Why do some languages take longer to master?

I’m studying both French and Korean on LingQ and I’m still at Beginner 2 on both. However, for French I’m at 89.9% until Intermediate 1 and I only know 1528 words. Whereas for Korean I’m at about 77% until intermediate 1 and I know 2312 words. What accounts for the difference? The only thing I can think of is that the languages are rated based on difficulty for an English speaker and therefore Korean is made to take longer to master than French which is much closer to English.

French is an Indo-European language, just like English, not to mention that English has borrowed a large number of words from French and from Latin, from which French evolved.

Korean, on the other hand, has very low transparecy level in relation to English, not to mention a different writing system and the fact that some linguists classify it as an isolate language with no relation to any other, Asian languages included.

Here’s a nice chart on language difficulty: Comparative table of languages and language profiles for the prospective learner

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As for LingQ’s word count system, each language has a different threshold from one level to the other. Aglutinative languages or languages with cases, like Russian, have a higher word count for each level because the same word has several different forms and endings. In English, for example, “each” has only one form whereas in French it has two and in Russian it has one for each gender and God knows how many others in combination with each case (Nominative, Genitive, Accusative and so on).

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I believe it has to do with the fact that the writing system is unfamiliar, that and a lot of people are intimidated and stall the process.

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some languages are more similar to each other than others. so if your language is somehow similar to a language you are learning you will probably learn that language faster