Human language is something we have used to communicate with each other for eons. We have used it to create stories and tales that can entertain our children, we have used it to take records of historical events that played a large role in shaping our society, and we often use it to understand each other and to express our thoughts and emotions.
There are various languages from all around the world. It may vary from country to country, or even have branching dialects of its own. This can make communication quite difficult among people from other nations or continents. This is why it is important to learn a secondary language you can rely on when your mother tongue fails to do the job.
If you live in Singapore, then chances are that you are already bilingual. You have learned your parent’s mother tongue and are accustomed to communicating using the English language. However, it never hurts to learn an extra language or two.
The earliest form of a recorded system of writing which has properties that resemble our current perception of language is the cuneiform system of the Sumerians back in what once called Mesopotamia. Their writing system consist of characters that each represents a word or thought and was used for taking records of their food stock, population, and other necessities. This writing system also gave birth to the earliest known myths to humankind which introduced us to king Gilgamesh.
After the fall of the Sumerian empire, multiple groups of people started their own settlements near the fertile crescent and gave birth to various other languages that they use to communicate with their collective group. This is what eventually led to the widespread use of language that is written and is similar to what we use today.
Now that you know the history and perks of learning multiple languages, let us now discuss the best languages to learn to help you become one step closer to being Mr. Worldwide.
It should be a no brainer that English should be included in this list. Including the English language may seem redundant as you are already reading this article in English, but we still have to list the benefits of learning this language. The English language has over 379 million native speakers, kind of small when you consider that it holds the title “lingua franca” or the universal language. However, you should keep in mind that these numbers only include native speakers, and does not include the 753 million people who speak it as a second language.
English is considered an essential language to learn for most countries and is useful for daily communication or formal meetings. You can use English as middle ground for any negotiation with any foreigner as most of the times, they will understand English even if you both speak different mother tongues.
In terms of raw numbers, then Chinese has English beat by a wide margin. Chinese has a whopping total number of native speakers reaching 1.3 billion. Of these 1.3 billion native speakers, 917 million speak Mandarin, and the rest speak a combination of Cantonese and other similar variation of the language. It would be a great idea to work up on the language that has the greatest number of native speakers as there is a 1 in 7 chance that the next person you encounter in the streets speaks Chinese.
This will allow you to be able to communicate with the largest population of native speakers in the world and be able to hold your own in conversations. If you are aiming for a job that is located near China, then you better brush up on your Chinese language skills as this language is one of the hardest languages to learn due to its vast number of characters and different tones for pronunciation of these characters.
The next language in our list is the Spanish language, which has a total of 460 million native speakers. Spain was once part of the leading countries in terms of expeditions and colonialism, which is why a lot of 3rd world countries have roots dating back to the Spanish colonial period. This could come in handy when you want to work in a European country.
Spanish can also serve as a gateway to other European languages such as French and Portuguese as these languages share the same root and are quite similar to each other to some degree. Spanish also shares a few characteristics with Chinese like how the tone dictates the definition of a word.
We have briefly mentioned French earlier but this language also needs to be included in this list. Although the French language only has 76 million native speakers, it is still a rather popular language. Often dubbed as the most romantic language, this language might just be what you need to learn.
French can be useful when you want to have a job as a diplomat working for your country in a foreign land, or you can work as a teacher who teaches French to eager students. French is also often viewed as a language of exquisite cuisine, so if you are a food lover and want to know what those fancy looking dishes actually means, then you need to start working on your French skills as soon as possible.
Hindi is another language that was briefly mentioned earlier but also deserves its own spotlight. With a total number of 341 million native speakers, it is hard to pass up on a language that this many people speak. Although it is quite a challenge to learn all the different variations to the Hindi language that are scattered throughout the countryside, the one spoken in their capital should be enough for you to make regular conversations with the locals.
India is also renowned for the flavor of their dishes, which are often exotic looking for the regular person that grew up in a western-like settlement, but are still tasty nonetheless. Learn this language and you would no longer be wondering what the “tika masala” means in “chicken tika masala”. If you love the food or want to work in the country, then learning Hindi would be a great thought to consider.
The middle east was where it all began, and this is where we will go to next. Of all the languages in the middle east, Arabic has by far the greatest number of native speakers. Reaching a number of 315 million, this could certainly come in handy when you want to work or take a vacation anywhere in the middle east.
The middle east is known for its wealthy economy driven by the numerous oil deposits they have, which is something you can look forward to if you want to visit or work in the area. Learning Arabic will enable you to communicate with their locals and be able to understand their traditions and taboos so that you will not make any mistakes. By doing so, you can be able to relax and continue with your vacation, or work without any worries of offending anyone in the area.
Japanese is an interesting case in this list. There are approximately 128 million native Japanese speakers, and almost all of them are isolated in the country of Japan. However, this country is what gave us anime and manga, and if you are an avid enthusiast of these, then you should probably start learning Japanese.
On a more professional basis, learning Japanese can also be beneficial for you if you want to work there. Japan is renowned for their innovative technology, commendable economy, and professional work atmosphere. They are also known to continuously look for outstanding talent to add to their workforce as their population is slowly declining. If you want to land a job in Japan, then we suggest you start learning the language as English is often rarely spoken in the country.
The language you should learn depends on your future plans. Whether you want to stay where you are, or migrate somewhere else; work in a local business or in an international firm, these decisions will greatly affect the language you will learn. And if you want a place to help you learn the language of your choice, then look no further than at FamilyTutor.
Singapore’s leading home tuition agency offers private tuition for a variety of subjects including Chinese, Hindi, English, Malay, and other languages of your choice. We make sure that our rates are at market value to give you quality private tuition for a reasonable price. What’s more is that we offer private tuition to anyone from pre-school students and even beyond university level students so it is never too late to learn another language or two. All it takes is a few moments and you will be set to learn a new language of your choice.
FamilyTutor is an established home tuition agency in Singapore! We match suitable home tutors for our clients not just to improve the students' academic grades, but also to build a strong rapport and meaningful relationship with the students and even the their whole family. FamilyTutor put every student in good hands!
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