic and Albanian

are more difficult than hungarian

Level 37
May 4, 2017
Not sure why "American" is a type-in for Navajo, but I'll take it.
Level 70
Feb 12, 2018
I tried Welsh...... if that is not one of the most difficult then heaven help the ones that are.
Level 64
May 4, 2018
Can you please accept Mandarin, Cantonese, or Wu for Chinese? Or explain why you wouldn't? Thanks.
Level 67
Jan 17, 2019
I really expected finnish (but i guess estonian is close) a celtic language (irish of scottish gaellic or welsh), xhosa, maltese

Your list is based might be as your source gives it. But that source is just a list made a by a single person that thought these were difficult. Their guess is as good as anyones, so a questionable source imo.

I know people like to bash wikipedia, but atleast there it gets edited by thousands of people, so it is like having your exam being checked over and over, the chances for mistakes are much lower, then when it is just the thoughts of a single person. (I am not claiming everything on wikipedia is correct btw...especially in controversial cases..)

Though it will remain quite subjective, you cant really measure it, you can just look at certain factors. I dont think this is a realisticly representative list.

Level 67
Jan 17, 2019
and yes, what your mother tongue is matter in what language is tough FOR YOU. But you can still establish that some languages are more difficult than others regardless you r mothertongue.

isolated languages with hardly anything in common with any other languages for instance. Languages where the prononciation seems very far from the written version. Languages with a lot of exceptions to the rule, with more cases etc etc

Level 39
Jan 29, 2019
Chinese is not a language, but a group of languages (including mandarin, cantonese, wu etc.).. I tried all of these 3, but didn't try chinese..because Chinese is not a language..