Languages Magazine

Basic FAQ About Learning Languages

By Tlb
Learn languages

That's what I call optimism! (Photo credit: riddle)

Yes, I know learning languages is extremely very common to everyone, and so as the frequently asked questions related to it. But since this is a site intended for learners—both for veterans and amateurs, I think all must know the basic details about what language learners should know about what they are interested to learn at.


Besides, wouldn’t it be preferable if they know the facts and figures about their interests in languages prior to their interest to a specific language itself? I guess all language learners should really know some details.


Anyway, here are three of the most common FAQ. Hope it will add up to your knowledge as you go along to learn language.


FAQ #1: Are some languages more difficult to learn than the others?

Allow me to quote the reliable source to answer this question. According to Omniglot, No spoken language is significantly more difficult to learn than any other in absolute terms. In other words, a native English speaker cannot say that Chinese is the most difficult language to learn when in fact, a Chinese native speaker will also say that English is a difficult language to learn as well. We also are considering the relativity of various languages into certain groups due to their original source of language, like the Romance languages for example.


Nonetheless, the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, divides the languages into four levels of difficulties. From 1 as the least difficult to 4 as the most difficult, the order of languages is as follows:


  1. Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish
  2. Bulgarian, Dari, Farsi (Persian), German, (Modern) Greek, Hindi-Urdu, Indonesian, Malay
  3. Amharic, Bengali, Burmese, Czech, Finnish, (Modern) Hebrew, Hungarian, Khmer (Cambodian), Lao, Nepali, Pilipino (Tagalog), Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Sinhala, Thai, Tamil, Turkish, Vietnamese
  4. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean


FAQ #2: How long will it take to learn a language?

Now, this is interesting. Since we talked on the first question about the difficulty of languages, there is a huge relation as to the length of time spent for learning a language. And so, to answer the question, it will all depend on the kind of language you are learning, the learning method that you are using, and of course, the weight of dedication you render for the learning.


If you would choose to go to a formal training from language schools, surely you will have maximized time compared if you are independently learning by depending on supplementary materials like mp3, videos, and the internet resources. Nonetheless, no matter how excellent the language school is, if you don’t give your 101% dedication to the learning, it will still affect the length of time to take.


Do you have personal questions regarding learning languages? The comment section below is provided for you.


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