Many ‘experts’ rate the best language to learn by looking at
1) how hard or easy the language is to learn
2) how many people in the world speak the language
3) how many employers look for people that can speak the language
AND… looking at these factors, the following languages rank as excellent languages to study:
Arabic – The need for English speakers who speak Arabic and/or understand one or more Middle Eastern cultures is far greater than the supply. If you are pondering learning Arabic, I suggest you try a few free Arabic lessons online to see if it appeals to you.
Chinese – Mandarin Chinese is the first language of more people in the world today than any other language, with 1,197 million native speakers. (Source: http://www.ethnologue.com/statistics/size.) On the other hand, it is generally considered more difficult to learn. Before choosing to study Chinese, you may want to consider how demanding the rest of your course schedule and commitments are.
Spanish – The second most-widely spoken language on the planet is Spanish. Spanish speakers are widely dispersed with twenty-one countries having Spanish as their official language. Spanish is also generally considered an easy language to learn. Because you’ll find Spanish speakers everywhere, it is also easy to find Spanish instruction, including a wide variety of teaching methods.
These three languages: Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic come up on almost every list of languages recommended to learn.
So What’s Missing??
The best language to learn depends on YOU
– who your friends and family are,
– what interests you,
– whether you want to travel
– do you already have a career path mapped out
– where do you live
A good language is one you feel motivated and confident that you can learn. If the French teacher at your school exudes charm and enthusiasm, then you just might want to parlez le français. If your grandfather is Italian and you have distant relatives in Italy, learning Italian could be both easier, with a personal tutor, and wonderfully rewarding in increasing family bonds.
Maybe you have always wanted to visit the Great Wall of China (who cares why that idea seems so cool to you) and you’d like to have some ability to order food from a menu or ask directions while you are in the country. These are important factors that YOU have to think about.
So the best language to learn is one that you’d like to learn, whether you want to
– assist strangers you meet in their native language
– help yourself do better at your job
– travel to a distant land
– speak with relatives or friends in their native tongue
– get in touch with your cultural identity
– study overseas
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