Languages can be tricky to learn

Learning any new language can be tricky, a person must not only get the tensing and expressions correct, as these can change the entire meaning of a word, but the pronunciation too. For the person with whom you are conversing to understand you, you have to be able to say the word correctly. Especially if you are wanting to be a translator!

5 Languages translators find difficult

#1 Navajo
Trying to translate this verb centric language of which some sounds have no direct meaning in English makes translation and pronunciation very difficult for a translator.

#2 Japanese
Although a lot easier to speak than Mandarin, another language that uses logograms, Japanese has “three independent writing systems” each has thousands of characters that have to be learned before a person is able to properly and coherently write the language.

The three writing systems are: kanji, hiragana and katakana and they each have a unique alphabet!

#3 Basque
This is a language with many different versions of dialect, in fact there are about five different Basque dialects. Although this language is derived from various other languages it is distinguished by the way it is spoken and written.

Mixed with the varying dialects of this language it makes it difficult to learn and translate in that you have to be sure you are using the correct version of the dialect when translating.

#4 Icelandic
Although not the most difficult language to learn to read and write it is a language that has barely changed since its inception in the ninth century.

Iceland show the eccentricity by rather than adopting the older words to new modern words they form new ones to accommodate them. As it is only spoken mainly by the 400000 people in Iceland unless you actually live there you are not going to keep up with any new terms, words or phrases.

#5 Finnish
The way some pronunciation and letters are formed in Finnish are much like how it is done in English. However, Finnish has a very complex grammar structure which makes it extremely hard to get any of the phrasing and tensing right.


If you are set on being a translator it is advisable to spend time in the countries of the language you are wanting to learn in order to be able to practice the dialect and become comfortable and fluent with the language.

Understandably that is not always possible as travel can be quite costly but in the days of modern technology one has the choice of a variety of books that come with audio solutions and then there are various forums one can join on the internet where people of that country are more than willing to help.

The 5 most difficult languages to translate

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