Deciding that you would like to learn a new language is both a massive step to take and a positive one.
It is also something that you could really benefit from over the course of your life.
But, knowing which language you would like to learn can be quite difficult because there are so many different options to choose from.
Most people should start off by considering what they can gain from learning another language.
There are a lot of different factors that could come into play quite quickly, including your field of employment and countries that you might be interested in traveling to.
It is safe to say that the language that you want to learn should have a positive effect on your life as a whole. Today, we are going to be talking about five of the best languages that you can learn, as well as what your reasoning for wanting to learn another language might be.
Why do you want to learn another language?
No one can tell you why you should learn another language over the internet. To do that would simply send you down a path that you wouldn’t be very likely to stick to. You should have your own personal reason for wanting to learn another language, and that reason is something that varies on a person-by-person basis. Some of the most common reasons that people have for wanting to learn another language include:
Being able to communicate with other people
Communication is integral to our survival. We have to be able to make other people aware of any potential dangers that could be lurking in our surroundings. Luckily, we aren’t too likely to encounter these dangers, but the concept of a need for communication is still there. Which of the following would seem politer: being able to ask someone where the toilet is, or having to play charades about needing the toilet?
To further a career
Knowing a second language is something that can impact your career in a number of different ways. For example, simply having it written on your CV that you can speak another language is often enough to tell your potential employer that you have the self-management skills that are needed to learn another language by choice. This is something that stays the same regardless of the type of job that you are applying for.
When it comes to knowing a second language, your employer, and the company that you work for could also see you as a valuable asset. This is definitely the case if you work in a business area, where the company that you work for could be working closely with people from other countries who speak different languages. This opens up a realm of job opportunities for people who can speak more than one language.
To make traveling easy
Any avid traveler will tell you that you can travel with ease in some countries without knowing the language, but there are some countries out there where not knowing the language can be a real hindrance. Sometimes, not being able to speak the native language results in small things happening, like not being able to eat the food that you wanted to eat. But other times, it can result in major things happening, like getting on the wrong train and ending up in the wrong place.
You should also consider the fact that most travelers feel as though they are quite polite when they are able to say a few phrases in the native language of the country that they are visiting. People who call the country that you are planning on traveling to their home will also see it as an incredible gesture if you are seen to be trying to speak their language. Even the smallest of phrases can be enough to help bridge cultural borders.
To improve memory
One of the best things about learning another language on your own is that it improves your memory. It can also teach you how to learn and remember new information because you will have a chance to work out exactly what works for you. This means that learning about new topics will be much easier after you have put a lot of time and effort into learning a new language.
Five of the best languages to learn
Remember that no one can tell you exactly which language you should learn – only you can decide that. We have chosen languages here to inspire you, and we have chosen them based on a number of different factors. These include whether or not the language is spoken widely across the world and how easy or difficult it is to learn the language on your own. Here are our top picks.
English is a language that should be featured on every list of languages. Across the world, approximately 350 million people speak English as their native language. But, when we look at English as a second language, we can see that approximately 1 billion people are able to speak or understand the English language.
English is a language that is spoken so widely across the world that it has come to be referred to as a “world language.” It is the primary language of dozens of countries, and it is still considered to be an official language in even more. One of the things that is definitely worth noting if you are thinking about learning the language is that English is the official language of both aeronautical and maritime communications. English is also one of the co-official languages that are spoken on board the International Space Station.
It is also worth noting that English is a relatively easy language to learn when we look at it as a whole. It is based on a simple alphabet and once you have wrapped your head around some of the different sentence structures, you will find it easy to learn more and more. English is a language that can also be used to further your education because thousands of schools around the world offer their courses in English as well as the native language that is spoken in their country.
Mandarin is a rather unique language and it is a language that a lot of people are fearful of learning because it looks complex. More than a billion people speak some form of Chinese as their native language, but approximately 840 million of those people speak Mandarin. Mandarin is spoken widely across most of north and southwest China. Chinese is also influential on a worldwide scale, as it is used as one of the working languages of the United Nations.
The sheer number of people who speak Mandarin as their native language should be enough to make you consider it for your secondary language. China is predicted to become one of the largest economies in the world within the next few decades, which means that being able to speak some form of Chinese could put you ahead of the crowd in the world of business. Chinese is also considered to be the language of business, with a lot of CEO’s at top companies who are able to speak Mandarin, including Mark Zuckerberg.
Mandarin is also a language that you could use while traveling around East Asia, as it is spoken and understood in a lot of different countries around the region. If you enjoy learning about history, then being able to speak Mandarin will enable you to delve deeper and deeper into the beautiful history of China, one that has spanned centuries.
Who wouldn’t want to be fluent in the language of love? French is the sixth most spoken language in the world, standing right behind Mandarin. Approximately 67 million people are native speakers and there are thought to be more than 220 million French speakers across the world.
