Which Is The Most Difficult Language To Learn?

Think you can learn any language? Or are you having trouble learning some languages within the expected period of time?This may be why…


The Foreign Service Institute has outlined the approximate time needed for a native English speaker to learn a specific language.

5 categories have been identified with the respective amount of time needed to learn that particular language.


Category I: 23-24 weeks (575-600 hours) 

  • Afrikaans
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • Italian
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Romanian

Category II: 30 weeks (750 hours)

  • German

Category III: 36 weeks (900 hours)

  • Indonesian
  • Malay
  • Swahili

Category IV: 44 weeks (1100 hours)

42 languages have been identified. The more popular ones are listed below:

  • Greek
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Hebrew
  • Persian
  • Urdu
  • Hindi

Category V: 88 weeks (2200 hours)

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin
  • Japanese
  • Korean

Featured Image: Modified from – M. Adiputra (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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