https://www.duolingo.com/wildwm

Duolingo Languages: Which is the hardest?

wildwm
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Hi, out of curiosity I would like to know "Which of the six languages that Duolingo offers (as of now) is the hardest for a native English speaker to learn?". I started doing Spanish and the grammar is a hell of a lot easier than German.

4 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Out of the languages that Duolingo currently teaches through English, German will take the longest to learn if you are a native English speaker, according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State. Of course, not everyone agrees with these numbers, but here they are nonetheless.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:Language_Learning_Difficulty_for_English_Speakers

In the end though, don't pick a language simply because it's easy, pick it because because you like it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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Funny they foresee the same amount of time for French and Spanish. I've heard many people say French is harder than the other 3 (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

I have heard that too, but I have also heard the reverse. In the end, that is all just anecdotal evidence. Some people have an easier time with certain language as opposed to other languages. Also, French may very well be ranked by the FSI as taking more time than Spanish, but it would only be a slight difference as the first group only has a range of 25 hours.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rayslegend
rayslegend
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I don't know if it's because I learned spanish as a child/teenager or what but I find spanish to be the most "formulaic" language. Yes, there are genders but basically everything that ends in "a" is feminine and everything else is masculine. Adjectives are changed in a predictable way to agree in gender/number (-o to -a or -os or -as). There are no declensions, making something plural just involves adding an -s, words are relatively easy to sound out... I can go on and on. The languages that I have started to learn lately (French/German) are very unpredictable. In German there are multiple ways to make things plural and I still can't find a good rule on which plural form goes to which types of words. Some French adjectives are strange beau--> belle/ heureux--> heureuse and the amount of silent letters is just ridiculous. Luckily spanish has more speakers than either of those languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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There was a discussion about this, and I think the duolinguers thought German was the hardest and Spanish was the easiest. In the end, it actually depends on what is your native language, and English is actually a Germanic language which I find very interesting.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
SD-77
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I agree.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cloudhorizon

Honestly, I think a lot of the difficulty or ease in learning a language depends on what you want and if you're motivated to learn the language. I used to think that German was relatively easy (English is my native language) because all the little details about grammar were negligible compared to how big my motivation was to learn it. But after a series of personal events, my interest shifted from German to Portuguese, and now, after some time, I find German harder to get into and grasp. It was the same with Spanish. Even though Portuguese and Spanish are similar, I only started finding it easier to understand and pick up Spanish only after I decided that I wanted to learn it.

Of course, technicalities like grammar and sentence structure still exist, but I think they play only a small factor. Of course, different people have different ways of learning a language. But I myself am someone greatly affected by feelings of want or being excited about whatever it is I'm doing. :p

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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Though I do agree your perception of what hard is varies a lot depending on your motivation, you gotta admit German is harder by it's structure and vocabulary and it will take you more time :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/huangwz
huangwz
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Hi, if comparing with the currently languages I'm learning now, i feel that Spanish is easier than french. Spanish: the pronociation is what it's written there whereas French is not. French pronunciation is way harder than Spanish; I feel that French grammar is harder than Spanish. Sometimes I just use the help of Spanish to learn my french as Spanish is more closer to French than English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

Spanish is the most polished language on duolingo, since most people use it. So it would be easier to learn since there are fewer mistakes and more answers to grammar questions.

Also, the robot voice is supposedly better in spanish, portoguese and possibly german. but pretty bad in italian and french(?)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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The robot voice is no good in German... It's ok in Spanish and English

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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When I was at school Spanish was regarded as the soft option and those who were doing badly at French were nudged towards Spanish instead for public exams. And German was regarded as harder, for better linguists, but for some people it seems to work the other way around. I think it does depend to some degree on how your mind works. And, of course, where you're starting from. If you know one Romance language, that probably makes the next one easier.

4 years ago
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