The Most Useful Languages to Learn: A Comprehensive Guide

25 May 2023

In today’s globalized world, learning a second language has become increasingly important. It not only helps to broaden one’s horizons and understanding of other cultures, but also enhances career prospects and business opportunities.

With so many languages to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the most useful language to learn.

Hence, in this comprehensive guide, we will provide insights into the most useful languages to learn. We will answer such questions as:

  • “What language should I learn?”,
  • “Which language is the most common for worldwide trade and business?”
  • “What is the best language to learn for cultural enrichment?”
  • “What is the best language to learn for jobs abroad?”
  • “What is the best second language to learn in general?”

Whether you are interested in cultural enrichment or professional growth, this guide will help you make an informed decision on the most useful language to learn for your needs.

World flags in the form of rectangular icons.

The Most Useful Languages to Learn: General Outlook

When it comes to the most important languages to learn, it’s hard to ignore the major players: English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and French.

  1. English

English, being the lingua franca of the modern world, is undoubtedly the most widely spoken language. It is the official language of more than 50 countries and is used in international business, education, and politics. Knowing English opens up a world of opportunities, both personally and professionally. It is estimated that there are nearly 1.5 billion English speakers in the world.

  1. Spanish

Spanish, with over 580 million speakers worldwide, is the second most widely spoken language. It is the official language of more than 20 countries and is essential for business and trade in Latin America and Spain.

  1. Chinese

Chinese, with over 1.3 billion speakers worldwide, is the most spoken by natives language in the world. It is the official language of China, Taiwan, and Singapore and is becoming increasingly important in international business and trade.

  1. Arabic

With over 420 million Arabic speakers worldwide, it is an official language in more than 20 countries. As the language of the Quran, it is essential for those interested in Islamic studies, politics, and business.

  1. French

With over 300 million French speakers worldwide, it is the official language of 29 countries and is widely used in international diplomacy, business, and culture.

Whether you’re traveling, studying abroad, or pursuing a career in international business, these languages are sure to open doors for you!

Two young businessmen discuss and plan a project in the office.

The Best Languages to Learn for Business

What language should you learn to grow your career or company? When it comes to business and trade, some languages are more important than others.

Here are the most beneficial languages to learn that can boost your career in the business world:

  1. Mandarin Chinese

    No doubt, one of the best foreign language to learn for business is Mandarin Chinese, crucial for trading in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. These countries are home to some of the world’s largest economies, and learning Mandarin can give you a competitive edge in the job market.

  2. Spanish

    ‘What language should i learn to be able to understand most of the world?’, you may ask.

    Well, Spanish is the third most used language in the world and is essential for doing business in Latin America, Spain, and the United States. With the growing importance of the Hispanic market, when you speak Spanish, you open up opportunities in international business.

  3. Arabic

    The Middle East is a rapidly growing market, and Arabic is a crucial language for doing business in the region. It is the official language of more than 20 countries and is used in international diplomacy, finance, and energy sectors.

  4. German

    Germany is Europe’s largest economy and is a hub for engineering, manufacturing, and innovation. Knowing German can give you a significant advantage in these industries and open up opportunities for international business.

  5. French

    French might be the most valuable language to learn for doing business in Europe, Canada, and parts of Africa. It is also used in international diplomacy and is one of the official languages of the United Nations.

     

Knowing one or more of these languages can open up opportunities for international business, whether it’s negotiating contracts, managing teams, or building relationships with clients.

A young women smiling and sitting in the train.

The most useful languages to learn for travel

If you love traveling, learning a new language can greatly enhance your experience. Here are some of the best languages to learn for travel:

  1. Spanish

    Spanish is a language that can greatly enhance your travel experience. It’s widely spoken in South America, Spain, and many parts of the United States. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, and the third most spoken language after Mandarin Chinese and English.

    Although Spanish was previously mentioned as a useful language for business, it’s also a great choice for travel, as it can help you navigate Spanish-speaking countries and communicate with locals.

  2. French

    French is a language that can greatly enhance your travel experience, as it’s spoken in many parts of the world, including France, Belgium, Canada, and many African countries.

    While it was previously mentioned as a useful language for business, it’s also a great choice for travel.

    From ordering delicious croissants at a Parisian bakery to navigating the bustling markets of Morocco, knowing French can open up many exciting travel opportunities.

  3. Mandarin Chinese

    It is a language that can greatly enhance your travel experience, especially if you’re planning to visit China, Taiwan, or Singapore, where it’s the native language.

    Although it was previously mentioned as a useful language for business, learning Mandarin Chinese can also help you navigate the streets, order delicious food, and communicate with locals during your travels.

  4. German

    German is a language that can greatly enhance your travel experience, especially if you’re planning to visit Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, where it’s the native language.

    Being no doubt one of the most important languages to learn in Europe, German can help you navigate these countries more easily and communicate with locals.

    From ordering delicious bratwursts at a Bavarian beer garden to exploring the stunning landscapes of the Swiss Alps, knowing German can open up many exciting travel opportunities in the heart of Europe.

  5. Arabic

    Arabic is a language that can greatly enhance your travel experience, particularly if you’re planning to visit the Middle East or North Africa, where it’s one of the most important languages to learn.

    Previously it was mentioned as one of the most important languages to learn for business. But learning Arabic can also help you navigate the bustling markets of Marrakech, order delicious shawarmas in Beirut, and negotiate prices with vendors in Cairo.

A young women in a working uniform inside of a greenhouse.

The Best Language to Learn for Jobs Abroad

Learning a new language can give you an advantage in the job market. Check what is the most valuable language to learn for jobs:

  1. English

    English is the best place to start when you’re wondering what is the best language to learn. It’s the most commonly used language in the world, and it’s the language of international business. Knowing English can give you a competitive edge in many industries.

