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I studied basic Japanese at school. I've been waiting for this to refresh my skills. I didn't think the speaking and listening part of learning the language was that hard.

Hiragana and Katakana are pretty simple and straight-forward. As for Kanji, I haven't studied the Kanji to deeply, but to me it comes down to pattern recognition and memorization.

My wife is Thai, and I've been trying to learn the language on and off for a few years now. For me it's the complete opposite of Japanese difficulty-wise. The reading and writing part is straight forward once you learn the alphabet and the special rules. The part I have trouble with most is the speaking part since there are multiple pitches and using them correctly is important. For instance "khao khao" is white rice, "now" can mean either means either cold or disgusting. Luckily, if you don't speak or hear the pitch correctly, most of the time you can get by using context.

Thai is a really hard language to listen to in my mind, I've been learning for 3 years. Japanese I could start hearing words nearly immediately. Thai has far more sounds + tones.

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