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Language is the best way to communicate and understand each other. We express our thoughts, ideas, emotions, and information to others in various languages. Humans communicate by speaking, listening, reading, writing, and indicating. whether speaking or writing, Grammar is used to correct the language.  


There are 7139 official languages spoken in this world. Out of these, India has the second highest number of languages 780. People from different geographical locations, regions, educational backgrounds, and cultures speak different languages. Among these, many languages are hardest to learn, understand, and communicate. The complexity of learning any language depends on the learner’s native language.

In this blog, we will focus on the most difficult languages in the world. How can we master these languages and use them effectively to communicate?

10 most difficult languages in the world

The Need for Languages

The sole purpose of the development of languages is for human communication. The base of any language is vocabulary and grammar. The complexity of these two factors varies in all languages. The mode of communication in these languages could be through speaking, writing, and gestures. 

Languages can be broadly categorized into several types based on different criteria:

  1. Natural Languages: These languages have evolved naturally over time through use by a community of speakers. For instance, it includes English, Spanish, Mandarin, Chinese, Arabic, and thousands of other spoken languages around the world.

  2. Constructed Languages (Conlangs): These languages are deliberately created by individuals or groups, often for artistic, cultural, or scientific purposes.  Examples include Esperanto, and Klingon (from Star Trek).

  3. Sign Languages: These languages use manual communication and body language to convey meaning instead of spoken words. Examples include American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL), and French Sign Language (FSL).

  4. Programming Languages: These languages are used to write instructions for computers and other devices to perform specific tasks. Examples include Python, Java, C++, and HTML.

  5. Artificial Languages: These are languages created for fictional purposes, such as for literature, film, or games. They can include both constructed languages and natural languages adapted for fictional settings.

These are just some of the broad categories of languages, and within each category, there are countless specific languages with their own unique characteristics, grammar rules, vocabulary, and cultural contexts.

Discovering the 10 Most Difficult Languages in the World

When you move around the world, you will meet people of different cultures, languages, and religions. In addition, traveling to different places, trading, and relations between the countries of the world have enhanced the need to learn international languages. This could include the toughest languages in the world. In this blog, we will explore the top 10 hardest languages in the world. Though difficult to learn they are significant to connect people of various countries. 

1. Mandarin 

With over 1.2 billion speakers in the world, Mandarin is the most widely spoken language. This is also a result of the high population in China. The Chinese people also call Mandarin Pǔtōnghuà (the common language) and Guóyǔ (the national language).

The people of Northern and South-Western China majorly speak this simplified Chinese and it is the most difficult language of China. The complexity of the language makes it one of the most difficult languages in the world.

Mandarin language - hardest language to learn

History of the Mandarin Language

The language Mandarin came into existence and was used only in the 20th century, though China has been in existing for centuries throughout world history. In 1911, the Republic of China was established, and in the year of 1912, the search for “one nation, one language” began. 

After years of meticulous research, the Mandarin language was developed and declared the national language of the Republic of China in 1932. It has hence stayed the national and official language throughout the rest of China’s history to date.

Why is Mandarin considered to be the hardest language in the world?

The Mandarin language is often said to be one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. Though the grammar is simple, the fact that Mandarin is completely different from commonly spoken languages like English, French, and Spanish, makes it is hardest language to learn.

  • The most important factor to get right is the four different tones in the language. Tones refer to the pronunciation of words. This difference in tone gives every word four different meanings.
  • In addition to this, Mandarin is ideographic. This means Mandarin script consists of Chinese symbols, unlike alphabets and words like in the English language. It can take a while to learn and gain an understanding of all the thousands of symbols to be able to read and write in Mandarin.

These reasons put the Mandarin language at the top of the list of the most difficult languages in the world.

2. Arabic

With over 300 million speakers, Arabic is chiefly spoken in the Arabian Peninsula, parts of the Middle East, and North Africa. It also is the official language of 22 countries in these regions as well as the sixth official language in the United Nations.

The first thought that comes to one’s mind when thinking of the Arabic language is that it is the difficult language of the Islamic holy book, the Quran. Hence, it holds the utmost importance in the religion of Islam. However, this poetic language is not limited to any religion.

Though one of the most difficult languages in the world, learning Arabic can be extremely rewarding both in terms of one’s personal as well as professional growth in the world.

