Learning a new language is a great way of sensitizing to new cultures and making global friends. However, there are other benefits of learning foreign languages. Studies have shown that studying a second language has cognitive advantages. These studies have demonstrated that bilinguals typically have larger brains, better memories, greater creativity, and improved problem-solving skills.
If you are looking to learn a new language but cannot decide which one, here is a list of interesting languages to help you in this decision.
Arabic is a beautiful language with over 25 different dialects spoken globally. Although Arabic is subdivided into three main versions, cultural variations have developed different language dialects over time. As a language with complex grammar and linguistics, Arabic is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. Moreover, with several dialects available, you may have to learn region-specific dialects to interact with people.
Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, with the Mandarin dialect as the official language of China. Much like Arabic, even the Chinese language has different dialects. However, since the language follows similar writing patterns, communication with speakers of other dialects is comparatively easy. Chinese is otherwise a complex and difficult language to learn.
French is the second-most widely spoken language in Europe and the second-most widely learned foreign language worldwide after English. With a global population of 300 million speakers, French speakers are estimated to grow upto 700 million by 2050. Due to cultural and historical reasons, French and English share a common alphabet and a large portion of vocabulary, which makes it an easy language to learn for English speakers.
Japanese has three writing systems and complex grammar, which makes it a difficult language to learn. Japan is a common travel country, and the rising popularity of anime has made the language quite popular. However, since there are no linguistically related languages to Japanese, it is undoubtedly one of the hardest languages to learn.
German is one of the three official languages of the European Union and is the fourth most used language online. Since Germany is the world’s third-largest contributor to research and development, learning German provides great opportunities to succeed in various fields globally. In terms of linguistics, German follows a rigid grammar structure which can be difficult to learn. However, if you are an English speaker, you would be able to learn it comparatively faster.
There are 270 million Portuguese speakers worldwide, making it a good option to learn. Portuguese is the world’s sixth most widely spoken language and the fastest-growing European language after English. It has been gaining rapid popularity in Asia. As a language, it is quite easy to learn.
The Korean entertainment industry and pop culture has opened doors for employment in South Korea. As a foreigner fluent in Korean, you can find opportunities in the entertainment sector and some of the world’s largest companies. Compared to Mandarin, Korean has an easier and more logical structure, which makes it relatively easy to learn.
With over 550 million speakers worldwide, Spanish has been a popular language choice for enthusiasts for many years. As the official language of 20 countries, it opens doors for travel in various Spanish-speaking countries. Moreover, linguistically, Spanish is considered to be an easy language to learn, especially for English speakers. Spanish popular media has also gained followers across the globe with shows like Money Heist and classic telenovelas.
One of the most interesting approaches to developing into a tolerant person is learning a foreign language and immersing oneself in a different culture. Learning about new languages and cultures lays a foundation for openly perceiving your attitudes and behaviors. Learning another language also makes people more welcoming to people of different cultural backgrounds.