Four Languages to Start Learning Now
Statistics show that 40 percent of the world’s population are monolinguists who speak only one language. 43 percent are bilingual, which makes up the largest portion of the world, and the rest can speak more than two languages fluently.
What does this mean?
Learning a new language helps to overcome barriers and borders across the world. It allows us to communicate our thoughts and ideas effectively with one another. Speaking only one language, however well we might speak it, limits us to the ideologies and sentence structures of one language. Studies have shown that learning a new language can broaden the mind.
Today, many people choose to learn a new language as a way to boost their personal life and career, but out of 6,500 languages in the world, which should you choose? Even if you whittle down the list to the most spoken languages, there are still 15 to choose from which are spoken by more than 1% of the world’s population.
There are strong reasons for picking any of the world’s most popular languages, with the following some of the most interesting benefits to consider.
German for Business
You might think that English is the only language you need to get by in the business world. While a huge percentage of the world’s population has at least some English knowledge, every new language that you pick up will give you access to new industries and countries. German is a great example, as you could work for an unternehmen in Germany, which is one of the best countries to work in or to start a business in. It is the most widely spoken language in the EU, after English, and you will find that it is incredibly useful in countries like Belgium and Austria.
In addition, Germany is the US’s largest European trading partner, and the language is commonly spoken in Eastern Europe as a lingua franca among businesspeople who have different native tongues. If you want to enhance your current studies with a second language, getting a student discount on one-to-one German classes could be ideal. This allows you to practice with your choice of a tutor over a series of lessons, giving you the powerful advantage of adding German to your main studies and opening up a whole new job market once you complete your studies.
Spanish for Travel and Adventures
Spanish is the second most widely spoken native tongue on Earth, with close to 500 million native speakers putting it behind only Mandarin Chinese in this respect. The reason it is so popular is that it is the official language of all of Hispanic America, as well as Spain and Equatorial Guinea. Nearly all of the countries in Latin America speak Spanish, although Portuguese is spoken in Brazil and some indigenous tongues co-exist with Spanish in certain places.
You can easily travel from the Southern tip of Argentina to Mexico’s US border with no need to speak any other language on this mammoth trip across numerous varied countries. This makes it a wonderful choice for someone who wants to add some viajes and aventuras to their life. From Machu Picchu to Iguazu Falls and from Cartagena to the ancient pyramids of Central America, you will discover some of the most intriguing spots on the planet with the help of your Spanish knowledge.
French for Enjoying Life and Culture
The French language has long been loved by many people, who have been captivated by its beautiful sounds and rich vocabulary. Its historic and ongoing popularity can be seen in the fact that so many French phrases have found their way into English over the years, through expressions such as avant-garde, carte blanche, and déjà vu. This means that you probably already know more French than you think. While pronunciation can be difficult at first, some of the grammatical rules are simpler than in English.
French is spoken as a native language in 29 countries that are spread all across the world, including Canada, Belgium, and large parts of North Africa. In addition, it is among the most commonly learned second languages just about everywhere you will go, so finding someone to practice with should be easy. Another of the top reasons for learning French is that it is the language of international culture like fashion, cooking, dance, and theater, with people from all over using French words daily.
Italian for a Faster Start
There is an interesting debate over which language is easiest for English speakers to learn, and a lot of experts believe that Italian is the very best. For a start, about a third of modern English words come from Latin roots, and they can often be quickly associated with the equivalent Italian words by new learners, giving you a decent vocabulary to work with almost immediately.
Easy pronunciation, fairly simple grammar, and the sheer joy of speaking such a musical language mean that learning Italian can soon become a passion for anyone. Of course, immersing yourself in the culture is the simplest way to truly learn any language, and a trip to wonderful Italy lets you enjoy the great pleasures of life such as food, music, art, and everything else that the dolce vita offers you.
The benefits of learning a new language
These are just the Euro-centric languages that are available to learn. If we look to the East, Chinese has become the world’s most widely used language especially in the business world. Japanese continues to be a rich and culturally enhancing language, which is akin to French, with Korean coming in a close second.
Any language that you choose to learn will enhance your life, so simply take some time to consider which one appeals most to you and fits in with your ambitions for the future. Furthermore, learning a new language isn’t just about gaining another skill which you can apply to your life. There are multiple benefits of learning a new language that scientists and researchers have discovered - from increasing one’s intelligence and creative capabilities, down to improved memory function. What’s more, once you learn a second language, the third will come much easier.
About the Author
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.