The Hardest Languages to Learn

The Hardest Languages to Learn
The Hardest Languages to Learn

Learning a new language can be challenging, but some languages are more complex to master than others. These languages require dedicated and persistent effort, whether due to their complex grammar rules, intricate writing systems or unusual phonetics.

The most complex languages to learn may vary depending on learners’ backgrounds and linguistic abilities, but some consistently top the list. The Navajo language is one of the most complicated languages to learn. It is a complex and nuanced language that requires dedication and commitment to master.

Navajo, also known as Diné, is an indigenous language spoken by the Navajo people in the southwestern United States. It has been classified as a tonal language, meaning that changes in pitch can alter the meaning of words.


The Hardest Languages to Learn 2023 


10. Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is considered one of the most complex languages for English speakers. It has over 50,000 characters, approximately 2,500 commonly used daily. Besides the vast number of characters, learners must also grasp the four tones used in Mandarin, which change the meaning of words. Additionally, the language has no alphabet, making it more challenging for non-native speakers to read and write.


9. Arabic

Arabic is challenging because it has a complex grammar system and many dialects that vary across the Arab world. The language has a unique script and uses a root system, where words are formed by adding vowels and other letters around a base root. Arabic is also written from right to left, adding another layer of difficulty for those learning the language.


8. Japanese

Japanese is considered difficult to learn due to its three writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Kanji alone has over 2,000 characters to comprehend. Additionally, Japanese grammar is quite different from English, with a subject-object-verb sentence structure and various levels of politeness.


7. Korean

Korean is difficult to learn because of its unique grammar, syntax, and sentence structure. While the Hangul alphabet is relatively simple compared to other Asian languages, Korean has a complex system of honorifics and politeness levels, making it challenging to master.


6. Finnish

Finnish is a challenging language due to its agglutinative nature, which means words are formed by combining smaller units, often leading to long-term. The language has 15 cases, making its grammar system complex and tricky to navigate for learners.


5. Hungarian

Hungarian is considered difficult to learn due to its complex grammar and unique vocabulary. It is an agglutinative language with a vast number of cases (up to 35) and extensive use of suffixes. Additionally, Hungarian has many vowel sounds, making pronunciation challenging for non-native speakers.


4. Basque

Basque is a language isolate, meaning it has no known relation to any other language. This unique quality makes learning challenging, as learners cannot rely on similarities to other languages to help them understand the grammar and vocabulary. Basque also has a complex case and particular verb conjugation systems.


3. Icelandic

Icelandic is considered challenging due to its complex grammar, unique vocabulary, and pronunciation difficulties. The language has a highly inflected grammar system, four cases, and numerous irregular verbs. Additionally, Icelandic has many amazing sounds, such as the “voiceless alveolar lateral approximant,” which can be difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce.


2. Polish

Polish is difficult to learn because of its complex grammar and pronunciation rules. The language has seven cases, which govern noun declension, and a rich system of consonant clusters that can be difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce. Additionally, Polish has a high degree of inflection, challenging verb conjugation and noun declension.


1 . Navajo

Navajo, a Native American, is considered one of the most complicated languages due to its complex grammar, unique vocabulary, and tonal pronunciation. The language is verb-heavy, with a highly intricate verbs.



The Hardest Languages to Learn 2023

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Arabic
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Finnish
  • Hungarian
  • Basque
  • Icelandic
  • Polish
  • Navajo