Arabic is the hardest language to learn, with learners giving up less than halfway through. Those trying their hand at Hindi also give up quickly – the average amount learned is just over half (51.9%). Meanwhile, Dutch language learners are least likely to give up – on average 89.7% of the way through their course. 42% of learners claim they gave up due to lack of motivation, with difficulty a close second (31%). English is the global language of business, yet it places in 18th with only 59.6% completion on average. The unique alphabets, omitted vowels, and unusual writing style can make Arabic incredibly difficult to learn, with TheKnowledgeAcademy finding that learners are likely to give up just 42.3% of the way through their course on average.

Vietnamese is popular

In 19th place is Vietnamese, natively spoken in Vietnam. As the most widely spoken Austroasiatic language, surprisingly it is the second hardest to learn in the study – most learners quit in the 26th week, achieving just 50% of the language. Following Vietnamese is Hindi, an official language of India. Hindi’s complex calligraphy and grammatical structure means those studying it achieve just over half (51.9%) proficiency on average before giving up.

Russian claims 17th place as learners will give up after learning 53.8% of the language on average (28 weeks along). Mandarin follows behind with 55.8% proficiency and English in 15th with 59.6%. English is the language of business across the world and many countries’ second official language, so it’s surprising to see learners giving up after just 31 weeks.