I've whined many times about the difficulty of the Russian language. Very long words, often difficult to pronounce. Recently, I started learning basic Georgian phrases for the journey - hello, goodbye, thanks, my name is, how much?, nice to meet you...This language is comprised of many harsh and unusual sounds for a native English speaker, and it's even more challenging to grasp than Russian. Almost any ounce of foreign vocabulary I know is useless for learning Georgian. For instance, if you know English, many Spanish words aren't so hard to comprehend, and even French to some extent. This perception is based solely on my travels in France, and daily communications with native Spanish speakers in my immigration work and life in Northern Virginia, where we have a huge population from Central America. In fact, whites have been the minority in my region for many years.
I'm not concerned about perfection or grammar when learning these languages, just the spoken element so I can try to communicate with locals a bit in their native language. I think it's very important, and you should always make an effort to learn standard, universal phrases when visiting a foreign country.
I always considered English to be a simplistic language, comprised of much shorter basic terms - "hi", "bye," no gender distinctions, etc. Then, I remembered this meme someone sent me a few months ago. Who can understand it? I believe it's an excellent test of English proficiency and comprehension skills. Maybe you can share it with your children or friends who are learning the language for some fun. :)