Choosing your next language is a personal process because the language depends on the learner. Which ever language you choose will have an effect on your social life, your career, and how to start to newly think about the world.
Learning a language is a marathon, it’s definitely not a sprint. And there are so many choices when it comes to languages, so ask yourself these questions:
- Why am I seeking to learn a new language? Can you see yourself using this language in the future or in your career?
- What are my goals? Do you want to be a polyglot? Do you want to be able to speak easily and freely when you’re visiting a country?
- What are my interests? Are you interested in culture, religious studies, art?
- What amount of time in my day can I commit to studying? 20 minutes? 1 hour? How fast do you want to make progress?
- Do I enjoy a challenge? Do I want to learn a language that is completely different from my native tongue? Do I want to learn a language in the same language tree? One can be more challenging than the other!
- When you hear the language, are you excited? Just the sound can influence the way you percieve a language and if it sounds ugly to you, you won’t want to study it.
- Do I have the resources to learn a language? Do I have access to a public library? Do I have internet at home? Are there language exchange events near me?
A short list of possible languages
If your native language is English, Romance languages are quite easy to pick up and progress in. It takes roughly 600 study hours to learn one of them and each romance language has tens of millions of speakers! Once you’re fluent in one, others are technically easier to learn.
Dutch is another easy language for Engish speakers because it’s considered English’s closest cousin and it shares thousands of cognates with English. There is about 23 million native speakers.
Russian is slighly more difficult to learn with about 1,110 hours of study needed to become proficient. Russians don’t speak a lot of English and Russian is considered one of the mostly widely spoken languages globally. Russia is growing in popularity because people are realizing Russians aren’t as scary as they are portrayed and because Russia is a massive country with 6.6 million square miles of space!
Arabic is a very difficult language, on par with Mandarin. Arabic is a high-demand language because of business relationships with Wealthy Middle Eastern countries. Also filled with rich history, food, and people.
Chinese, Korean, Japanese
These langauges are often the most difficult for English Speakers; however, all three of these asian languages are economic power houses in our global world. Speaking any of these Asian languages could be a useful skill that gives you a competitive edge. If you’re unsure of which one to learn, spend a week studying each one and see which one speaks to you most!
Learning a new language opens up a world of possibilities. Find the language that speaks you to most and then go head over to my next blog post on Motivation! Motivation is important when you want to accomplish a feat such as learning a langauge.
Comment below on a language that seems interesting to you and answer the 7 questions! I’d love to help you brain storm if you’re not too sure on what to answer!