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https://www.duolingo.com/Nick447035

Rank every language you have practiced from easiest to hardest

This is just for fun, if you haven't practiced a language enough, don't worry too much about it. I don't expect this topic to be rocket science by any means, just post the order that you you think it is based on what you think or already know. It doesn't have to be on Duolingo by the way...I sometimes practice languages outside of Duolingo and I'm sure a lot of you do as well.

Esperanto- This one's a no brainer. I admit that I haven't really looked into it all that much, but from what I've seen, it's incredibly simple.

Italian- I practiced this way back in high school, so I am a bit biased here, but I have to say that it just really doesn't seem that bad objectively. Once you get essere and avere, and memorize the articles and the masculine/feminine, you're pretty much past the hard part. I'm still struggling with it now because it's the first foreign language that I really have a good grip on, but compared to every other language I messed around with, Italian definitely seems the easiest other than Esperanto.

German- I actually find German easier than French, which is probably an unpopular opinion. English has a lot of ties with German, just as much as it does to the romance languages. I find the spelling and pronunciation to be really hard in German, but reading it to understand what is being said seems pretty easy actually. German flows in a similar way to English. Maybe it's because I haven't quite hit the hard stuff yet, but I find German is much easier to jump into than French.

French- I don't know what it is, but I find French to be pretty tough. It is written and spoken differently, and I just can't make that connection between hearing it being said and writing it, it just sounds like a mess to me. I feel like it does get easier as you go on whereas German probably gets harder, but for right now, I'm putting French as harder than German.

Russian- Yeah...this is insane. I messed with it for a while, but...I need to learn other languages first before I even think about tackling Russian. This is just on another level.

1 year ago

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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With some subjectivity based on the order in which I learned them:

  • Spanish / Italian
  • Portuguese / Catalan — a touch harder than Italian, I think, simply b/c they're so close to Spanish it's hard to really get them refined on their own terms; of course if I'd happened to learn either of these first, that language and Spanish would be switching spots
  • French — pronunciation/spelling would seem to place it a touch above the other Romance languages in difficulty, as others have mentioned
  • Latin — having studied Russian previously I didn't have so many problems with the cases, but there's more than one stem to memorize for verbs, which is a special pain; and many more cognates turn out to be false friends b/c of the longer time for meanings to change
  • Guaraní — no cases and quite regular, but with unfamiliar rules; most tenses/moods formed with non-varying suffixes, so fairly simple conjugations; unfamiliar vocab, but reasonably simple pronunciation and lots of loans from Spanish in higher vocab registers
  • Hungarian — sort of speculatingly putting it before Russian mostly because it seems like the vocabulary sticks somewhat more easily, and on any path to fluency in a language without much common vocab stock, a lot of the overall time is going to be spent on vocabulary
  • Russian — at this point in my learning, I'm pretty good with the grammar, but there are just a lot of words to learn, and so many of them are so unfamiliar, and long
  • Georgian — just barely getting started here; the declensions are fairly simple, but, oh my, those verb conjugations; unfamiliar vocab burden amplified by long words and complicated, unfamiliar clusters of consonants
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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Interesting.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Festino_Lente
Festino_Lente
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Where would you place Swahili and Dutch?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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For me, for now, Dutch would go between Latin and Guaraní (closer to the former than the later undoubtedly). This learning another Germanic language business is new territory yet. Swahili would have to be somewhere around Guaraní.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Festino_Lente
Festino_Lente
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I see, thanks for adding them :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ledo.
Ledo.
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Hi Language learners,

From the easiest to the hardest:

  1. English - It is simple to create sentences & the grammar is not so complex.

  2. German - The grammar is complex although it is easy to create sentences based on the grammatic rules.

  3. Italian - Lovely language with difficulties due to the verbs and their different forms.

  4. French - Relatively hard language due to the pronuncation and the verbs.

  5. Russian - Letters are easy to learn but the logic of the language is so different than the other languages I speak - The hardest one for me.