French is known to be a relatively easy language to learn and it is one that is taught in secondary schools and colleges across the world. While the language can be easy to learn, pronouncing some words in French can be quite difficult. We would recommend that you make sure that you have either a physical French teacher or an application that you can use so that you can hear how certain words are supposed to be pronounced.
France is one of the top tourism destinations in the world, so French should be a language on every traveler’s radar. Knowing just a little bit of French can make a trip around the country feel much more enjoyable, even if you only know how to hold a basic conversation. You will also get a lot more respect from people in France if you are seen to be trying, even if your pronunciation is terrible.
If you are looking for a language that is easy to learn and can be learned at home, then you should look no further than Italian. There are approximately 21 million native Italian speakers, but a lot of people know how to speak a little bit of Italian, even if they don’t realize that they are.
This is because a lot of the words that are used in the Italian language will sound like words that you are already familiar with if you are an English speaker. Most of the words that we use while speaking English are derived from Latin origins, just like a lot of different Italian words are.
Italy is also the home of some beautiful works of art, with UNESCO reporting that approximately 60% of the art treasures from across the world can be found in Italy. There is so much to see and do there, even if you just want to eat delicious pizza and dive head first into using your new secondary language skills in conversation.
Spanish is an ideal language for travelers to learn. It is the official language of a number of different countries, ranging from Spain in Europe to a handful of countries in South America. It is also a recognized language in even more countries across the world. Approximately 437 million people are known to speak it as their native language.
This means that understanding how to speak Spanish can really open a lot of doors for travelers, especially when they are traveling through the Americas, where understanding a single language could be enough to have a successful and wonderful trip. Spanish is also known to be a relatively straightforward language to pick up for native English speakers.
One of the most unique things about Spanish is that the number of people who are able to speak it grows rapidly each year. This growth shows no sign of slowing down. A lot of other languages have experienced less and less people learning them. This could be because of things like Google Translate making it much easier for us to get by without being able to speak additional languages.
Where should you start?
No one can make any decisions for you, especially when it comes to learning another language. Learning a language is quite complex and it can take a lot of time, but it is worth it. If you start learning a language that you have no real interest in learning, then you might find that you simply don’t enjoy it at all. If you don’t enjoy it, then you won’t stick to it.
You should aim to find a language that you would like to learn. One way to do this can be to write down all of the reasons that you would like to learn another language and then crosscheck your list with all of the potential languages that you could learn; that way you are making sure that you have found a language that works for you. Once you have found that language, you should follow these tips to make sure that everything goes smoothly:
Focus on your pronunciation
A lot of people make the mistake of focusing too much on new words, new sentences and how to write their new language. This is not necessarily a bad thing because it does count as learning a language, but these people might find themselves receiving vacant looks from people who are native speakers of the language when they try to communicate.
This happens because they don’t put enough time into learning how to pronounce certain sounds. This results in a person speaking another language but pronouncing all the sounds in the same way that they would pronounce the sounds in their own language. With some languages, this can change the very meaning of a sentence.
To avoid this, you should start off by learning how to pronounce certain sounds that are featured in the language that you want to learn. If you are struggling to pronounce a phrase, then you will also struggle to remember that phrase because you cannot think of the phrase in your head with the correct pronunciation. You will also find that you learn how to speak to other people and have conversations quicker this way because it forces you to really listen to how things are supposed to sound early on in your learning experience.
Don’t cut your native language out altogether
A lot of people recommend that you cut your own native language out altogether when you are learning a new language, but we would recommend the opposite. The thing about learning solely with flashcards is that while it can teach you some new vocabulary, it cannot teach you how to use that vocabulary properly in a sentence.
Take Japanese, for example, the Japanese word for toilet is “toire,” making it easy to remember. In English, we would naturally ask where the toilet is, but in Japanese, the word “toire” would be used at the start of that question. Without also learning about sentence structure in your native language, you would not be able to speak the language properly.
This does not mean that you should not use flashcards. You should use them, or an application that has them, to expand your vocabulary, but you should also use something that teaches you about sentence structure in your native language. Once you have learned about sentence structures, you can then start reading the language that you are learning as your primary source.
Try to immerse yourself in your new language
This does not mean that you should try to run off to a new country, it simply means that you should try to use your new language as often as you can. Finding a partner who is also learning to speak the same language as you can be advantageous; it motivates you and it can enable you to work together with that other person. You could also start talking to yourself in the language that you are learning, as that can help you when it comes to learning how to think in another language.
You could use a mobile application once a day, or you could hire an online teacher once a week. There are a lot of different, practical ways that you can try to immerse yourself in your new language. By constantly working at it, you will learn more, remember more and be able to speak fluently.
One of the best things about learning a new language now is that you have the whole of the internet at your disposal. There are mobile applications, websites, forums, and groups where you can ask questions if you are struggling with anything. You can connect with a native speaker in a matter of minutes, even if you are in a different country from them. The only thing you have left to do is get started.