Vietnamese is harder to learn than Mandarin

In ourRanking of the most difficult languages of the world find languages ​​that pose a challenge for the learner. Not only because they have little in common with their mother tongue - They are simply difficult! But don't worry: you can also learn these languages ​​with our tricks!

Last update: April 12, 2021

What are the heaviest languages ​​in the world? ^

Drum roll ... let's not talk around the bush for a long time and let's look at the result right away ...

  1. Mandarin
  2. Arabic
  3. Russian
  4. Japanese
  5. Hungarian
  6. French
  7. Greek
  8. Polish
  9. Icelandic
  10. Finnish

We have created a video for you on this topic, in which you can see the 4 criteria according to which you can judge the level of difficulty. The video is in English, but you can easily turn on the German subtitles.


The heaviest languages ​​in the world: this is how we came to this result ^

It is always difficult to rank languages ​​that are considered easy or difficult to learn. For it complicated to say clearly that a language is easy to learn. Very often people use their mother tongue as a reference point for such a judgment. The proximity of a language to one's mother tongue is inevitably the first thing that makes learning a language much easier. For a Korean, for example, learning Mandarin may seem less complicated than it is for a German (but we will go into this in more detail later).

As a reference, we often do too one's own experience taken. If someone has learned Italian with ease, he will testify that Italian is an easy language. But this does not apply to all people, because this type of judgment is very subjective and depends above all on the person making the judgment (on his mother tongue and his experience with the language). I do not want to claim that we approached our ranking using a scientific and completely objective method ... But we tried to base ourselves on meaningful criteria.


The vocabulary and the distance to your mother tongue ^

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most important criteria to be found in the Use assessment of the level of difficulty of a language can. If not the most important criterion!

For example, there are some words with Germanic origin in English that make it much easier for German speakers to learn English. Certainly it is much easier for them to acquire the English vocabulary than to learn the Arabic or Japanese vocabulary. Among the 10 most difficult languages ​​there are also languages ​​with one unique vocabulary, like Hungarian or Finnish (at this point you could also name Korean, which is not part of our ranking, but is also not far from a top 10 place). It means that no common origin with another language can be found.

Spanish, Italian and French are related languages ​​thanks to their common Latin roots. If you speak one of these languages, you can understand parts of the other languages ​​quite well even without having learned them! The English and German languages ​​are also quite similar.

These languages ​​are also called Proto-languages, and in the case of English and German, to be more precise, also proto-Germanic languages. That is, they were constructed on the same basis, proceeding from the same root or from the same original language. The Proto-Germanic languages ​​developed based on the languages ​​originally spoken by Germanic peoples.


The phonology, the sounds and the intonations ^

I repeat myself, we will take your mother tongue or English as a reference point. One can in common sounds in different languages locate. For example, the “i” is pronounced the same in Spanish, French and German. And that makes it easier for us.

On the other hand, there is the Russian or Arabic certain sounds that do not even exist in German or English. Incidentally, the difficulty of the Arabic language is due to this aspect: since there are not many sounds of this language in German, you have to practice a lot in order to be able to imitate them.

Let's talk that too Tones in Mandarin. There are four different pitches in this language (which are identified in the written language by certain markings). Varying the pitch can give a word a completely different meaning! Learning the different pitches is a particular challenge, which is why Mandarin is ranked as the most difficult language in our ranking.


Some languages ​​have their own alphabet ^

Last there is a unique alphabet in Icelandicwhich is based on Latin but is only used by Icelanders. It contains a variety of sounds that you will not hear in any other language.

With that said, it is important to note that the sounds and accents of a language are two things that can be learned. Even if this is not easy, it is still not impossible! You just have to practice a little more with a language with its own sounds.


The construction of words and sentences in the most difficult languages ​​in the world ^

You may know that we do not consider the study of grammar essential in language learning. At least not for the first few months. There are languages ​​with many grammatical cases (35 to be precise in Hungarian). But here we are referring to something very simple: the order of words within a sentence.


In German, French, Spanish and English, a sentence is generally constructed as follows:

Subject + verb + object

Until then we agree. Unfortunately, this is not the case in all languages. In Arabic, for example, the meaning of a word can change with its position in a sentence. In Russian, the order of the words in a sentence is not fixed, but quite arbitrary. The declinations ensure order, as the endings decide what function a word has in a sentence.

In Japanese, a completely different type of sentence structure is used, which makes learning this language particularly difficult, even for people who have got used to it. By the way, Luca Lampariello has repeatedly admitted that learning Japanese was really not easy ...


Building words can also be a challenge ^

In addition to the sentence structure, you can even talk about the structure of words! In Finnish, for example, several words are formed from the same root. Thanks to this root, you can form an adjective, a noun and a verb by adding a prefix or suffix. Suffixes are also used in Hungarian ... not to vary with different parts of speech, but to change the tense of a word (and therefore via conjugation).

With these languages ​​the difficulty does not come from the fact that we only have to learn the construction of sentences, no, we also need to learn how to construct words. An additional difficulty.


Is anything missing? The writing of the most difficult languages ​​in the world ... ^

We have deliberately left out the subject of scripture. Because if you want to learn a language quickly, you don't have to be able to write it. Or it should be said that the writing adds some difficulty!

Let's look at Mandarin or Japanese, for example: as Germans we have no clues to decipher the characters. Also, you have to know that the written language is different from the spoken ... you don't read the same way you speak.

Well. We didn't want to cause confusion by adding the font to our ranking (although it is of course a criterion for difficulty!)


A few tricks to easily pull yourself out of the affair ...

As already emphasized several times, the 10 said languages ​​are difficult to learn. But hard is not to be equated with impossible. On the other hand, if you use the right method and have enough motivation, there is no reason not to learn to speak a language! We have summarized a few interesting tools for learning these extremely difficult languages ​​below.


For mandarin ^

Not so long ago we didVladimir Skultety interviewed, a polyglot Slovak who has learned no less than 20 languages. Including Mandarin, for which he is also a translator these days. In the following interview you will hear his tricks for learning languages, including such difficult candidates as Mandarin.

Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to discover many more tricks.

Remember that you can now use the MosaLingua Chinese app to learn this language.


For Arabic ^

Salim Kecir, who has been teaching this wonderful language for more than 15 years, a while ago gave us a few tricks to learn Arabic quickly. I really advise you to read through this blog article to learn firsthand from the expert tips. The article is initially about the Arabic language, or rather the Arabic languages ​​as there are several versions. Then you will learn great tricks for efficient learning.


For Japanese ^

Because of her font certainly one of the most difficult languages. You can check out our resources page for learning Japanese. There are a variety of learning resources available on the Internet, from websites to language courses to audio and video material.


For Russian ^

Oh, Russian. There are many people out on the adventure of learning this language ... that's why we have them MosaLingua app for Russian developed. And even if Russian is perhaps not the easiest language in the world, there are definitely positive aspects for learners. Discover the 10 reasons why Russian is easier than you think in this post!

And for the other difficult-to-learn languages, don't hesitate to share your tips with us by leaving a comment.