“The conquest of learning is achieved through the knowledge of languages.”
― Roger Bacon, “The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon: Volume 1”
Roger Bacon could not have been more true in his assertion. Language empowers us with the ability to learn about various countries, their histories, and their cultures. It is through language that we are able to communicate with people from all walks of life. The more languages that you know the wider your horizon of opportunity. Knowing more than one language gives you the advantage of traversing various countries and interacting with the locals. It also adds panache to your job portfolio. If you are proficient in more than one language, you have an edge in the international market.
Apart from worldly advantages, learning a language also has a plethora of physical benefits. It not only improves your memory, self-control, and decision-making prowess but also helps in the growth of your brain’s grey matter.
There are more than 7,100 languages actively spoken in today’s world. You must be thinking about which new language to take up. After all, learning a new language is no easy feat. It requires a lot of dedication and passion. Naturally, you should carefully consider which new language you want to learn. Worry not. I am here with a list of popular languages that will definitely help you in the global arena.
English belongs to the Germanic family of languages. It is not only one of the easiest languages to learn but also one of the most useful ones. After all, it is the official language of two of the world’s superpowers, The United States of America and The United Kingdom. It is no wonder that English is the most widely spoken language in the world with over 1000 million native speakers. After all, the British had done to conquer territories in all the hemispheres of the world during the 19th century, English has become the predominant language almost everywhere. Would you believe that in many third-world countries, if a person, no matter how highly educated, is not well-versed in English, he is considered to be illiterate? Nevertheless, being proficient in English opens up a lot of avenues for you. As it is spoken almost everywhere in the world, it gives you the power to communicate with a lot of people and grab global job opportunities.
English is also a very rich language. Some of the world’s greatest classics are written in it. William Shakespeare, the greatest literary persona that the world has ever seen, was also an Englishman. So, if you are into literature, you should definitely master English.
Fun fact: All pilots and aircraft operators must be proficient in English as they have to communicate in the language when flying. English is the official language of the sky.
Belonging to the Romance family of languages, French is the second-most widely learned foreign language in the world with around 300 million speakers. It is the official language of 29 countries including France, Canada, and Madagascar. French is also pretty simple to learn as it is taught in almost all the countries of the world. Also, French and English share many common words like bouquet and omelette among others. So, if you are already proficient in English, you will find many familiar words while learning French. As it is a Romance language, learning French would also give you a fair idea about Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
France is synonymous with fashion, film, literature, love, and culinary masterpieces. Naturally, learning French will give you first-hand knowledge of the diverse French culture.
German is one of the most difficult languages to learn with its long sentences and complex grammatical rules. It is ideal for people who like formal languages. As it belongs to the West Germanic language family, it is comparatively easier for English speakers to learn. Though it seems tough at first, it is a worthwhile language to learn. Known as the language of scientists, philosophers, writers, and intellectuals, it has around 100 million native speakers. It is one of the three official languages in the European Union along with being the official language of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Moreover, Germany has a high GDP and a great exporter status. Hence, learning German will be definitely beneficial for you in the professional arena. It will also help you communicate with people effectively and learn more about the locals if you are planning on taking a Euro Tour and making a mark in Europe.
Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn for native English speakers. With over 500 million speakers, it is the official language of twenty-two countries on four continents. Part of the Romance family of languages, Spanish is the second most studied language in the world. Proficiency in Spanish can help you with acquiring career opportunities in the United States, Spain, and Latin America.
Fun Fact: Don Quixote, the first modern novel and the second most translated book in the world, was penned in Spanish.
Bengali, also known as Bangla, is part of the Indo-Aryan language family. It has over 200 million speakers worldwide. You would be quite surprised to know that Bengali is the fifth-most widely used writing system in the world. Rich in literary heritage, the lyrical language is considered to be one of the most beautiful languages in the world. Literary stalwarts like Rabindranath Tagore and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, among others, had penned a plethora of masterpieces adding to the richness of the language. Though Bengali is mostly spoken in India and Bangladesh, it is a great language to learn, especially if you are interested in literature and music.
Fun Fact: Every consonant in the Bengali alphabet has an inbuilt vowel sound.
In the last few decades, the Hallyu Wave had taken over the world’s pop culture. Korean dramas, movies, and music have become a staple almost everywhere. With over 75 million speakers, Korean is the 18th most popular language in the world today. In addition to its cultural importance, Korean is also a useful language to learn as some of the biggest companies in the world including Samsung are headquartered in South Korea.
There are a lot of beautiful languages in the world. While some help you dig into the classics of yore, others enable you to be a professional success internationally. Moreover, you have to take into consideration your own interests and learning curve to select the best language for yourself.
Do vote and let us know which language you are thinking to master next.
One thought on “The Power of Polygottery: 6 Best Languages to Learn in 2023”
There’s a really interesting quote by Charles V that goes, “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to Women, French to Men, and German to my Horse.” I agree with you; learning a different language and, with it, its culture, is one of the most enriching experiences.