Which Languages Are Hardest to Learn? This Infographic Has Your Answer


Just in case you’re thinking of taking up a second language soon, language-learning website Voxy put together this handy infographic breaking down which languages are hardest for English speakers to learn.


Compiled using information from multiple sources, including the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State, the infographic breaks down the amount of time it generally takes English speakers to pick up foreign languages.

You can see a bigger version here.

According to the data, most western European languages are classified as easy to learn – with English speakers estimated to achieve proficiency in around 600 class hours (or 24 weeks).

Russian, Hindi, Thai, Polish and Greek, on the other hand, take around 44 weeks to learn, while the hardest languages, which include Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Arabic, can take more than a year and a half to reach proficiency in.

But even though it can be hard work, science has shown that learning a second language at any age slows down mental decline, and scientists have also worked out exactly how it changes your brain.

What are you waiting for?

An earlier version of this article was published December 2017.


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