Arabic language - hardest language in the world

History of the Arabic Language

An important member of the Semitic family of languages, Arabic first originated in the Arabian Peninsula.

The origins and use of the language date well back to the 8th century BC. Therefore, making it one of the oldest languages in the world in addition to one of the most difficult languages in the world. The word “Arabic” translates to “nomadic”.

This highlights that it was first spoken by the nomadic tribes of the northwestern Arabian Peninsula. However, the language has undergone a lot of refining and polishing throughout the years.

Why is Arabic considered to be the hardest language in the world?

The main reason that Arabic is said to be one of the hardest languages in the world to learn by many is the lack of any similarity when compared to other commonly spoken European languages. Various factors add up to the complexities of the language.

  • The most important and obvious one is that the language is written from the right to the left side. This is the exact opposite of English as well as system languages.
  • The VSO (Verb-Subject-Object) order used in Arabic grammar as well as the tense forms used can be quite confusing.
  • It also contains various sounds exclusive to Arabic which might prove difficult for non-native speakers.
  • Out of all the obstacles faced in learning Arabic, the top one is the lack of patience as it can take one and a half years to reach fluency in the language.

3. Japanese

Spoken by over 125 million people, the Japanese language is the only official language of Japan. However, it is not only spoken in Japan. Japanese is an ‘isolated’ language, i.e., the language is unrelated to any other difficult language in the world.

Similar to the nature of Japanese people, the Japanese language is also considered to be polite. Despite being one of the most difficult languages in the world, more and more people are now opting to learn the language, especially due to the growing admiration for Japan through media, animes, and mangas.

Japanese language - most difficult languages in the world

History of the Japanese Language

The history of Japan dates back more than 2000 years. Despite that, there is very little known about the origin of the Japanese language in the books of Japanese history.

The first evidence dates back to the 8th century. In this evidence, it can be seen that though Japanese is not similar to Chinese, the script used is Chinese.

During the 18th century, two types of Japanese scripts were developed which were called Hiragana and Katakana. Presently, Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana are the writing systems used in modern Japan.

Why is Japanese considered to be the hardest language in the world?

Most English speakers deem the Japanese language to be one of the hardest languages to learn. The unique features of the language add to the interest along with its complexities.

  • There are three scripts that each one has to learn – Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. While Hiragana and Katakana are phonetic alphabets whose sound remains the same. However, Kanji is derived from Chinese symbols and is more complex.
  • Japanese grammar is very simple to understand and rarely poses a problem in learning.
  • Japanese practice various levels of speech depending on the scene ahead of them. It is important to get a proper understanding of the same and learn the keigo language level for formal use along with the language for casual use.

4. Korean

The third Asian language on the list, the Korean language is majorly spoken in both North and South Korea. Both these countries have different dialects of the same language.


It is spoken by over 75 million people worldwide and is rated to be one of the most difficult languages in the world. The language bears similarities with both Chinese as well as Japanese languages.


It shares the grammar and sentence structures of Japanese. On the other hand, it has adopted many Chinese words. The language is referred to as Kugo in the Korean language.

Korean language - hardest language to learn

History of the Korean Language

There is no evidence of the specific history of the Korean language. However, the belief is that the people from the Korean Peninsula came together to form a single language for communication, probably around the 6th to 14th century.

Nevertheless, the modern Korean language was developed in the 15th century. Initially Chinese script called Hanja was used in the writing of Korean.

However, this script could not represent the various sounds in Korean. Hence, they developed a writing style called Hangul around 100 years ago.

Why is Korean considered to be the hardest language in the world?

Korean has been ranked as one of the hardest languages to learn for native English speakers by the US Foreign Service Institute. It is a part of its own language family that Koreans call Korean.

  • The Korean language has Hangul as its alphabetic system.
  • Hangul is written from left to right but is read from top to bottom.
  • The language follows an SOV (subject-object-verb) approach.
  • Korean is a phonetic language that is not straightforward and has many layers. Pronunciation of Korean is tricky and can take work.
  • The vocabulary is uncommon. Though loanwords taken from different languages can be a good place to start.
  • Similar to the Japanese language, Korean also shows language levels based on the setting called honorifics. An understanding of this and the delicate nuances will help one feel more natural and at ease during conversations.

