What Are The Hardest Languages To Learn? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Learning a new language can be difficult, but some languages can be trickier than others. For native English speakers, the difficulty level of a new language depends on a variety of factors. So which are the most difficult to learn? And which languages would you be able to master in under a year? View the infographic below to learn more.

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Use This Infographic In Your Class

We think that infographics are an awesome learning and teaching tool, so our creations will always be available for you to print out, use with your students and embed on your blog!

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Warm-Up Activity

Before handing out the infographic, discuss the following questions with your students: Are some languages harder to learn than others? In your opinion, which ones are the most difficult to pick up?

Speaking & Critical Thinking Practice

Questions to ask your students after presenting the infographic:

  1. What is the most surprising fact that you discovered from this infographic?
  2. As the graphic describes, successful language learning depends on a variety of factors. Which of these have you found to be the most important for your own language learning? Can you think of any others to add to the list?
  3. Do you agree with the FSI’s language difficulty scale? If not, what would you change?
  4. The Foreign Service Institute’s language difficulty rankings reflect learning expectations for native English speakers only. How do you think these rankings would change for language learners with different L1s?
  5. High school and university students who are required to study a foreign language often choose the language that seems “easiest”. What arguments could you present to such students to encourage them to study a “harder” language like Arabic or Chinese?

Writing Challenge

After reviewing this infographic with your students, have them write a an essay or blog post on the topic below. In addition to using the information from the infographic, students can do independent research using the sources provided at the bottom of the graphic.

Describe your own language learning experiences. What languages have you studied, and how easy or difficult have they been to master? In your opinion, what makes them so easy or hard? Support your answer with specific examples of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciations, etc. that have either given you trouble or been a breeze to learn.