The Best Languages to Learn Nowadays
Depending on one’s aim, there may be different best languages to learn, but it’s still possible to single out the most beneficial ones. In general, there are about 7000 tongues worldwide. However, most of them are not very widespread with a few speakers, so it’s not much use of learning them. You should be very careful when picking a language as after months or even years of learning it will be easily forgotten due to lack of practice.
What Makes Language Useful to Learn and Why to Learn a New One?
Basically, learning any tongue is useful as an activity. It has positive impact on one’s mental activity, memory, focusing ability, and sound recognition skills. However, often it does not have any practical significance for learners. Thus, it makes all progress fade away rapidly. So if it’s not a matter of hobby only, it’s better to pick a tongue that you will be very likely to apply in your life. So there is no particular answer to question of what are the best languages to learn for everyone. However, knowing one’s needs and having some general overview that’s possible to come up with a good decision.
Picking up a Language
When it comes to choosing, key parameters are:
- language popularity,
- its complexity,
- political and economic situation in countries where it’s spoken.
Of course, if you have specific reasons for learning new language, this would be the most decisive factor. Often people also take into account the number of speakers in the world. However, this is a wrong approach. A key for being the best languages to learn is not to be used by numerous people but to give more opportunities for usage. For example, it is often claimed that Hindu is a great idiom to learn. But in reality, in India, many people speak English, and outside it, there are no countries where this tongue is used, so probably it wouldn’t be the best choice. While Mandarin Chinese is also among the most widespread languages by a speakers’ number, locals barely speak English. Considering current steady and rapid growth of China’s economy, that’s one of the top languages to start learning.
There is another side concerned with usefulness for one’s personal development and self-discovery. For those who are ancestors of immigrants, it might be helpful to learn a native lingo of their family. A tongue is key to one’s mindset and historical knowledge about a nation. So if you are wondering what languages to learn for the sake of personal development, this is good direction. The same would be true about spiritual growth. If you practice yoga and are interested in this topic, learning Hindi might be reasonable.
Top 10 Most Useful Languages to Learn Today
By looking at statistics of the world’s most widely used tongues, making a right decision is very hard. Instead, you should take into account other factors. Here is a list of the best languages based on several criteria, including its geography and native speakers, development level of countries where it’s spoken, and complicatedness of grammar, writing, and speech sounds.
10. Italian Italy is an amazing choice concerning tourism. It has a lot to offer, including nature, culture, art, history, fashion, cuisine, and it has nice warm climate even in winter. Italian is official language of Switzerland and a region of Croatia. This lingo itself is very melodic and nice to listen to. But since it’s spoken in rather limited area, that’s in the last position at the top of the most useful tongues to learn.
9. Russian It’s undeniable that Russia is the biggest country worldwide, although not having the biggest population. In recent years, an entire world has been showcasing sentiments towards Slavic cultures that have driven interest in learning Russian as a foreign language. So it’s no surprise that it becomes one of the most popular languages to learn globally. That’s also worth mentioning that in most post-Soviet countries, number of Russian native speakers is very big. Knowing it, you will be able to communicate with locals in most eastern European countries. However, political tensions between Russia and the western world put this idiom second from the end among the most useful ones.
8. Korean (South Korean)
South Korea is among the most technologically advanced countries hosting many world’s best manufacturers. Besides, it provides good opportunities for studying various subjects, including technology, design, and fashion. Native speakers in this country do not speak English, so it’s a must to speak Korean. However, a considerable drawback to learning Asian languages is that they are extremely complicated. That is a reason why it’s only in the 8th place in our top.
7. Portuguese Do you like traveling? Portuguese is a good choice for those who are in love with beautiful beaches and breathtaking scenery of Portugal. Also, it’s a language spoken in Brazil, the only non-Spanish speaking country in South America. Portuguese is not a hard tongue both in terms of sounds and grammar. Just think of the song “Nosa, nosa” (“Ai Se Eu Te Pego”) . It’s not difficult to sing along and recognize words. If you master it, acquiring Spanish will be extremely easy since these two languages have many features in common.
