Is Chinese really the hardest language in the world to learn
Sara Maria Hasbun, studied Linguistics at Columbia University
Shh, don’t tell anyone but…as a linguist, I can tell you that for English speakers, at least, Chinese is not considered the most difficult language to learn. In fact, I don’t believe it has ever been considered the most difficult language to learn.
The reason I’d love for this to stay a secret is because, as an American who speaks Mandarin, it definitely serves me well that people continue to be impressed with my language abilities!
Mandarin certainly has some difficult features (tones, an ideographic writing system), however it also has many features that are comparatively very easy (very straightforward and simple grammar without any conjugations necessary, syntax that is very close to English, and relatively straightforward phonemes that are easily pronounced by English speakers.). Also, there is an abundance of resources for learning Chinese, as it is an official language used in economically powerful countries.
There are many languages that are considered much harder for English speakers to learn: Korean, for example, due to its very complex grammar and phonological system. Navajo for the same reasons (with the added difficulty that there are very few resources for Navajo).
If you’re interested in learning Mandarin, you can check out my Self-Study Starter Kit: Mandarin Chinese! 加油!
Chris Cotter, Producer of "The Mandarin Show"
Mandarin Chinese is the most FUN you can ever have learning a new language!
Let me explain.