Our world is more connected than ever, and with that connectivity comes new experiences, opportunities and risks worth taking for rewards. However, as one barrier is overcome another is raised, that being the language barrier. With all this connection and travel between countries for work, study and enjoyment, it can be easy to feel lost when considering other languages to invest time in learning.
Having looked over all the facts and stats though, we feel we have safely narrowed it down to the four best options of languages to learn (besides English), and why each of them is growing so quickly and where they may someday prove to be useful. Here’s our list of the best languages to learn, besides English, that’ll get you far in the world.
Let’s start with a classic. Spanish is spoken in large parts of the world (including most of South America and by a lot of people in Europe and North America), and it is also one of the faster languages you’ll be able to pick up. Pronunciation and spelling are not too difficult, and it has a nice rhythmic quality when speaking that makes key phrases easy to remember. Easy to pick up but tricky to master, this is a perfect second or even third language for beginners who want to expand their international vocabulary without needing to take time off to do a whole course for it.
French is popular both in Europe (obviously) and several West African nations (Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea and more). Like Spanish, there’s a simple structure that’s easy to understand and develop once you know a few familiar phrases. I don’t think there’s a person alive who doesn’t know what ‘Bonjour’ and ‘Au revoir’ mean. Native speakers can sometimes talk a little too fast but you learn to keep up quickly enough. There’s a bit more depth and complexity than in something like Spanish, and at times you may experience confusion with gendered nouns and tenses, but if you get the bug you’ll love speaking the language of love.
The most popular language in the world by number of speakers, Mandarin is fast becoming the language of business and negotiations, especially with so much international investment both in and from China taking over the financial world. Whilst it may be popular, be aware of the challenge of learning not just a whole new alphabet and writing system, but also method of pronunciation. Certain words are repeated with the only difference being the tone used which separates the meaning of one word from another. If you manage to get over these hurdles though, you’ll gain access to a rich and ancient language that predates most others on this list by thousands of years.
Hindi is great for a number of reasons. Not only is the Indian subcontinent rapidly expanding in population and international influence, but it also distinguishes itself in world history. When India gained independence from Britain, one of the first acts of the newly formed government was to make Hindi an official language of India alongside English, a clear demonstration of a nation choosing its cultural and international identity for itself. Many Indian people see speaking Hindi as a source of pride both of their language but also their history and rightly so. You can help keep that history and pride alive by learning the language today.
We hope this guide proves useful to you and gives you a chance to stretch your linguistic capabilities. There’s no limit to the usefulness any new language can give you, and these four are more than versatile enough to for a variety of uses. It all depends on whether you use them though, so make sure that you do.