About 43% of the people in the world speak more than one language. And now you’ve decided you want to join their ranks. First, though, there’s one big question you have to figure out: Which language should you study?
The answer to this question may be clear-cut for you. For example, you recently moved to Mexico from the U.S., so you need to study Spanish.
But if there are no outside factors driving your choice, how do you narrow down your choices about which language to study? Here are a few questions that can help you decide.
Are You a Native English Speaker?
If not, we don’t think you can go wrong by studying English. It’s the most-spoken language in the world. And, if you’re a professional, English is the lingua franca of business.
Even if you took English classes in school, studying one on one with a native speaker instructor can dramatically improve your ability to understand and be understood by native English speakers.
What Other Languages Are Spoken in Your Country?
A good example here is the fact that Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the U.S. So if you’re a native English speaker in the U.S., there’s a good chance that learning Spanish could boost your career prospects, especially if you live in an area that has a lot of Spanish speakers.
What Are Your Career Goals?
Speaking of career prospects, did you know that being bilingual can boost your success at work? Besides English and Spanish, some of the most useful languages in the business world include Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Arabic, French, Japanese, Russian and Hindi.
What Languages Are Similar to Yours?
If you’re learning a new language for the first time, you may want to give yourself a head start. Depending on your native language, some languages will be easier for you to learn than others. For example, if you speak a Romance language like French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Romanian, you should be able to pick up one of the other Romance languages more rapidly than you could a language from another language family.
Do You Have Personal Motivations for Language Learning?
When you were little, you learned your native language because you wanted to communicate with the people around you. That can be a very real motivation for learning your second language, too. For example, if your fiancé hails from Tokyo, you’re likely to push yourself in your Japanese lessons because you want to better communicate better with his family. Or maybe you’re driven by wanting to talk more to your Spanish-speaking neighbors.
Need More Information?
Explore some past articles from the Fluency Corp blog on the languages you’re considering.
Can You Speak ‘Office English’? 20 Confusing English Business Terms Defined
3 Tips for Learning English at the Office
How to Improve Your English by Listening to Podcasts during Your Commute
Tricky Spanish Phrases
Trends in the Use of the Spanish Language
Case Study: Spanish Language Training for Executives
Basic Japanese Phrases to Learn for Business
Surprising Cultural Differences Between Japan and USA
Cool Facts About Japan. Sugoi!
We also have some articles to help you choose the best language training options for you:
Private Language Training vs. Group Classes: Which is Better?
How to Convince Your Boss that Corporate Language Training is Worth It
How to Choose Language Training that Motivates Learning