Are you thinking about learning a new language? If the answer is yes – first I have to say bravo! I love languages, and strongly support learning a new one. If you’re having second thoughts about which language you’d like to learn – here are my top 6.
Before you engage yourself in learning a new language, remember that you can’t do anything in a couple of months. Learning a new language takes time, but it is a beautiful and very rewarding process.
It is the second most popular foreign language to learn on the planet – right after English. It is the language of romance and love. If you’re a romantic soul, French is the right language for you to learn.
French is spoken by around 110 million native speakers and around 190 million second language speakers. It is the official language of France and it is also spoken in Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Monaco etc. – 29 countries in total.
You’ll need to twist your tongue a bit during the process, but French is not a very hard language. The best way to learn it would, of course, be to travel to France. It could give you a perfect excuse to finally go and see Paris. You could also try to make your first French steps at Bonjour.
They call it the language of arguing people, but I’ve always had a soft spot for German. It does sound like someone is yelling at you – but to me it is beautiful. With estimated 100 million speakers, German is the most widely spoken language in the European Union.
German carries a lot more similarities with English than you might think. Both languages are members of the Germanic group of languages, so once you get used to a couple of odd things, you’ll learn quite quickly. And now you’re probably asking yourself “why the hell would I learn German?” Well, it’s cool – as simple as that.
Learning German will probably take you some time, mainly because of the pronunciation and grammar. I would like to suggest to you, to seriously engage in a class if you would like to really learn German. Take it from a person who has had 5 CDs for learning German at home for 5 years and still doesn’t speak German.
I truly believe that every citizen of the USA should learn Spanish. It is the second most spoken language in the country, almost entire South America (with the exception of Brazil) speaks it, and knowing it could only be an advantage.
Spanish is quite an easy language to learn, I believe. I’ve never actually learned it, but I understand quite a bit and I can have a simple conversation. You can probably find someone of the Hispanic origin to help you with it. Furthermore, watch South American shows. For the sake of your sanity, try something else than a telenovela, but even those are useful when it comes to learning the language.
It will most likely take you less time to learn Spanish, than it would to learn French or German. The big advantage is that you can hear Spanish around you – that helps a lot. So, if you’re looking for learning a new language quickly – maybe Spanish is the best solution.
Whether we would like to admit it or not, Chinese could very well be the language of the future. Even now it is considered a huge advantage to speak Chinese, and experts say that it will only be more necessary in the future. It is the language spoken by most people in the world with estimated 1.2 billion native speakers.
When it comes to the time you’ll need, and the difficulty of the language, the situation is as follows – you’ll need a lot more time to learn written than spoken language. Mandarin Chinese is the most common dialect of Chinese and it is, surprisingly, not that hard as you might think. It has no subject/verb agreement, no plurals, no conjugations and no tenses, to name a few.
On the other hand, learning to write Chinese could take years. There are thousands of symbols you will need to learn just to be able to write basic things. However, it is worth of your time, for at least three reasons:
- Business people who speak Mandarin have higher chances to find clientele in the huge Chinese market.
- China is a country of great history and culture and learning Mandarin will help you understand more of it.
- China and Taiwan offer amazing travelling opportunities, and knowing the language of the country you’re travelling to is never a disadvantage.
You could try learning Mandarin Chinese through course offered at Rosetta Stone. However, I personally believe that the best way to learn a language is to spend some time in the country that speaks it. So pack up your bags and spend a couple of months in China.
Have you noticed that in the last couple of years people who speak Arabic are highly valued and sought after? The obvious reason is the major growth of the Arabic speaking countries - 26 of them – and their position in the global market.
Arabic is spoken by more than 422 million people, mostly in Africa and the Middle East. Those who have learned it claim that it is an extremely hard language to learn. Students usually spend their whole first year of studies, only learning how to write Arabic and the pronunciation is not a piece of cake either.
However, being able to speak Arabic can bring you a lot of good business opportunities. There is a high demand and low supply of people who speak Arabic in the Western world. It is also the language that carries a lot of history and culture. The Quran is written in Arabic, which means that Muslims throughout the world understand it. Wherever you are, there is a possibility you’ll find someone who speaks Arabic.
