‘Guten tag’, ‘Olá’, ‘Konnichiwa’, ‘Bonjour’, ‘Nǐ hǎo’, ‘Ciao’, and ‘Hello’. Just like that, you have learned how to say hello in seven languages. Learning a new language can seem daunting at first but if you can learn pottery, meditation, and how to play an instrument online, why not a new language? So, whether you want to travel, have dreams of working for an international conglomerate, or just enjoy learning something new, we’re giving you the top seven languages you should learn and why.
Why you should learn a new language
There are many good reasons why you should learn a new language. You can read more about the benefits and tips to learning a new language here. The top reasons we shared in this article are:
- Improved career prospects
- Makes you a better multi-tasker
- Improves your memory
- Makes you a better communicator
- Helps you learn about and appreciate other cultures
But which language do you start with? Keep reading. We’ve outlined the top languages you can consider learning.
The Top 7 Languages You Should Learn
There are thousands of languages (over 7000) in the world. They are spoken among different continents, countries, nationalities, and tribes. Many of these languages are becoming endangered with fewer speakers remaining and not many people passing the language onto coming generations. However, about 23 languages are spoken by more than half of the world’s population.
China is one of the world’s top economies. It’s a global powerhouse and given its reach across all corners of the globe, it’s to be expected that it’s a top language to learn. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by 1.3 billion (yes, with a “b”) native speakers. That means roughly one-in-seven of the world’s population speaks Mandarin, a rather impressive statistic considering the size of the world. However, it’s not an easy language to learn with the various pronunciations and tones you need to master to help you eliminate your accent. But if you want to explore international business opportunities, you’ll be one up on many people also seeking global work opportunities.
France isn’t the only country in the world where French is la langue officielle. It is, in fact, the official language in 11 African countries. It’s estimated that there are just under 240 million native French speakers today. Oui, it is the language of love. And you’ll love it even more as an English -native speaker because it’s one of the easier languages to learn. In future, the number of people who can speak French is expected to rise as this romance language group tongue gains popularity.
Italian is the language of fashion, art, delectable cuisine, and music. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of the best foreign language to learn but for native English speakers, Italian is considered one of the easiest languages to learn. So, if you just want to know how to speak the language to help you as you travel and eat your way through its beautiful cities, you’ll be proficient in no time. But, if you want to add that something extra to your repertoire in the design, luxury cars, culture and fine arts spaces, Italian is a great language for you to learn.
If you find yourself in Europe, or in any of the countries in South America, you can put your Spanish language skills with the 480 million speakers globally. In fact, even if you venture into the United States, you will find over 35 million native-Spanish speakers from east to west. This will provide you with every ample opportunity to practice your Spanish speaking skills.
Arabic is predominantly spoken in the Middle East and is the main, or co-official language in 23 countries. The World Economic Forum has named Arabic as the fifth most powerful language in the world. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are quickly becoming an economic force and therefore, learning Arabic and understanding the different facets of everyday conversations will give you an immeasurable ROI on the time you’ll spend learning it.
But added to this, is how they are developing their countries to be holiday destinations for the wanderlust, those strong desire to travel.
German is the home language to six European countries (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein). It’s spoken by an estimated 100 million people in the country and over 200 million collectively. Germany is Europe’s largest economy, and this makes it an integral part of business, development, and diplomacy. If you’re looking to break into the European market and advance your career, learning German will take you a couple of steps closer to your goal.
And finally, Japanese. Like China, it’s an economic powerhouse in the automotive, technology, science, communication, and financial sectors but it also has a booming tourism industry. It can be a tad challenging to pick up the language, but you will be interested to discover that using gestures and body language is an important communication tool used among the Japanese people. It’s a real phenomenon called haragei.
Learning a new language
When you decide to learn a new language, you’re learning the basics, the rules, the culture, and so much more. And like any learning process, you will go from beginner, to intermediate, and the pinnacle, the advanced speaking level. Each phase builds on the last so it’s important not to rush each level of learning, but to make sure you have fully grasped it as your next level of learning will build on it. Our English Vertical courses are a prime example of this learning process.
And there you have it. Our top languages you should learn. So, whether it’s starting to learn a second language or your third or fourth, it’s a win. Now it’s up to you to decide where you want your future to take you. Visit our language hub for all the help you need to get you there.