What is the most difficult language to learn — and why?

Jun 3, 2011 by

As mentioned in the previous posting, there are numerous rankings of “difficult” (and “easy”) languages to learn (note that we are talking about second-language learning here, not acquiring one’s native...

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What is the most difficult language to learn?

Jun 1, 2011 by

This is one of the most frequent questions I get as a linguist: what is the most difficult language to learn? The short answer: the more the target language is different from the language(s) you already speak, the harder it is to...

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On "universal truths" — part 2

May 17, 2011 by

In a recent posting, I discussed the research by Michael Dunn and his colleagues that questions there being any universals about human language. Another recent study, this one conducted by Jennifer Culbertson, who worked as a...

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So how hard can it be, learning a new language?

Jun 11, 2010 by

Some time ago I was asked by a former student of mine if there is a scientific confirmation to the idea that speakers of certain languages may find it difficult, if not impossible, to learn a certain other language. Or perhaps...

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So is Icelandic hard to learn?

Apr 22, 2010 by

So is Icelandic “one of the most difficult languages to learn”, as one of the CNN reporters said? I don’t think so! In general, the difficulty of learning another language depends on the degree of difference between...

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