All the best,

Ledo

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lea.1717
Lea.1717
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I haven't had a lot of experience, but:

1- Esperanto. Duh

2- Norwegian. Of course, the dialects make everything more complicated, but written Bokmål and spoken Oslo dialect are relatively easy to learn and understand.

3- ... French? I had two years in school a few years ago but I don't remember having big problems with it.

4- Chinese! Yes, the characters can be frustrating, and the tones too at first, but the grammar is very simple at its earliest stages. And the tones actually help.

5- Spanish. Ah... Spanish.... I'm a native PT speaker, so at first it was very confusing for me, but I think I'm learning to speak it bit by bit. It would have been impossible without an actual teacher. Especially since I could already understand 90% of the language before learning it.

6- German. Cases.

7- Russian. AHAHAHAHA


edit: Oh, I forgot to mention English... i don't really know cause I started learning it at a young age...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bill147479
Bill147479
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Easiest to Hardest: French (studying at school), Portuguese and Spanish (learnt Portuguese before Spanish which makes learning Spanish easier), German (slightly harder than Spanish and Portuguese), Russian (A LOT harder than German)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LupoMikti
LupoMikti
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Hmm, I like this idea. I think I have too many to actually compile a good list since I haven't touched languages like Irish or Turkish in a long time (I do plan to finish them eventually, but I've had to readjust my priorities since then). So I'll rank only these: German, Spanish, Dutch, Esperanto, Romanian, [The other romance languages I've tried], [The Slavic languages I've tried], [The Scandinavian languages I've tried], and Vietnamese.

  • The easiest for me so far is definitely Esperanto. I mean, when the language is designed to be easy to learn it's kinda hard to make it difficult for myself, especially with so much romance and germanic vocabulary.

  • After that I'd day Spanish is the next easiest for me. I can chalk this up to having had 4 years of it in high school before discovering Duolingo and the fact that I live in a part of the US with lots of Spanish speakers. I was basically exposed to Spanish for as long as I can remember.

  • Next are the other romance languages I've tried (excluding Romanian), those being Italian and Portuguese. They both share some similarities with Spanish so that makes things a bit easier. It's more a matter of learning the differing words and how the languages use them differently than learning an entire language from scratch.

  • Next is German, and that's really just because I've been studying it for going on 2 years now. I would have put Dutch here, but the pronunciation of Dutch and its differences compared to German actually make it more difficult for me. So Dutch is right after German.

  • After German and Dutch come the Scandinavian languages I've tried [Swedish, Norwegian (Bokmål), and Danish]. They were different enough from the West Germanic languages that it gave me some trouble. But I could tell that with some diligence I would catch on fairly well.

  • Next is Romanian. Even though it's a romance language, because of its Slavic influence, it's significantly more difficult for me to learn. I feel like I don't have any footholds in the language. Any romance derived vocabulary doesn't really look similar to other romance languages (except maybe in the verbs) and since I don't know any Slavic languages well, the Slavic vocabulary is just plain difficult. And this isn't even mentioning pronunciation!

  • Which brings me to... the Slavic languages! [Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish so far]. They're just all around hard. Seriously. It's going to take me a lot of time focusing just on these before I learn even one of them. I can't pick out anything in particular, I just didn't enjoy my time learning them.

  • And wrapping up this list is Vietnamese! This I consider the most difficult because it introduced the greatest amount of new material grammar-wise to me. I was completely lost on what I was doing and simply came to the conclusion that I was not ready for this language yet.

And that's it! Wish I could rank Turkish, Hungarian, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Greek, Swahili, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Korean, but I haven't studied any of those in enough capacity to rank their difficulty.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.Gregor
E.T.Gregor
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As a German native speaker, my ranking would be (easiest to hardest):

Swedish (extremely similar, very easy grammar), English (made a bit harder by its orthography), Dutch (easy to learn, but speaking idiomatic Dutch is harder), Danish (while extremely similar to Swedish, I struggle with the pronunciation), Spanish (easiest of the Romance languages in my opinion, due to very regular orthography and grammar), Italian/Portuguese (really can't decide which one's harder), French (orthography again...), Latin (probably at least partially because I wasn't actually interested in it), Russian (grammar, mainly), Czech (less regular than Russian as far as I can tell at this point), Hebrew (I still struggle with reading especially, but I actually really like the system of verbs), Hungarian (grammar again), Japanese (a lot of the structure is actually easier than you might think, but it's just so extremely different).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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51 natural languages from easiest to most difficult:

