Adventures in Language

Science Behind Language Learning | Are Some Languages Harder To Learn?

January 05, 2022 Mango Languages
Adventures in Language
Science Behind Language Learning | Are Some Languages Harder To Learn?
Show Notes

Are all languages equally difficult, or are some harder to learn than others? In our latest podcast, your guide Kaitlyn Tagarelli (Linguist, PhD) takes a look at how the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) answers this question. Watch along as Kaitlyn breaks down the FSI’s 4 language difficulty categories and explains the features that might make a language harder or easier to learn.

To download all the available language learning content we mentioned in this episode, or if you’d like the blog article that accompanies this episode, click here:

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Wondering what languages were used in today’s episode?
Russian | Здравствуйте (ZDRASTvuytye) and До свидания (da sviDAniya) mean “hello” and “goodbye
Portuguese | Olá! (ohLAH) and Até logo! (ahTEH LAHgoo) mean “hi” and “see you soon”
This video also includes words and phrases in Dutch, Swedish, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Korean, Japanese, and Arabic. Interested in learning Russian or Portuguese, or one of the other 70+ languages that the Mango app offers? Click here to start learning!

Want to know more about the research consulted for this video?
The category rankings in this episode come from the Foreign Service Institute’s Foreign Language Training webpage, found at We also recommend checking out the World Atlas of Language Structures for more information about the structures and properties of different languages.

Kaitlyn Tagarelli (PhD, Georgetown University) is a Linguist and the Head of Research at Mango Languages. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University, specializing in how the mind and brain learn languages. Aside from geeking out about all things neuroscience and linguistics, she loves hanging out with her family at their Connecticut home, trying to convince them to speak French with her.

#languagelearning #bilingual #languagedifficulty