You don’t need us to tell you that Estonian is not the language you should focus on if you are planning to move to Japan. What you may be wondering, however, is which language should you learn, considering your expectations and life goals. Which one will be the most useful to you, which one will bring you new skills, or which one will set you apart from the rest? Here is a short guide to the most useful languages for different situations.
Which language should you learn to boost your career?
It’s no surprise that we’re going to start by touting the merits of English at a professional level. It is not only the language most sought after by French employers, but it is also the international language par excellence. It will therefore be useful in many situations: international work opportunities, expatriation, communication with foreign suppliers or clients…
English is the native language of more than 370 million people. Nearly 1.5 billion people, including non-native speakers, will speak English in 2022 (source Ethnologue). Learning Shakespeare’s language will open up to a vast market for you with ever-increasing opportunities.
The second largest country in the world with a GDP of almost $20 trillion in April 2022 and a growth of more than 5% expected in 2023 (source IMF), China’s place in the economy is no longer in question.
If Chinese imports are important in France, the reverse is also true! Products that are “made in France” are very popular in the People’ s Republic of China. Learning Mandarin can become a strategic asset if you work in the field of:
- leather goods (€2.3 billion in sales in 2021);
- spirits (€750 million in sales in 2021);
- wine (€558 million in sales in 2021);
- or aeronautics (€4.5 billion in sales in 2021).
Which language should you choose for travelling?
By learning Spanish, you can visit most of South America without worrying about communication problems! It is the official language of 20 countries and there are 548 million Spanish speakers in the world (native and non-native).
Spanish is also widely spoken in some countries where it is not an official language. For example, with 41.8 million native speakers, 13% of the population of the United States speaks Spanish. In Brazil, 8.4 million people speak Spanish, which is around 4% of the country’s population.
You can’t speak French and want to learn the language… what a great idea!
It is the 5th most spoken language in the world. Widely spoken in Africa, it is also, along with English, the only language spoken on all the continents (source diplomatie.gouv.fr). In other words, if you want to travel and discover the cultural richness of many countries, the language of Molière is the one you need to learn.
Did you know that it is also the official language of the Olympic Games? So it will be useful to you in 2024 in Paris and also in 2028 in Los Angeles.
Which foreign language to study to boost your brain power?
All languages are good for nourishing your grey matter! In fact, we talked about it in our article “Learning a new language makes your brain perform better!“.
Toutefois, certaines langues plus exigeantes que d’autres mettront vos capacités d’apprentissage et de réflexion au défi. Parmi elles : le russe. L’alphabet cyrillique, les déclinaisons grammaticales, les couples verbaux et bien d’autres spécificités de la langue de Tchekhov feront travailler vos neurones à plein régime, améliorant ainsi vos performances cognitives.
Would you like to boost your memory? Launch yourself into learning Japanese! It’s true! The script of this language is based on Chinese ideograms called kanji… And you will have no choice but to learn them by heart. Does this scare you? Think of it as a challenge. How many kanji will you be able to remember in a month, a year or 5 years? You might surprise yourself.
Furthermore, since Japanese is a notoriously difficult language, it’s also a good way to stand out by showing a potential recruiter your learning abilities, for example.
If you’re still wondering which language to learn, you must understand there is no right or wrong answer. Each one is worth discovering or learning more about. With 1to1PROGRESS, you will be supported throughout your language learning project by native trainers and a pedagogical team that will listen to you.