Esperanto, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, Afrikaans, Swahili, Indonesian, English, Danish, German, Dutch, Icelandic, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, Romanian, Croatian, Slovenian, Greek, Albanian, Hungarian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Macedonian, Bosnian, Hindi, Urdu, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Malay, Vietnamese, Thai, Ukrainian, Polish, Bulgarian, Czech, Belarusian, Russian,Georgian, Pashto, Dari, Persian, Armenian, Arabic, Hebrew

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HexManiacSarina

It's interesting that you put Japanese as easier than Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai. It makes me feel better about learning it instead of others.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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According to my current knowledge:

It is based on my experience with the Japanese Hiragana course I started now in DuoLingo. That looks quite simple at this moment. 46 possibilities to combine.

https://quizlet.com/113091624/japanese-by-knud-van-eeden-flash-cards/

In Chinese you have thus the 4 tone system which makes it more complicated. More than 3000 possibilities to combine.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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Q. Language: Natural: Chinese: Pinyin: What is

Pinyin is a phonetic system for Mandarin Chinese (typically tables).

Each Chinese character has 3 parts:

  1. -Initial (optional). Totally 21 initials.

  2. -Final (always). Totally 39 finals.

  3. -Tone (_ or ' or v or ). Totally 4 tones. E.g. ba_ (means the digit 8), ba' (means to pull), bv (means target) and b (means father) mean all different things.

Thus totally maximally 21 * 39 * 4 = 3276 possibilities for tone, initial and final.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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Q. What is Japanese Hiragana?

A.

So having totally 46 Hiragana (single) characters to know.

http://japaneseup.com/hiragana-chart/

Then you build words (by concatenating one or more of that single Hiragana characters) using that. E.g. the word 'one', the word 'two', the word 'three', ...

http://japaneseup.com/what-is-hiragana/

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/njguliyev
njguliyev
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Azerbaijani is so much difficult than Turkish? And more difficult than Japanese and Chinese? Are you joking? :-D The only "difficult" feature of Azerbaijani (with respect to Turkish) may seem the extra letter Əə, but the corresponding sound exists in many languages. However it is even more phonetic and more regular than Turkish. For example, there are no exceptions at all in Azerbaijani vowel harmony.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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OK, I will put Azerbaijani before Turkish. Thanks.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HexManiacSarina

Mandarin (Verbal only)- Simple words, no conjugation, simple grammar. Tones were my only real issue, and the writing system if I learned more of it.

Japanese- No tones, regular grammar for the most part (except for like three verbs), easy/few(ish) conjugations, simple pronunciation. Difficult writing system, speak fast, many levels of formality.

Korean- (Not much experience in this yet but) no tones, easy writing system, mostly regular grammar. Hard parts are conjugation based on ending sound, conjugated tenses, many levels of formality, confusing particles (apparently there have been research papers on when to use ga/i and eun/neun), similar-sounding vowels and consonants with different letters, some contractions and other changes in sounds/spelling (basically need to hear every word to know how it's pronounced or see them spelled, can change from proper rules. Ex: Bo-ayo, said/written as "Bwa-yo".)

Spanish- ...So fast, so many irregularities, stem changes, different past tenses, prominent use of subjunctive mood, "false friends" (words that sound similar or same as English ones but have different meanings).

I'd like to learn both Japanese and Korean eventually but... so similar but so different, right now focusing Japanese, though was focusing Korean before. Feels like they're almost equally hard, just depends on what kind of battle one wants to put up, one against grammar, reading, pronunciation, listening, etc.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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Interesting.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lars1o2
Lars1o2
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My native language is Dutch.

  • The easiest for me was - like for many others here - Esperanto. After studying it here on Duolingo for just a few months, I could already have a decent conversation, I think that says enough doesn't it?

