What Are The Hardest Languages to Learn? [infographic]


Bonjour! Did you catch that? That was the only French word that rolls easily off my tongue after several years of college French classes. Yes, that is pathetic. Yes, I am ashamed. This shame was only compounded when I saw today’s infographic. Apparently, the language I tried to learn is considered “easy.”

Using the Foreign Service Institute, among other sources, this infographic divides some commonly learned languages into three categories- easy, medium, and hard- based on various factors. The estimated time to achieve proficiency in each category is also included at the top of the sections. This time-frame is tempered with a reminder that each learner is different. (Learners like me and the small man in the top left of the graphic seem to have it a little harder…)

It is common sense that many Romance languages are gauged as “easy,” based on their similarity to English, but I was surprised that Russian is only “medium.” Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean comprise the list of “hard” languages to learn for native English speakers. [Via]


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