Since Evans on Marketing began in 2012, we have presented nearly 2,500 posts. Embracing the 18 categories shown on the right side of this page. Interestingly,  our most popular post appeared more than six years ago. On the topic of the toughest languages for English speakers to pick up. Thus, we now present toughest languages to learn – revisited.


For English Speakers: Toughest Languages to Learn – Revisited

In this discussion, we offer several sources. Encompassing two videos and two infographics. [Note: While the data reported by these sources are similar, there are small variations.] 

Video Overview of Learning a Language

Both of these video clips are extracted from YouTube.


Amount of Time to Learn a Language

As   reports for Clozemaster:

So, you want to learn a new language, but what exactly does that mean? Do you want to be able to get around in a new country for a week or two? Do you need to be able to talk with new friends or family members in their native languages? Or are you required to master a language enough to work full time in a foreign country? Each of these is a different level of language learning, and each takes a different amount of time to master.

Each of these is a different level of language learning, and each takes a different amount of time to master. The US Government describes the different levels of language learning in their Interagency Language Roundtable scale (IRL). This scale rates a person’s language abilities on a score of 0 to 5. A zero means they have absolutely no understanding of the language, while a score of five means someone is native or bilingual. The scale grades on multiple criteria, such as speaking, writing, listening, and reading. On the IRL scale, it is possible to be proficient in one category while only elementary in another.

When it comes to the specific hours needed to reach fluency, using the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) difficulty rankings are essential. They rank languages based on difficulty and list the exact hours needed to learn them. Their table rankings are shown below. [Remember, this table indicates the time needed to become fluent.]

Toughest Languages to Learn - Revisited


The chart below from Open Culture contains a more visual view, with data from the U.S. Foreign Service.

Toughest Languages to Learn - Revisited


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