A survey on the learning of languages has placed Greek on a par with English as the 15th hardest language to learn. The language that topped the tables for students completing the largest part of their language course was for Dutch, followed by Spanish and Portuguese.

The online survey conducted among 6,250 learners studying the top 20 popular languages of the world to December 2020, was conducted by The Knowledge Academy. It found that students of Dutch quit the course after completing 89.7 percent of their studies– completing 26 weeks of the full 29-week course.

In comparison, students of Greek and English completed just 59.6 percent of their courses before quitting – this was just above leaners of Mandarin who completed 55.8 percent of their course, followed by Russian (53.8 percent). Learners of Hindi of completed 51.9 percent of their studies of the language. The survey found that 50percent of Vietnamese learners failed to complete their course.

The language that was toughest on students proved to be Arabic where students quit after enduring 42.3 percent of the course.

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Surprisingly, languages often perceived to be difficult, such as Rumanian (79.3 percent) Japanese (73.1per cent) and Korean (71.2percent), scored well. Students of French completed 72.2 percent of their courses, scoring below Italian (75.9) and Swedish (72.4 percent). Polish language students completed 63.5 percent of their course, ahead of German students (60.5 percent).

The survey also relied on information from the US Department of State’s Foreign Language Training. It assumed that learners studied three hours a day and estimated how many weeks each language would take to be fluent.

In post-survey interviews of participants, 42 percent of them cited a lack of motivation for giving up on the chosen language study. Difficulty of the language was claimed by 31 percent of the participants while 15 percent said lack of resources had led to their dropping out of their courses.

Sixty-seven percent said they would again try to learn a language at some point, 26 percent said they would not try again, and 7 percent were uncertain.

♦ The survey was conducted by The Knowledge Academy.