Hardest language to learn

Hardest language to learn might not be what you think. Polish is the hardest language to learn. Why is this not common language uncommonly hard to learn? Read on.

Hardest language to learn in the world

What is the hardest language to learn?

  1. Extremely Hard: The hardest language to learn is: Polish – Seven cases, Seven genders and very difficult pronunciation. The average English speaker is fluent in their language at the age of 12, in contrast, the average Polish speaker is fluent in their language after age of 16.
  2. Very Hard: Finnish, Hungarian, and Estonian – The Ugric languages are hard because of the countless noun cases. However, the cases are more like English prepositions added to the end of the root word. However, anyone arguing Asian languages like Korean trump Uralic languages in complexity, really needs to hit the books and do more research.
  3. Simply Arduous: Ukrainian and Russian – Second language learners wrongly assume because these languages use a different script (Cyrillic) that it out ranks Polish. This is not objective, as an alphabet is only lets say 26 letters. It is really the pronunciation and how societies use the language that influences ranking. Ukrainian and Russian complex grammar and different alphabet, but easier pronunciation. (the Poles use a modified Latin alphabet which does not have a neat orthography fit to the sounds of their language). Slavic languages have sophisticated case and gender systems, also something that approximates a complex tense system with aspects of time-verb relationships.
  4. Challenging contender jockey for position:  Arabic – Three baby cases which are like a walk in the park compared to the above, but the unusual pronunciation and flow of the language makes study laborious and requires cognitive diligence if you want to speak it.
  5. Fairly Hard: Chinese and Japanese – No cases, no genders, no tenses, no verb changes, short words, very easy grammar, however, writing is hard. But to speak it is very easy. Also intonations make it harder, but certainly not harder than Polish pronunciation. I know a Chinese language teacher in NYC that has even authored an the authoritative book on modern Mandarin says people meet Chinese very easy. This same teacher,  if multilingual yet could not learn Polish. I am learning some Chinese, it is not the hardest language maybe even one of the easiest language to learn.  Despite prideful proclamations of armchair linguists, to verbalizes Asian languages in general are not top ranked by any measure. Try to learn some Chinese and Polish your self and you will see which is the hardest language.
  6. Average: French – lots of tenses, but not used and moderate grammar. German-only four cases and like five exceptions, everything is logical, of course.
  7. Easy: Spanish and Italian – People I know pick these up no problem, even accountants and technical people rather than humanistic language people.
  8. Basic to hard: English, no cases or gender, you hear it everywhere, spelling can be hard and British tenses you can use the simple and continues tense instead of the perfect tenses and you will speak American English. English at the basic level is easy but to speak it like a native it’s hard because of the dynamic idiomatic nature.
The most challenging language only for the strong and the brave is Polish. Most others are easy in comparison.
  • Some people cocooned in innocence, go around parroting linguistic relative difficulty ranks by looking at a list created in the ivory towers. This list might be based on the number of hours required to achieve a degree of fluency, or intermediate conversation in a language, in an academic environment of teaching, in contrast to most people in the real world.  This simplistic one variable model is simply wrong. I suggest a more robust model.
If you learn Polish your third language will be easy to learn. It is like training and conditioning for a sport.

The following is support for my argument.

The way you approach this is a simple equation that illustrates hypothetical rankings of variables importance.

Formula for difficulty in a language = O*(G+V+(w*.1)+(A*2.0)+S+V(1.5))

O= Openness of the society to communicate in their own language to a foreigner as opposed to English.

G = Grammar, specifically the number of exceptions in each cases

V= Verbs Conjugation complexity

P= Pronunciation and Phonology.

W=Complexity of the written language, including script and alphabet variation.

A=Average number of syllables in each word. Do not underestimate this as the working memory for the brain to hold bits of information in your brain is manifold more if you are considering a language with a long orthographical constructions.

S=Speed of the language.

V=Vocalness of the people speaking.

If you can assign an O factor as the major determinant variable then you have your answer. The openness of a society to transmit their language on a person to person, on the street level day-to-day experiences is what really makes communication hard to easy to absorb. I can attest to this after living in Europe for about a decade.

Ordinal ranking on how hard a student has it to for second language acquisition.

Are you a citizen of Stratos or trying to speak to you boyfriend or girlfriend?

What good is a theoretical understanding of a language, if in reality you can not practice it to fluency beyond the classroom. Lets separate the academics from real people, when trying to analysis the question.

This is not just a ranking of the hardest language to learn mind you, rather a ranking for realistic, practical people who are in the trenches of life and want to learn a new language for communication purposes. Not a ranking for  academics who are living on Stratos, the city of clouds or lost in the labyrinth of the stacks in their university library.

I have not considered languages that have under one million native speakers. Even through humanistically important on equal par with all other languages, they are too remote or inaccessible for any real life learning. Patois dialects are excluded. These are important languages, just not for the average person. I also have not considered extinct or ancient languages which have even a more alien grammatical structure.

