Knowing languages allows us to communicate in a globalized world, allows us to understand new cultures, new traditions and customs and, last but not least, opens up new job opportunities.
In everyday life, we don’t always realize how important it is to know languages, but as soon as we are faced with people from different cultures, our need for communication emerges and pushes us to want to learn the foreign language. we need the moment to better express ourselves and understand our interlocutor.
The same thing happens when it becomes necessary to face the challenges that the world of work presents: both for those who have a job and for those who are looking for a job, knowledge of languages is a fundamental element to increase your opportunities.
So, let’s see together why it is so important to know languages, let’s find out which languages are most spoken in the world and how to learn them through the tools that the web makes available to us.
5 reasons to encourage the study of languages
We have already said in part that in a globalized world, the need to know at least one language other than one’s own is increasingly evident and of course, the reasons may be different.
Here are 3 reasons why foreign languages are essential both from a personal and a professional point of view:
- Knowing languages allows you to travel more consciously and get rich. A trip is an opportunity, to see new places and landscapes, but above all to get in touch with new cultures and learn traditions and ways of life that are sometimes very different from ours. Speaking the language of the people who live in the places you visit, mother tongue, English, French or Spanish, means communicating with the people you meet and fully perceive their way of life. Being curious about a different culture is, therefore, a great starting point to start learning a foreign language, also to access the original versions of films, songs, books and everything else that fascinates us about that culture.
- Learning a foreign language opens up many opportunities in the world of work . Knowledge of at least one foreign language is an essential requirement to find work abroad but also in Italy. Whether you work in a small company in your city or in a multinational company, you will always be required to have specific language skills. Especially if you wish to work in a multinational, English will probably be sufficient, but the knowledge of at least one other language will be a preferential requirement: Spanish, French or another of the most widely spoken languages in the world, depending on the sector and country. with which the company has commercial relations.
- To stimulate learning and keep a passion alive. Learning a new language, in addition to the pleasure and musicality of the language, slows down the aging of the brain. As children it is much easier to learn a foreign language, but over the years, this ability decreases, which is why it is important to always keep your brain in training through cognitive activities, including learning a language that allows, among other things to develop reasoning and verbal intelligence.
What are the most widely spoken languages in the world?
There are about 7,102 languages, spoken by over seven billion people.
In an attempt to draw up a reliable and updated ranking , a research by Statista was taken as a reference. Here is the list of the 10 most spoken languages in the world in 2022 .
In the first place among the most spoken languages in the world is English . Among the people who use it as a first or second language, we reach a total of about 1.5 billion speakers in 24 countries . English owes its diffusion to British colonial businesses and its simplicity, which makes it useful in trade and international relations.
2. Mandarin Chinese
The second language in the ranking is Mandarin Chinese with around 1.1 billion people, spoken in 8 countries and with 909 million native speakers. Learning it could open many doors, especially in the workplace.
In third position is Hindi . Although it may seem unusual, Hindi is spoken by over 600 million people in 22 countries . We are not just talking about India, some ethnic minorities also speak this language in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Spanish is widely used as a second language. In fact, in the world, there are over 548 million people who speak Spanish and it is the second most widespread language in the United States, with a total of 41.75 million speakers.
French is positioned in the middle of the table with over 274.1 million speakers. The success of the European language is certainly not due to its simplicity, but more to its elegance and historical diffusion.
The most studied languages in the world
According to The Washington Post newspaper, the ranking of the most studied languages in the world, on the other hand, naturally sees English in first place, French in second and Mandarin Chinese in third. Following, Spanish and German, in the same fourth position, with Italian in fifth place.
- English (with 1.5 billion students)
- French (with 82 million students)
- Chinese (with 30 million students)
- Spanish and German (tied with 14.5 million students)
- Italian (with 8 million students)
- Japanese (with 3 million students)
The Duolingo ranking shows more or less the same results, except for the Spanish language, which is in second position, and for Chinese, which is in tenth.
English is and remains the language spoken in the largest number of countries in the world.
Learning a foreign language does not only mean knowing the language of a person who lives in a country other than ours, but above all it means enriching one’s cultural background.
Their importance is undeniable, but it is not always easy to learn a new language only at school. Let’s see how to do it.
Training courses to learn a foreign language
There are several ways to learn a foreign language . Let’s say you want to learn Spanish . The first thing to do is to enroll in a Spanish language course . It can be an online or classroom language course, the important thing is that it provides you with the basics to first be able to understand if you like the Spanish language (or the language you started learning about) and then to be able to easily deal with it. the second part, which offers you a 360 ° competence not only on Spanish, but also on the way of life of the Spaniards and their culture. Of course, if you are forced to learn it for professional reasons, whether you like it or not, you have to study it.
So, after learning the basic grammar rules, you need to increase your vocabulary, therefore, exponentially increase the number of terms you know and practice constantly.
In order to cope with this second moment, the best way, if you have the possibility, is to travel. Whether you have learned it at school, university or through an online Spanish course , in order to be able to speak a foreign language correctly and fluently, you will have to stay for a certain period (the duration depends on several factors: financial availability and time, degree of personal learning, etc.) in one of the countries whose inhabitants speak Spanish.
Participating in the Erasmus Plus program , taking advantage of job opportunities abroad, in short, whatever allows you to fully immerse yourself in the context of reference, will make learning Spanish easier and faster.
It may be difficult at first, but gradually you will realize that you speak Spanish very easily.
If you do not have the opportunity to stay abroad, then you will need to practice the language in your country through Spanish courses with specialized native speakers.
Some institutions also issue certificates of attendance and language certificates, should you need them.
We referred to how to learn Spanish, but the same path is valid for any other foreign language you want to learn.