Best Languages to Learn in 2023 and Beyond
As the world grows increasingly connected across borders and cultures, being multilingual is becoming an invaluable asset personally, professionally, and financially. With over 7,000 languages spoken globally, which tongues are worth investing your time to learn in 2023 and beyond?
Certain languages lead the pack when it comes to usefulness for travel, business, diplomacy, and preserving heritage. Let’s explore some top languages and how to choose the right one for you.
Why Learn a Language in 2023?
In our increasingly interconnected digital age, being multilingual provides multifaceted advantages. Professionally, foreign language skills unlock global career opportunities and boost hiring potential and earnings. Lawyers, business executives, medical professionals, and more gain a competitive edge by communicating cross-culturally.
Additionally, research shows bilingualism enhances critical thinking, problem-solving, listening skills, multitasking, and cognitive health. On a personal level, you can forge meaningful relationships with people worldwide, comprehend diverse media and literature, and immerse yourself in new cultures.
Here are a few compelling reasons why mastering another language is an essential investment:
- Enhanced Global Communication: Break language barriers to make connections across diverse cultures. A new tongue allows you to grasp perspectives beyond your own.
- Improved Cultural Literacy: Language is the gateway to fully experiencing art, stories, values, and ideas. An additional language provides new vantage points.
- Career Advancement: Employers increasingly prioritize bilingual skills. Speaking another language makes you an asset for global positions, projects, and travel.
- Preserving Heritage: Pass down family or ancestral languages to maintain traditions and cultural identity. Restore fading mother tongues.
- Cognitive Benefits: Bilingualism boosts critical thinking, focus, problem-solving, listening, and multitasking skills. It also delays cognitive decline.
In our rapidly changing world, learning a language unlocks immense personal and professional value. The time to expand your linguistic abilities is now. So, if you ask yourself, "What language should I learn?" find out how to choose the option that's right for you.
Factors for Choosing a Language to Learn
Selecting the best language to learn is a crucial decision. With so many options, how do you select the right language to study? Consider these key factors:
- Your Interests and Goals: Consider your personal interests and long-term goals. Are you passionate about a particular culture or region? Do you want to advance in your career? Your motivations will help guide your choice. Pick a language tied to your hobbies, travels, or career aspirations.
- Your Learning Style: Some languages may be more compatible with your learning style than others. For instance, if you're a visual learner, a language with a different writing system, like Chinese or Arabic, may be appealing.
- Availability of Resources: Assess the availability of resources, such as language courses, textbooks, and online learning platforms like Promova, which offers a wide range of language courses. Languages like Spanish, French, German, and Italian have plenty of resources for learners, from apps and websites to textbooks, tutors, and immersive programs. Meanwhile, indigenous minority languages spoken by smaller populations like Hawaiian or Navajo have far fewer resources available.
- Level of Difficulty: Different languages have varying degrees of complexity. Some may be easier to learn for native speakers of certain languages. Consider the challenge you're willing to take on.
By weighing your objectives, talents, and time, you can zero in on fitting language choices. Now, let's delve into the specifics of some of the most important languages to learn in 2023:
English is a global lingua franca spoken by billions of people worldwide. It is the primary language for international business, diplomacy, science, technology, and communication. Proficiency in English opens doors to a wide range of opportunities globally.
If you are not sure which is your level of English, you can check the following guidelines or consider taking a placement test to assess your proficiency accurately. A placement test can help determine the appropriate starting point for your language learning journey, ensuring that you receive the right level of instruction and materials to meet your needs.
- Beginner: At the beginner level, learners are introduced to basic vocabulary and simple sentence structures. They can handle everyday, common situations with limited vocabulary and comprehension.
- Elementary: Elementary-level learners can engage in basic conversations and understand simple written texts. They have a foundational grasp of grammar and can express basic ideas and needs.
- Pre-Intermediate: Pre-intermediate learners can hold more extended conversations on familiar topics and understand moderately complex texts. They are comfortable with everyday situations and can start tackling more nuanced language tasks.
- Intermediate: Intermediate-level learners have a good command of grammar and vocabulary. They can participate in discussions on a wide range of topics, both written and spoken, and understand more complex texts.
- Upper-Intermediate: Upper-intermediate learners have a solid grasp of English and can communicate effectively in most situations. They can understand and express ideas on a variety of topics, including abstract concepts.
