What’s The Best Language You Could Learn?

November 23, 2022

Have you come to the conclusion that you would like to learn a second language? That’s a great first step, but how do you pick one to learn? Perhaps you're attracted by the romance of French or the challenge of Mandarin. As everyone has different pulls to different languages, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. Here is our take on what makes six of the most popular languages unique and useful to learn.  

Why learn a language at all?

Learning a language takes a lot of time and dedication which is why it is important to have a clear motivation when studying it. Whether you want to be able to experience new cultures and destinations in the right way or would like to improve your skills in memory, concentration and confidence, people find themselves learning languages for various reasons. The question really is: why would you not want to learn a language?

1) Mandarin Chinese  

China is one of the world’s oldest civilizations, giving it a vibrant tapestry of customs, history and culture. Not only this, but Mandarin Chinese has over one billion speakers worldwide and China is an emerging global superpower. It's no wonder Mandarin is becoming a popular language to learn. 

However, while Mandarin Chinese is a sought-after language, people are often put off by how hard they think it is to learn. For example, the writing system has thousands of unfamiliar characters to memorise. Not only this, but Mandarin has four-tone pronunciation, where one word has four different meanings depending on how it is pronounced. Practising this takes a lot of time and dedication to truly master, yet if you are brave enough to take on this challenge, you will have a fantastic and in-demand skill.

2) Spanish 

Spanish has two names, Español and Castellano; you'll often find Spanish speakers referring to the language as both. It dates back over a thousand years and nowadays it is the most spread-out language around Spain, the United States and South America. This vibrant and colourful language is incredibly useful to learn.

Spanish also can be less difficult to pick up. As it is a phonetic language, its pronunciation and spelling are consistent, and its Latin elements give those familiar with other European languages, including English, a head start. But don’t get complacent! Genders, verb conjugations and a wide range of accents and dialects are all obstacles which need to be overcome. However, once you do, you will find enriching opportunities from around the world.

3) French 

French has been described as the language of culture, romance and diplomacy, making it a beautiful and worthwhile language to uncover. It is the second-most widely spoken language in Europe and currently has over 300 million speakers worldwide. This offers its learners some of the best travel opportunities, not only around France (the top tourist destination in the world) but overseas to countries in Africa and the Caribbean too. 

This rich and melodious language has close connections to English. It shares a standard alphabet and similar vocabulary, making it easier to pick up than other languages on this list. However, students still need to get past irregular word genders and verbs, as well as the unnerving subjunctive mood, to truly become fluent in French. 

4) Arabic

The official language of 25 countries, Arabic is specifically useful for travelling to and working with the Middle East and Africa. Many Arabic speakers find work in business, engineering, medical and international relations industries. Arabic is also closely associated with Islam, so you get the extra bonus of learning about the religion’s beliefs and traditions. 

However, Arabic is quite different from English. Firstly, it is written from right to left and letters change shape depending on where they are placed within the word. Another part people find difficult is the pronunciation, as Arabic uses some unfamiliar sounds. English speakers also find Arabic’s gendered grammar hard to wrap their heads around. Yet, once you get the better of all of these hurdles, you will find many exciting opportunities and new experiences to discover.

5) German

One of the most widely spoken languages in Europe, German is the official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Many describe German as the language of ‘poets and thinkers’ and it may be where Germany gets its fantastic representation for academia and world-class education (not to mention it's free). 

There are a few misconceptions about German being hard to learn. German has a relatively small vocabulary and there are not too many tricky grammar rules to learn here. In fact, English is from a Germanic root, making it an easier language for English speakers to study. Like with every language, nothing ever comes too easy, and German learners find that its long words, four noun case endings, and tongue-twisting pronunciation takes time to master. 

6) Italian

As one of the most studied languages in the world for culture and pleasure, Italian is a fun language to learn. If you find the beautiful scenery of Sorrento appealing or enjoy Roman history, learning Italian is a great way to experience this. 

At first, it may be difficult for learners to fully fathom the complicated conjunctions and heavy use of the subjunctive. However, Italian remains close to Latin, meaning that you’ll find familiar vocabulary that you can pick up quickly. The sounds of the language help you memorise it too. Like when learning any language, you find a new side to yourself when speaking it. Italian students typically feel more open and expressive when speaking in Italian, which is something they enjoy most about learning the language. 

Which language speaks to you?

Did a particular language on this list catch your attention or perhaps there’s another language you’d love to know more about? As you can see, each language has its own characteristics and appealing features, yet whichever you choose to throw yourself into, a fun and enriching experience awaits.

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Sadiyah Zaman

Sadiyah is our Senior Content Writer who combines her background in design and writing to create compelling educational content for Tutor House. When she's not managing her foster cat's mischievous antics, she can be found with a warm cup of coffee, meticulously crafting her next written masterpieces.

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