Which languages are the easiest to learn? This map will show you

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European languages are far less difficult while learning Japanese is a real challenge. But what even is Hungarian?

The more languages you speak, the more you are a human. This old proverb cannot be more true, but of course, some tongues are harder to learn than others.

Whether you prefer a real challenge or would just pick languages that are a piece of cake, you now have a great opportunity to choose what suits you. New maps created by a Reddit user Fummy reveal how hard it is for native English speakers to learn a particular foreign tongue.

French, Spanish or Italian are quite simple to learn while Hungarian and Finnish can challenge your brain — Fummy/RedditFrench, Spanish or Italian are quite simple to learn while Hungarian and Finnish can challenge your brain — Fummy / Reddit

The user made a ranking of the easiest and most difficult languages in the world, as well as in Europe, and placed them in two informative maps. The infographics reflect the information released by Foreign Service Institute (FSI), a State Department of the United States.

The FSI researched the data based on the experiences of US diplomats who took their language courses.

In the original study, FSI students had 25 hours of language courses per week and up to four hours for self-study per day. The difficulty of languages was assessed based on the length of time it takes to achieve adequate levels in spoken and written version of the language. Their findings are listed here.  

For European countries, Fummy divided the languages into five categories which correspond to the original division.

Category number one belongs to Romance languages, such as French, Portuguese or Spanish or even Romanian, mainly because they share a lot of Latin-based vocabulary with English. Certain Germanic tongues such as Norwegian, Swedish or Danish scored pretty well too.


With more than 88 weeks of intense learning Japanese is the hardest language for Americans — Fummy/RedditWith more than 88 weeks of intense learning required, Japanese is the hardest language for English speakers— Fummy / Reddit

With the period of 30 weeks needed to master the language, German belongs to category number two. Slavic languages such as Russian, Polish, Serbian or Czech would require 44  weeks whereas Hungarian and Finnish, the linguistic aliens to the old continent, would take you even more.  

Stay away from Japanese if you want to remain sane

In the worldwide comparison, one thing is the most obvious. For English speakers, Japanese is the hardest language on the planet.

According to the study, it would take you more than 88 weeks of intensive studying to be able to communicate appropriately in Japanese which requires an awful lot of dedication.

Chinese (Mandarine and Kanton) and Arabic are just one step less complicated as it lasts 88 weeks to pick them up, leaving the region of South East Asia equipped with the most straightforward language to learn in whole Asia.

Another Reddit user, mucow, explained that Indonesian is easier to learn because of simplification.

The second easiest group of languages in Asia belongs to Russian and Indian languages.