Method and Conclusion. See here.
Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.
Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.
Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.
This post will look at the Huamelutec language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.
Huamelutec or Lowland Oaxaca Chantal, a Hokan language spoken in Mexico, has the odd glottalized fricatives fʼ, sʼ, ɬʼ and xʼ as its only glottalized consonants. They alternate with plain f, s, l and x. The fʼ, ɬʼ and xʼ sounds are extremely rare in the world’s languages, usually only found in 2-3 other languages, mostly in NW Caucasian. The xʼ sound occurs only in one other language – Tlingit. The sʼ sound is slightly more common, occurring in five other languages including Tlingit. In other languages, these odd sounds derived from sequences of basic sequences of consonant + q: Cq -> Cʔ -> glottalized fricative.
Sentence structure is odd:
“Hit the ball the man.”
“Hit the man the ball.”
“The man hit the ball.”
All mean the same thing.
Huamelutec gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.