Chinese opens the top 6 of the most difficult languages to learn. Children in China start learning the graphical system of the language at a very young age. The learning process may take up to several hours a day. There are over 80,000 characters in the Chinese alphabet. Each word is a separate symbol pronounced with a certain tone. Notably, the language has 4 distinctive tones and a huge number of homophones.
Arabic is considered to be the second most difficult language to master. Its graphical system is the most challenging part for language learners. Letters are written in 4 forms depending on their position in a word. Linguists also point out the peculiarity of verb forms that may sometimes precede subjects and three cases of a noun. Besides, Arabic has many dialects with huge differences between them.
The main features of the Hungarian language are 35 cases, numerous suffixes, and various idioms. Besides, its pronunciation is also very tricky as the language has many vowels that are pronounced in a certain “throaty” way. The Hungarian alphabet consists of 40 letters, and the language has around 10 dialects. Hungarian loanwords are mostly coming from Latin.
The writing system of the Japanese language is a huge obstacle for learners. The thing is that the pronunciation of a word may differ greatly from its written form. Japanese learners will not be able to speak the language if the only thing they learn is reading. The language has three independent writing systems, each of them with a different alphabet. Anyone who is keen to master Japanese will have to learn around 10–15,000 hieroglyphs. But that is not all. The modern Japanese writing system uses two syllabaries, with one representing entire words and the other one representing suffixes.
During World War II, the Navajo language was used by code talkers to transmit secret messages. Thanks to this unusual encryption method, a coded message could be effectively transmitted where needed. This made it extremely difficult for enemies to decode the real message. Today, Navajo is an exotic and little-spoken language that mostly exists in an oral form. Notably, you won’t find any dictionaries or grammar books to learn Navajo. The only way to learn this language is with native speakers, Indians of the Navajo Nation.
Icelandic closes the top 6 of the most challenging languages to learn. It is very hard to study this language without a native speaker. The language is characterized by archaic words and extremely complicated grammar which includes ancient noun cases and verb conjugations. Most phonemes in the Icelandic language have no exact analogies in English. Notably, an Icelander can easily understand medieval Icelandic sagas about Vikings. The thing is, the language on the island had very little outside influence and remained mostly unchanged since the state was created back in the ninth century.
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