- Advanced: Advanced learners are proficient in English and can engage in complex discussions, write in-depth essays, and comprehend advanced texts. They have a high level of fluency and accuracy.
- Proficient: Proficient English speakers are nearly indistinguishable from native speakers. They can handle sophisticated language tasks, including academic and professional communication, with ease.
Chinese, particularly Mandarin, is a powerhouse language spoken by over 1 billion people globally. As China continues to drive innovation and economic growth, Chinese is invaluable for accessing the world's second-largest economy and its booming job market across sectors like business, technology, and manufacturing.
Beyond its 490 million native speakers, Spanish has over 590 million total speakers worldwide. After Mandarin, it's the most spoken language globally. The importance of Spanish continues rising as Latin American populations and economies grow. Learning Spanish opens doors to diverse Hispanic cultures and opportunities in business, media, healthcare, and more across Spain, Latin America, and the US.
Known for its precision and efficiency, German is the most widely spoken language within the EU. It’s integral to multinational corporations and booming industries like automotive and engineering. With Germany holding immense economic influence as Europe’s largest economy, German skills offer exciting job prospects and collaboration opportunities.
Thanks to the meteoric rise of K-pop, Korean entertainment, the TV series Squid Game, and the Oscar-winning film Parasite, interest in learning Korean has skyrocketed recently. South Korea is a world leader in innovation, and knowledge of the Korean language and culture can provide insights into the country’s pop culture and economic growth.
Beyond France, French is an official language in 29 countries and widely spoken in former French colonies in Africa, the Caribbean, and beyond. It’s a key language of global diplomacy used in international organizations like the UN, EU, UNESCO, UNICEF, NATO, WWF, and more. French opens doors to many multinational companies and NGOs.
Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine, spoken by over 40 million people. For those interested in Eastern European history and culture, Ukrainian provides access to Ukraine’s rich literary tradition, art, historic archives, and documents.
Japanese has become a major world language, as Japan is a global leader in areas like innovation, technology, gaming, animation, and pop culture. This country has the world’s third-largest economy, and Japanese knowledge is valued by multinational companies.
Italian is the language of art, music, fashion, cinema, and cuisine. It allows you to fully engage with Italy’s influential cultural scene across design, architecture, literature and more. Italian unlocks opportunities in tourism, hospitality, and the culinary arts.
With over 230 million native speakers, Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language globally. It’s the language of business in Brazil, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Portuguese is also useful for exploring business and travel opportunities related to Angola, Mozambique and more.
Over 600 million people speak Hindi, and India is projected to soon have the world’s second-largest economy. As this country grows into an innovation hub, learning Hindi provides exciting opportunities in a variety of thriving industries from technology and engineering to manufacturing and more.
Arabic is crucial for understanding the Middle East and North Africa. It's a language of commerce, diplomacy, and culture in the region. It provides opportunities in the region’s growing economies across sectors like energy, infrastructure development, business services and more.
These languages encompass a wide range of opportunities based on individual objectives, talents, and time constraints. The choice of which language to learn depends on your specific goals and interests. When considering "Which language should I learn?" or seeking the "most useful languages" to acquire as a second language, it's essential to evaluate your personal motivations and what you intend to achieve.
Preserving Indigenous & Endangered Languages
Of the thousands of languages spoken worldwide, many are endangered or nearing extinction. As globalization spreads dominant tongues like English, French, and Spanish, indigenous community languages face increasing threats.
Beyond career or academic motivations, consider studying an endangered language for its cultural preservation value. Not only does this support native speakers, but it also helps keep invaluable aspects of human history and traditions alive.
A few exemplary endangered languages include:
- Hawaiian - Originally spoken by early Polynesian settlers, only about 2,000 people fluent speakers remain.
- Maori - New Zealand's indigenous language with under 150,000 active speakers today.
- Ainu - Originating in Japan, only a few elderly speakers survive of this language on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
- Navajo - Once the most widely spoken Native American language, now below 200,000 speakers.
- Cherokee - Once extinguished, the Cherokee Nation has revived their language but numbers remain low.
- Dakota & Lakota - Sioux languages with under 10,000 total speakers across dialects.
- Ojibwe - A woodlands language of Algonquian stock, estimated 60,000 speakers primarily in the US and Canada.
- Gwich’in - Athabaskan language of Alaska and Canada with under 1,000 fluent elders remaining.