6. Arabic Arabic is one of major idioms because its common tongue of entire Muslim world with a huge speakers’ community. It’s also one of the oldest tongues worldwide. Arabic is an official or second official tongue in 25 countries and the fifth most spoken worldwide. Countries like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar often invite specialists from worldwide for work in various fields, including software development, entertainment, business, banking, and others. Mastering Arabic might open great employment opportunities, which makes it one of the most useful languages. The only issue is that Arabic has complicated writing system which might be challenging to master.
Japan is another highly developed Asian country with a very rich and sometimes very unusual culture. More than that, it’s a homeland of sushi, manga, anime, and cosplay. If you are a fan of at least one of these – Japanese is good fit for you. Again, although Japan is small, it’s a very developed country with good career opportunities. However, as with any Asian language, that’s hard to learn and speak Japanese. That is a reason why it’s in the middle of the top useful idioms.
4. Spanish Spanish is in the top 4 world’s languages and, according to some research, has more native speakers than English. It’s spoken by numerous people on 3 continents – in Spain in Europe, in the US and Mexico in North America, and all countries in South America but Brazil making it one of the most used languages in the world. Among native speakers of English, that’s s one of the most popular tongues to learn a second language, since Spanish is rather easy to master. There is also a great number of Spanish-English bilinguals in the US Southern states.
France is renowned for its art, wine, food, fashion, romance, and “r” sound. It’s among the most popular tourist destinations and world’s cultural center. Knowing French as a foreign language is often a considerable advantage in one’s CV because, after English and German, that’s the world’s third business language. French is spoken not only in France, but also in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Monaco, and some African countries. This idiom is not very hard to learn (although reading rules at first may seem too complicated), and it’s often considered beautiful and melodic even by non-native speakers globally.
German is a widely spoken tongue in European countries. It’s an official tongue in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. Also, if you speak German, it will be possible to understand Dutch as they are very similar. 12th largest stock exchange worldwide – Frankfurt Stock Exchange is situated in Germany. The same is about automobile industry leaders – BMW, Volkswagen, and Audi. So learning German might be great choice for those who pursue opportunities in these fields. Moreover, if you like beer, knowing German enables you to visit Munich and a well-known beer festival – Oktoberfest and enjoy your favorite drink while practicing your German with native speakers.
1. Mandarin Chinese Mandarin Chinese is officially awarded first place in our top of the most useful languages to learn! Why? Because for the past several years, China has been developing its economy faster than any other country. It has been building numerous business bonds with the rest of the world. Although it is not the richest country, it indeed has full potential to become so. Mandarin Chinese now is gaining extreme popularity, and that’s likely to become the most popular language by native speakers number.
Most Important Language in the World Nowadays
There is no doubt that a current global lingua franca is English. It’s a language most commonly taught as a second one and required to know government positions. That’s one of official UN idioms and globally recognized tongues for international communication. So it’s not surprising that English is the first among the most important languages to learn nowadays. It’s a means for global communication in a scientific community, culture, medicine, and on internet.
The number of English learners is huge in comparison to number of native speakers. Influence of the US and the UK on the rest of the world in media sphere is insane, which adds to the importance of this tongue on global scale. The second most important lingo in contemporary world is Mandarin Chinese. Given the development of manufacturing across country and an opening of new markets for distribution in western world, it’s among top languages to learn for business relationships. That’s one of the hardest tongues for non-native speakers. That’s a reason why its popularity is growing not very fast, but tendency for it is steadily rising.
For every individual, an ideal second language to learn will be different and will depend on one’s needs. Try to set your priorities and justify for yourself why you study a new language. Is it for traveling or for a job? Maybe for education abroad? Or it’s just an impulsive decision that might now be that necessary? When you answer all these questions to yourself, it will be clear what direction to take. In some cases, not very popular languages may turn out very useful.