If you have to choose a foreign language to learn then you have a great variety of options.
At the same time, this could be a very difficult decision to make.
It strongly depends on what are your plans for the future as well as where do you want to live, work and study.
Here we have prepared some facts that will help you to make this decision more easily.More from Languages:
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Of course, the choice of language should not be just pure statistics but also should include emotions, preferences and personal interests.
For sure, you will have much greater progress in a given language if you like the way it sounds, the culture it belongs to or if you are for example personally interested in making a career at a given country or region.
Choosing a language you love, you will find out that you have a strong motivation to master the language.
English is spoken in all continents
Undoubtedly, English is the main means of communication in the world.
If you have never studied a foreign language and do not speak English, it is the language you should start with.
English is spoken as an official language in 67 states and in dozens of other areas.
It is official or one of the official languages in many countries on all continents – North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia (India, Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.) and even South America (Guyana).
English is the most spoken language
Although with its 360,000 people the language inferior to Mandarin and Spanish in terms of the total number of native speakers, English is spoken to some level of around 1 billion people around the world, making it the only truly global language.
Relatively easy to learn
Because of its popularity, the English language is really easy to learn.
In addition, its grammar is much simpler than that of many other languages.
At the same time, because of its popularity and rapid uptake of new words, the English language is one of the richest in the world.
The most developed and richest nations in the world
Furthermore, it is an official language in Hong Kong, the most dynamic economic center of China, and in Singapore, which is considered the third richest country in the world by GDP per capita.
The group of 7 (G7)
G7 is a group of seven of the most developed countries in the world. From 7 member states of the G7, English is the official language in three of them – in the US, Canada and UK.
Importance of English in the European Union and Europe
English is the most popular means of communication in Europe.
This part of the world is characterized by great linguistic diversity in a relatively small area, making the English even more important.
Even in European countries where English is less popular, such as Italy and France, the language is still spoken by about ⅓ the local population, especially among the younger people.
Importance of English in BRICS
The countries of BRICS are considered some the most promising economies in the world.
From all 5 member states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), English is an official language in two of them (India and South Africa) and is spoken as an official language in Hong Kong, which is one of the most important economic centres in China.
English in UN
English is an official language in the United Nations. It is official in 2 of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council of the UN (United States and United Kingdom).
Spoken on three continents
Portuguese language is an international language of great significance. It is spoken on three continents – South America, Europe and Asia.
It is the official language of about 270 million people worldwide, making it the sixth most spoken language on the planet.
One of the official languages of the European Union
Since Portugal is a member of the European Union, Portuguese is an official language of the most developed and richest community in the world.
This contributes to its importance and strengthens its status as an international language.
The most spoken language in South America
It is an interesting fact that not Spanish but Portuguese is the most spoken language in South America.
Although spoken only in Brazil, it is an official language of approximately between 53 and 55% of the people in South America.
Brazil is one the largest economies in the 21st century
Probably one of the main reasons to learn Portuguese is the fact that Brazil is among the seven most powerful economies in the world.
When it comes to economy, the country inferior only to the US, China, Japan and Germany, and is side by side with countries such as Britain, France and India.
This is pretty impressive, especially considering that Brazil has developed practically just a very small part of its economic potential.
Official in the fastest growing economies of Africa
Speaking Portuguese can provide you excellent opportunities for doing business or career in one of these countries.
Official in the second fastest growing economy in the world
In 2015 the second fastest growing economy in the world is Macau where Portuguese is the official language. Today Macau is considered to be the Asian Las Vegas because of incredible transformation.
Very promising future
Portuguese is probably the languages with the fastest growing importance in the world today because the Portuguese speaking countries are among the fastest growing economies on the planet.
Beautiful and melodic
Portuguese language has an extremely pleasant phonetic. On the one hand, this makes it a little more difficult to learn, but on the other hand, makes the learning process a great pleasure.
The language is often described as one of the three most melodic, together with French and Italian.
Good basis to learn all the other Romance languages
Portuguese is one of the more complex and rich Romance languages.
Learning Portuguese, you will have a very good foundation for learning Spanish, Italian, French and Romanian.
Many experts say that learning Portuguese, you will be only a few steps from learning and mastering Spanish, which is the closest one of these languages.
Studying Portuguese, you will have a big advantage over many other people because you will be able to speak a language with an enormous potential, which, however, still has not gained too much popularity to be studied and spoken by everyone.
Official language in the European Union
Since the German is the first or second official language in several countries of the European Union, it is respectively one of the official languages of the community.