People write me and say hey Mark here is a language that has a hundred cases and sounds mostly like whistlers, and people often talk backwards, certainly this must be the most difficult. My reply how many people speak it? Similarly,  you might say well there is a language spoken by some children on my block, they made it up. For me unless there are a million speakers does not pass the cut.

Map of difficulty with green being a breeze and red being, well more arduous foreign languages.

My reply to the FSI’s rank of the number of hours needed to learn a language -Anti-glottology at its best

There is an annoying mythology of language difficulty, that is perpetuated by Foreign Service institute. How many hours it takes to achieve various levels in a language after academic study. This is no valid. Unless you are 18-21 and a full-time student at a university and giving equal or greater weight to written language as compared to spoken, then that is bunk.

Who has the time to study in the ivory towers a language university or prepare like a diplomat except someone in some cushy government job? It is not the real world. Speaking is much more important than writing and reading.

Written language for the masses only came into significance in the last 100 years, in contrast to the 7 millions years of Homininae communication when there was first a divergence in our evolutionary tree and changes in our heterochrony gave us the capacity for prolonged language acquisition.  Further the written language is in the process of a strange de-evolution with rise of texting messages and ADD. Lets be honest here, few people can study like an egghead, rather they want to just communicate.

Example of how people learn in Africa and the Middle East

When I was in North Africa (several times) I was amazed people could talk in the open market in several languages with little effort. They never opened a book or wrote in a foreign language. Language is about speaking. It is about communication not something you learn in a book. How long was it like that? The first one million years of human evolution from Primates until about 1950 when world illiteracy went from less than 1% to over 50%. So for tens of thousands of years for most humans, language was about the speaking, that is it. For a few thousand the landed elite and first estate class has some form of written language but this was not most people. Lets be real language has nothing to do with a book, only the tongue and ear. Therefore when FSI or any other person assets Chinese or Asian languages are hard, they are not if you strip away the crazy characters to a non-Asian person.

The worst thing about the modern communication

It irritates me that one person will state something on the web and it is recycled by every content mill blogger ad infinitum. People take ideas for fact without looking at them objectively. I call this the flat earth syndrome of language learning. Just because an expert says it does not mean it is true.

Aristotle believed the heart was the center of human cognition and the brain was an organ of minor importance. For centuries people took this as fact.

That does not mean the academics are wrong, and Asian languages are not more difficult for an English native speaker to achieve a level of mastery, but look at this objectively.

Modern linguistic snake oil salesman

Also when someone says on the web, you can learn a language in three hours or even three months, and they are trying to sell you something, I would say, ‘I have some swap land in Florida to sell you that will appreciate in value any day now’.  I would like to personally like to call them up and test their fluency in Polish. My point is the web is a great place but discern sensation seekers and academics from someone like myself who is linguistically challenged, yet has dedicated his life abroad to learning foreign languages.

How linguistic science is different from physical science

Despite my quantification above, there is no way you can objectively measure linguistic ranking or difficulty like the hard sciences like physics or chemistry measure a phenomenon in a vacuum. Even in physics things are tested, regression are run and retested. There is debate and paradigms are challenged every few decades.

So are you telling me, that in not a social science but a humanities like Language that because some government organization for a very specific program makes a statement fifty years ago, everyone including people on the Internet take it as fact and recycle it ad nauseam?

Evolution of phraseology and variance from linguistic universals as a measure of difficulty.

Departure from universal grammar and linguistic universals and structures is that are natural constructs of the human brain could be a measure of difficulty with some objectivity, however, how you measure it I have no idea how you would do this. Typological universals and other measures are left for future research.

Why Asian languages are not hard – Palaver about Asian foreign language acquisition

No grammar to speak of, no cases, not complex plurals, short words. People argue they have tones but these are subtle pronunciation differences and in my experience I am understood when I speak Mandarin for example with poor pronunciation easier in comparison with Polish. I know author and teacher of Chinese in NYC and he says most of the people who walk in off he street learn Chinese pretty fast. He has a book called Easy Mandarin. It is only the written language that is hard.

Errors and omissions statement

Yes I know in the image I typed Finish and Hinidi, need to fix this, when I get my computer back from Amishland. I am writing an Amish language program.  Also the scope of this article can not be comprehensive because the proliferation of languages, for example, I need a follow up to cover, Turkish, Greek, Armenia, Georgian etc. When writing you have to make choices to make a point rather than cover ever detail, however, these are worthy for discussion in the comment area.

Back to Polish – the trophy winner

When you speak of Phonology, sound approximation from the native language to the target Polish ranks near the top as the tongue twisting, multi-syllabic mixing of consonants and vowels are unmatched by any shorter Asian word, even with tones. I stated at the top that the average Polish learner is not fluent until the age of sixteen. It sounds like a bold statement but read on.

Yes Poles can communicate before that, but subjectively, for such an intelligent population of people (and Poles are highly intelligent and educated) proportionally I have seen an inordinate amount of Polish youngsters struggle with their own orthography, pronunciation, grammar at disproportionate levels compared to say English speakers.

