If you’re an English speaker struggling to learn Croatian fast, don’t worry, it is one of the hardest foreign languages to learn for native English speakers, that is according to a list compiled by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).
The organisation, which trains US diplomats, ranked languages into four categories, placing Croatian in the ‘Hard languages’ category 3.
The FSI says it is one of the languages with significant linguistic and/or cultural differences from English.
FSI says that it will take a total of 1,100 class hours to learn Croatian.
In Category 1, the easiest of foreign languages to learn were languages like French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, with around 600 hours needed to learn.
Languages in Category 2 included German, Indonesian, Malay and Swahili with 900 class hours needed to learn.
Croatian was in the ‘Hard languages’ Category 3 with the likes of Bulgarian, Estonian, Hungarian, Finnish, Hindi, Greek, Russian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Zulu.
The final Category 4 – ‘Super-hard’ languages – contained only four: Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin).
The results assumed that the native speaker of English has no prior knowledge of the target language.
Criteria included complexity, resources available to the learner, student’s motivation and hours devoted to study each week.
“Fluency” was considered a S-3/R-3 level on the institution’s proficiency scale, which considers learners can perform effectively in a wide range of informal and formal situations.
You can see the full list here.