The official top 10 HARDEST languages in the world to learn list. (unesco list)

Can you guess what is number 1? It is not surprising at all.

Having said that, I still don’t know how some of these languages made the list… nor do I understand what criteria they use to judge this.

This is a very interesting video!

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Even though Russian is a category 4 language, it is easier than French according to UNESCO. I tried learning French for many years, but didn’t make much progress. I know far more Russian in 7 months than I knew of French in 7 years!

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I think if this list shows anything, it is that difficulty is completely objective. There is no good objective criteria.

No polish in it?

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Where exactly is this list? All we are given is a link to a YouTube video. Would very much like to see the listing together with the publication date on UNESCO’s website.

I think the list is a joke.

I can find only the list of “endangered” languages.

It sure looks like a joke.

What a terrible list. French isn’t hard and to call Norwegian hard for an English speaker is a joke. Norwegian is literally probably the easiest language for an English speaker to learn.

I mean look at this:

Wikipedia er en encyklopedi på mer enn 280 språk, som skrives av frivillige bidragsytere fra hele verden. Innholdet kan kopieres og brukes fritt. Vi startet i 2001 og arbeider nå på mer enn 35 millioner artikler, hvorav 442 605 i den norske utgaven på bokmål og riksmål. På den nynorske versjonen arbeides det på over 125 000 artikler. Les mer om hvordan du kan bidra!

Without translating anything you can get the gist of it even if you’ve never heard a single word of Norsk.

The hardest language is North Sentinelese. There are 0 resources for learning it and approaching the island risks getting shot to death by arrows.



Moreover, some sentences can be translated almost literally. Examples:

This is [the man] who I go to work with every day.
Dette er [mannen] som jeg går på jobb med hver dag.

There are some differences like in the relative pronoun “who/som” and the preposition “to/på”, but notice how the preposition “with/med” is placed at the end of the sentence in the exact same position! If that isn’t structural similarity then I don’t know what is. I would think that this similar structure would help tremendously.

The ONLY thing stopping me learning Norwegian properly is my lack of a good dictionary. I like WordReference for French because if you look up a conjugated verb it will tell you that’s it’s the conjugated form and so it’s easy to figure out precisely what it’s saying for example ‘i work’ or ‘i will work’ or ‘i worked’. Can’t find anything similar for Norwegian so i’m hesitant to define words on here in case they are slightly wrong.

That might be a problem with less popular languages yes. I notice the same in that looking up an inflected Serbo-Croatian word on Wiktionary isn’t possible while it is possible to look up an inflected Russian word. The last resort would be grammar then I’m afraid. Norwegian verbs look easy though.

There are ridiculously few forms of it.

it depends on your maternal language likethe guys said in the video they already speak chinese so they did not find learning japanese that hard .but i find japanese extremely difficult and all asian languages cause i don’t speaky any .if i was to write a list it would be different than some one else’s

Heres a list (assumed to be from a mono-lingual English speaker’s perspective) on approximate hours to reach ‘general proficiency’ in reading and speaking:

At any rate note how Japanese has the little asterisk indicating that, at least from the FSI’s perspective, it would rank as the most difficult of the common languages to speak!

My sympathies to those learning Japanese! The grind is real~~

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Remember that the number of hours is just classroom hours at FSI. While I don’t find it to be an accurate representation of how long it will take me to learn a language, I think the list is a good indicator of relative language difficulty for native english speakers, given a level playing field. For example, it will take 3-4 times as long for me to learn Japanese as it will to learn Spanish.

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Yea, I think it is too objective to have an official list.

I am personally finding german to be more difficult than russian… even though it doesn’t take as long as russian because you have to get used to the script and pronunciation and less similar words.

I definitely think that east asian languages take the longest because everything about them is different. Structure, writing, and vocabulary are all very, very different.

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Also, I have to give you props for learning Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. The trifecta of difficulty!

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"“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”