So you want to learn a new language. It is a brilliant idea and something that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. But which one should you choose?
Most complicated languages to learn
There are thousands of languages, from obscure dialects spoken by just a few hundred people to global superpowers like English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Which is hardest to learn?
These challenging and most complicated languages demand more time, effort, and attention than others. But they will also pay you back once you have mastered them.
If you are looking for a challenge as you begin your language learning journey, here are some of the most complicated ones to study:
Arabic is one of the oldest languages in the world, with records of it being spoken dating back thousands of years.
It is also the language of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations and is one of the most widely spoken languages in the Middle East.
Learning Arabic will not just give you a new skill; it will open a door into a radically different culture, where the written word has incredibly high prestige.
Arabic is also one of the most beautiful languages in the world, with a rich poetic tradition. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most difficult to learn.
Arabic is written using a completely different script than English and has a completely different grammar structure.
Around 330 million people speak it, which is not as rare as other languages on this list. But it is still highly challenging.
Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, with more native speakers than any other language. It is also one of the oldest languages still in use today, with records dating back over 4,000 years.
Chinese is one of the most challenging languages to learn but also one of the most rewarding.
It is almost impossible to become fluent in Chinese without living in China, but it is possible to become proficient enough to get by.
Chinese is one of the most challenging languages to learn for two main reasons.
First, it has a completely different grammar structure from most European languages.
It is notoriously difficult to understand, with plenty of seemingly random rules that do not make sense until you have studied them for years.
Second, it has a completely different writing system to English. Unlike most other languages, Chinese is written using characters that have a very precise meaning.
These characters may look like simple drawings, but inside each one is a history of Chinese culture.
Japanese is one of the most well-known languages in the world, thanks to its prominence in pop culture.
It is spoken by 127 million people, mostly in Japan, but with sizable populations in other East Asian countries. Japanese is one of the most complicated languages, but it is also among the most rewarding.
It has a completely different sentence structure from English but is also incredibly precise, with many words having multiple meanings. Japanese is a fascinating language to learn.
It has two completely different writing systems: Kanji, characters imported from China, and Kana, which are stylized versions of the original Chinese characters used for very common words.
Japanese uses these writing systems in a completely different way to English: Kanji is often used as a different kind of grammar, while Kana is often used as an abbreviation for Kanji.
Korean is another language spoken in East Asia by around 80 million people.
It is also one of the most complicated languages to learn, with a completely different grammar structure from English.
It has a completely different writing system to English, with Korean characters having a much more abstract nature.
Korea has a very different cultural milieu from most Western countries, with a very different emphasis on hierarchy and respect for elders.
Korean is another language that uses a completely different writing system to English, with the language having been imported from China many centuries ago.
Its writing system is incredibly precise, with each symbol representing a precise grammatical meaning.
But unlike in Japanese, it is much easier to learn the writing system for Korean, as it only uses one set of symbols, as opposed to two in Japanese.
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 500 million native speakers.
It is also one of the easiest languages to learn. Spanish shares many similarities with English, with most grammar rules being almost identical.
It has spoken in a large swathe of the Americas and several African countries, so there are plenty of opportunities to use your new language. Spanish is easy to learn for English speakers for two reasons.
First, the two languages are closely related, with a large proportion of their grammar and vocabulary being the same.
Second, it uses the same Roman alphabet as English, with minor exceptions.
Spanish uses the same letters as English, meaning you will recognize almost all the words while reading.
German is one of Europe’s most widely spoken languages, with over 100 million native speakers.
It is also a fascinating language different from English, making it a challenge to learn. It is spoken in a large swathe of Europe, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
If you can learn it, you will be able to travel around the continent and communicate with the locals. German is a challenging language to learn for two reasons.
First, it has a completely different grammar from English, with many words having different meanings.
Second, it has a different writing system than English, with German words often having a different feel.
German is written using a completely different alphabet, meaning that German words look very different from English when written down.
Greek is one of the oldest languages in the world, with records of it being spoken dating back over 3,000 years.
It is also considered one of the world’s most beautiful languages, with a rich literary tradition and an incredible aesthetic. Greek is spoken in Greece but also in several other countries, including Cyprus and Australia.
If you master it, you will understand an ancient culture completely new way. Greek is a challenging language to learn for a few reasons:
- It has a completely different grammar structure from English.
- It uses a completely different writing system to English, where the letters are written differently and have different meanings.
- It is almost a dead language, with very few people studying or speaking it, but surely a big advantage for you in some situations.
Learning a new language is one of the most rewarding skills. It will open you up to a completely different culture, almost like stepping into a new world.
And with the rise of online language learning apps and community platforms, it has never been easier to learn a new language from home.
If you are looking for a new challenge, these challenging languages will open up a new world of discovery.
They will demand more time, effort, and attention than others, but they will also pay you back once you have mastered them.
Now that you know the most complicated languages to learn, how about learn the most beautiful languages in the world?