What’s the hardest aspect of learning a language?

Hey guys! I’ve just been curious about what is the most difficult aspect of learning Japanese, or any language.
For, me I think it’s the large variety of resources everywhere. I feel like they’re all over the place and I could never really find everything I need in one place. Kanji is on one website, then vocabulary in another website or textbook, then grammar in another, then as you switch levels you have to find a new set of textbooks and websites to fit your level. I feel like it would be easier if there was one place that had everything.
What do you guys think? What is the most difficult for you? Doesn’t have to be Japanese, it could be any language.


The most difficult part is consistently devoting the time and energy while life happens around you, saying “hey, pay attention to this other thing!”. You are trying to learn japanese but most of your life, most of the important things in it, happens in another language.


Agreed! Learning a language takes a few years of dedication.


And then you’re ready to maintain it forever or it starts to fade.


The motivation and life style for me. The only reason I have done WaniKani for a month straight now is because I am a competitionist and get anxious if I am not doing things. It takes up my free time that I don’t know what to do with, but whenever it becomes tough or a hassle to study, I severely lack the motivation.


For sure! Although I personally learn it because I want to use it, so maintaining would follow naturally.

At this point I’m more worried about my native language, which is being replaced by English a d other ones :sweat_smile:


Learning enough vocab to understand most stuff is what usually takes the most time for me, so I guess I’d have to say that’s the “hardest” part (though, it’s more that it takes a lot of time than actually being particularly difficult in any other way, so I guess grammar or pronunciation or something might be harder instead in a way, in that they require more active thought)


Vocab comes over time as you use the language. I wouldn’t say it’s hard. Just takes time.
If you are persisting at using the language that is.

And there’s no knowing all of the vocab. Even in your native language you’ll have to look up a word once in a while.


Learning language is all fun and games until you hit you first dry patch where you consider your current needs for the language skill vs effort required to go on.

I’m currently at this phase and seriously not having done my Tokyo trip last week trying to solely survive in my newly acquired language skill, I would be in a bad place with this language.


For me it’s the feeling of how easy it is to lose perspective over how far you’ve come. Unless you’re mindful of celebrating your progress it’s very easy to lose confidence from the “always more to learn” aspect. Particularly important when you hit the intermediate plateau and need to keep feeling like you’re moving forward and not standing still


For me the hardest part is learning the subtle connotations of each word.

You can learn a dozen words that are synonyms of each other and share similar literal meanings. But each might convey slightly different moods, or only be used in certain kinds of circumstances. It’s hard to know which is the best one to choose for each situation!


This, so much this!

When I read a book and encounter some word, I kinda get the meaning, but if I had to write same sentence myself, it would be really hard to pick a word with right context if the dictionary gives me several synonyms. I honestly need to find a good source with japanese definitions and example sentences… I’m at a point where many words don’t have example sentences in jisho or kanji study… :frowning:


The hardest part in learning Japanese specifically for me is learning it in English. Sure there are mouth to mouth references in cat’s languages but of course they’re not as rich as English. I must struggle to understand everything! Sentence by sentence when I learn my lessons on WK! And that’s excluding my learning activities outside WK! And then when I’m stuck, I have difficulties in expressing what my difficulties are. And then later I found out that English native speaker here said that they must maintain Japanese for good otherwise we’ll lose it. Oshin ees sad! :sob:


Yeah, I know, that’s pretty much what I said. I consider it the most difficult because it takes the most time, but if you’re going by what takes the most thought grammar or pronunciation would probably be more difficult depending on the language. (Definitely grammar out of those two for Japanese, at least for me)

I wouldn’t really say just using the language is enough though, some words aren’t very common and would probably take a rather long time to learn that way. (However, I do agree that you can learn a lot of vocab through exposure).

For the last thing, I don’t think I said anything about knowing all the vocab, just enough to understand stuff, which usually will be a fair bit less than all the vocab used.

Basically: I consider the things that take the most time the most difficult, that’s obviously not how everyone thinks of it though, just my own personal opinion.

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Beisdes the obvious stuff like time and sometimes even money, I think maybe thinking in said language can be difficult, like not translating what you need to say, but actually thinking in that language, and understanding it as is.

My native language is spanish, but I speak english fluently, I understand what I hear and read as is without having to translate in my head beforehand, which is a thing lots of people do, even if their english is great, but yeah, they usually have to think in their native language, translate and then get the english.

I don’t even know how I got to this point with english, which makes learning any other language kinda frustrating! haha, I learned a 2nd language so well without putting in any effort somehow, but now it’s a whole ordeal and maybe I’ll never get to the same point with it as I did with english


I think the hardest aspect of learning a language is, if you are to learn such language in an environment not conducive in learning it (like anything else). For example, I am studying Japanese because I want to read Japanese novels, but I don’t live in Japan, nor am I in a country that extensively uses Japanese. So I probably never gonna put it into practical use in the near future. I rarely encounter someone who wants to learn Japanese too (I don’t go to Japanese learning schools, yeah) and they label here “those who wish to learn Japanese” as “anime otaku”. It’s not really a derogatory term, but people of my age and my gender are mostly fans of Western or Korean stuff, so I am some anomaly :sweat_smile:

Learning Japanese takes much more dedication when you live outside Japan, I guess. In other words, when you lack exposure to the language, its harder to learn them.


Using grammar and expressions which aren’t just grammatically correct but sound contextually natural to native speakers.


This is the hardest part. Other things are easy to learn and you can find resources. But, about this subject, a comprehensive native explanation is necessary. Japanese Ammo no Misa gives those references a lot, and she is the only source I could find.

These expressions are real expressions build that society and its language. And only source to learn is, society itself.


For those answering “grammar”. Watch this please.


The hardest part for me is listening comprehension lol, just because that’s always been the area of language that lags behind the most for me. People talk so fast. xD Speaking is also kind of tough.

Everything else to me is not hard, just tedious. Trying to make out what someone is saying though, trying to “keep up”, literally gives me a headache so I’ll say that’s the hardest part for me.