Excellent! I’m fed up with the myth that German is hard to learn for English speakers. When it comes to the amount of time it takes to learn a language, the hardest ones can take more than three times as long as the easiest ones. The upsides, though, are a lot more compelling. The verb generally comes before the subject in Arabic sentences. For example, Korean has more particles. Frankfurt International School, Which Languages Are Hard for English Speakers to Learn? + qs; If you want to learn, you should really find some Hebrew speakers in your area, native or not. Learning a new language is always a challenge. { d.getElementById("contentad622858").appendChild(s); Hebrew is a hard language for English natives. Before we take a closer look and see which of the above are the most difficult languages to learn, you can check out this TED Talk with John McWhorter to help you get inspired to learn a new language: 1. Learn one of the five hardest languages for English speakers. So no need to worry about gender or verb conjugation when learning Chinese. Category 4: Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Modern Standard Arabic, etc. 8 Ways to Get Daily Language Practice on Your Coffee Break, How to Learn a Language by Yourself: 5 Rockstar Tips for Success, Level Up Your Language Learning with Spaced Repetition (SRS), 37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It. In Korean, for example, “I like cats” would be “I cats like.” To become proficient in any of these four languages, English speakers need to dedicate almost two years — or about 88 weeks — with 2,200 classroom hours of study and practice. cb: (new Date()).getTime() First, the Pashto alphabet is related to the Arabic alphabet, so there’s that. Stop kidding yourselves people, and … Students from Australia sing and act the “Masa”song . The 5 Hardest Languages for English Speakers and Why You Want to Learn Them Once you get the alphabet down everything falls into place. The final Category IV language listed by DLIFLC is Pashto, spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On a related note, Hebrew language is poorer. Sources: However, this new study from the University of Edinburgh is the first to examine whether learning a second language affects cognitive performance while childhood intelligence is controlled. Additionally, vowels in written Arabic are often notated with small marks above and below words or even omitted entirely, so readers have to rely on their knowledge of the language to fill in the gaps between consonants. The languages that English speakers choose to learn should have some practical use in their everyday life and environment, which do not need to be “hard.” For example, in an infographic on Slate.com, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the U.S. since it has a high number of Mexican and Central American immigrants. Norwegian was not hard and fun to learn. So how hard is it for an Arabic speaker to learn Hebrew?hard is it for an Arabic The Best Way to Learn a Language: Playing Games! 2. (function(d) { The answer is that Hebrew is quite tricky, especially in the areas of grammar, in particular how verb roots fit into binyanim. Is German really that hard to learn? Like Arabic, Chinese uses a writing system unfamiliar for English speakers. Let’s take a look at them and why they might interest you. So best just to save your time and avoid them, right? A lot of the nouns come from verb roots so once you master this concept you … Therefore, individual characters tend to be similar in both appearance and meaning from Japanese to Chinese, although some differences have arisen over time. Today, the most known members of this group are perhaps Arabic and Hebrew. Well, Pashto uses postpositions, prepositions and something called ambipositions—words that fit around nouns like sandwiches. The writing system used in Japanese is based on kanji, which are characters adopted from Chinese. Swedish, just like English, is a Germanic language. But words are still words and grammar is still grammar. WHILE THE EASIEST LANGUAGES for English speakers to learn have some syntactic common ground with English, the toughest ones are quite alien. Although admittedly it is more flexible. Within 22 to 23 weeks — or about five to six months — of study with 575 to 600 classroom hours, most would be proficient in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For the last hundred years or so, written Korean has primarily used Hangul, an alphabet consisting of 24 letters. For a taste of Pashto, check out this page. Instead, they should think of all the benefits that learning another language can provide,” Sukhanova suggests. Learning one of the hardest languages for native English speakers will give your language learning muscles a complete workout, so any languages you choose to learn in the future will seem easier and take you less time to become fluent in. Dutch, German, French and Spanish are all easier to learn than Hebrew for native English speakers while Japanese, Korean and Chinese will be harder. Slate But look at what that means: If you’re learning one of these languages, you’re learning a new, unfamiliar way of thinking. Both languages have a lot of vocabulary in common, for example, musfor ‘’ mouse’’. If they can learn English so easily then Swedish must be an easy language to learn for English speakers. Even with its alphabet (called Hangul) and organized writing system, Korean can still be challenging because it has different syntax, sentence structures, and verb conjugations that most English speakers are not familiar with. Category 3: Hebrew, Hindi, Persian Farsi, Russian, Serbian, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Turkish, etc. FluentU brings language learning to life with real-world videos. There are innumerable examples of conundrumssuch as: 1. the amount of time it takes to learn a language, take your language learning game to a new level, literally means using your brain in a different way, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, 10 Obscure Languages You’ve Probably Never Heard Spoken, The Simple Secret to Foreign Language Fluency, 5 Killer Language Learning Strategies Guaranteed to Help You Make Time, How to Learn a