Is English the Hardest Language to Learn?

Is English the Hardest Language to Learn

By many accounts, English is one of the hardest languages to learn for many reasons. However, other people say there is no such thing as a hard language to learn. They insist that it is a matter of time and perseverance, where some languages simply take longer than other languages to learn. Whatever your stance, English can be a hard language to learn for many reasons.

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What Makes English Different?

English can be very difficult for someone to grasp, even if they have been learning the language for many years. Think of the research papers you had to write in high school and how difficult they were. Imagine if you hadn’t been taught English; they would have been much more difficult to write.

The main reason English is difficult is because the words were taken from many different languages. There are words from Greek, French, Latin, and other languages. Since the words are from all over the place, there aren’t really that many rules that run across the board in English. There are rules you learned for words in school, but then you would also always learn the exception.

Another thing that stems from this is spelling. There are many vocabulary words in the language, more than most languages in fact, and they don’t follow specific rules either, for the most part.

Even though the rules are constantly being broken, there are still a lot of them. This can lead to learners having trouble understanding things like contractions or articles. Unlike other languages, there’s no way to determine if a noun is male or female, which doesn’t help you know how to pronounce it or spell it. The adjective noun relationship is also different than in other languages, with no clear reason as to why. For instance, in Spanish you may say casa grande while in English, you would say big house.

The most confusing aspect for some is the pronunciation. There are words that look the same but are pronounced in a different way. Think of sentences like “I read books” or “I’ve read through the newspaper.” It is hard to know how to pronounce either sentence at first, even for someone that is fluent in English.

There’s also a lot of slang in the English language that is used rather frequently, especially among the millennial generation. This can be especially difficult to understand for someone that isn’t familiar with English and more so if they aren’t exposed to people that use colloquial words around them. Pop culture dictates many of the words in English, so it is constantly evolving.

Additionally, there are different dialects of English, such as British English, which is different even from the English spoken in Australia and other countries. There are many similarities of course, but the vocabulary and spelling is often quite different.

Overall, the language is quite complex and full of rules, and there are many words that look and sound alike. It is no wonder that people who didn’t grow up speaking English become quite confused when trying to learn this language.

Secrets to Learning English

Many experts agree that the key to learning English is to stick with it. It could take many weeks, even years to master it enough to be able to speak it and write it, but it can be done. A great way to do it is to immerse yourself in American culture. Watch television shows, movies, and read books that are American, so you can get a better understanding of how people talk.

Another approach you can take is to take computer lessons. This consists of programs that you use on computers or smart phones, which teach you vocabulary, conjugation, and phrases, to help you become fluent in no time. They are often designed to be fun, and can be used any time, day or night. Usually, quizzes can help you know what you retained and there are sometimes fun games included. A good resource for this type of program can be found at It can help you learn English, or a host of other languages you may be interested in.

Another thing you can do is have a conversation with someone who speaks English. Engaging with someone that knows the language you are learning or want to learn, can help you practice and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

What is the Hardest Language?

It is commonly thought that Mandarin Chinese is the hardest language to learn. This is because the written language is comprised of characters, and not letters. Furthermore, the spoken language depends heavily on the tone of a word because a tiny change in tone can make a huge difference in what word you have spoken. There are also many different dialects of Mandarin, due to the fact that is spoken by about 1 billion people.


The truth is that English isn’t the hardest language to learn, but it is one of the toughest. There are complicated concepts to learn regarding spelling, pronunciation, and usage, and it can be even harder to learn how to write the language.

Besides that, English is old and new. There are some words that are still in use today that are from hundreds of years ago, as well as terms that have just been added, like “selfie.” The good news is, English is spoken in many countries all over the world, so there is a good chance you can not only be exposed to it, but also find a tutor or class to take in your area.

If you don’t have access to either, there are also other resources you can take advantage of, such as language learning programs and websites. One of the most beneficial is Rocket Languages. You may also spend your time writing down English terms and practicing them, or learning the English equivalent for items in your house. This can lead you to start thinking in English, and you will be able to pick some of it up faster. The key is to stick with it and keep trying.

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