In this era of globalization, people are compelled to learn more languages. As per the Ethnologue, there are 7,111 living languages in the world. Out of these languages, some languages are easy while others are considered the hardest languages to learn.

Despite the difficulty level, people learn new languages according to their specific objectives. For instance, some people learn a new language to seek a good job in a foreign land. While some learn a new language to go for higher studies. The objective behind learning a language enforces people to learn a new language.

No matter how difficult it is, the language difficulty becomes easy depending upon many factors like language writing methodology, availability of native speakers, and most of all, your interest.

In the scope of this blog post, we’ll explore some of the world’s hardest languages to learn. From tonal languages such as Thai and Mandarin to languages like Hungarian and Finnish which have complex cases, these languages present unique difficulties for learners. So, whether you’re a beginner and wondering which language to handle next, or you’re a seasoned language learner and want to take on a new challenge, this post will give an insight into some of the most challenging and hardest languages to learn and master.

List of 18 Hardest Languages to Learn

Learning a new language is an adventurous task. The more time and effort you put in, the easier it becomes to learn a language. As mentioned earlier, there are many languages that are quite difficult to learn. But learning those languages offers several benefits. Here, we have covered a list of 18 such hardest languages to learn. Take a look!

18 Hardest Language to Learn


Mandarin is one of the languages that are difficult to learn. It is native to one billion people Therefore you should take the challenge of learning this difficult language so that you can communicate with these one billion people. Mandarin is a difficult language to learn because it is a tonal language.

Therefore, it becomes difficult for people to convey their emotions with words due to their tone and pitch. It is full of elaborate characters and idioms. The other difficult part is that speaking Mandarin does not mean that you can easily write and read it.

Regardless of all its learning difficulties, if you learn the Mandarin language then it is a great achievement for you. Learning a language like Mandarin can take time. Meanwhile, if you need to get something translated, you can always hire any of the professional translation companies working across the globe.

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Arabic is a popular language that is spoken in more than 20 countries. However, people of North Africa and the Middle East also speak Arabic widely. It is a complex language to learn. It has few letters compared to Chinese and Japanese which seems easier but it has three sounds.

The Arabic script contains 28 letters having three vowels. Moreover, it has 13 verb forms that make it difficult to pronounce. Also, the Arabic language has many dialects. Some of them are mutually intelligible while others are entirely different. Therefore, People speak different dialects in UAE and Egypt.


Russian is one of the most popular languages in the world. It is native to 300 million speakers. People from Eastern Europe can find Russian an easy language but English Speakers can find the Russian language difficult to learn. The Russian language alphabets are complicated. Moreover, they are also hard to pronounce.

The Russian alphabet is written in Cyrillic script form. Native English speakers can’t understand the unique alphabet of the Russian language. Moreover, this language is phonetic and spellings are not straightforward. Therefore, to understand the Russian language one needs to learn the alphabet. Thus, with sheer dedication, you can learn and speak the Russian language just like a native. You just need to put in the extra effort.


Japanese is one of the most popular languages in the world. It is native to 125 million speakers. Thus, to communicate with such a large number of people, do learn the Japanese language. The main hurdle in learning the Japanese Language is its writing system. It gives you no clues until you are familiar with the Chinese language.

The difficult part of the Japanese language is its grammar. In the Japanese language, nouns have no gender, no plural forms, and no articles. Moreover, it has two verb tenses, present, and past. It has five vowel sounds that make it moderate to pronounce. To learn the Japanese language, you need to learn all the elaborate characters.

It contains a two-syllable system and three writing styles which are Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Therefore, it becomes difficult to learn. To learn the Japanese language, it is better to opt for a Japanese language learning course. In case you need the translation of some documents, our Japanese translation services can help!


Persian is a popular language in Central Asia and the Middle East. It is native to 100 million people. Persian language names are Tajik in Tajikistan, Dari in Afghanistan, and Farsi in Iran. The Persian language has a very straight form of grammar. The verbs are simple. Moreover, the lexicon of classical and contemporary language has not changed.

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The objects and people are expressed in the same way in the Persian language It contains no articles. Comprehension is easy however pronunciation is difficult for learners. The Persian language is difficult to learn because it has two different styles. One is literary style while the other is conversational style. Furthermore, Persian words of Arabic origin have very difficult rules to express in communication.


Vietnamese is the language of Vietnam. It is native to 90 million people. Vietnamese is considered one of the hard languages to learn in Asia. It is the toughest language to learn because it uses diacritics for determining the tone. It contains 6 tones that make it difficult to pronounce. The intonation of the speech changes the meaning of the context making it the hardest language to learn.


Hebrew is one of the Semitic languages. It has a history of old records back from 1200 BC and also from the Bible. Hebrew is native to 9 million people. Out of these 90% of the people are Jews in Israel with Israeli Arabs and people from the USA. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew script with a variation of 5 each.


Turkish is one of the most popular languages in the world. It is native to more than 80 million people. Turkish is an agglutinative language that means suffixes and prefixes are joined with the words to illustrate their meaning and to maintain the sequence of the sentence. The sentence sequence in the Turkish language follows the SOV structure which is subject, object, and verb. Turkish is also a phonetic language.