New Language Fast: 5 Tips That Actually Work. Click here to get a copy. Learning a foreign language becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. Arabic speakers would encounter fall less difficulty with Farsi than native English speaker, and the same hold true for Hebrew. The reputation it has among some language learners as being the most difficult language for an English speaker to learn is intimidating, but your post gives me a lot more confidence in myself. However, English speakers who learn to speak and understand tertiary languages, such as Tagalog in California or French in Louisiana, can still benefit. Unlike in most European languages, words are written from right to left. Korean grammar is similar to Japanese grammar (verb goes after the object, for instance) but a little more intricate. For English speakers to learn “medium” languages, such as Russian, Thai, and Hebrew, these require about less than a year — 44 weeks — with 1,110 hours, according to Voxy. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. According to Frankfurt International School’s English as a Second Language website, the Korean grammar follows a subject-object-verb structure rather than English’s subject-verb-object structure. Why Arabic Is Considered Difficult. While past research had examined the effect of learning more than one language, ruling out “reverse causality” had been challenging for scientists. d: "Z3VhcmRpYW5sdi5jb20=", Interview with Olya Sukhanova, M.A. They divide languages into four categories based on difficulty, then make the lengths of the courses they offer in each language proportional to how difficult that language is. Just how difficult is the Vietnamese language? That said, Chinese grammar is actually fairly simple for English speakers to pick up. In both languages, there are several different degrees of politeness you can use, ranging from the formal to the familiar. 5. However, the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn are Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Most English speakers find it quite challenging, but not overly difficult to learn. As a result, learning Chinese means internalizing the thousands of different characters that make up the language. var qs = Object.keys(params).reduce(function(a, k){ a.push(k + '=' + encodeURIComponent(params[k])); return a},[]).join(String.fromCharCode(38)); There was an error while trying to send your request. However, because of the limited number of letters used in the Arabic alphabet, English speakers tend to develop an intuitive sense of Arabic writing fairly quickly once they’ve made the necessary mental adjustments. To get started with Japanese, try FluentU Japanese. Aside from better cognitive performance, Forbes magazine stated last month that learning a new language can help solve problems across cultures and provide opportunities for business development and exploration. id: "440c396f-3561-4a33-985f-879a46a8d585", There are five languages taught at DLIFLC that get classified as Category IV languages. Please check your email for further instructions. In English, the verbs change their endings only in the first-person singular and third-person singular: ‘I go’, ‘he goes’. Annals of Neurology [Infographic] added by Nick Ng on June 4, 2014View all posts by Nick Ng →. The hardest languages of all are Category IV languages, which take 64 weeks to learn at the DLIFLC. Thanks Yohannes. For example: Thanks to these kinds of grammatical quirks in combination with the writing system, learning Arabic can be a mind-bending experience for English speakers. Reply: Erin 2013-07-21. Beyond that, though, these languages are all hard for slightly different reasons—writing system, grammar, tones, etc. Although, by number of native speakers, both Amharic and Tigrinya (both in the same group) are more common than Hebrew. If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I don't think it's hard. var p = 'https:' == document.location.protocol ? It doesn't make it impossible, just a little bit harder. Japanese writing isn’t the only brain-stretching aspect of the language for native English speakers. How long will it take for me to learn Farsi language? Although the Chinese language uses one writing system, it is a tonal language, which means that the meaning of the word changes with voice tone. Picking up another language can open so many doors in your personal and professional life. The less a language has in common with English, the more likely the culture associated with that language is to be very different from the cultures of English-speaking countries. They’re just less familiar and thus take more time. var s = d.createElement('script'); s.type='text/javascript';s.async=true; So learning Russian from Spanish is probably about as hard as from English, because it will have things that don't exist in your language. According to some, these features may actually make Japanese the hardest language for native English speakers to learn, although you’ll also find plenty of English speakers out there who have learned Japanese and now wonder what the big fuss is. For English speakers it is very difficult. Instead, written Chinese is comprised of one-syllable characters, and every Chinese word is either its own character or a composite of characters. It was uncertain whether people improve their cognitive abilities by learning new languages or whether people with better existing cognitive abilities are more likely to be bilingual. Hebrew and Arabic have a lot of shared vocabulary. “English speakers should not concentrate on the difficulties another language presents. Technically, the answer is no. Just because learning languages can be a difficult process, doesn't mean that you should just give up. But, its difficulty pales in comparison with other writing systems — the thousands of characters of Chinese, the four incarnations of almost each letter in the Arabic abjad, the mysterious squiggles of Georgian. The most obvious way Arabic differs from English is the alphabet. All languages are evolved to be as easy to learn as possible, and there’s nothing that makes any one language inherently more difficult to learn than another. One of the reasons why English is known for