Factor out any genetic differences by comparing Polish Americans who are identical genetically to Poles in Poland, yet learn English as their native language at a different rate than Polish as a native language. My daughter who is bilingual finds English much easier than Polish. There are differences in the rates humans learn languages based on the complexity of the language, and this is seen in native speaker language acquisition.

Examples and references that back up my theory of modern of linguistics that give a better understanding of how people acquire a second language:

  • In social linguistic acculturation Model or SLA, was proposed by John Schumann and focused on how an individual interacts with the society. Some societies more easily transmit culture.
  • Gardner’s socio-educational model – Similar to above and deals with the inter-group model of “ethnolinguistic vitality”.
  • Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky developed a theory of zone of proximal development.

I want to know your feedback and research so they may benefit second language learners.

Author: Mark Biernat

I live in with family between two worlds, US and Europe where I create tools for language learning. If you found my site you probability share my passion to be a life long learner. Please explore my site and comment.

1,422 thoughts on “Hardest language to learn”

  1. Sorry, but your article is just not true. You should perhaps read something, before you start writing.

    Did you want to promote polish to native English speakers?

    Do a search on “Theory and Practice in Government Language Teaching” for some information.

  2. Klaus, Instead of just making a statement, please explain in your own words why you think Polish is not the hardest language to learn. Do not just give some academic refernence and say, I am right. I have seen that reference before. It looks very scientific and all, but academia or worse govenmernt studies are filled with debates, and point – counter point. Like I said, I know many people who learned Chinese, in fact I know a NYC Chinese teacher who said Chinese is very easy, most of his students, minus the writing, are speaking fairly fast, but when he tried to learn Polish it was the only language he could not learn. Asian lanuages have no cases, adjetive agreement etc, generally. Barry Farber, who wrote ‘how to learn a language fast’,a polygot, also said Polish was the only language he could not learn.

  3. töredezettségmentesítőtleníttethetetlenségtelenítőtlenkedhetnétek

    that was a hungarian word

  4. Of course it is not used in the real life, but u can play with our language, and create a sentence in one word.Hungarians also had their own writing system, the Old Hungarian script,(like chinese), but no significant texts remained from the time.
    Did u know that the japanese thinks that hungarians r theirs relative and an ancient hun city was found in North-China.
    … and there r still being hun citites in Kazahstan, even in Switzerland that established in the V. a.d.
    These r facts and not the creation of my mind.

  5. Polish because:
    -verbs are said in MANY different forms
    -neutor is used
    -every adjective – m. f. or n.
    -the pronunciation is extremly difficult like: chrzczaszczyrzewoszyce (no accents)
    This says what effort you have to put to learn it
    By the way… good luck

  6. Oh the other thing is that people think the language they use is the easiest in the world and they think so because they know it perfectly. You shouldn’y really think so. Find any similarities between Polish and English. If you do find one, put a comment and I’ll have a look because as I already said POlish is the most difficult language. If you really don’t believe, think about it. Greets for Poles!!! Pozdrowienia!

  7. heh… fajne recenzje o polskim języku 🙂
    A ja Wam powiem, że polski nie jest taki trudny 🙂
    Jest tylko kilka problemów:
    “u” czy “ó”
    “ż” czy “rz”
    “h” czy “ch”
    I tak dalej 🙂

    Tak więc kto chce to się może nauczyć naszego języka 🙂
    Tego Wam życzę 🙂
    Pozdrawiam 🙂

  8. i see… but besque in my opinion is hardest. in fact, hardly anyone speaks it except in some parts of france and spain. IT IS HARD… believe me. most do not speak fluent until in college.

  9. I think you all should think about this in terms of what’s the hardest second language to learn…..the reason is simple.
    We all learned our native tongues from when we were infants, this is the period where humans are most suseptible to learning a language. We pick it up easily and quickly.
    It easy for a native English speaker to say Polish is harder to learn, of course it would seem that way. You learned English in your language learning prime, and picked up Polish much later when language learning is much harder. However, ask say, a native german speaker who has learned English and Polish which is easier to learn as a second language.
    The general consencious will be that most people will say English is the hardest second language to learn (again I judge by second language, because everyone’s first language is easily learned)
    Eng is the most mixed, play chess withed up, hodgepoge language on the planet, and therefore has latin sounds, anglo sounds, germanic sounds, gammar from latin and germanic, mixed sentence constructs, and to top it all off it has the largest vocabulary on the planet.
    I’d say, even being a native English speaker, that English is the hardest language to learn. I mean, how many native English speakers even speak it correctly?

  10. I also like how some who have learned English as a second language say it is fairly easy, even when their grammar is riddled with errors. Appearantly it isn’t as easy as thought, becuase they still do not spell or construct sentences correctly. Learning a language is more than just being able to communicate with it, it’s is actually using it correctly and following its rules that shows that a particular language has been learned.