5. Hungarian

The Hungarian language is entirely different when compared to its neighboring European countries. Its 26 cases and several complex rules make it one of the most difficult languages in the world.

The people of Hungary also call it “Maygar” and it is the official language. Only around 13 million people in the world speak the language. But despite being one of the toughest languages in the world, the reasons to learn Hungarian are many.

Be it the expansive vocabulary to express even the simplest things or to understand the Hungarian culture or be it just the fact that the language sounds like music to the ears – the reasons are too many.

Hungarian language - hardest language in the world

History of the Hungarian Language

Hungarian is a Uralic language. The Hungarians were nomads and migrated from Asia to Europe in the 9th century. Hungarian has been majorly and minorly influenced by various languages to date.

At first, Iranian and ancient Turkish languages influenced the language. Once in Europe, the Slavic, medieval Latin, Estonian, Finnish, and German languages influenced it too. After World War II, globalization caused the language to be further modified, but still the most difficult language in the world.

Why is Hungarian considered to be the hardest language in the world?

An interesting fact about the language is that the longest Hungarian word is 44 letters! Hungarian is an agglutinative language, which means that the addition of many grammatical components to a word is possible.

This can increase the length and change the meaning of the word. These rules can make the language very complex and make it one of the hardest languages to learn. Here are some of the features of the Hungarian language.


  • Compared to the five vowels in English, Hungarian has 9 vowels and 44 alphabets.
  • The pronunciation of words reflects the writing. It is a phonetic language.
  • Hungarians also use two words for the color “red”.
  • The language uses 17 cases according to various factors. These act as prepositions.
  • The core of the Hungarian vocabulary consists of Uralic words. However, it has also borrowed words from the languages it has been influenced by.

6. Finnish

Finnish is spoken mainly in two countries – Finland and Sweden. It is one of the two official languages of Finland. A few other regions where people speak Finnish include Estonia, Norway, and Russia.


But in these places, the natives are the ones who speak Finnish as their mother tongue rather than for professional use. With around 6 million people speaking Finnish now, the number is increasing every day.


The popularity comes from wanting to learn more about the country which has a reputation of being the “Goodest and the Happiest Country”. But being one of the most difficult languages in the world, learning it is not the easiest task.

Finnish language - most difficult languages in the world

History of the Finnish Language

Similar to Hungarian, Finnish is a Uralic language. It originated from the Uralic mountains in 1500 BC. But an interesting fact is that the Finns originated from the lands of now Turkey.


A common misconception is that the two official languages of Finland – Swedish and Finnish, are similar to each other. However, this is untrue. While the derivation of Swedish is from the Indo-European family of languages, Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language.

Why is Finnish considered to be the hardest language in the world?

Also known as the Suomi language, it is rumored that Finnish is one of the hardest languages to learn.


  • The Finnish language consists of 29 alphabets.
  • Finnish vocabulary is 30% new Finnish words and 70% words from Proto-Uralic languages.
  • The Finnish language has borrowed many words from various languages like English, Greek, Slavic, German, French, Arabic, and many more.
  • There is no future tense in Finnish.
  • Finnish doesn’t have its own script. Instead, it uses Latin script.
  • The 15 cases of nouns used add to the complexity of the language.

7. Icelandic

Icelandic is the official language of Iceland and features high on our list of the most difficult languages in the world. Also called Islenska, the Icelandic language is a part of the Northern group of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.

The 3.7 million citizens of Iceland speak Icelandic. The fact that a country with such a low population owns its language is surprising.

Icelandic language - hardest language to learn

History of the Icelandic Language

The journey of the Icelandic language began when people from Norway moved to Iceland and settled down. They spoke the Old Norwegian language. After the adoption of Christianity in around 1000 AD, the people developed various manuscripts. Between 1000 and 1400 AD, Icelandic Norwegian diverted from Scandinavian Norwegian. Hence, Icelandic came into existence.

Why is Icelandic considered to be the hardest language in the world?

An interesting fact that differentiates Icelandic from the rest of the languages is that there has not been any adoption of new words from English and other languages. So much so that a committee introduced a new word “tölva” for the word “computer”.