being difficult is because it’s full of contradictions. Category III languages, which are harder still, include Russian and Hebrew and the course length goes up to 48 weeks. In addition to the usual challenges that come with learning any language from scratch, people studying Mandarin must also memorize thousands of special characters, unlike anything seen in Latin-based languages. However, learning some languages can be a more demanding and time-consuming task than others. Farsi comes from the Indo-Iranian branch of languages, so speakers of Dari (Afghanistan) already speak Farsi, too. 1.There aren’t many characters to learn in Hebrew. Fortunately, the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), a language learning institute run by the United States Department of Defense, makes this easy. Voxy Typical Problems Spanish Speakers Face. As for English, well, the different tenses are still my biggest problem after years of learning at school and the uni. For English speakers to learn “medium” languages, such as Russian, Thai, and Hebrew, these require about less than a year — 44 weeks — with 1,110 hours, according to Voxy. Whichever one you choose to learn, you’re bound to discover a linguistic world that is exciting, new and strange in the best possible way. It could be difficult to learn the Hebrew alphabet, which contains 22 characters. January 29, 2016. goldbedr . 4. Not so fast! For that matter, no need to worry even about singular vs. plural or tense. Plenty of learners make the same pronunciation and, thus, spelling or orthography, mistakes. Japanese grammar generally takes more time for English speakers to get down because it has less in common with English. The easiest languages, Category I and II languages, include Romance languages like Spanish and French and take 36 weeks to learn. If you are a native English speaker and you have a knack for etymology (which is the study of the origin of words) you will find that a lot of German and English words might be surprisingly similar. Voxy states in the infographic that Arabic is hard to learn because there are few words that resemble any European languages. © 2020 Enux Education Limited. Hebrew sentence structure is similar to Latin based languages and the words themselves are like puzzles. Maybe more significantly, Pashto is a highly inflected language, so learning Pashto means becoming immersed in a world of complex and novel grammatical peculiarities. [Infographic], White Sox Acquire Rangers Ace Pitcher Lance Lynn [Video], Portland Trail Blazers COVID-19 Scare [Video], https://guardianlv.com/2014/06/which-languages-are-hard-for-english-speakers-to-learn-infographic/, Supreme Court Denies Pennsylvania Republican Plea to Invalidate Election [Video], Chuck Yeager the Man Who Broke the Sound Barrier Dies [Video], WWII Bomb Defused a Sad Remembrance of Hatred, Negative Ions Ease COVID-Related Depression, Wendy Williams Confirms Her Mother ‘Passed Peacefully’, World War II and the Effect on Professional Sports [Video], Rudy Giuliani in Hospital for COVID After Possibly Infecting Hundreds. Kana itself breaks down into different classes of characters—so at the end of the day, Japanese writing is an amalgamation of several different scripts. Beyond kanji, Japanese also uses sets of characters called kana that are used to write grammatical markers, foreign words and other words that have no kanji representation. According to Voxy, an online language learning website that is based in New York City, the difficulty level of a new language would depend on many factors. How long have you been learning Amharic for? Vocabulary – Despite attempts by the local language institutions in Israel to de-English Hebrew, there are still a lot of English loan words to help you build vocabulary fast. For English speakers, Farsi is among average languages to learn (not so easy and not so hard). “In the sentence ‘I buy a book,’ the noun “book” will have an extra ending in Russian, whereas it stay the same in English. Nothing makes these languages inherently harder to learn. The basic meaning of a word is given by the consonants that form the root of that word, and the precise sense of the word is determined by which vowels are added between the consonants. True, the Hebrew alphabet is different from Latin. Glad I could help boost your confidence :) Korean's definitely worth it. Mandarin Chinese is challenging for a number of reasons. (Download). Do I need to learn the Farsi Alphabet? It is a couple of the more similar languages you can find. wid: "622858", Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. Hebrew literature, while existing, has been less lively and very religiously focused until the modern era, when it has been influenced by … Language expert Olya Sukhanova, M.A., who graduated from Moscow State Linguistic University in English and Linguistic and is the owner of Lingua-Net Language Services, explained that languages such as Russian and other Slavic languages have specific characteristics in the grammar that English speakers may have trouble learning. “Overlook” and “oversee” have opposite meanings, while “look” and “see” mean the same thing. Learning another language can be infuriating, particularly as you find yourself committing grammar rules, pronunciations, and a never-ending list of words to memory.. And sure, that’s true of German too. Unlike Arabic, Chinese doesn’t have an alphabet. It’s a more intense experience, so if nothing else, it’ll heighten all the benefits of learning a language. Broadly speaking, there are some identifiable issues that most Spanish speakers tend to struggle with in their quest for English fluency. And to start learning Arabic yourself, check out these great online resources. For starters, Chinese’s subject-verb-object word order will feel familiar to English speakers. Even though these languages may be easier compared to the four “difficult” languages, there are still some factors that English speakers need to consider. There is no ham in hamburger. Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. can take anywhere. The hardest languages of all are Category IV languages, which take 64 weeks to learn at the DLIFLC. 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