  11. Imagine you’re a baby. Now imagine you have to hear so many different words for ‘Table’ before you can form the abstraction that they are all examples of the same noun. All things being equal, it takes quite a bit longer when there are multiple declensions of common nouns that sound quite different to theear.

  12. You know, the thing is that even mature Poles can’t write (sometimes say) their own language properly. If you go on Polish web auctions or discussion forums, you see far too many sentences written worse than by a little kid – grammar, ortography, far too simple punctuation, etc. Sometimes it’s a huge LOL, but to be honest, it’s very sad and really anoying to read. Let’s say that it’s IMO far worse than f.ex. English by a hiphop artist. As some said, “they do not care”, but it’s funny when it’s about details or exceptions, not casual speech.

    Additionally, at high school level, dyslexia becomes a popular explanation for ignorance. No offence to people who really have this disability, but say, umm, many teens ‘discover’ this ‘disability’ in the last year of primary or last year of high school (not too loose points on exams for poor language skills), and from then on, ignore proper writing for the rest of their lives.

    On the other hand, sometimes even educated and intelligent adults have some problems and discuss if what they said was correct or not 🙂 Sometimes one word can be used in many forms and both types of usage turn out to be officially proper. A few years ago there was a popular tv programme, where a language specialist (professor Miodek) explained how things should be said, what is correct and why.

    I don’t know if Polish it’s really the HARDEST language, but for sure it is very hard and insane in many cases, and I say that as a Pole 🙂

  13. sorry for some typos above.
    I’d also like to add, that for me as a Polish native, learning latin languages is quite easy. I don’t know if it’s me, or some language properties, but IMO their language rules are simpler to understand and words to pronounce for a Pole, than Eng or German, although those are more popular here.

    Oh, and cut off the tongue-twistering, all langs have that, making a huge list of Polish tts doesn’t bring any value to the discussion.

  14. I’m not going to discuss which language is the hardest, it’s a moot point. I will make a few comments about polish (since I speak neither arabic nor serbian).

    One of the polish language’s more hilarious characteristics is it’s ability to modify sentence structure almost at will while only slightly changing the meaning, if at all. All these sentences are pretty much equal:

    Z Markiem oglądaliśmy wczoraj film.
    Oglądaliśmy z Markiem wczoraj film.
    Wczoraj z Markiem film oglądaliśmy.
    Z Markiem wczoraj film oglądaliśmy.
    Z Markiem wczoraj oglądaliśmy film.

    Now, I see a lot of people here writing about how they learned polish/became fluent/etc. I’d like to know where you are, because I sure as hell don’t see you here in Warsaw. I know foreigners who’ve lived here for years (5-10) and their polish is rudimentary, to say the least. None of them are on a level anywhere near where most of my friends are with english.

    Lastly, someone mentioned this up in the first 50 comments, but if you don’t speak polish perfectly w/o a foreign accent, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to native speakers. I’m a native speaker of english and polish (nothing like moving to the US at the age of 6 and moving back 10 years later) and don’t mind listening to all sorts of english accents. In polish, I can’t deal with them at all.

  15. For those who consider Serbian harder than Polish: try to compare these forms and say which paradigm is more complex:
    Polish with stem alternations marked:
    wić ‘to carry’
    or the set of corresponding Serbian forms:

    Another example: word for ‘friend’ in both languages:
    Nom. plur. przyjaciele
    Gen. plur. przyjaciół
    Dat. plur. przyjaciom
    Nom. plur. prijatelji
    Gen. plur. prijatelja
    Dat. plur. prijateljima

  16. Hi,

    I just had a couple of questions. First of all, thanks for making a language page like this in the first place. Secondly, I’m trying to learn Finnish (just starting). Exactly how many distinct vowel sounds does Finnish have? Also, I speak Portuguese, where would you classify Portuguese on the difficulty scale? Probably between easy and average? Also what exactly do you mean by “English at the basic level is easy but to speak it like a native it’s hard because of the dynamic idiomatic nature?” I’m just looking around for any hope that knowing Portuguese and English will help me somehow to learn Finnish, but I’m guessing that’s not the case?? Would you know how to explain the O with the dots on top of it in Finnish and their Y sound to me? In case you don’t have time for all this, that’s okay. I just thought I would ask, since Finnish sure isn’t as easy as Spanish, so I’m looking around for some help. Thanks!

  17. Don’t exaggerate the complexity. I know English (native), German and Russian. I don’t think that Polish language is extremely hard. The stress is fixed, while in Russian it doesn’t submit to any phonological rules, for example, дóма (at home) and домá (buildings). Also, Chinese hieroglyphs and Arabic alphabet is much more hard than Latin. The pronunciation isn’t so hard as in Chinese – Polish isn’t a tonal language. Also there are no short and long vowels, no vowel harmony as in Hungarian. The tenses system is easy. So I can say that Chinese, Japanese and Arabic are the most hard languages for native English speaker, instead of Polish.

