Finnish is one of the most difficult language in the world. Swedish is one of the most easiest language in the world.

Finland and Sweden are geographically located next to each other.

What is the reason that one of these languages have developed so much more difficult than the other? Though these languages are totally different with each others.

EDIT: It is partly true that it is subjective what is difficult.

Let's take eg. word "dog" as an example.

In English: "a dog, the dog, two dogs".

In Swedish: "en hund, hunden, två hundar, hundarna".

And In Finnish: "Koira, koiran, koiraa, koiran, koirassa, koirasta, koiraan, koiralla, koiralta, koiralle, koirana, koiraksi, koiratta, koirineen, koirin, koirasi, koirani, koiransa, koiramme, koiranne, koiraani, koiraasi, koiraansa, koiraamme, koiraanne, koirassani, koirassasi, koirassansa, koirassamme, koirassanne, koirastani, koirastasi, koirastansa, koirastamme, koirastanne, koirallani, koirallasi, koirallansa, koirallamme, koirallanne, koiranani, koiranasi, koiranansa, koiranamme, koirananne, koirakseni, koiraksesi, koiraksensa, koiraksemme, koiraksenne, koirattani, koirattasi, koirattansa, koirattamme, koirattanne, koirineni, koirinesi, koirinensa, koirinemme, koirinenne, koirakaan, koirankaan, koiraakaan, koirassakaan, koirastakaan, koiraankaan, koirallakaan, koiraltakaan, koirallekaan, koiranakaan, koiraksikaan, koirattakaan, koirineenkaan, koirinkaan, koirako, koiranko, koiraako, koirassako, koirastako, koiraanko, koirallako, koiraltako, koiralleko, koiranako, koiraksiko, koirattako, koirineenko, koirinko, koirasikaan, koiranikaan, koiransakaan, koirammekaan, koirannekaan, koiraanikaan, koiraasikaan, koiraansakaan, koiraammekaan, koiraannekaan, koirassanikaan, koirassasikaan, koirassansakaan, koirassammekaan, koirassannekaan, koirastanikaan, koirastasikaan, koirastansakaan, koirastammekaan, koirastannekaan, koirallanikaan, koirallasikaan, koirallansakaan, koirallammekaan, koirallannekaan, koirananikaan, koiranasikaan, koiranansakaan, koiranammekaan, koiranannekaan, koiraksenikaan, koiraksesikaan, koiraksensakaan, koiraksemmekaan, koiraksennekaan, koirattanikaan, koirattasikaan, koirattansakaan, koirattammekaan, koirattannekaan, koirinenikaan, koirinesikaan, koirinensakaan, koirinemmekaan, koirinennekaan, koirasiko, koiraniko, koiransako, koirammeko, koiranneko, koiraaniko, koiraasiko, koiraansako, koiraammeko, koiraanneko, koirassaniko, koirassasiko, koirassansako, koirassammeko, koirassanneko, koirastaniko, koirastasiko, koirastansako, koirastammeko, koirastanneko, koirallaniko, koirallasiko, koirallansako, koirallammeko, koirallanneko, koirananiko, koiranasiko, koiranansako, koiranammeko, koirananneko, koirakseniko, koiraksesiko, koiraksensako, koiraksemmeko, koiraksenneko, koirattaniko, koirattasiko, koirattansako, koirattammeko, koirattanneko, koirineniko, koirinesiko, koirinensako, koirinemmeko, koirinenneko, koirasikaanko, koiranikaanko, koiransakaanko, koirammekaanko, koirannekaanko, koiraanikaanko, koiraasikaanko, koiraansakaanko, koiraammekaanko, koiraannekaanko, koirassanikaanko, koirassasikaanko, koirassansakaanko, koirassammekaanko, koirassannekaanko, koirastanikaanko, koirastasikaanko, koirastansakaanko, koirastammekaanko, koirastannekaanko, koirallanikaanko, koirallasikaanko, koirallansakaanko, koirallammekaanko, koirallannekaanko, koirananikaanko, koiranasikaanko, koiranansakaanko, koiranammekaanko, koiranannekaanko, koiraksenikaanko, koiraksesikaanko, koiraksensakaanko, koiraksemmekaanko, koiraksennekaanko, koirattanikaanko, koirattasikaanko, koirattansakaanko, koirattammekaanko, koirattannekaanko, koirinenikaanko, koirinesikaanko, koirinensakaanko, koirinemmekaanko, koirinennekaanko, koirasikokaan, koiranikokaan, koiransakokaan, koirammekokaan, koirannekokaan, koiraanikokaan, koiraasikokaan, koiraansakokaan, koiraammekokaan, koiraannekokaan, koirassanikokaan, koirassasikokaan, koirassansakokaan, koirassammekokaan, koirassannekokaan, koirastanikokaan, koirastasikokaan, koirastansakokaan, koirastammekokaan, koirastannekokaan, koirallanikokaan, koirallasikokaan, koirallansakokaan, koirallammekokaan, koirallannekokaan, koirananikokaan, koiranasikokaan, koiranansakokaan, koiranammekokaan, koiranannekokaan, koiraksenikokaan, koiraksesikokaan, koiraksensakokaan, koiraksemmekokaan, koiraksennekokaan, koirattanikokaan, koirattasikokaan, koirattansakokaan, koirattammekokaan, koirattannekokaan, koirinenikokaan, koirinesikokaan, koirinensakokaan, koirinemmekokaan, koirinennekokaan.

And those doesn't even consist of plural forms.

  • 1
    Swedish one of the easiest? I beg to differ. :P But I think this is subjective anyway. I think part of what makes Finnish hard to most learners is the fact that it's agglutinative. Most learners don't have this trait in their native language.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 21:18
  • 4
    English is also a difficult language. It does not, for example, use "so difficult" as an adverb.
    – fdb
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 21:23
  • As Alenanno mentioned, "difficult" is subjective. The better question might be to ask why geographically close languages are so different, if this the case.
    – gfc
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 21:38
  • Swedish easy? Det var som fan. Not as bad as Danish, though.
    – jlawler
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 1:39
  • I added EDIT on my question that the point is more understandable. I think, it's just partly true that it is subjective. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 5:09

1 Answer 1


There is no such thing as a "difficult" language. Language "difficulty" is some scale or category that is inherently biased. When comparing two languages where one is closer to your native language than the other, the one closer shall be subjectively easier for you than the one less so close. Following your example of Swedish and Finnish, Swedish has hundreds of irregular verbs while Finnish has a one-digit number (most common being "täytyä", "olla", "ei", "erkanee", "korkenee"); Swedish, as a Germanic language, also has definiteness, a concept really difficult to follow for speakers of languages without definiteness. Additionally, for a Finn Estonian would be easier to learn than Swedish. I could go on, but that would be too specific and off-topic, so I'll just sum this up:

Language difficulty is subjective. What is difficult for you is very easy for someone else. The reverse also applies. As to why languages develop how they develop and change complexity, that's a diachronics question that can't really be answered as it is far too broad.

  • I think this is going a bit too far. I believe it is known that some languages take longer for children to pick up all the subtleties of compared to some other languages. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 6:30
  • 1
    @hippietrail: That's never really been pinned down, and individual differences usually show far more variance than language differences. It's true that some learning strategies seem to work better with some types than with others; the "bottom-up" strategy with one-word, two-word, and multi-word stages works well with English, but so does the "top-down" strategy of speaking in alexical "sentences" with intonation and timing and gradually inserting lexical items as they're learned. But in West Greenlandic Eskimo, only the top-down strategy works.
    – jlawler
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 21:15

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