Which languages are the hardest to learn?

Last month I posted about some great language infographics. Now I have another to share.

People often say that one language is harder to learn than another. Currently I tell people that Spanish is hard because in class we are learning verb conjugations! I tend to think a tonal language such as Mandarin would be more difficult to learn though, as native English speakers may not have been exposed to speaking and listening to language in this way.

The US State Department, has “compile[d] learning expectations for a number of languages based on the amount of time it takes a native English speaker to achieve speaking and reading proficiency” and this is what the infographic (produced by Voxy) shows. Having studied Spanish for around 30 class hours now, I can see I have a long way to go to achieve proficiency, even if it is rated an ‘easy’ language!

What do you think? Does your experience show that Japanese is ‘easier’ to learn than Swedish for example?

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Via: Voxy Blog