  18. From my opinion on the hardest language in the world, would definatley be the Native American language of the Navajo people. It is very complex! When it comes to pronunciation to the usage of the language, it is sophisicating!!

  19. Może ktoś z Was potrafi wymówić to (try to say this :>):
    -Chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie w Szczebrzeszynie, W szczękach chrząszcza trzeszczy miąższ, Czcza szczypawka czka w Szczecinie, Chrząszcza szczudłem przechrzcił wąż, Strząsa skrzydła z dżdżu, A trzmiel w puszczy, tuż przy Pszczynie, Straszny wszczyna szum…

    – ola lojalna, lojalna Jola
    -Rozrewolwerowany rewolwerowiec zrewolwerowywał się na rewolwerowisku przy zrewolwerowanych rewolwerowcach.

    -Wyindywidualizowaliśmy się z rozentuzjazmowanego tłumu prestidigitatorów, który czytał przekarykaturalizowaną i przeliteraturalizowaną literaturę.

    etc.Wiecej na :)(there are more crazy hard language expressions.)

  20. First of all, excellent read. I don’t normally have much interest in languages, but I found this article and the comments captivating.
    As someone who’s lived in Poland for the first fifteen years of his life, and the remaining ten in the US, I consider myself perfectly fluent in Polish (though faaar from being a master of it), and fairly fluent in English (though I write it much better than I speak it).
    I can’t really tell much about which language is the hardest, but after attending polish courses at school (easy credits) with Americans trying to learn the language, I can say with a large degree of certainty that polish is extremely hard to learn.
    I can’t really speak for myself, because I’ve been speaking polish all my life, so it wouldn’t be fair to compare my experiences to those of someone who began his education in this field later in life, but I can tell a few things about learning english. It’s an easy language to learn, with a few exceptions: Various tenses (I won’t pretend to know all the propers terms – I learned it in practice, not in school) can cause problems as they are diametrally different than in polish. Grammar is fairly easy as well, mostly due to the fact that it’s much less complex than polish, and spelling is a piece of cake.
    One thing I’ve noticed is how much better than native speakers’ my spelling was, but I suspect that’s because of how I was taught to read.

  21. hm and you think that slovak language is the hardest lanaguage or no? Myslíte si, že slovenčina je najťažsím jazyom sveta alebo nie?

  22. As a native English speaker, I’ve studied French, German, Farsi and Thai. Thai is pretty hard to learn to speak because of the five tones and the meaning of a word can change depending upon the tone. However, I imagine there a much more difficult languages to learn than Thai. Before I read this discussion, I always thought the most difficult languages for a native English speaker to learn would be:

    any of the *click* Bantu/Bushman languages

    I also understand learning Danish is very difficult for non-native speakers (those outside of the Scandinavian countries, at any rate).

    Great discussion – please continue! Merci, Danke and Khawb Khun Krabp

  23. the navajo language is the hardest language on this planet. oh and not to mention its the most sacred well respected languages in the world!!!!Dine bizaad ayoo shil ya’at’eehda!!!!


  25. Ya’at’eeh shi ei Dineh Ashkii yinishye. Kot’ao Dineh nishli. Shikeyah t’aanawhiiz’aanit’ee’ neel’iigo. Ts’ida alaahgo ahxoozhonigi keewhiit’i. Shizaad bee nitseskees dooleel doo shizaad bee adanahasht’a doo bee ak’inishda dooleel, indah bee anisht’ee dooleel. Shizaad bee adilnishdl dooleel, doo bee kenisdzin dooleel, doo bee na’ nishtin dooleel. Jo’akon…t’aa akodi dooleel, ahehee’ laa. Hagoonee’.
    Long story short–tha Native tongue of the Navajo people(Naabeeho dine’e) is the most sophisicated language to learn on nahama asdzaan, or nihima asdzaan.(Mother Earth)

  26. as i have overheard, Polish speakers do not speak their language right. i mean at least that’s what i heard! so i guess Polish is ly for the Polish peoples huh? well i agree that Polish is not the hardest language….i really don’t. good bye now.

  27. Isn’t it funny how a tread about difficult languages turned into a place to show-off your best tongue twisters. Waste of space since we’ve established which languages are difficult. Most of visitors here will not have a clue wahy are they reading about szczebrzeszyn etc. National pride maybe? 🙂

    I think the most important point someone made is that your chances when learning a new language depend on your mother tongue and other languages you speak.

    Polish is my mother tongue and I find English, German, Spanish etc. easy, Russian is very similar so ther’s no problem there. Arabic is hard! I understand the advantage Poles (but not only!) have when it comes to grasping concepts of cases, genders etc. My boyfriend (who is English) tried several languages but admits Polish beats it all. Pronouncing Polish is a job in itself, forget making sure that what you’re saying actually is right! All the z, s, y, r together in the weirdest possible clusters.
    Personally i am glad I know Polish andcan leanr other languages, I wouldn’t like it be any other way..
    Good luck to you all!

