Language difficulty rankings

Language difficulty rankings according to Foreign Service Institute.

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has created a list (based on their experience training US diplomats) to show the approximate time needed to learn a specific language as an English speaker, i.e. the number of weeks of study time to reach Speaking and Reading Proficiency. FSI students have 25 hours of class per week. Not including an additional 3-4 hours of self-study per day (~40 hours of total study).

Language difficulty rankings (FSI)

German is the only Category II language. There are no Cat III languages in Europe.

Time for Cat IV* is unspecified but they are considered harder than other Cat IV

Arabic, Chinese, Japanese is Category V

The most difficult language in Asia

Fummy

The Japanese language is the most difficult language in Europe and Asia.

The time it takes to learn a language depends on a number of factors:
– How close the new language is to your native language or other languages you know
– How complex the language is
– How many hours each week you devote to learning the language
– The language learning resources available to you
– Your motivation

What are the hardest languages to learn?

Related posts:
Lexical Distance Among Languages of Europe
Map of Europe by language 
Detailed map of the languages spoken in Europe

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