6. Sign Language
Learning sign language has been on my “to do” list for some time. Hopefully, in the near future, I will fulfill this task. You should do it too.
Sign language is the closest thing, to the universal language of the world, there is. There are slight varieties of it in every country, but the general rules are the same. You’ll need probably less than one day to learn to sign the letters of the alphabet, but don’t fool yourself that that is enough. There are thousands of signs you’ll need to learn. I’d like to suggest you to start with the first 100 signs, featured on the website Life Print.
Learning sign language is simply a very humane and a very fulfilling act. There are so many people out there that are not able to hear and understand what the rest of us are saying. Don’t wait to meet one of them to start learning. Treat yourself with doing an incredibly nice thing and start learning sign language ASAP.
Learning a new language is always a good idea and a very enriching experience. The time you’ll need to learn it, greatly depends on your skills and the way you decide to learn. Pick one of these six, or any other language you would like to learn, and enroll in a course today. You live a new life for every new language you speak. Give yourself a chance to live more than just one life.
13 thoughts on Top 6 Most Useful Languages to Learn
My friend speaks Arabic, and she says it’s really hard to learn…
I agree with Monica Arabic is F-in Hard.
Grammer, Pronunciation, and difficult writing system.
My advice learn a dialect like Egyptian 1st and if your still motivated, MSA.
I speak English and Turkish natively, however i have arab roots so i grew up hearing it. For me the pronounciation is easy. Btw i want to add that the Egyptian dilect is one of the worst, they speak a very different arabic in comparison to any other arab country.
Im trying to learn German, spanish and Italian at once now. Lets see how much i can learn in 6 months!:)
I’m currently learning Mandarin Via Rosetta Stone. Let me just say this, there are a few things you should do to prepare yourself for any course in Chinese.
1) Determine what Kind of characters you wish to learn. There are the Traditional (used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and much harder to write and learn), and Simplified (which is spoken in China, and MUCH easier to learn)
2) Learn the “Pinyin” pronunciations. It’s where the Spoken language is written using our lettering. But the sounds are different (for instance, a “q” in pinyin makes a “ch” sound).
3) There’s 4 tones in chinese, the Pinyin spellings help illustrate that.
4) get a notebook and practice the heck out of the characters.
The language gets easier the more you keep going.
Interesting topic. I speak Arabic, English and French fleuntly and I’ve just started studying German, German looks complicated but soon will I get the hang of it. Arabic is my mother language, it’s tricky and rich with vocabluary and complicated grammer but keep in mind that nothing is impossible to learn, that’s what I tell myself when I am finding difficulties and wondering what the heck?! in some complicated rules in Deutsch lol : )
I speak french english and abit of german, and my own country language which is Lingala…. hhaha :)
I speak French, English, Spanish, and I am learning Japanese! When I get fluent in Japanese, I will learn Czech or Arabic
English is my first language, and I am currently studying Korean and French. Trying to learn Dutch, which apparently is similar to German? Yes? No? It’s interesting. I definitely agree with the languages on here, though. They’re going on my bucket list!
A fab list!
But I think people also need to learn at what dialect they’re going to learn- for example, I learnt Belgian French which can make it confusing if I’m speaking to a French Canadian, a Swiss or a French national when I use certain colloquialisms!
i speak english,spanish and french and i`m learning mandarin and arabic using rosetta and talking to native speakers to those languages on skype
I speak English natively and am learning Spanish in school right now. However, I really want to learn German. And I don’t know if I should stop learning Spanish and just go head on into German…
i learned spanish as my first language and then english when i started school. personally i believe that spanish should be a bit higher on importance. im currently learning french and i cant wait until i can pronounce there “r” because its a pain.
I speak english and arabic… Im learning japanese at the moment, luckily i am , my friend is japanese and also speaks english. English is the most important lanugage nowadays so everyone should learn it… Arabic is not an easy one to learn but if you are determined you will learn it of course. Thanks