With a globalized world we are past the times when only one language would serve you well. Now if you want to enjoy traveling, improve your business or career prospects it’s expected that you should at least be bilingual. For most of us we don’t have a choice over what second language we have to learn at school. But if you could pick, what would be the best languages to learn?
That’s not easy to answer, in order to decide what language to learn, you need to consider two very important issues: practicability and likability. That is how practical that language is, and how much you like it. To narrow it down I’ve included 7 of the best languages to learn in 2019.
From Chinese language to Korean, let’s see what you pick!
On top of this unlike most of the languages suggested Chinese language has very simple grammar. Chinese language has no verb conjugations, tenses, gender-specific nouns and no distinguish between singular and plural nouns. So although Chinese is often quoted as one of the hardest languages to learn, it’s just a myth!
If you are thinking about the future Chinese is a safe bet. Currently the demand for Chinese second language speakers outstrips the supply. That’s why more and more parents are choosing Mandarin Chinese as a second language for their children.
If you have Children aged 5 to 12 years old, then I have the perfect resource to introduce Chinese language to them. Lingo Bus provides 25 minute classes with native speakers introducing Chinese culture and language to children. On top of this they provide free resources for all their users that many apps do not, requiring you to download even more apps. With Lingo Bus you have everything in one! A library filled with books (audio and pinyin also provided), flashcards, videos, and many more.
One of my favorite languages! It is spoken by approximately 80 million native speakers and 153 million non-native speakers worldwide. It’s officially spoken in so many countries from Madagascar to Luxembourg that I can’t even count it in my hands. I’m not even taking into account the countries it’s spoken in as an unofficial minor language.
If you want to do business in Europe, I suggest French as a second language. With Brexit you can bet the French language will become even more important! In terms of materials you are in luck! Because it’s such a popular second language to learn in schools across Europe you won’t have a difficult time finding resources!
Portuguese is spoken by around 215 million people. It is spoken in Portugal, Brazil, some parts of Africa and Asia. It has also combined in some places with local languages to create its own dialects. An example of this Macaense, a mixture of Chinese and other local Asian languages. There’s a website dedicated to this “belamaquista” if you are interested to find out more.
Although spoken by so many people, Portuguese is often forgotten for more popular languages. For example, like French and Spanish, and so it is often named a ‘small’ language. It belongs to the set of Latin languages. Some people may have you believe that if you learn Spanish you will also be able to speak to Portuguese people. This is not true.
Plus, speaking Portuguese will open a huge market for you as Brazil is the biggest economy in Latin America. Overall Portuguese is still considered in the top 10 worldwide languages to learn!
Yet another of the languages that is considered ‘small’, but has seen an increase in second language speakers. This has been due to the rise in popularity of Korean products. Be it cosmetics, music, and Korean dramas. I think we can all remember the moves as soon as I say “Oppa Gangnam style”! The export of Korean culture has lead to an increase in second language speakers. Korean is now spoken by over 80 million speakers. If you think you might be interested in this language, I suggest checking out some Korean hit TV series, You can find some with translation on Netflix already!
With 405 million native speakers it’s the worlds second most spoken language! Learning Spanish opens doors in Europe and across Latin America. Spanish is the primary language in more than 20 countries. However, Spanish is important in other countries too. For example, in the US around 35 million people use Spanish at home. Just like French it’s a very common second language taught in schools, so there are plenty of resources. On top of this, Spanish is considered an easy language to learn. According to research it takes less than 6 months to become proficient in Spanish.
Germany has been Europe’s most dominant economy and most spoken language for decades. Although it has less users in comparison to Spanish and French. There are between 90 to 105 million native speakers. Top this with 80 million people around the globe who use it as their second language, it’s a good language to have under your belt!
Don’t let such a low user number take it out of the running for you. Many businesses in Europe want employees with German skills. Germany also has a university set up that is the envy of many countries. There’s a lot of foreign students as there are many opportunities. High end degrees can be attained in Germany at a much lower cost than let’s say England.
It is the official language of more than 22 countries and spoken by over 250 million native speakers. Making Arabic the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world. When most think Arabic they think oil, but there are plenty of other business opportunities in the middle east. There is plenty of demand for Arabic second language users, especially in the diplomacy sector! Just be aware that this is considered a very difficult language to learn and will require a lot of time investment.
I hope this short article was useful at introducing new languages for you to consider as a second language!
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