Whether you're a parent who wants their child to be open to new cultures or a modern worker trying to polish up their resume, you might be considering some foreign language courses. Knowing a second language can be incredibly useful, both in the workplace and in your social life. Here are five of the most widely-used languages in the world today.
Spanish: With over 30 million speakers, Spanish is the second-most popular language in the US. It's also the most popular language throughout South America, a continent with several growing economies. Pronunciation and grammar are easy to pick up, and it's by far one of the most common languages to take a class in.
French: Though you might not realize it, French has had a huge impact on the English language as we know it today, providing up to one-third of its full vocabulary. This makes French simple to comprehend and learn for English-language speakers. It's also the official language for all agencies of the United Nations and popular throughout Europe and Africa.
Mandarin: With China's economic and political influence rising fast, the Mandarin dialect of Chinese is becoming one of the most popular languages to learn. Many businesses are looking for Mandarin speakers who can help them manage their trade relations with Chinese firms. Mandarin grammar is relatively simple, but the real challenge is mastering pronunciation and different types of pitch.
Italian: As a Romance language, Italian is very close to Latin, which is the foundation for most of the words in the English language. Much like Spanish, Italian has easy-to-learn grammar and pronunciation with a musical quality that's very distinctive. And like French, it's one of the most common languages in Europe with nearly 60 million speakers.
German: Much like Latin and French, German is responsible for several key words in the English language, including "angst," "wanderlust," and "kindergarten." This makes its vocabulary easy to learn. German is also widely spoken across Europe for both business and social purposes.
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