This is one of the reasons Icelandic is said to be one of the hardest languages to learn. Some other important features of the language are –

  • Icelandic shares similarities with the German sound system.
  • For English native speakers, the pronunciations can take some time to learn. The grammar also adds to the difficulty.
  • Icelandic vocabulary has very few borrowed words and hence, is new to anyone. Additionally, there is a committee in Iceland who are responsible for inventing new words. Therefore, the vocabulary keeps increasing. For example, there are 50 words for the word “snow” in Icelandic.

8. Polish

With over 40 million Polish speakers worldwide, it is the second most widely spoken Slavic language after Russian. It is the official language of Poland. Polish people are very particular with their native language.


It is the most linguistically homogenous country in Europe with 98% of its population speaking Polish. It is divided into four dialects across Poland. This Slavic language is one of the most difficult languages in the world.

However, it also opens the doors to learning more Slavic languages due to their connection.

Polish language - hardest language in the world

History of the Polish Language

The Polish language has its roots in the Proto-Slavic language family. In particular, it originated from West Slavic languages. In the 10th century, Poland became an independent state and this helped Slavic tribes unite and develop the language further.

The conversion of Poland into a Christian country led to the introduction of Latin. Polish was declared the national language of Poland after the First World War.

Though Polish has been the primary language and Latin is now an ancient language, people still write Polish in Latin script.

Why is Polish considered to be the hardest language in the world?

It can approximately take 1100 hours of study for an average English speaker to learn the Polish language. This is why people call it one of the hardest languages to learn. But Polish is also phonetic. And the language has fewer tenses. Some other features of this language are–

  • In comparison to English with only two cases, Polish has 14 cases.
  • Pronunciations of most words in Polish can be tricky for non-Slavic language speakers.

9. Turkish

Similar to Finnish and Hungarian languages, Turkish also belongs to the Ural-Altaic language family. Hence, similarly, it also gains a spot in the list of the most difficult languages in the world.

Turkish is the official language of Turkey. The language reflects the geographical positioning of the country between the Middle East and Europe. Over 75 million people speak Turkish as their first language all over the world. It is a part of the Turkic language family.

Turkish language - hardest language to learn

History of the Turkish Language

The Turkish language descends from the Proto-Turkic roots. The origins of this language date back to 8500 years back.

Why is Turkish considered to be the hardest language in the world?

The Turkish language is very rich in vocabulary. It is phonetic. The Turkish language family consists of 39 languages. Less than 20% of Turkish locals speak English.

Therefore, learning Turkish is important though many consider it to be one of the hardest languages to learn by many. A few features of the language are –

  • Turkish also uses Latin script.
  • The use of suffixes is extensive in the Turkish language depending variedly on many factors.
  • Several Turkish alphabets do not exist in other languages. So, pronunciation can be difficult.
  • It follows an SOV (subject-object-verb) approach to sentence framing.

10. Vietnamese

With 76 million speakers worldwide, Vietnamese is the 16th largest language in the world. It is the official language of Vietnam.

Vietnamese is known to be one of the most difficult languages in the world. Out of the 76 million speakers, 75 million are from Vietnam and the rest 1 million are from all over the world. With the popularity rising, learning the language can give one a global advantage.

Vietnamese language - most difficult languages in the world

History of the Vietnamese Language

The origin of the language was around 4000 to 5000 years ago, with the origin of Vietnam itself.

It went through four periods in Vietnamese history from the 7th century (Pre-Vietnamese) to the 19th century (Modern Vietnamese).

The influence of the traditional Chinese language, Latin, French, and English on the modern Vietnamese language is tremendous.

Why is Vietnamese considered to be the hardest language in the world?

It can take at least 1100 hours to learn Vietnamese too. Hence, English native speakers call it one of the hardest languages.

This is common when it comes to many Asian languages. However, the use of Latin alphabets and the lack of plural forms and articles make it relatively easier than the rest mentioned above. Some other features of the language are –

  • Vietnamese is a tonal language with six tones and five-tone marks. Hence, pronunciation is to be given additional attention.
  • Vietnamese writing uses the Chữ quốc ngữ script.
  • All words in Vietnamese are short and monosyllabic. This results in not having single words for anything.

Importance of Learning Foreign Languages

Though it takes time and effort, it is extremely essential these days to learn new foreign languages.