  • Norwegian definitely comes second. Probably because of its similarity to Dutch, but also because I have already been learning it a bit since my first holiday to Norway which was when I was 10 years old (Only started to learn it seriously two years ago, though). That was also how my interest for this language started.

  • Despite its tricky grammar, I've learned German quite effortlessly. I think this is mainly due to the vocabulary which is extremely similar to my native language.

  • I've started learning English at quite a young age, and although I'd consider myself a highly intermediate speaker, I still sometimes have some troubles with it. I wouldn't say it's hard for me, but I also wouldn't say that I learnt it without any problems.

  • Italian was the second Romance language that I've learned, and I think that was a big advantage. I found it easier than French, which was probably because I was already used to another Romance language.

  • Speaking about French, that was my first Romance language. I've learned it in school and I remember the first two years being a total disaster and I had to put a lot of effort to get some good grades. I had (and still have) a big love for the language though, which made me determinated to learn further, and I can now speak it fairly well (B2 level).

  • Czech is the latest language I've started learning, and it's my first Slavic language. I absolutely love it, but damn, it's hard. Strč prst skrz krk!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LordofDisorder
LordofDisorder
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(For the sake of sanity, I'm only listing languages I've studied pretty seriously)

  1. Spanish - My L2, my first love, several years of primary education. Ah memories. Something about the grammar is just easy for me to grasp. Even the peculiar things and irregularities are fairly regular once you're exposed to the pattern enough, or at least it feels that way to me.

  2. Latin - After doing some pretty intense Spanish and German, basic Latin seemed kind of like a breeze. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  3. French - French is still murder on my brain somehow. I keep wanting to think it's Spanish and it's not Spanish and the grammar is just. Odd. Negation and gender and word order are just...weird.

  4. German - Still can't figure out the order words go in, still don't really know all those giant compound words for everyday items, knowing when I'm supposed to use Dative instead of Accusative doesn't always work out. I can't get a decent accent out without sounding like an effeminate Bond villain for some reason, but I can work with it. And it's one of my heritage languages so I love it anyways.

  5. Chinese - I admittedly didn't retain a lot of what I learned because I didn't stay on it for very long, and I can't read much to save my life, but really the hardest part of learning it was getting my mindset wired up properly for the grammar, which for me happened after about twenty minutes or so of working with the language. Aside from the crazy writing system (and I learned with pinyin aside the han), the grammar isn't that bad, it's just not Western. Word order is mostly straightforward, measure words can be tricky, but other than that, it just seems like any other language I've studied with different frills. All in all, wasn't that bad.

  6. Irish - My other heritage language, the one I adore and also despise. I can't spell any of it. I can't say a lot of it. When I hear it, I have no idea where the spaces in the words are but sometimes it's just one giant word. The verb is at the front and there's fifteen letters in every word and plurals are HUGE and I don't understand why. I can't remember what it's called at the moment, but there's a quality of language that is either the inclination towards saying things literally and efficiently, or using long-winded figures of speech to say something you have a normal word for. Most languages opt for efficiency, but Irish goes the OTHER WAY. Like. Friend. Help me. Please I love you but. Please.

  7. Quenya - I love Quenya more than most of my family members but for the love of all that is good in the Universe, there's so much to remember. There are so many cases and tenses and endings that go on everything and formulas for things and the pronouns are usually attached to the ends of verbs, which sounds like conjugation, but don't you DARE treat that as conjugation or you will be in for a world of pain and suffering, I promise you. AND there's a lot of the grammar that no one even knows how to work because Tolkien wouldn't make up his mind (and also all his papers aren't published yet) so it's just. Really. Hard. The mental energy that goes into writing a sentence is more than I've needed to read books in other languages. It's intense and I highly recommend it if you hate having fun while you're having fun.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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and I highly recommend it if you hate having fun while you're having fun.

