39. What Makes Some Languages Harder to Learn than Others?
The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick
Barry Hilton [+]
Barry Hilton served as the Associate Editor of the first and second editions of this book and was a member of the review board of the radio series from which it was adapted. He is a freelance writer/editor and independent scholar living in Maine. He is an honors graduate of Harvard College who, after graduate studies at Cornell, Yale, and George Washington Universities and the Foreign Service Institute, has travelled extensively and lived in both Europe and Asia. In a variety of U.S. government assignments, he has made professional use of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, French and German. He describes himself as an ‘armchair philologist and recovering polyglot’.
Most professional linguists would probably say that every language is complex in some ways and simple in others, but Chinese can be considered the hardest for native English speakers to learn.