The Most Difficult Languages to Understand in the World

Are you interested in learning a new language? Read more about the dialects that are more difficult than others before you start learning.

Individuals who travel the world have the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures. These people speak different languages depending on which part of the world they live in. Maybe you already know this, but have you ever wondered if there is a language that is the most difficult to learn? Maybe you know of one or two, or you have never thought about it. Since the world is becoming smaller and smaller with the advent of the internet that enables us to share information, you need to be conversant with more than one dialect. Before enrolling in any international language class, you need to be aware of some of the most challenging languages to learn. This will help you to make a successful plan on how to study the language that you are eager to learn. 

Chinese Mandarin 

If you have traveled to Asia, you have probably discovered that there are Hmong and Sino-Tibetan languages. While in these countries you may have searched online for translation or if you were lucky, you may have found an interpreter. If you have not been to these countries or you were there, but you did not pay much attention to the language, you should know that Chinese consists of thirteen languages. However, among the 13 dialects, Mandarin is the most famous because it is widely spoken in the region. 

Writing in Mandarin involves using a variety of thousands of characters. This is unlike letters that are the norm in English. You have to memorize these characters and be able to differentiate them so that you can use the correct ones when writing a report. If you are used to the vowels and consonants in English that do not reach even a hundred, it may be difficult to memorize each of the Mandarin characters. Another thing that makes this language hard is that different words have various tones. Therefore, even if two words are spelled the same, you need to know the tone of each so that you may use the correct sound when addressing an audience. 


Japanese has two writing systems known as Kana and Kanji. Kana is made up of two classes of systems known as Hiragana and Katakana. Kanji, on the other hand, is similar to Chinese because it has thousands of characters. Therefore, if you decide to learn Japanese, you need enough time to understand Kana and Kanji. The time is necessary because you have to memorize thousands of characters. For an English native speaker, the order of words in Japanese may also seem peculiar. It does not follow the usual subject-verb-object arrangement in a sentence. If you are planning to learn Japanese, set aside enough time to help you differentiate Kana and Kanji. 


Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in the Middle East and North Africa, where Arabs reside. It is a special language in very many ways. 

  • Nature of writing

First, you have to write from the right towards the left-hand side of a paper. This is unlike English that involves writing from the left to the right-hand side of a paper or book. As an English speaker who is already conditioned to write from left to right, you may find it very challenging to learn how to reverse what you already know. However, if you practice enough, you may be able to write in any direction without facing difficulties.

  • Guttural sounds

Secondly, when speaking Arabic, you have to use guttural sounds that consist of three main vowels a, i, and u pronounced in long and short form. You have to practice to pronounce these sounds because they are different from English.

  • Gender 

Arabic also has feminine and masculine verbs, a characteristic that is not found in English. Therefore, when you are writing and speaking, you have to be careful to use masculine verbs and adverbs with nouns in the same gender. The same goes for feminine verbs, adverbs, and nouns. 

  • Sentence structure

Lastly, in Arabic, the arrangement of words in a sentence differs from that of English. Instead of using a subject, verb, and object in that order as is the usual case with English speakers, it uses the verb before the subject and object. 

Just because Arabic has many variations from English does not mean that you cannot learn the dialect. If you commit yourself, you will be able to learn a new way of thinking, and this will make it easy and interesting to understand concepts. 


Polish is a Slavic language that is spoken by people living in Poland. To learn it efficiently, you need to commit at least 1100 hours. One of the characteristics of Polish is that it contains 9 letters that are totally new to an English speaker. When speaking this language, you have to stress the accent so that the pronunciation of words may be correct. 


You may not know it, but believe it or not, Korean is the 13th most famous language in the world. It has only 24 letters and is highly related to Japanese and Chinese. Therefore, you can see that even if these languages are hard to understand when you learn one, the others become easy because of their similarities. One special thing about Korean is that you have to learn the words to use when you are practicing different degrees of politeness. For you to do this, you have to adjust the way you think and speak in this language. 

What Should You Do Now?

Now that you are aware of the reasons why these languages are difficult; it is not time to give up. First, you need to decide which one you want to learn before the others. The next thing is to make a schedule on how you want to study. Do you want online or offline classes? Ensure that you study for the recommended hours or more so that you can become fluent fast.