Wondering what the best languages to learn are? You’re not alone…
Well, you may be drawn to a foreign language because you’re in love with a culture. Or perhaps you simply like the way it sounds.
But maybe you’re a bit more pragmatic.
Maybe it’s about maximising your opportunities – for business and work, or for travel.
If so, we’re here to give you a bit of inspiration.
Read on for some of the top foreign languages to learn in 2021, and why they’re the most useful.
The best foreign languages to learn in 2021
The Arabic language is quickly becoming a seriously worthwhile investment for those hoping to reach the growing economies in the Middle East and Africa.
According to the World Economic Forum, it’s the fifth most powerful language in the world, and it will probably continue to climb ranks as trade continues to expand to and from Arab nations.
So, French turns out to be a slightly controversial one.
A 2014 New Republic article, for instance, claims that it’s time to stop pretending French is an important language for the world stage.
Others claim that Africa’s growth will help it become a must-know, where it remains the sole official language in 11 countries.
So whether you want to travel to France, Quebec, or Sub-Saharan Africa, it’s still worth thinking about learning this lingua franca (pun intended) that could open some serious doors for your future.
While German is only really officially spoken in six countries (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein), Standard German is spoken by around 100 million people.
Germany is the largest economy in Europe, making German an important language for international business and diplomacy.
- Read more: Should you learn German or French?
A bit of a surprise, as Hindi isn’t always at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to foreign languages.
But if you remember our post about the most spoken languages in the world, it’s standing at an impressive number four on the list, with 310 million native speakers.
Based on popularity alone, it would be a shame to miss out on the growing number of opportunities you’ll get to speak Hindi – not to mention the access it will give you to rich and fascinating cultures.
5. Mandarin Chinese
When Mark Zuckerberg publicly showed off his Mandarin skills, some were wowed, others amused, and others cynical.
Let’s face it: learning Mandarin is one of the smartest moves you can make for business. At the current rate, China’s GDP is set to overtake the US by 2029, and it’s already the world’s largest trading nation.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Mandarin than a good business opportunity.
It’s the most spoken language in the world – and the second most used online. So you’ll get plenty of opportunities to practise.
While you’ll be able to practise your Portuguese with more than 10 million people in Portugal, Brazil seems to be the next frontier for South American business.
Brazil is still the largest economy in Latin America, and it isn’t too hard to learn for native English speakers.
In fact, the British Council added Portuguese in the top 10 most important languages for the UK future, a clear indication that it offers a world of opportunities for education, diplomacy and of course foreign investment.
The Spanish language can take you far.
Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Spain… just a few of the countries where you’ll be able to practise with more than 480 million native speakers across the globe.
- Read more: Should you study Spanish or French?
Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you already know what language you’d like to learn.
But who knows, maybe you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Maybe you’re thinking of adding a third or fourth language to your skillset.
The good news is that with Busuu, you don’t have to focus on just one language. You can learn up to 12 languages, at your own pace – it’s the best way to put all the linguistic odds in your favour.
Feeling inspired yet? We’re Busuu, an app that’s home to the world’s largest language-learning community.
Be inspired every day and learn a language with us for free.