The most common language in the European Union
95 million Europeans speak German as their first language.
In addition, it is spoken as a second language by approximately another 100 million people worldwide.
Again, the majority of them live in Europe. The language has an official status in six European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Belgium) and is also recognised as an official at some provinces in Italy and Poland.
The richest countries in the world
German is spoken in some of the richest countries in the world. For example, in 2015 the GDP per capita of Luxembourg ranks first in the world, Liechtenstein was second and Switzerland occupied the third place.
The best countries to work
Germany is undoubtedly one of the most desirable places to work in the world. It is considered to be the most attractive for migrants second only to the United States.
The level of unemployment in the country is stable and very low.
The average incomes and the purchasing power of the population are very high.
In addition, Germany offers excellent opportunities for professional and personal development.
The best cities to live in the world
For 2015, the list of the top 10 best for living cities in the world is dominated by English and German speaking cities. The top place in the list belongs to the Austrian capital Vienna.
The German language could increase seriously your income
There are various reasons to choose German as the best language to study but we should mention at least the most important one.
German is the language that will reveal the best career opportunities at any place in the world.
English is recognized as an international language but if you want to get a higher salary in your professional field, undoubtedly German is the best solution for you.
Extremely valuable in the tourism industry
Germans are among the most traveling nations in the world.
If your career is associated in any way with the tourism industry, then the German language is a must for you.
Indeed, it will be extremely useful for you and could reveal unexpected possibilities in your career.
However, German language is important not only when it comes to tourism.
Actually, if you speak German, it could boost your chances for making a great career, regardless of the economic area you are working in.
Official language in the UN
French is an official language of the United Nations. Moreover, France is one of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council of the UN, along with Britain, the United States, China and Russia.
Official language in the European Union
French is an official language of the European Union. It has official status in France, Luxembourg and some areas of Belgium.
The official language in 28 independent countries
French is the official language in 28 independent countries in the world, as well as a large number of other areas and overseas territories.
Independent countries where French is the official language are France, Canada, Madagascar, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Mali, Rwanda, Belgium, Haiti, Chad, Guinea, Burundi, Benin, Switzerland, Togo, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Luxembourg, Vanuatu, Seychelles and Monaco.
Some of the richest countries in the world
French is the official language in some of the richest countries in the world. Among them are, as we already mentioned, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland and Canada.
Spoken on several continents
French language is spoken on several continents – Europe, North America, Africa and Oceania.
Very good for your career
Very few languages could be so helpful for your career as French. In this respect, French language, together with German, takes the top position in the world.
Many companies are looking for translators or specialists who speak a good level of French.
In addition, French is one of the languages that could increase your working salary the most.
About 300 million speakers
French is spoken as a first language by about 110 million people worldwide. In addition, about 190 million people speak French as a second language.
This means that the total number of French speakers around the world is approximately 300 million people.
This makes between 4 and 5% of the world’s population.
Will be easier to live in a French speaking country
It is no secret that in countries where French is the official language is usually quite difficult to live with just speaking English.
If you live in France but do not speak French it could be very difficult to cope with the everyday life and you will probably meet a number of difficulties.
Speaking French is chic
Talking about the countless benefits of speaking French, we can not miss the fact that French has always been very chic.
Because of its specific and melodic sounding, French is considered as the most beautiful language in the world, along with other relative Romance languages like Italian and Portuguese.
Second most spoken language in the world
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. It is an official language of about 470 million people.
Besides them, there are millions of people around the world that speak Spanish to some extent.
Only in the US and Brazil there are currently over 20 million people learning Spanish.
If we add all the people in the world who speak the language at least to some degree, then the number can increase with 100 million!
Especially important is the Spanish language in both North and South America.
Spanish is the official language in the European Union
Since Spain is a member of the European Union, Spanish is one of the official languages of the community.
This strengthens its international significance and contributes to its importance when it comes to international trade and business relations.
The second most spoken language in the US
Spanish language is widespread in the United States, where a large part of the immigrants come from Latin America.
The language is especially prevalent in the Southwest, in states such as California.
Approximately 13% of the population speaks Spanish at home.
The main language in Latin America
Spanish language is the most common language in Latin America and the second most spoken language in South America after Portuguese.
For this reason, it is of great importance if you have plans to live, study, work or do business in this region.
The most widely spoken language in the Western Hemisphere
Spanish is the most spoken language in the western hemisphere.
Actually, the number of Spanish speakers is bigger than the number of people who speak English, French and Portuguese (the other three very important languages in the Americas.
The official language of the United Nations
Because of the huge number of people who speak Spanish around the world, it is one of the official languages of the UN.