  28. UHM…i am from Slovakia and I think our language is quite hard;) because we have š,č,ť,ž,ľ,ď,dz,dž, and also ĺ and ŕ ….try to say: Stĺp or väčšie (bigger) ….
    our grammary is hard, too
    you say: good morning, good afternoon…
    we say: dobré ráno, dobrý večer….
    try to say: najnepočítateľnejší ……čí is like cheap without p and ší like sheep without p
    or: poprekoprcovalo……fŕkalo….
    I think english is easy. Why would people use it like an international language, if it will be hard to learn?
    i understand polish…..(they are my neighbours:D) and i can write russian:)

  29. well if u think that polish is hard go and try learning arabic,
    cuz iam sure polish will not be as hard to learn as arabic

  30. Polish as the hardest language to learn!! Wow ,I didn’t knew that. There is a hope family of slovian languages.If you learn one ,you can understand people from atnother countries. For example, you know Polish -you can speak with some Russian , Czech , Bulgarian , Serbian people. The root of the basic worlds is the same, so you can use them talking with people and they understand you.I speak Polish(native) , Russian, Spanish, and a little of English.Spanish was very simple to learn for me. Russian – no problem ,but English is very hard for me.

  31. I appreciate your patriotism, but polish isn’t the most difficult language to learn. Also, it’s VERY unmusical. Looks like all letters in the alphabet are “sh”, “ch” or “shch”. Russian sounds much better.

  32. What is hard about noun cases in Finnish is that if you use them wrong there can be many misunderstandings. On this website http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/~fkarlsso/genkau2.html there are 2253 ways to speak about “kauppa” (shop).

    Aleksej also had one of the easiest examples, the noun “talo” (house). Yes, with talo it’s pretty simple to add the suffix, but there are more complicated words that you need to change before adding the suffix.

    kuusi->kuuseen; kuuset->kuusiin (when talking about the tree kuusi)
    kuusi->kuuteen (number six)

    One of the problems also is that spoken Finnish is quite different from the written form (me olemme olleet matkalla -> me ollaan oltu matkalla ; tule todella nopeasti -> tuu tosi nopsaan ; and so on).

  33. “However, the cases are more like English prepositions added to the end of the root.”

    BUT we have some prepositions, too (like under, behind, beyond, in front of…). Then you need to inflect the noun plus add the preposition.

  34. Is Polish really so hard to learn?
    Not really – what is all the fuss about?
    I am learning Polish, and the Polish speakers that hear me speak
    practically fall out of their chairs because my pronununciation, grammar
    and the like, is correct. They just cannot understand how it’s possible –
    which I think is a bit unnecessary.
    I am not young, not a linguist and could never be described as any genius.
    I am a native English speaker and fairly dyslexic, but I like to learn and
    make the effort. Humility and child-like openness and interest helps.
    What does amaze me though is that some Poles think that English is easy, yet
    practically every one of their sentences is riddled with the same basic mistakes…

  35. @Marie Yes Polish is that hard. However, in life attitude determines altitude.

  36. @KagaTora Regading Polish language genders; with all due respect have you ever looked at a declinations table In Polish? You have: masculine animate, masculine inanimate, masculine personal, neuter animate etc. and some words that are masculine and go by feminine rules. So there are more than three genders in Polish, but it depends how you classify them, this will determine the number of Polish language genders. For all what has been written here I still think Polish is the hardest language to learn. I was watching a Russian language film last night (The Seventh Cradle, which is pretty good by the way) and wow the words seem cleared and easier than Polish in some cases. I could kind of understand the Russian language film, even though I know little Russian. On the other hand I know a lot of Polish and it is still sometimes hard for me. Polish is a great language, but Polish is a soft spoken language with very complex grammar.

  37. You say that Polish is the hardest language in the world? Evidently it is to you, as you say there are 7 genders. No natural language in the world has 7 genders. Polish has 3 (masculine, feminine, and neuter). Either get a new teacher or some better information on the language before you say it is hard – I have no idea what you have been learning, but if you say it has 7 genders then I can bet it’s NOT Polish.

