Experience the local culture on holiday is of course what you want to do as a tourist. Read a menu, order a drink or say hello to someone. Simple things you would like to master when you go on vacation. You pick this up quickly in European countries. Nevertheless, there are some countries where understanding and speaking the language is very difficult. In many countries, you can handle poor English reasonably well. Yet there are many countries where you are not heard with poor English because they don’t speak it. On this page, we would like to introduce you to the most difficult languages in the world.
What is the hardest language in the world?
There is no one specific language that is the most difficult in the world. It depends on where you come from. For example, Germans will master the Austrian language more easily and quickly than English. The same applies to Dutch people who speak the Belgian language more quickly. It is generally said that Arabic is one of the most difficult languages in the world for English speakers in particular. Most letters in Arabic have four different shapes. The correct letter depends on where the letter is in the word. Yet there are many more languages that are generally difficult to learn.
In China the inhabitants speak about ten languages. It is not for nothing that it is also called the realm of a thousand languages. The Chinese language has all dialects, which has resulted in different languages. The most used language is Mandarin with 850 million speakers. This is therefore seen as the mother and official language of the country. Yet the languages Wu with 80 million speakers, Min with 70 million speakers and Cantonese with 67 million speakers are also common languages in China. Would you like to speak Mandarin? Generally they say that after five years you can read a newspaper in China. You have to learn intensively on a daily basis. You need about 2300 hours to be able to master the language somewhat. It is of course very cool to read the newspaper in China or to unravel the menu.
Japan is not far from China. In Japan also have a language that is very difficult to learn for European. Children from Japan must also first learn thousands of characters to write a sentence. This language also has three different writing systems, which makes the language even more complex to read and write. If you practice intensively and daily for three years, you will be able to have reasonable conversations in Japanese. A remarkable fact is that they speak with points or question marks in Japanese. This allows you to indicate to the conversation partner that you have finished talking or that you would like to ask a question. This brings structure to the conversation. If you want to speak Japanese as a tourist, this courtesy form is also very important to be able to have a proper conversation.
Besides the Chinese language and the Japanese language, Korean is also very difficult to learn for Europeans. In general, it takes 2100 hours to speak the language at an acceptable level. The language is a free young language and was not developed until the 15th century. The language is so difficult to learn because the word order is very different. Yet many entrepreneurs have to deal with the Korean language. Korea’s economy ranks high in the world ranking because many countries do business with Korea. Fortunately, there are many professional translation agencies that can translate the language. Many companies therefore also have their import and export files professionally translated. This way, companies can be sure that you understand the import and export files. If you already master Japanese and Chinese languages as a tourist, you can learn Korean more easily. The grammar is similar to Japanese and some words of Korean have been taken from Chinese.
You can encounter the Arabic language in many countries. For example, if you go on vacation to Egypt, Israel, Morocco and Tunisia, you will hear the Arabic language. If you plan to speak the language, you can choose from different types of Arabic. You have classical Arabic as it is written in the Quran. Then you have Modern Arabic that is often used in writing but is never actually spoken anywhere. Last but not least, you have formal Arabic where you can actually be understood in all Arab countries. So if you would like to speak Arabic on your vacation, formal Arabic offers the best option. However, you are limited in your writing and reading. If you want to read a newspaper or the menu in Arabic, you have to take into account that it is read from right to left.
Why you should speak the local language
We understand that you don’t want to have long conversations with local people while on vacation. Especially when it comes to the most difficult languages in the world. Still, it is useful to learn a few sentences or topics to break the ice. If the locals notice that you have learned a little bit of language, they will also try to understand you better. You will definitely get in touch with the local population faster and more pleasantly. But even when you get stuck or are in a panic, it is useful to know the language. For example, know how to ask for directions if you are lost. Or, for example, clearly indicate that you have allergies. Nobody wants to be sick for a holiday. In general it is of course very cool to be able to read the local newspaper, understand the menu and get snippets from the radio and TV. The local people don’t take that it is not quite perfect. Or business-wise, however, it is very different. Fortunately, there are translation agencies such as Translation Agency Perfect that translate the language professionally. So don’t be afraid and memorize sentences. Apply the phrases and you will find yourself embraced by the locals.