Official language in the WTO
Spanish is one of the three official languages of the WTO. The other two are English and French.
Official in the European Union
Italian is one of the official languages in the European Union. Except in Italy, the language is spoken also in some of the other countries of the community.
Italian is spoken in some of the richest countries in the world
Italian language is widely spoken in several well developed and rich European countries.
Of course, we have to mention first Italy because it is the largest Italian speaking nations.
Other nations where the language has an official status and is of great importance are Switzerland, Malta, Slovenia, San Marino.
Very useful for business in Europe and worldwide
Italy is among the strongest countries on the international trade scene.
This is why you may have a number of advantages of speaking Italian, especially in the European Union.
For this reason, many large companies, especially on the European continent, are currently looking to hire people with good Italian language skills, and if you are one of these people, this could be a guarantee for success.
Particularly sought-after is the Italian language in business environments of countries such as Britain and China.
Among the most studied languages
Italian language occupies today the prestigious fourth place as the fourth most studied language on the planet!
Before Italian are only English, French and Spanish, which are much more widespread as a number of native speakers.
This makes Italian more studied than other world languages like Chinese, German and Portuguese.
It is close to the other Romance languages
Italian shares a lot of similarities with French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian.
For this reason, if you learn to speak Italian language at a good level, it will help you to master other Romance languages in a relatively short period of time and with a lot less effort.
Increasing interest in China
Italian language enjoys an increasing interest in China. Millions of people nowadays want to study Italian in the most populated country on the planet.
The reasons are on the one hand the importance of Italy to China’s economy and on the other hand the love of the Chinese people to the beautiful Italian language and culture.
The most spoken language in the world
Mandarin is the most common language in China and the most spoken in the world.
Although significantly inferior to the popularity of English, it is the mother tongue of nearly 960 million people.
The official language in China
After the US and the EU, China is the world’s largest economy.
The country impresses with its exceptional economic growth and great business opportunities.
If you have some knowledges of Mandarin, this could be a great help for you if you want to work in China or if you are planning to do business with this dynamic Asian country.
Official language in the UN
Mandarin is one of the official UN languages along with English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.
Moreover, China is one of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council of the UN.
One of the languages in BRICS
Together with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, China is among the countries of BRICS, which are considered among the most promising economies in the world.
Today, when countries from all over the world actively trade with China, in times when the Asian country is an important trade partner of the European Union and the United States, learning Mandarin can reveal unexpected career opportunities, even if you don’t intend to live in the country.
In many companies you can expect better salary if you speak Chinese.
Mandarin is often described as one of the languages with the easiest grammar in the world.
This can largely compensate the great differences between Mandarin and the European languages and make it easier to study.
The eighth most spoken language
Russian language is the eighth most spoken languages in the world.
It is the mother tongue of about 155 million people worldwide, and if we include all the people who speak Russian at least to some extent, then the number increases to about 250 million.
Door to other Slavic languages
If you are interested in Slavic languages in general, Russian could be useful because of its similarities with many other languages in Eastern Europe.
Well, we do not say that speaking Russian you will be able to speak or understand all the other Slavic languages but it can definitely make their learning much easier for you.
You will get to know the Cyrillic alphabet
Russian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet. This is fairly common alphabet and a number of nations in Europe and Asia use it in their languages.
Many people in Eastern Europe understand or speak Russian
Once the Russian language was very common means of communication in the countries of Eastern Europe.
However, after the USSR collapsed, the language has gradually lost its popularity. Nowadays, the young people all across Eastern Europe communicate among themselves mainly in English.
However, for many people who were born and raised before 1989, the Russian is better known.
If you are a real estate agent
The international importance of the Russian language has significantly decreased over the last few decades.
However, if you are a real estate agent in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Cyprus and many others, the speaking of Russian language may be much more useful than you can imagine.
It probably sounds strange but there is a very logical explanation. According to studies, 13% of the Russians would like to live abroad.
Since the purchase of a real estate is one of the easiest ways for a person to live in another country, the Russian people often invest in other countries to be able to live there without restrictions.
Therefore, the speaking of Russian could attract many potential buyers in your real estate company.
One of the six official languages at the United Nations
Russian language, along with English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin, is one of the 6 languages in the United Nations.
Moreover, Russia is one of the 5 permanent member states of the Security Council of the United Nations.
Official status in several countries
Russian is an official language in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
In addition, large or small groups of Russians live in different parts of the world.
In many countries there are areas where Russia has no official status and still it could be very useful.More from Languages: