Is Finnish the hardest language in the world?

– Suomi, maailman vaikein kieli –

Linguists and language enthusiasts have been collecting a list of the hardest languages. As finnish speakers, or learners we can congratulate ourselves! Finnish belongs to the hardest language in the world-club!

In the United States, The Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Studies ranks languages according to their difficulty. This way it is easy to find the hardest language in the world.

And they do it in a clever way, by measuring the average length of time for a student to achieve proficiency. So basically how many class hours you would have to spend to master the language. This gives us a nice overview of comparing different languages.

Category 1 is the easiest, and from there it gets hards. Check the tables below and be amazed!

And by the way, if you are struggling with your Finnish skills, book a private tutoring! We would be happy to help you with all the tools and techniques we have in store.

So here it goes, the hardest languages in the world:

Category I Languages: 24-30 weeks (600-750 class hours)

Danish (24 weeks) Dutch (24 weeks) French (30 weeks)
Italian (24 weeks) Norwegian (24 weeks) Portuguese (24 weeks)
Romanian (24 weeks) Spanish (24 weeks) Swedish (24 weeks)

Category II Languages: Approximately 36 weeks (900 class hours)

German Haitian Creole Indonesian
Malay Swahili

Category III Languages: Approximately 44 weeks (1100 class hours)

“Hard languages” – Languages with significant linguistic and/or cultural differences from English. This list is not exhaustive.

Albanian Amharic Armenian
Azerbaijani Bengali Bulgarian
Burmese Czech Dari
Estonian Farsi Finnish
Georgian Greek Hausa
Hebrew Hindi Hungarian
Icelandic Kazakh Khmer
Kurdish Kyrgyz Lao
Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian
Mongolian Nepali Polish
Russian Serbo-Croatian Sinhala
Slovak Slovenian Somali
Tagalog Tajiki Tamil
Telugu Thai Tibetan
Turkish Turkmen Ukrainian
Urdu Uzbek Vietnamese

Category IV Languages: 88 weeks (2200 class hours)

“Super-hard languages” – Languages which are exceptionally difficult for native English speakers.

Arabic Chinese – Cantonese Chinese – Mandarin
Japanese Korean

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