  38. Oczywiście, że polski ma siedem przypadków. jest naprawdę bardzo trudny i bardzo nieregularny. Sami Polacy mamy z nim dużo problemów. Większość zapytanych przeze mnie ludzi nie wiedziała jAk nazywany jest mieszkaniec Jeleniej Góry (jeleniogórzanin). Albo jak wytłumaczyć to: mam dom, ale nie mam domu. To kompletny kosmos. Jak się to tłumaczy takiemu Turkowi( turecki ma 6 przypadków) nigdy tego nie rozumie. Języki aglutynacyjne jak fiński, estoński, węgierski czy turecki to języki regularne, mają te sufiksy to się dodaje i spokój, a w językach słowiańskich to o wiele trudniejsze. A tak w ogóle tak jakby się ktoś z was uczył zagraniczne pacany tak jak my to w Polsce robimy, to by wiedział, że chociaż polski i czeski są blisko spokrewnione to tak strasznie mają różne słownictwo, że się Polak z Czechem i Słowakiem nie zrozumieją. Po czesku np. sklep to piwnica po polsku. Jak zapytasz w Czechach kogoś: przepraszam gdzie jest sklep papierniczy? To jak sądzicie co sobie pomyśli? Do nieuków: mimo, że polski jest w gr. zach., a serbski i chorwacki w poł. to było sobie kiedyś coś takiego jak serbołużycki w gr. zachodniosłowiańskiej. A Serbowie i Chorwaci zamieszkiwali kiedyś tereny Polski i sobie później przewędrowali tam gdzie są teraz. Tak więc polski i serbski są do siebie bardziej podobne.
    Skorożeście wszyscy tacy mądrzy kochani cudzoziemcy to na pewno wszystko zrozumieliście. Dochodzę do wniosku, że prawie wszyscy Polacy co tu się odzywali, nie uwłaczając nikomu, to debile co nic o swym języku nie wiedzą. Bo do cholery jasnej, do Pierona jasnego, jak można nie wiedzieć ile ma przypadków polski. Przecież tego się człowiek uczy od jeden do trzy. O dla Boga. Co się podziało na tym świecie. Nie dla was polski. Polski to język zbyt piękny, czysty jak kryształ, gdzie na każdym kroku zachwyca nas mnogością form możliwych do użycia, by wyrazić jedno. Szkoda, że tak mało sami Polacy o nim wiedzą i wychwalają obce języki nie znając nawet swego , ale za to jakże pięknego.

  39. I’m a native speaker of American English. For me the hardest thing about learning another language is the grammatical gender and the inflections, because english lost most of it’s inflections after the Normans invaded in 1066 and somewhere along the line we lost our grammatical gender. I suppose they way I think about it, modern english is a creole of anglo-saxon (old english) and norman french.

  40. Well I can’t figure out if all these comments on the Polish language has encouraged or discouraged me to learn it!

    I am a native [American] English speaker and I’m near the end of my junior year of high school. I’m learning French and German and I study Russian on my own, but only know a few basic phrases, same with Polish although my pronunciation in both is probably atrocious. I love learning languages, and I’m a 1/4th Polish so it is a goal of mine to learn the language and maybe study there for a few years. So, I will either fail or be a genius. 😀

    An interesting comment everyone has brought up is when someone says it was easy for them to learn English but then their English is filled with errors. It’s like that even for native speakers, as far as I can tell. I’m a literature lover, and as I said a language lover, so I’ve been trying to find out the proper ways of speaking and writing English. It’s a real weird language, sometimes I hate it. For example, one thing that really gets me, is we do not have a neuter for his/her, which causes problems! “Everyone has their own car.” Everyone is singular, but their is plural, so it is incorrect but there is no other way to do it? The inconsistencies of the English language is what really gets me. I don’t think it is the hardest, not that I could judge that, but it certainly annoys me!

  41. ha! ok… but it’s not the truth… we can speak fluent about age 10-11, not about 16… and every Enlish will say it’s hard cuz they have problems with pronuncuation with for example: ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, sz, cz, dz, dź, dż… and so on!
    For me the hardest are arabic and chinese.

  42. It’s rather stupid to say that polish is the hardest language (wtf?)

    The only difficult thing about polish is that it’s full of those stupid letters, people tend to get bored of them before they even get to the basics. Most people prefer beautiful languages that are rich in wovels. Polish isn’t one of them.

  43. @Said. First, it appears you can not speak any language as your English grammar is poor based on what you wrote in your post.

    Second, Polish has a Latin alphabet, with additional letters, however, this is the case with almost any language so your comments does not make any sense. You are just rambling and want to say something negative about Polish but can not form a coherent clear arguement to support your ideas about Polish, rather you choose just to rant and rave.

    Third, why would you say Polish is not beautiful? I think it is a very beautiful language, perhaps the most, it imitates the soft, suble sounds of nature rather than the nasal sounds of French or the droll inflections of Italian. See Western European languages have the reputation of beauty because of their proximity with the English speaking world, so they built up a reputation based on nothing more than hype, like “Britney Spears” (or Dota for Polish people). But for me Britney never was beautiful, infact I would say the average Polish girl you see on the tram is much more beautiful than Britney. So to base you ideas on what other people say “said” is not too bright. Because objectivity is the essence of intelligence and to base your belief or view of the world on what most people say is not objective. This is why we have the Pareto principle.

    So your comment was just nothing more than a manifistation of your own preconceived notions prejudices concerning the Polish language rather than a clear, crisp well organized argument based on objectivity. So if your rebuttal of why you think Polish is not the hardest language to learn or even why Polish is the hardest language to learn, makes sense next time I will give you more respect.

  44. does anyone knows if there is any other information about this subject in other languages?

