Now the list before you is only for the most gifted linguistically masterful people who like to torture, ummmm… I meant challenge themselves. These languages have scarcely a hint of any of the same syntax, grammar, or pronunciation to the Queen’s English. In a few of the cases the characters and writing systems are 100% alien to English. Still though there are people who are bilingual in both languages. Could one of those people be you? Some of the most difficult languages to learn as an English speaker include. If you figure out a good method for teaching and learning the language to English and vice versa write it down – you could make millions.



Arabic isn’t just a single language but rather is broken down into different families. Modern Standard Arabic is used for print media while differing (not in the way a Canadian and Scottish accent differ) colloquial Arabic tongues make mastering the language region to region. Arabic words are pronounced at the back of the mouth an area foreign for English speakers to produce words. Arabic grammar has few to none parallels to English grammar with the bulk of verbs being situational and irregular. Perhaps though what throws the English mind off most is reading text right to left on the page.



The most difficult aspect of English speakers trying to learn Cantonese is picking up the tonal system. Cantonese uses 8 different tones for the same word. Each tone does not inflect the word, as it would in English, but rather it gives the word a new meaning. In this case you had better be listening to your girlfriend’s tones – are you won’t have a clue what the hell she is saying.  Tones are one thing, the next challenge inherent is using the 5,000 plus pictoral characters to write the language. This means every pictoral characters, and their correct contexts, must be committed to memory.



When author Barry Farber of “How to Learn any Language” calls a language one of the toughest to learn you are dealing with one that won’t roll off the tongue. Though Finland is sometimes connected to the other Scandinavian cultures its language, coming from Hungarian roots, has no connection. Finish does not have any Germanic or Latin roots which means a vocabulary totally alien to English speakers. The grammar is notoriously difficult with subtle differences in words being shown by the change of just a small part of the word. Further with that the slight differences in how the words pronounced makes it difficult for the English speaker to hit the correct work accurately. A different technique of conjugation than Germanic languages also causes difficulty.

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