Therefore, the pronunciation of each letter is unique. You can speak the Turkish language as you write it because there are no complex constants. The Turkish language has taken 5000 loanwords from French alone. Therefore, if you are aware of the French language then you can easily learn Turkish even though it is a tough language to learn.


Due to the popularity of K-movies, K-drama, and K-pop, the demand for the Korean language is at its peak. It is native to 75 million people. Therefore, to enjoy Korean entertainment and to communicate with 75 million people, you can learn this language. Just like Chinese and Japanese characters, Korean characters are straightforward.

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Although you can learn Korean words and sounds easily, still it is a difficult language to learn and study. It is a difficult language to learn because one thing can be conveyed in three ways. The Korean language has a contextual nature.


Polish belongs to the Slavic group that relates to Serbian, Czech, and Russian. It is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. It contains 14 cases like dative, genitive, nominative, accusative, locative, nominative, and vocative for adjectives, nouns, and pronouns.

They get double if you take plurals into account. It is also very confusing because the ending of the words is the same because of locative and vocative. Moreover, it varies according to the word. Pronunciation of the Polish language is also very hard because of lots of consonants.


Dutch is native to 23 million people. Out of these 23 million speak Dutch as a native language and 4 million speak it as a second language. The few things that make the Dutch language the hardest to learn are the use of te,er, and the word order. The other difficult part of this language is its pronunciation.


The Estonian language is spoken in European countries. It is native to 11 million people and it is similar to Finnish. Estonian is mostly spoken in Russia and neighboring countries. It is a difficult language to learn because it is written in Roman script and the Latin alphabet.

Consonants and vowels in Estonian contain three lengths that are short, long, and very long. Moreover, they change the meaning of the sentence altogether. In the Estonian language, sentence structure is formed by connecting different compound words.


Hungarian is native to 13 million people. Out of these 10 million people live in Hungary and 1.5 million people live in Romania. Some of the speakers live in Slovakia, Ukraine, and other countries. Hungarian is the creative language of the world. Therefore, you can play with the orders, cases, and also with suffixes and prefixes.


Finnish is one of the 24 languages of the European Union and it is native to 5 million native speakers. Although in Europe, Finnish is not a part of the Indo-European languages. Therefore, you will not find any roots associated with other languages making it a difficult language to learn. When looking at the grammar part, has 15 grammatical cases. Moreover, verbs have 200 possible endings.

Finnish has difficult strict rules regarding consonants that change spelling depending on the endings of alphabets like k,p, and t. It is also considered a difficult language to learn because phonetics depends upon the inflection of verbs, nouns, and adjectives.

For instance, a single word in Finnish can represent a full sentence in English. This language is not easy to learn. In case you require some document translation from Finnish to English, professional Finnish translation services can be of great assistance.


Mongolian is one of the lesser languages studied around the world. It is native to 3.6 million people. It is a difficult language to pronounce. Moreover, the grammar of the Mongolian language is also tough. It contains the word order of subject-object and verb.

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The use of multiple cases will take time to learn. Moreover, the use of suffixes represents verbs, tenses, and prepositions. The people that are not aware of verbs, tenses, and prepositions find Mongolian the hardest language to learn.


Basque is an isolated language because it does not belong to the Indo-European Languages. Moreover, it is hard to learn because it is spoken by very few people from around the globe. Basque is native to 500,000 people and contains 9 dialects.

The other characteristic that makes Basque the hardest language to learn is its 12 noun cases. In the sentence structure, the noun is used as the subject of a transitive verb which is different from the Indo-European languages. The verbs are used to support other information like a person, mood, and tense.


Icelandic is a more difficult language than most languages. It is native to 350000 people. Its level of difficulty depends upon your native tongue and the languages, you are exposed to. It contains pronouns and adjectives with four cases that are three grammatical genders with two numbers, and adjectives for gender.

Furthermore, verbs have three persons with two morphological tenses and two infinitive moods. The more complex verbal system and languages with more cases make it the hardest language to learn.


Xhosa is spoken by around 8 million South Africans. It’s a Bantu language and is tonal just like other Bantu languages. Being a tonal language means that the meaning of the Xhosa words can completely change during speech depending on the used intonation and pitch.

The use of click consonants poses a big challenge for English learners to master Xhosa. The language has three unique click sounds having no presence in English. Therefore, English speakers find it tough to produce them accurately. Complex grammar is another thing that makes Xhosa one of the hardest languages to master. It has different noun classes which are segregated into multiple groups having different grammatical features and prefixes. However, if learners practice this language more, they can definitely succeed in learning and speaking it correctly.

Bottom Line

The list of the 17 hardest languages to learn is very long. Some other languages are difficult to learn. A few of these languages are Thai, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Greek, and many more. You can learn all the hardest languages with the right mindset and sheer dedication. So, are you ready to learn the hardest language?

For those who need professional translation into any of the languages mentioned above, CCJK is a reliable language service provider. We cover over 120 widely spoken languages and offer fast and top-quality solutions. Contact us for more details!


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