The 10 Most Useful Languages to Learn in 2021
Are all languages worth learning? Polyglots may agree that you should learn as many as you can, but if you’re looking for the most useful languages to learn, you’ve come to the right place!
The most useful languages you can learn are deemed useful for many reasons, including the number of people that speak them, their geography, business and career opportunities, or versatility.
No matter your ultimate goal in learning a language, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most useful languages for you to learn. If you’re a polyglot looking for a list of languages to check off—here you go! Or, if you’re here to choose one language out of the 10, then we’ve got the information to help you decide which language is the best fit for you.
What is a Polyglot?
A polyglot is a person who understands and speaks multiple languages. More specifically, polyglots speak more than four languages and intend to (or already do) learn many more. Polyglots are expert language learners who’ve gone through the language learning process many times and in doing so have mastered their own learning strategies. In fact, polyglots learn differently than the rest of us when mastering the most useful languages.
Is it because they were born that way? Not at all!
Polyglots figure out how they learn best and then build strategies around their learning style. Read how they do it here.
Most polyglots make a career out of their language skills by working as writers, translators, and teachers, but some of them learn languages simply because they’re passionate about communication.
If you’re a polyglot looking to learn the most useful languages there are, this post will give you useful insight into what your next study subject should be. Let’s take a look at the most useful languages to learn in 2021!
Latin may be an old language lacking in conversational prowess, but it’s still one of the most useful languages you can learn, especially if you plan to learn multiple languages. Because Latin is the root of many modern romance languages—such as French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian—it equips you with the skills to understand an extraordinary amount of root words and cognates.
In fact, even English has words rooted in Latin! Not to mention modern science, law, and theology which continue to use Latin as the basis for many of its terms.
By knowing this language, you avoid thousands of hours of memorizing nomenclature, since you’ll understand the terminology based on its Latin root.
While Latin is great if you’re looking to have a solid base for academic excellence, it won’t get you far if you’re looking for a nice conversation over a cup of tea.
With over 200 million total speakers world-wise, Russian is one of the hottest languages to learn in 2021. While a grand majority of websites on the internet are in English, Russia comes second as the language with the most content on the worldwide wide web. It’s even the most used language on the internet in Europe. Despite English’s holding of 59.7% of the internet’s content, Russian possesses 8.7%, which means you should consider learning Russian if you plan to do web-related business in Europe.
Can you guess which country holds third place in the percentage of internet content just after Russian? I’ll give you a hint: at Homeschool Spanish Academy, we can teach you how to speak it fluently!
Hindi is one of the most useful languages to learn in 2021. More than 260 million native speakers exist in the world, while 637 million people in total speak Hindi—meaning that roughly 377 million people learned Hindi as a second or third language.
Put simply, Hindi is a powerful language because India is a powerful country.
India’s telecommunications are one of the biggest and fastest-growing industries in the world, surpassing the US to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world after China.
As a bonus, learning Hindi will give you access to the huge catalog of Bollywood movies available, so you can binge-watch some of the crazy over-the-top films they are known for.
Korean is one of the smallest languages in this list, with 79 million total speakers. However, since 2012— thanks to the overwhelmingly positive reception to the hit song Gangnam Style, and the recent boom in popularity for K-pop bands such as BTS and BLACKPINK—Korean is an up-and-coming language that any aspiring YouTuber, musician, or entertainer will have to learn in order to gain access to one of the fastest-growing music industries in the modern world.
Japan is well known for its technology, art, and culture. If you want to work and do business in tech, learning Japanese will put you leaps ahead of your competitors. Business in Japan is done differently. A big part of successful business transactions in Japan is centered around relationships. If you can get a Japanese executive to agree to join you for dinner, where lots of eating and drinking will be involved, you have a much higher chance of scoring a job or business deal. This means that learning Japanese language and culture is of the utmost importance if you are to make it big over there.
Ah, French. The language of love, encouraging you to make kissy faces when you talk and challenging your pronunciation capabilities. This lovely language is natively spoken by 77 million people with a whopping 277 million speakers worldwide. French is easier to learn if you already know English or Spanish since it shares similarities with both languages. As a Francophile, you get to explore the native works of some of the greatest names in history, such as Molière, Hugo, and Voltaire.
Surprisingly enough, French is the only language that’s spoken across all five continents by both native and non-native speakers, so you’re bound to find a French-speaking buddy wherever you go.
With the rising popularity of tourism in Brazil, Portuguese has become a high-demand language. It has 252 million speakers in the world, and is now a mandatory school subject in Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay. If you happen to work in the hotel, travel, and tourism industries, Portuguese will open a sea of opportunities for you to work and do business in.
I personally know many Latin American doctors and engineers who have improved their lives by learning German. This language requires you to learn the logic behind the grammar to help compensate for its complexities. If you want to take your medical or engineering career to the next level, this is a great language to learn. Many famous philosophers, doctors, and psychologists spoke German, such as Sigmund Freud and Immaneul Kant, giving you direct access to the works of many great minds.
I bet you saw this one coming! Chinese Mandarin is without a doubt one of the most useful languages to learn in 2021, with an amazing 1.13 billion speakers worldwide! China is emerging as a global power, taking industries such as videogames and social media by storm in the last few years. Chinese is easier to learn than you may suspect, and the country offers many programs for students that want to go abroad and learn the language. You may even land a great gig as an English teacher to make some extra bucks while you’re there to learn Mandarin.
Spanish is one of the most useful languages to learn since it opens so many different opportunities for you. With a total of 637 million speakers worldwide, you bridge a communication gap with a large population and geographical area (which includes countries from the USA all the way down to Argentina).
Speaking Spanish allows you to travel and connect with people in a total of 20 countries whose first language is Spanish. And if you want to know about business opportunities, Spanish will open you up to all of those countries, as well as the 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US.
Learn as Much as You Can!
Being a polyglot opens you up to a world of possibilities, career opportunities, and the chance to make new friends all over the world. There are many different languages to choose from, so make sure to think carefully about the most useful languages that suit your needs. Whether you learn a new language because of business, location, or passion, the benefits will always outweigh the time and effort you have to put into it.
If you want to make learning Spanish a lot easier, our certified Spanish teachers are here to help! Take a free class at Homeschool Spanish Academy and begin your journey to learn the most useful languages of 2021 today!
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