Cheapest & Easiest Languages to Learn

Posted by Dynamic Language on Jan 5, 2017 Jan 5, 2017

Learning a foreign language? Dutch, French, Spanish, German and Italian are the quickest languages to learn – but also among the most expensive per hour.

 

Voucherbox has looked into the costs and necessary hours for English speakers to start learning a new language from scratch and go all the way through to fluency.

The data was compiled using the average prices from a cost-per-hour language learning website, and calculating the estimated expenses of learning 28 languages from around the world.

As well as the cost per hour, the research also looked into the difficulty of learning each language, with average hours needed ranging from 600 hours to a staggering 2,200 hours.

The 28 languages were picked from around the world and included European languages such as Spanish, Italian and French, as well as the more exotic languages such as Persian, Mandarin and Thai.

The cheapest and easiest foreign languages to learn

easiest languages to learn

The high costs of learning European languages, are offset by the fact that several European languages are also the easiest to learn, based on the calculated hours required time to master that language. The easiest languages to learn included Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Romanian, with an estimated 600 hours of study required to become fluent, with German close behind requiring only 750 hours to learn. This contrasts vastly with more difficult languages such as Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean which take an average of 2,200 hours to learn, pushing up overall costs.

Combining both hourly costs and hours required, it was discovered that Indonesian was the overall cheapest language for English speakers to learn, costing around $7101 total and taking 900 hours of study. At the other end of the scale, Korean was the most expensive language to study for English speakers with a staggering price of $51128 and taking 2,200 hours of study.

Average requirements to learn a foreign language

The table of languages, the hours to learn and average hourly cost, along with an overall learning cost, are detailed in the table below:

 

Language

Difficulty (Hours)

Ave cost per hour

Overall cost to fluency

1

Indonesian

900

$7.89

$7101

2

Portuguese

600

$12.71

$7626

3

Spanish

600

$12.74

$7644

4

Swedish

600

$12.82

$7692

5

Romanian

600

$13.45

$8070

6

Urdu

1100

$7.75

$8525

7

Italian

600

$14.49

$8694

8

Hindi

1100

$8.43

$9273

9

Danish

600

$15.49

$9294

10

French

600

$16.92

$10152

11

Persian (Dari, Farsi, Tajik)

1100

$9.32

$10252

12

Polish

1100

$11.22

$12342

13

Serbian

1100

$12.23

$13453

14

Greek

1100

$12.64

$13904

15

Dutch

600

$23.24

$13944

16

Russian

1100

$12.81

$14091

17

Croatian

1100

$13.05

$14355

18

Latvian

1100

$13.05

$14355

19

German

750

$19.90

$14925

20

Bulgarian

1100

$14.68

$16148

21

Czech

1100

$14.68

$16148

22

*Thai

1100

$15.90

$17490

23

Hebrew

1100

$17.94

$19734

24

Arabic

2200

$11.04

$24288

25

Turkish

1100

$22.69

$24959

26

Japanese

2200

$13.76

$30272

27

Mandarin (Chinese)

2200

$16.58

$36476

28

Korean

2200

$23.24

$51128

 

Overall costs of learning a foreign language 

The results showed that although Indonesian took longer to learn than easier languages – with around 900 hours needed from start to finish – it had a cheaper average hourly rate of tuition of $7.89, meaning the overall cost was the lowest.

Coming in at second place as the overall cheapest language was Portuguese, with a total cost of $7626. The differences to Indonesian were that although the hourly price was a costly $12.23, only 600 hours were needed to speak fluently.

This was followed by Spanish, which ranked as the third cheapest language to learn with a total cost of $7644. This included 600 hours of language priced at $12.71 per hour.

Tipping the costly end of the scale as the most expensivelanguages to study included Korean, Mandarin and Japanese.

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