A look at the Armenian language focusing on how hard it is to learn for an English speaker.
An obscure branch of Indo-European, Armenian, is very hard to learn. Armenian is a difficult language in terms of grammar and phonetics, not to mention the very odd alphabet. The orthography is very regular, however there are some irregularities. For instance:
գրել , written grel but spoken gərel (schwa removed in orthography)
խոսել, written xosel but spoken xosal (a changed to e in orthography)
However, the alphabet itself presents many problems. Print and cursive can be very different, and upper case and lower case can also be quite different. Here are some pairs of letters in upper and lower case:
All in all, this means you have to memorize as many as four different shapes for each letter. However, the grammar is very regular.
In addition, many letters very closely resemble other letters, which makes it very easy to get them mixed up:
գ and զ
ե and է
դ and ղ
ո and ռ
There are voiced consonants and an alternation between aspirated and unaspirated unvoiced consonants, so some mix up the forms for b, p and pʰ, for instance.
There are many things about the grammar that seem odd compared to other IE languages. Part of the problem is that due to its location in the Caucasus, Armenian has absorbed influences from some of the wild nearly Caucasian languages. For instance, an extinct NE Caucasian Nakh language called Tsov is thought to have contributed to the Hurro-Ururtian substratum in Armenian. So in a sense when you learn Armenian, you are also learning a bit of Chechen at the same time.
People who have learned both Arabic and Armenian felt that Armenian was much easier, so Armenian seems to be much easier than Arabic.
Armenian is rated 4, very hard to learn.