It depends on quite a few factors: What is your native language? What other languages do you speak (if any)? Will you be around the speakers of the language you want to learn? How much material is available? And, most importantly, what is a European language (i.e. where does your definition of Europe end)?
For simplicity's sake, I'll assume (1) you don't speak any non-Indo-European language, (2) you wouldn't even consider languages with less than half a million speakers, (3) there's plenty of material available, and (4) you won't move to the place where the hardest European language is spoken.
1 (=Tied). Maltese: Let's face it, you probably had no idea this language even existed (and it barely made it to the cut, with 522 thousand speakers).
It's a Semitic language closely related to Arabic (so, in a way, I agree with Meat187), and the only piece of good news is that it borrows a number of words from Sicilian, itself an Indo-European language, and the phonology is simpler compared to Arabic.
1 (=Tied). Basque: And now, the usual suspects. Spoken by slightly more people in Spain and France, Basque is hell. I don't know how to objectively compare Basque and Maltese to see which one would be more difficult to the average speaker of an Indo-European language... But they share quite a few characteristics (spoken by few speakers, not related to any language we're acquainted with, and so on).
It's an alien language until someone proves it isn't.
3. Chechen: Does the Caucasus region count? If it does, then this is my third pick because it's a North-East Caucasian language with words that sound nothing like we're used to, spoken by very few people and, to make things worse, you'll have to learn a different alphabet. It's full of grammatical cases, weird vowels and consonants, and stuff like that.
4. Kabardian: Same as above, really. Besides, we've all heard of Chechnya, for better or worse. Do you know anything about Kabardino-Balkaria? Good luck studying a language about a region you know nothing about, because without access to cultural products, odds are you'll never move beyond the basics, and even if you do, it's even harder to keep the little you know.
5. Any Uralic language, really: Estonian, Hungarian, Finnish, you name it. They're all weird in their own way, and I don't know how to pick among them the hardest one. I'm inclined to always choose the language with fewer speakers, but it seems Estonian is actually simpler than Finnish, so I'll just go on and assume it's drunken Suomi.
|Originally said by Maurice Moss|
I came here to kick ass and drink milk... and I've just finished my milk