Knowing more than one language is nearly vital in today’s world. Companies are all global, and the demand for multilingual applicants is high. But not all languages are created equal; some will get you further than others.
What Makes A Language Useful To Learn?
Feed Your Brain
The many cognitive benefits of learning languages are undeniable. People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills. They switch between competing tasks and monitor changes in their environment more easily than monolinguals, as well as display signs of greater creativity and flexibility. If that weren’t enough, as we age, being bilingual or multilingual also helps to stave off mental aging and cognitive decline.
Number Of Speakers
Unsurprisingly, it is very important to know how many speakers there are of a language before you set your heart on learning it. Most people opt to learn languages spoken by the largest number of people. You should also consider how many people speak the language as a second language. With this information, you will open more doors to global communication.
This is where your goals and interests come into play. Do you plan to travel in one particular region for a while? If so, look into what languages are commonly spoken there. If you want to learn a language that is widely spoken throughout the world, you may want to opt for English, French, or Spanish, which are spoken on all continents.
Usability And Versatility
When choosing a language, you may want to look at versatility. Mainly, can you use this language both at home and abroad? What about in both business and social contexts? Ask yourself, “How much will I use this language?” It takes time and effort to learn a language, and you will want to learn the one with the most usability for you!
Think of your current or future field, and location of business. If you are working in the United States, Spanish is a very useful language to learn. If you expect your industry or company will do a lot of international business, learn languages that will be useful in your field. It could be Chinese, Japanese, Italian, or German.