  2. Mandarin Chinese

    China is the world’s second-largest economy, and knowing Mandarin Chinese can be a valuable asset for many industries, especially finance, technology, and manufacturing.

  3. Spanish

    Spanish is widely spoken in many countries, and it’s one of the most valuable languages to learn in the world. It’s beneficial for many industries, including healthcare, education, and hospitality.

  4. Arabic

    Arabic is the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world, and it’s an important language for many industries, including oil and gas, finance, and international diplomacy.

  5. French

    French is a valuable language for many industries, including fashion, food, and hospitality. It’s also an official language of the United Nations and is used in international diplomacy.

A young female tourist enjoying the views in the old town.

The Best Language to Learn for Cultural Enrichment

Learning a new language can help you better understand other cultures and enrich your life. Here are some of the best languages to learn for cultural enrichment:

  1. Italian

    Italian is a beautiful language that is the most valuable language to learn in Italy and many other parts of the world. It’s the language of art, music, and food, and knowing Italian can greatly enhance your experience of Italian culture.

  2. Japanese

    Japan has a rich cultural heritage, and knowing Japanese can help you better understand and appreciate Japanese art (like manga and anime), literature, and cuisine.

  3. French

    French is the language of love, and it’s also the language of art, fashion, and cuisine. Knowing French can greatly enhance your understanding and appreciation of French culture.

  4. Arabic

    Arabic is the language of the Quran, and it’s an important language for Islamic culture. Learning Arabic can help you better understand Islamic art, literature, and history.

  5. Spanish

    Spanish is the language of many rich and diverse cultures, including those of South America, Spain, and the Caribbean. Learning Spanish can help you better appreciate and understand these cultures.

Many flags waving on the wind.

What is most widely spoken language to learn by region

When you’re looking for most valuable languages to learn, sometimes it’s crucial what region are they from.

Maybe you want to learn foreign languages from the European Union? Maybe the ones of Central and South America? Or maybe you want to improve your language skills in other languages?

Let’s see what is the most useful language to learn by each region below.

Best European language to learn

Learning a foreign language in Europe might a great idea, both if you’re looking for the best language to learn to make money, or just the one to help you travel easily.

Best Nordic language to learn

Swedish is the most useful language to learn of the Nordic languages, with over 10 million native speakers.

It is also one of the most beneficial languages to learn of the European Union and is spoken in Sweden, Finland, and parts of Norway.

Swedish is a beautiful and lyrical language, with a rich cultural heritage, including Nobel Prize-winning authors and stunning landscapes.

Best Slavic language to learn

Russian is the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages, with over 150 million native speakers. It is also the official language of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Best African language to learn

‘What language should I learn from the African ones?’, you may ask yourself.

Well, of course, it depends on your interests, career goals, and travel plans. But generally, Swahili is one of the most important languages to learn in Africa, with over 100 million speakers across East and Central Africa. It is also the official language of Tanzania and Kenya.

Most useful language to learn in Latin America

If you’re wondering what is the best language to learn in Latin America, Spanish is the clear choice.

Spanish is the most valuable language to learn in Latin America, being an official language in many countries (including Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru).

Learn Spanish and you can gain access to a rich cultural heritage, from the vibrant street festivals of Mexico to the stunning landscapes of Patagonia.

Additionally, Spanish is a language of business and trade in the region, making it a valuable skill for anyone interested in working or traveling in Latin America.

A stack of books on the world map.

What language should I learn? Conclusion

In conclusion, learning a new language can be a valuable and rewarding experience for many reasons.

So if you’re wondering what is the best language to learn, consider your goals and interests, and start exploring the many wonderful languages of the world.

And if you don’t like learning other languages and never ask yourself “What language should I learn?”, we have some good news. Take Vasco Translator with you on the travel and we’ll take care of language bariers for you!

In a nutshell:

Learning a new language can be a great way to open up new career and travel opportunities, while also allowing you to better understand and appreciate other cultures. Some of the most useful languages to learn for business and travel include English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and French. For business, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish are essential for doing business in Asia and Latin America, respectively. For travel, Spanish is widely spoken in many countries, and French, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic can help you navigate the streets and communicate with locals. For jobs abroad, English is the best language to start with, while Mandarin Chinese is essential for doing business in China. For cultural enrichment, Italian, Japanese, French, and Arabic are all great choices. Ultimately, the best language to learn for you depends on your goals and interests.

FAQ:

What is the best language to learn for jobs abroad?

For jobs abroad, English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and French are highly beneficial. English is key in international business, Mandarin is valuable in finance, technology, and manufacturing, Spanish is useful in healthcare, education, and hospitality, Arabic is important in industries like oil and gas and international diplomacy, while French is valuable in fashion, food, and hospitality sectors.

What language should I learn for cultural enrichment?

For cultural enrichment, languages like Italian, Japanese, French, Arabic, and Spanish are great choices. Italian offers insight into art, music, and cuisine. Japanese opens doors to its rich cultural heritage, including manga and anime. French enhances understanding of love, art, and cuisine. Arabic is key to Islamic culture, while Spanish offers a gateway to the diverse cultures of South America, Spain, and the Caribbean.

What is the most widely spoken language to learn by region?

The most widely spoken languages vary by region. In Europe, Swedish is highly beneficial, especially in the Nordic region. Russian dominates the Slavic region. In Africa, Swahili is significant across East and Central Africa. In Latin America, Spanish is the most valuable language, being widely spoken across many countries.

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Robert Faber

Robert is an avid traveler and a fan of new technologies. He can cook well, but never has enough time to do so and he ends up complaining about most meals. A regular at the gym.

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