With the many languages there are in the world, choosing what to learn exactly can be confusing and tricky. Here are a few tips to help you out:

 

Why learn a language in the first place?

While it may seem tiresome and difficult to learn a second language, it’s actually very challenging and fun! Plus, it also provides a list of benefits such as a boost in brainpower, increased confidence, the chance to connect with more people, and the ability to see the world in a different light. Not to mention, language also serves as an indispensable skill and edge in various fields of expertise!

 

But what language should I learn?

So, you want to learn a language? That’s great! But choosing what language to learn out of hundreds there are in the world can be a tough and overwhelming decision. Especially since there are a lot of global languages to choose from. It can surely be overwhelming to decide which one will be the best fit for you. Some learn a new language for their careers or education, others just want to immerse themselves in a different culture or two. So, before you start availing resources for your language learning journey, it’s important to have a good reason to study.

Many think that they should learn a language that is widely spoken. While that may be one thing to consider, there are also many other reasons you should take into account when picking your target language. Here’s a list to name a few:

 

A language you’re genuinely interested in.

The more interested you are in a language, the more motivated you are to learn it. So, if you’re learning a certain language so you can understand your favorite band, show or movie better, or maybe you’re just really fascinated with how beautiful the language is, go ahead and pick a language that piques your interest! That will make learning the language not just useful for you, but also more exciting.

 

A language you have the tools for.

Do you have easy access to learning materials for your target language? Are there any available courses you can enroll in? Having these tools at your reach is a crucial factor because without them, learning a language can become difficult. For popular languages, like French, Spanish and German, this shouldn’t be an issue, but it may be difficult to find resources for lesser-studied languages.

Thankfully, more and more resources are surfacing thanks to the advancement of technology; paving the way for easier language study. Take goFLUENT, for example. Gone are the days of heavily relying on textbooks or face-to-face classes. Today, one can learn a language right on their smart device, letting them take charge of their learning anytime, anywhere. What’s more is that it provides a hyper-personalized blend of everything you’d want in a learning resource (the right human touch, technology, and relevant content) right at your fingertips!

 

A language similar to your native one.

What language are you already fluent in? Believe it or not, but this is a huge factor when considering the next language you should study. If you’re looking to put a little ease into your language learning experience, then you might want to start by thinking about which languages are most similar to your native one in sound, structure, and vocabulary. If you already know Spanish, then maybe you could consider learning Portuguese since they come from the same language family. Or maybe Mandarin if you’re a native English speakerWho knows, maybe because of the similarities of your native language and target language, you’ll become fluent in no time!

 

A language that will help advance your career.

What better way to advance your career than to learn a language that will set you apart from the rest of the competition? In our increasingly globalized world, companies are looking to have globally competitive employees as well. Various studies can attest that being bilingual or even multilingual can drive individuals to greater success, career-wise.

While it may be good to learn a widely spoken language, it still depends on where you are, where you plan to work or which job you want to get. Some companies seek out those who speak excellent English, others prefer those who speak Mandarin or French. So, choosing a language to learn may also depend on your personal career plans.

 

A language that’ll be useful for you.

Usefulness is definitely something to consider since constant practice and application can help you better master a language. This goes from the time you’re studying it to the time when you can actually apply it— whether it be for everyday interactions, travel or work. If a language you plan to learn is valuable for you to help you express your thoughts better, to understand what people are trying to say, and to perform your job better, that’s when you’ll know it’s useful. Perhaps, Italian is the right choice for you if you work in Italy or have many Italian clients. Or maybe English is a better choice because the people you work with are English speakers, and to better collaborate with them, you need to speak the language. Whatever language best benefits you, go for that. In this way, you’ll be able to constantly apply it daily or in various areas of your life; not letting your time and energy learning go to waste.

Originally published in April 2019

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