Consider bringing an endangered language back from the brink of extinction through your studies - you'll help preserve invaluable cultural histories for future generations.
The Benefits of Language Learning
Why prioritize learning a new language? Beyond career benefits, language skills unlock a variety of perks:
- Enhanced Cognitive Abilities: Language learning improves cognitive functions such as problem-solving, multitasking, and memory retention. Bilingual individuals often have enhanced focus, listening skills, and mental agility.
- Career Opportunities: Multilingual individuals have access to a broader range of job opportunities, especially in international business, global marketing, healthcare services, education, customer service, and diplomacy. Languages boost hiring potential and earnings.
- Cultural Understanding: Learning a language deepens your understanding of different cultures and promotes cross-cultural communication and sensitivity. You can better grasp art, humor, values, current events, and history.
- Travel and Adventure: Knowing the local language enhances your travel experiences, allowing you to navigate confidently, communicate with locals, and fully immerse yourself in the regional culture.
- Preserve Heritage: Pass down family or ancestral languages to maintain traditions and cultural identity across generations. Restore endangered native tongues.
- Cognitive Health: Research shows bilingualism helps stave off age-related cognitive decline and may delay the onset of dementia. Speaking multiple languages exercises your brain.
Tips for Mastering a New Language
Ready to tackle a new language? Follow these tips to become fluent faster:
- Set Realistic Goals: Define clear, achievable language learning goals to track your progress and stay motivated.
- Find a Learning Method that Works for You: Explore different learning methods, such as online courses, Android or iPhone language apps, or traditional classes, and choose the one that suits your learning style.
- Practice Regularly: Consistency is key. Dedicate regular time to practice, even if it's just a few minutes each day. Build skills gradually without burnout.
- Immerse Yourself in the Language: Surround yourself with the language as much as possible. Watch movies, read books, and engage in conversations to immerse yourself in the language and culture.
With smart goal-setting, immersive practice, and determination, language mastery is within your reach.
Promova: Your Language Learning Partner
As you explore new languages in 2023, Promova offers personalized support and resources:
- Interactive Courses in 10+ Languages - Our self-paced courses teach English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Arabic, Chinese, Ukrainian and more through bite-sized video lessons.
- Mobile Apps - Download our iOS and Android apps to study languages on-the-go through interactive tutorials, vocabulary exercises, games and quizzes.
- Online Tutoring - Expert teachers offer personalized 1-on-1 and small group lessons tailored to your exact language goals via video chat.
- Conversation Practice - Attend our free online English speaking clubs to gain fluency through real discussions with language learners worldwide.
- Specialized Courses - Level up your Business English, English for Travel, and interview skills with targeted instruction.
- Assessment - Our free placement test evaluates your skills and creates a customized learning plan based on your exact needs.
With Promova, you can comprehensively improve your vocabulary, grammar, writing, listening, speaking, pronunciation, and reading in English and other languages! Our flexible, adaptive platform will guide you to fluency in 2023 and beyond.
The best language to learn in 2023 ultimately depends on your individual circumstances and aspirations. With the resources and guidance available through platforms like Promova, you can embark on your language learning journey with confidence. Take the first step towards becoming a global citizen by mastering a new language—it's a skill that will serve you well in the years to come.
What is the best language to learn in 2023?
The best languages to learn in 2023 depend on your interests and goals. Some popular choices include Chinese, Spanish, German, Korean, and Arabic, among others.
What language has the best future prospects?
Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic are expected to become increasingly useful in the future. China's global dominance, Spanish-speaking populations, and Arabic's significance in the Middle East point to these languages gaining prominence moving forward.
How can I decide which language to learn?
Consider your personal and professional goals, interests, learning style, available resources for a language, time commitment, and difficulty level. Choosing a language aligned with your needs and strengths makes learning rewarding.
Is it too late to start learning a new language?
It's never too late to learn a new language! Language learning is a lifelong journey that can be undertaken at any age.
What are the easiest languages for English speakers to learn?
Some of the most accessible languages for English speakers include Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, and German. Their familiar Latin roots and shared vocabulary makes these European languages easier for English speakers.
How does Promova's platform help me learn languages effectively?
Promova offers a wide range of language courses and resources, making language learning accessible and enjoyable. Our platform is designed to accommodate various learning styles and levels of proficiency.