Made a New Year's resolution to pick up a new language? Good luck with that.
A survey has revealed which foreign language courses learners are likely to ditch first.
January's promises made in good faith are particularly fragile (with only 29 per cent of us sticking to our resolutions, according to NZ compare ), but some goals are less likely to make it to February than others.
According to online learning platform TheKnowledgeAcademy, this could depend on which language you are trying to pick up.
It might be no surprise that Arabic learners are most likely to give up first with just over 42 per cent not completing the course. With tongue-twisting phonetics, a dearth of vowels and a calligraphic writing system that is completely alien to English-speakers – you can see why it could be hard to pick up.
If you have just enrolled in a Duolingo course, don't be disheartened. I'm sure you will persevere, Inshallah!
However, you might save yourself a lot of time – and possibly find an easier alternative - in this list of the easiest (and most difficult) languages to learn.
Perhaps not Vietnamese though. The language has obvious appeal as the most widely spoken in Southeast Asia and the region is a perennial favourite for New Zealand travellers. However, Kiwis are a little cooler when it comes to learning the language. Less than 50 per cent of those enrolled completed the language course.
Dutch on the other hand might be just the language to keep your dreams of European travel afloat.
While there are only around 20 million speakers of the language spread through Belgium, Holland and pockets of South America and Africa, you'll find it easier to pick up than a pair of wooden clogs.
Learners made their way through an average of 89.7 per cent of the 29 week course. With many similarities to English, and those taking up the very localised language having very specific reasons for doing so, Dutch came out on top with the best completion rates.
It might be no surprise that three of the five most stuck-with courses were all Romance languages from popular holiday hotspots. Spanish was second with 86.2 per cent, followed by Portuguese (82.8 per cent), and Italian (75.9 per cent).
Romanian which leapt into third place with a 79.3 per cent completion rate is also technically a Romance language with Latin origins, and since joining the EU in 2007 the country has been a rising tourist hotspot.
When asked why they quit most students (42 per cent) said it was due to a lack of motivation over the difficulty of the language (31 per cent). However with the anticipation of a return to international travel it is anticipated more Kiwis will resolve to learn a new language while their wings are clipped. How many will stick to these promises, only time will tell.
New Zealand survey company Opinion Compare recently found that learning a language or skill was the fourth most popular resolution set by Kiwis in 2021. However it was only the eighth on the list for resolutions most likely to be held from last year.
Most difficult and easiest languages to learn
Average completion of language course at point of quitting
Arabic - 42.3%
Vietnamese - 50.0%
Hindi - 51.9%
Russian - 53.8%
Mandarin - 55.8%
English - 59.6%
Greek - 59.6%
German - 60.5%
Polish - 63.5%
Thai - 69.2%
Korean - 71.2%
Indonesian - 72.1%
French - 72.2%
Swedish - 72.4%
Japanese - 73.1%
Italian - 75.9%
Romanian - 79.3%
Portuguese - 82.8%
Spanish - 86.2%
Dutch - 89.7%
Data: The KnowledgeAcademy. Based on US Department of State's language fluency