Nowadays, the ever-developing technology has enabled us to interact with people from various parts of the world easily. Through social media, distance no longer becomes an issue. This ease of communication might trigger the desire of some people to learn new languages. However, learning new languages is not an easy task, and some languages are harder than others. Do you know what languages are the hardest to learn?
Most Indonesians might find Japanese or Mandarin difficult to understand, as both languages have different pronunciations and writing systems that they are not familiar with. However, those are not the only languages requiring quite an extensive effort to learn. The following are several most difficult languages in the world:
Romani is an Indo-Aryan language used by the majority of Romani communities. The language is further divided into seven varieties, all of which have the same root. This is not to be confused with the Romance language, which refers to various modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Italian.
Romani speakers are referred to as gypsies and gitanos. It is expected that around two and a half million speakers currently live in North Africa and West Asia. The rest of them are spread in USA and Brazil. The difficulty of the Romani language stems from its pronunciation and highly diverse dialects.
- Mandarin Language
Even though it is one of the most spoken languages in the world, Mandarin is not an easy language to learn. Its exclusive use of Chinese characters has become one of the primary barriers for people who want to master it.
People who are accustomed to the Latin alphabet would have a hard time memorizing hundreds and thousands of Chinese characters. There are different dialects of Mandarin, forcing people learning it to memorize different characters for each dialect.
- Paraguayan Language
There are two official languages in Paraguay, Guarani and Spanish. Both are interconnected and frequently used in tandem, meaning you need to have a good mastery of both languages to be able to understand Paraguayans.
The majority of Paraguayans speak Guarani, the traditional language of Paraguay. One of the challenges of learning Guarani is word order. It typically uses the subject–verb–object (SVO) word order, but object–verb is used instead when the subject is not specified.
- Arabic Language
What makes Arabic unique is the fact that different Arabic-speaking countries have different dialects and pronunciations. Arabic spoken in Morocco might differ from the one spoken in Lebanon.
Pronouncing Arabic words is no easy feat. In addition, its sentence structure is rather complex as verbs tend to be placed before subjects. To top it all off, you need to study the forms of singular, dual, and plural nouns when learning Arabic.
- Russian Language
The Russian language is written in Cyrillic script, which is an entirely different beast from the alphabet we know. While there might be some similarities in how they look, the pronunciation and structure of Cyrillic script differ from the Latin alphabet. For example, the letter “B” in Cyrillic is pronounced “V”. People learning both Latin and Russian alphabets at the same time might have some trouble distinguishing which is which.
Learners must exercise caution in pronouncing Russian words. The wildly different pronunciation of Cyrillic script demands considerable and sustained effort from people who want to become proficient in it.
- Japanese Language
The Japanese writing system consists of hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Kanji is different from Chinese characters, even though many characters share the same meaning between them. To tell kanji apart from Chinese characters, you need to discern whether there are any accompanying hiragana or katakana characters.
Japanese language proficiency is measured in five levels from N5 to N1, with the latter being the highest level of proficiency. Japanese grammar (bunpo) is expansive, and context is king when it comes to it. Interestingly, as there is no consonant in Japanese, katakana is used to write loan words, resulting in the unique pronunciation of words compared to the original.
So those are six of the most difficult languages in the world. Interested in learning any of them? If you are short on time but still want to grasp the content of a document written in those languages, feel free to contact Pruf Ritz so we can translate it for you. Best of luck to you in learning those languages!