What Are The Hardest Languages To Learn?
Have you ever considered certain languages impossible to learn?
If so, you are wrong. It has been proven that you can become – at least conversationally – fluent in any language you set your mind to.
However, it is undeniable that certain languages are substantially easier to learn than others, depending on what your native tongue is.
The infographic below groups a number of languages into Easy (e.g., Spanish, Swedish), Medium (e.g., Greek, Polish), and Hard (e.g., Arabic, Japanese), all from an English speaker’s perspective.
The grouping is based on the hours it would take an English speaker to achieve proficiency, while the graphic also cleverly displays the number of native speakers of each language.
According to estimations, it would take an English speaker, on average, about 6 months to learn one of the easy languages, a little short of a year for one of the medium languages, and nearly two years for one of the hard languages.
Now, this entirely depends on the time and attention you put into your language learning. It is not obvious, but these estimates assume an investment of 25 hours a week, which is not realistic for many.
But here is the thing: Do you really need to achieve “language proficiency”? In most cases you do not, and this diminishes the investment required to meet your goals.
In my experience, to achieve conversational fluency, you need less than half of what the graphic lists – and I’m being conservative here.
For the easy languages, this means that in rough terms, if you invest 10 hours a week (or 1.5 hour a day), you should achieve conversational fluency in 6 months.
If you find 10 hours a week too challenging a commitment, this simply means it may take you longer to become conversationally fluent. For example, with 5 hours a week (or <45 minutes a day), you can achieve conversational fluency in one of the easy languages in less than a year. Talk about a new year’s resolution!
So why don’t you make the following your goal TODAY?
I will set aside 45 minutes every day for the next months to study [INSERT LANGUAGE HERE], starting today. This will make me conversationally fluent in this language before this time next year. To stick to that commitment, I will proactively set up a reminder on my calendar/phone and block 45 minutes on every day for language learning.
And what will you do during those 45 minutes? You will find plenty of suggestions on InstaLang’s resources pages, or you can contact us for a personalized learning consultation!