As the world becomes a more united and diverse place to live, it is more common than ever for people to learn a second or third language. Many of you might have asked yourself, “What language should I learn?” which is a great question! This article will go over the 10 best languages to learn. We’ll also answer the important question, “What is the most important language to learn?”
The Best Languages to Learn
Are the most spoken languages necessarily the most useful languages to learn? It could be, but it really depends on where you are and what you do for a living. For some people, their personal interests can be the most important factor when choosing which language to learn.
For some people, the most important languages to learn are the ones used by their business partners. However, for others, the best language to learn is the one their favourite celebrity or friends speak. Many ESL teachers learn foreign languages to travel and teach abroad in that country. If you are interested in learning a language and going abroad to teach, learn about the best countries for TEFL teaching.
Why do you wish to learn a new language? Continue reading to see the ultimate list of the top languages to learn!
China has the world’s largest population. Therefore, it makes Chinese one of the most spoken languages in the world. Furthermore, China has great power in politics, economics, and business.
For people who are in the business sector, Chinese is one of the most useful languages. Why? It can help you so much when expanding your business. For example, China is one of the toughest places to expand the business. There is a great entry barrier. However, if you know how to speak Chinese, you can reduce a big part of the barriers to entry.
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English is the most spoken language in the world. An uncountable number of people around the world are choosing English as their second language, which is why there is a great demand for ESL teachers globally. Knowing the English language can be helpful in so many ways. It helps you find a better job opportunity.
Also, because it is the most popular language, wherever you travel, you can easily find people who speak English. Especially if you are traveling in another country where you don’t know the language, you can try seeking help by speaking English. Therefore, consider English if you are looking for the most important language to learn.
3. Spanish: best languages to learn
Not many people know how popular Spanish is. Spanish is spoken in 20 different countries around the world. If you are considering travelling to or teaching abroad in Latin American countries, Spanish is the best language to learn. Furthermore, it is the unofficial second language in the United States. According to Forbes, 13% of the American population speaks Spanish at home. Also, if you already know how to speak English, learning Spanish will be way easier than you think.
Arabic is also one of the most popular languages to learn. Over 300 million people around the world speak Arabic. Also, it is the national language of 22 countries, including many popular travel destinations in the United Arab Emirates. If you are considering travelling to this area, Arabic is one of the most useful languages to learn.
Furthermore, UAE is one of the best places for ESL teaching. It has the most well-paying TEFL jobs. ESL instructors considering teaching abroad in UAE are recommended to learn Arabic. However, it is considered one of the most challenging languages to learn.
If you are into K-dramas or K-pop, you must be interested in learning Korean. It is very easy to learn how to read and write Korean as the characters are phonological. One day of study is enough to understand the alphabet, Hangul. Although grammar can be confusing, it is considered easier than learning Chinese.
You will often see Korean TV series trending on Netflix. Learning Korean will maximize your joy while watching Korean entertainment content. Furthermore, Korea is also a popular destination for ESL instructors teaching abroad. Knowing the basics of the language will make your life easier in a foreign country.
6. French: best languages to learn
Over 250 million people speak French. The history of colonization explains the reason for its popularity. In total, 29 countries speaks French as their national official langue. Also, knowing French is extremely helpful if you are living in Canada. It is the native language of 20% of the Canadian population. If you are bilingual in Canada, meaning you speak both English and French, you have a higher chance of finding a higher-paying job.
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If you are interested in traveling or living in Europe, German is one of the most important languages to learn. It is the most widely spoken word in Europe. Also, Germany has a crucial position in the world economy. This means that if you own a business, knowing German can be very helpful. Furthermore, German is relatively easier to learn if you are an English speaker. A fun fact about German is that it was the language of academic literature and science before English became dominant after World War.
Around 157 million people around the world speak Russian. It is an influential language in Eastern European countries. If you own a business or are planning to expand your business in Europe, Russian is one of the most important languages to learn. This is because Russia has the most internet content in Europe and has the second most internet content globally, following the leading English content.
Globally, 128 million people speak the Japanese language. Although it is a very interesting language and can be attractive if you are into animes, it is quite challenging to learn. Japanese has three writing systems, including the Chinese characters. Additionally, the grammar can be confusing. However, if you already know an East Asian language, it could be less challenging to learn Japanese. Furthermore, Japan is an influential country in the global economy, making Japanese one of the best languages to learn for business people.
10. Hindi: most useful languages to learn
Hindi is spoken by approximately 566 million people around the world. It is the national language of 8 countries, including India, which has the second-largest population globally. Therefore, it is one of the best languages to learn especially if you are doing international business. Knowing Hindi will open up so many opportunities. It is known to be one of the toughest languages to learn. However, if you know the Arabic language, it will be easier to learn Hindi because the two languages share many vocabularies.
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Reasons to Know Another Language
There are a number of important reasons why you might want to know another language. Here are a few of them:
- Learning another language will keep your brain sharp.
- For travel.
- Work or business.
- For fun!
- You can converse with people you might not normally chat with.
- Your country has various official languages.
Are Translation Programs Good?
Instead of learning another language, you might be tempted to use a translation program of some kind. Here are a few thoughts about whether or not that might work for you.
Translation programs have made significant advancements in recent years and can provide reasonably accurate translations for many languages. However, their effectiveness can vary depending on several factors:
Translation programs tend to perform better with popular languages that have extensive linguistic resources and training data. Languages with fewer available resources may have lower translation quality.
Simple and straightforward sentences are generally translated more accurately than complex or ambiguous ones. Contextual nuances, idiomatic expressions, or cultural references can pose challenges for translation programs.
Certain specialized fields, such as legal or technical documents, require precise and accurate translations. While translation programs can handle general topics well, they may struggle with highly specialized terminology.
Accuracy and Fluency
Translation programs aim to strike a balance between accuracy (faithfulness to the source text) and fluency (naturalness in the target language). Some translations may sacrifice one for the other, resulting in less-than-perfect output.
Human post-editing is often required to refine and improve machine-generated translations. Professional human translators are still invaluable for handling sensitive or critical content that requires human judgment and expertise.
Final Thoughts on Using Translation Programs
Overall, translation programs have made impressive strides in recent years and can be useful tools for quick translations, casual conversations, or getting the gist of a text. However, for important or highly nuanced content, it is often recommended to consult professional human translators to ensure the highest quality and accuracy.
FAQs About the Best Languages to Learn
Here is a quick guide to some commonly asked questions about the most useful languages to learn.
What language should I learn?
The 10 best languages to learn are Chinese, Spanish, English, Korean, Japanese, French, German, Arabic, Hindi, and Russian.
What is the best language to learn after English?
If you are a fluent English speaker, learning Spanish will be a piece of cake compared to other languages. Also, it is the second most popular language in America. If you are considering traveling to Canada, then learning French is also a good idea.
Is French or Spanish more useful?
It depends on the reason you want to learn the languages. Both are used in more than 20 countries around the world and are extremely popular. If you are considering going to the United States, Central or South America, Spanish will be the most beneficial language to learn. On the other hand, if you are planning to go to Canada or Europe then French is one of the most important languages to learn.
What is the most important language to learn?
The most important language to learn is English? There are hundreds of millions of native English speakers, and a whole lot more than that speak English as their second or third language. It’s also the official language of travel, business, and commerce.
What are the best languages to know for business?
The best languages to know for business are English, Mandarin, French, and Spanish.
The Best Languages to Learn: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on the most useful languages to learn? Is there a language you would like to learn from the list, or is there another language you think is more important to learn? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API