I think you get the award for best one-liner of this thread! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lstrzelak

Easiest to hardest: English, Spanish, Polish (harder than Spanish but I started speaking it to people so that's how I learned. I'm also fluent so.), German (I put it before French because so far German has been pretty simple for me) and then French. I just cannot speak French. I won't give up on it but I can't seem to get my head around it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dante932356

Easiest to hardest: Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Polish, Punjabi.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeptimusBones
SeptimusBones
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I'm not going to count English here, because honestly I can't remember how easy or difficult it was at a beginner level anymore. But otherwise, just based on feels and whatnot:

Esperanto, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, French, Italian, Welsh, German, Greek, Polish, Russian.

Not counting Swahili either, because I've barely done anything. I'm also interested to see where Japanese will go here, when I eventually start actually studying instead of just learning through exposure.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Borbotrincess
Borbotrincess
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Spanish native here. Easiest to hardest, as objective as I can be: English, Farsi, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German. In my experience: Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, French, Farsi, German. These are languages that I either speak fluently or at survival level, or studied seriously for at least 4 months.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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  • Dutch (but I've only done 13 of the skills so far)
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Malay
  • French
  • German
  • BSL
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Polish
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissCamden
MissCamden
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hi guys, french native here

  1. english: there's nothing easy about english per se but it will always be my smoothest language learning experience. high proficiency level reached without struggling at any point. a feat i've been unable to replicate with other languages.

  2. spanish: learned that one on my own twenty years ago, the hard way. just a good old grammar book, a spanish textbook, a dictionary and some audio tapes!

  3. swedish: a very smooth duo experience, even though i currently cannot be bothered to finish the tree.

  4. german: i have a love/hate relationship with this language. its grammar will always trip me up but when i read it? i forget about grammar rules and just appreciate its elegance. german syntax is a thing of beauty.

  5. korean: fav language learning struggle so far.

  6. russian: i ragequit russian a few weeks ago and deleted my lv.12 tree. i've just started again with lowered expectations and a better understanding of what this is going to take. (years, it's going to take years. and i may never reach the reading proficiency level i am aiming for)

  7. hebrew: i deleted my lv.9 hebrew tree. i find this language quite magical and will get back to it when i can give it the proper focus it deserves.

  8. esperanto: look at me being an outlier, lol! basically, my brain decided this soulless robot language was our archnemesis five minutes into learning it. (no offense to the wonderful esperanto community. you guys are obviously the soul of esperanto. i just hate your language with a passion)

  9. latin: i have attempted and failed to learn latin a ridiculous number of times.

  10. guarani: what. even. is. this. language?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
Thomas.Heiss
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http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/

You can sort the list by difficulty.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KierstenEm

Well if I had to say...

~English- this is one of the easiest for me because i was born in Europe but i have moved to america when i was 3 so learning English came fast. ~American Sign Language 'ASL'- now some of you guys on here are probably going to say that this does not meet the requirements for the "languages" but it is a language. I have been learning sign language for almost 2 years. It is the second easiest ~French- now this language i am learning now in school so im not that good but it has been pretty easy so far. ~German- i have officially decided to stop trying at this point it is so freaking hard!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Espiraden

Easiest To Hardest:

Esperanto

*German

Spanish

*Danish

*Vietnamese

Japanese

Korean

Russian

Chinese

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DJ_CharlieBLUE

Frenglish Spanglish Germanglish Japanglish Korenglish Englese Danglish Russianglish

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pigeonesque

I was raised to speak both English and French from birth, so I couldn't say which of those two has been easiest. However, of the other languages I've tried so far (German, Spanish, Italian, Welsh, and Finnish), I'm realizing that their relative ease/difficulty for me (German, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Welsh) (at least so far) nearly exactly matches the order in which I first began to learn them. I'm not nearly far enough into Finnish to make an educated judgement though, so I may well end up hitting a wall of utter confusion with Finnish grammar/sentence structure and ultimately find it the most difficult. This actually seems very likely, going by what I've read around the web.

Going by the matching order of the first three (and having done an equal amount of Spanish and Italian lessons), I'm thinking that my age when first introduced to them has been as much a factor in their perceived difficulty as has been their linguistic proximity to English/French.

1 year ago