Thursday, July 9, 2015

Korean Is One of the Hardest Languages to Learn (for native English speakers)

According to a research that was compiled by The Foreign Service Institute of U.S. Department of State, for native English speakers Korean language is one of the hardest languages to learn. The infographic below is the result.

the Group of Easy languages to learn

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In the group of easy languages, there are Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Norwegian, and Romanian. Since those languages are closely related to English, learning takes only 24 weeks(or 600 class hours).

the Group of Easy languages to learn

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In the group of medium languages, there are Hindi, Thai, Russian, Serbian, Vietnamese, Greek, Turkish, Hebrew, Polish, and Finnish. Since those languages have only significant differences from English, learning takes under 44 weeks(or 1,100 class hours).

the Group of Easy languages to learn

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In the group of hard languages, there are Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. They use their own characters and grammatical rules are totally different. So the time that is spent to learn those languages is twice longer than languages in the medium group. It takes under 88 weeks(or 1.69 years or 1,100 class hours). And there are reasons why those languages are difficult:

Arabic : Arabic has very few words that resemble those of European languages. written Arabic also uses fewer vowels, which can be difficult for those learning to read the language.

Chinese : Chinese is a tonal language, in which meaning changes as you change the tone of a word. Plus, thousands of characters and a complex writing system make learning Chinese a formidable task.

Japanese : Like Chinese, Japanese language learners need to memorize thousands of characters. Three different writing systems and two syllabary systems add to the language's difficulty.

Korean : Different sentence structure, syntax, and verb conjugations make learning Korean difficult for native English speakers. written Korean also relies on many Chinese characters.

* Click to read a related post
The Differences Between English and Korean
Top 11 Tips for Learning Korean

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