  45. Ha ha. Do you think that Polish is hardest language to learn? You should try to learn Slovakian. The Slovak language is hardest language in the world.

  46. “The difficulty of learning a [second] language depends entirely upon your native language and the similarities between the two.”

    It does not depend entirely upon that. The reason why english aquired its world-language status rests more on the simplicity of its grammar than its similarity to other languages. All other european languages are very complicated compared to english. For a native english speaker, pretty much everything is complicated.

    Some of the most complicated languages are finnish, hungarian, russian mostly because of its multiple declensions.

    I find it amusing that there are so many people (especially native english native speakers) out there who claim to speak several languages. I guess their abilities only manifest themselves in the virtual world. 😉

  47. If you know someone from Poland. Ask him to read this 🙂

    Spadł bąk na strąk, a strąk na pąk. Pękł pąk, pękł strąk, a bąk się zląkł.

    W trzęsawisku trzeszczą trzciny, trzmiel trze w Trzciance trzy trzmieliny a trzy byczki znad Trzebyczki z trzaskiem trzepią trzy trzewiczki.

    Bzyczy bzyg znad Bzury zbzikowane bzdury, bzyczy bzdury, bzdurstwa bzdurzy i nad Bzurą w bzach bajdurzy, bzyczy bzdury, bzdurnie bzyka, bo zbzikował i ma bzika!

    Trzynastego, w Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz się zaczął tarzać w trzcinie.
    Wszczęli wrzask Szczebrzeszynianie: – Cóż ma znaczyć to tarzanie?!Wezwać trzeba by lekarza, zamiast brzmieć, ten chrząszcz się tarza! Wszak Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie, że w nim zawsze chrząszcz BRZMI w trzcinie!
    A chrząszcz odrzekł nie zmieszany:
    – Przyszedł wreszcie czas na zmiany! Drzewiej chrząszcze w trzcinie brzmiały, teraz będą się tarzały.

    Trzódka piegży drży na wietrze, chrzęszczą w zbożu skrzydła chrząszczy, wrzeszczy w deszczu cietrzew w swetrze drepcząc w kółko pośród gąszczy.

    Czesał czyżyk czarny koczek, czyszcząc w koczku każdy loczek, po czym przykrył koczek toczkiem, lecz część loczków wyszła boczkiem.

    Czarny dzięcioł z chęcią pień ciął.

    Turlał goryl po Urlach kolorowe korale, rudy góral kartofle tarł na tarce wytrwale, gdy spotkali się w Urlach góral tarł, goryl turlał chociaż sensu nie było w tym wcale.

    Hasał huczek z tłuczkiem wnuczka i niechcący huknął żuczka. ? Ale heca… – wnuczek mruknął i z hurkotem w hełm się stuknął. Leży żuczek, leży wnuczek, a pomiędzy nimi tłuczek. Stąd dla huczka jest nauczka by nie hasać z tłuczkiem wnuczka.

    W grząskich trzcinach i szuwarach kroczy jamnik w szarawarach, szarpie kłącza oczeretu i przytracza do beretu, ważkom pęki skrzypu wręcza, traszkom suchych trzcin naręcza, a gdy zmierzchać się zaczyna z jaszczurkami sprzeczkę wszczyna, po czym znika w oczerecie w szarawarach i berecie….

    Kurkiem kranu kręci kruk, kroplą tranu brudząc bruk, a przy kranie, robiąc pranie, królik gra na fortepianie.

    Za parkanem wśród kur na podwórku kroczył kruk w purpurowym kapturku,raptem strasznie zakrakał i zrobiła się draka, bo mu kura ukradła robaka.

    Mała muszka spod Łopuszki chciała mieć różowe nóżki – różdżką nóżki czarowała, lecz wciąż nóżki czarne miała.
    – Po cóż czary, moja muszko? Ruszże móżdżkiem, a nie różdżką! Wyrzuć wreszcie różdżkę wróżki i unurzaj w różu nóżki!

    Na peronie w Poroninie pchła pląsała po pianinie. Przytupnęła, podskoczyła i pianino przewróciła.

    W gąszczu szczawiu we Wrzeszczu klaszczą kleszcze na deszczu, szepcze szczygieł w szczelinie, szczeka szczeniak w Szczuczynie, piszczy pszczoła pod Pszczyną, świszcze świerszcz pod leszczyną, a trzy pliszki i liszka taszczą płaszcze w Szypliszkach.

    W krzakach rzekł do trznadla trznadel:
    – Możesz mi pożyczyć szpadel? Muszę nim przetrzebić chaszcze, bo w nich straszą straszne paszcze.
    Odrzekł na to drugi trznadel:
    – Niepotrzebny, trznadlu, szpadel! Gdy wytrzeszczysz oczy w chaszczach, z krzykiem pierzchnie każda, paszcza!

    Warzy żaba smar, pełen smaru gar, z wnętrza gara bucha para, z pieca bucha żar, smar jest w garze, gar na żarze, wrze na żarze smar




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