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Have you ever thought about learning a new language and how long it might take. Or have you ever wondered what the hardest language is to learn? Even though ever one has their own pace of learning and adapting, there is still a general sense that some languages are more difficult to learn and understand than others. 

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has ranked several languages around the world by how long it will take English speakers to learn them and to expand their proficiency in another tongue. 

Redditor Fummy also shared a map which displays this data in part of Europe. The language map spans from Portugal to Ukraine, and the difficulty rankings run the gamut from Category I (about 24 weeks of instruction) to Category IV (about 44 weeks of instruction). 

According to the data, if you plan n taking on a new language why not try with one of the easier languages to learn such as Dutch, French or Spanish, which will take you less than a year to grasp. Some of the tougher languages that are definitely a challenge is for example Hungarian or Japanese. It will take you about 44 weeks to learn Hungarian as it’s considered a language “with significant linguistic and cultural differences from English.”

See the full list of languages and durations provided by the FSI’s.

Some of the easier languages to learn takes 23 to 24 weeks  (575-600 HOURS) and include: 

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

Learning German will take you 30 weeks to learn (750 HOURS)

Other languages such as Indonesian, Malaysian and Swahili will take you 36 weeks (900 HOURS) to learn.

The following languages takes up to 44 weeks (1100 HOURS) to grasp:

  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Armenian
  • Azerbaijani
  • Bengali
  • Bosnian
  • Bulgarian
  • Burmese
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • *Estonian
  • *Finnish
  • *Georgian
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • *Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Khmer
  • Lao
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian
  • *Mongolian
  • Nepali
  • Pashto
  • Persian (Dari, Farsi, Tajik)
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Sinhala
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Tagalog
  • *Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Uzbek
  • *Vietnamese
  • Xhosa
  • Zulu

Some of the hardest languages will take you 88 weeks to learn (2200 HOURS) and includes:

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese (Chinese)
  • Mandarin (Chinese)
  • *Japanese
  • Korean

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