Top 15 Languages With Hard to Translate Names

reason for translation is difficult

Top 15 Languages With Hard to Translate Names

(Last Updated On: August 14, 2020)

Why is Translation Difficult?


A lot of people are not familiar with the language industry’s working, which is why they don’t realize how difficult it can be to translate a vernacular. It is not just about changing words. The culture of a people can be clearly observed in the language they speak, which is why it must be considered during translation. Someone not familiar with a culture will not be able to incorporate it into their translation properly. This is why big agencies choose native experts when hiring translators. They know how complicated the task of translation is. There are various other factors that make this task complicated. For instance, there are vernaculars that have words to explain complicated feelings. Then there are the tongues that go in great detail whenever explaining something simple.

Top 15 Languages with Hard to Translate Names:


The translation is difficult in itself, but there are some languages that are more complex than others. When it comes to these vernaculars, even native experts have to practice extensively before they can become good at translating them. A vernacular that is difficult to learn will also be hard to translate. Although qualified experts can handle their native tongue, that doesn’t make the task any easier. Here are the top 15 languages with hard to translate names:

Languages with Hard to Translate Names
hard translation language
  1. Chinese:

There are various varieties of Chinese, including Mandarin and Cantonese. All of these varieties are equally complex. They are written in symbols instead of alphabets. There are various words in these vernaculars that are pronounced in the same way but have different meanings.

  1. Japanese:

Although many people think that Japanese and Chinese are related, that isn’t true. The two have no genetic connection. However, the Japanese writing system kanji were adopted from Chinese characters, which is why people often find the two vernaculars similar.

  1. Arabic:

The lingua franca of the Arab world is also one of the difficult languages of the world. It is written from right to left. It also has a unique writing system. Outsiders find it difficult to learn the writing system of Arabic.

  1. Thai:

The reason behind Thai’s entry on this list is the number of letters in its alphabet. There are 44 consonants and 16 vowels in the alphabet. These 16 vowels combine to form 32 vowel forms. Like Chinese, Thai also does not have a defined alphabet. Instead, it uses symbols to write words and sentences.

  1. Korean:

Linguists still aren’t sure about the relatives of Korean because it does not share any features with other languages. This is what makes Korean unique and also difficult to translate. It also does not have a lot of speakers outside South and North Korea.

  1. Hebrew:

One of the ancient languages that are still in use today is Hebrew. Just like Arabic, it is written from right to left. Its writing system is also quite unique, which is another reason why it has made it to this list.

  1. Finnish:

Although the other languages spoken in the region have a lot of similarities, Finnish is quite different. Its written form differs greatly from the modern vernacular spoken by the Finns. Its grammar is also very complex.

  1. Hungarian:

A relative of Finnish, Hungarian is also known for its complex grammar rules. Dictating tense and possession by suffixes is understandable for the speakers of Hungarian but can be extremely difficult to understand for English speakers.

  1. Polish:

Talking of complex grammars, we can’t ignore Polish. It can confuse even the most qualified linguists. The alphabet of the language is unique too. They affect the pronunciation rules.

  1. Mongolian:

A lot of people know that Chinese is complex, but they are unaware of Mongolian’s uniqueness. It is not only difficult to pronounce but also has a unique grammar and alphabet that no one can master easily.

  1. Icelandic:

Iceland is famous for many things, and one of them is the long names of places. Icelandic does not only have long words for places but for everything. This makes it quite hard for people to translate the vernacular. Figuring out how to pronounce the long letters of Icelandic is equally confusing.

  1. Navajo:

The fact that it was used in World War II by code talkers to come up with codes for communication to deceive the Germans tells you everything about Navajo. It is not only complex but also quite hard to translate.

  1. Greek:

Not many people have the patience to study the Greek alphabet, but even for natives, it can be tiring to become an expert in their language. This is why Greek is one of the vernaculars that are difficult to translate into any language.

  1. Estonian:

Some unique features of Estonian include its 14 noun cases and consonants and vowels having three distinct lengths. The three lengths are short, long, and overly long. However, it is exceptions in grammar that can really confuse people.

  1. Turkish:

Word formation in Turkish can confuse anyone. This agglutinative language is quite difficult to understand for English speakers. The writing system of Turkish is complex too, which is why it is not an easy to translate vernacular.

Every vernacular is complex and unique to some extent. But it can be understood and translated accurately by its native speakers. If they have the right qualification and experience, they won’t have any problem working with their tongue. However, if someone is not experienced, then they won’t be able to provide satisfactory results to their clients.

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