Along with the immense enhanced opportunities one can gain through them, being multi-lingual also boosts a positive attitude and confidence. It also offers insight into different cultures and increases interest and perspective.

These are just a few of the benefits out of the many, especially in the most difficult languages in the world. Now the question is where to start your journey of gaining this new skill.

There are plenty of academies in India providing courses in learning foreign languages.

Expert Tips to Overcome Language Learning Challenges

Learning difficult languages can be challenging, complex, and difficult to expertise. To overcome learning challenges for the hardest languages in the world, we can use several strategies to make the process easier and more efficient. 

  • Break it Down 

Divide the complex learning process into smaller, manageable tasks. Focus on mastering one aspect at a time, such as vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, etc.

  • Consistent Practice

Regular practice is key to language learning success. Set aside dedicated time each day to study and practice the language, even if it’s just for a short period.

  • Immerse Yourself

    Surround yourself with the language as much as possible. Listen to music, watch movies or TV shows, read books or articles.

  • Use Technology

    Take advantage of language learning apps, online language courses, and resources like flashcards or language and language speaking training programs. These tools often incorporate interactive exercises, and other techniques to aid in learning difficult languages in the world.

  • Find Motivation

    Identify your reasons for learning the hardest language in the world and keep them in mind as motivation. Whether it’s for travel, career advancement, connecting with family, or personal interest, having a clear goal can help you stay focused and committed.

  • Practice Speaking

    Don’t be afraid to speak the language, even if you make mistakes. Practice speaking language with correct assent is essential. Speaking regularly will improve your fluency and confidence.

  • Make Learning Enjoyable

    Find ways to make language learning enjoyable. Incorporate activities you already love, such as cooking, gaming, or sports, into your language-learning routine. This can help keep you engaged and motivated.

  • Focus on Patterns:

    Looking for patterns in the language, such as common sentence structures, making short sentences, verb conjugations, or word endings. 

  • Be Patient and Persistent

    Motivation plays a significant role, especially in a difficult task, so, celebrate small victories along the way. Stay persistent and don’t get discouraged by mistakes in your learner journey.

  • Review and Reinforce

    Regularly review previous material and reinforce what you’ve learned through practice and repetition. 

By incorporating these strategies into your language learning routine, you can make the process of learning a complex language easier and more effective. Remember to stay patient, stay consistent, and most importantly, enjoy the journey of discovering easy tips to learn difficult languages.

Mastering Difficult Languages: Stra Learning Tips

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It helps them excel at the most difficult languages in the world and reach their full professional potential. The average duration of these courses is 50 to 60 hours per level. One has to directly contact the academy to attain the updated fee structure.

Reasons to choose the Henry Harvin Language Academy

Along with getting the opportunity to learn from the best of the industry with over 12 years of experience, the language courses are a complete package of 9-in-1 features. These courses can help one excel at the most difficult languages in the world.

  1. Attending live online interactive sessions for all levels.
  2. Provided with several projects to work on, such as writing blogs, social media posts, writing emails, etc.
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  6. Get access to many tools and techniques, video content, etc.
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In today’s world, it is evident that multilingualism is a necessity. It can help one grow in this interconnected world. This list of the most difficult languages in the world can be intimidating for someone starting a new journey. However, the rewards of overcoming the obstacles of learning a foreign language can be significant. The knowledge of languages can help in connecting with the world more and help one achieve great heights.

Recommended Reads


Q.1 Which is the hardest language in the world?

Ans. It is important to understand that the difficulty level of learning a new language can vary. It chiefly depends on the native language of the learner.

Q2. How many different languages are there in the world?

Ans. The number of languages in the world exceeds 7100. Each of these makes the world more diverse and interesting.

Q3. Which is the most spoken language from the list of most difficult languages in the world?

Ans. Mandarin Chinese and Modern Arabic are at the top of the list of most spoken languages in the world.

Q4. How to overcome the fear of learning a new language?

Ans. Learning a foreign language challenges your mind and demands time. Therefore, it is important to train your mind to motivate your own self and learn to find child-like joy in learning. It is also helpful to set aside some time in the day to learn and make it a habit.

Q.5 What are the 5 C’s of language learning?

Ans. The 5 C’s are the goal areas – Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.

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