8 Languages You Should Learn And Why
Whether you are looking to expand your options at home or abroad, speaking more than one language could help. Now more than ever, so many classes are going virtual, allowing us to tap into the vast offerings of learning/cultural centers from anywhere. Take advantage of this time and pick up a new language. What follows is our list of eight languages you might want to learn and why.
Are you looking to work internationally? If so, you might want to focus on languages derived from top world economies.
When it comes to powerhouses, China is the world’s second largest economy, making Mandarin Chinese one of the top—and most widely spoken—languages to learn. Mandarin is a tonal language which can be quite difficult for English speakers. But if you have a good ear and are open to tossing out the alphabet in lieu of a character system, then you’ll have much success.
Are you up for a challenge? Japanese is a sophisticated language with three unique writing systems. It is one of the more complex languages for English natives to learn. However, if you are interested in technology, business, manufacturing or the food industry, then have patience and put in the extra effort to tackle Japanese.
Germany is Europe’s largest economy with manufacturing, engineering, and pharmaceutical being its leading industries. Also, it’s the third leading exporter in the world. That is why learning German could be very beneficial to your career. German just like English is a part of the Germanic language family which means there are shared similarities. Although German has some sounds English speakers aren’t used to, don’t be afraid to jump right in.
Are you interested in learning a language that is spoken in more than one continent? These are some of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
Spanish is one of the most useful languages. It is widely spoken in three continents—South America, North America, and Europe. Moreover, it is one of the easier Romance languages to learn, offering straight forward pronunciation and grammar rules. So, if you want to be versatile and expand your career domestically or abroad, then why not pick up Spanish?
For a language that is world renowned for its beauty and focuses on keeping a sonic flow, French is the 5th most spoken language in the world. It dominates leading luxury consumer industries like food, wine and fashion. Though such beauty comes at a cost, it can be a pronunciation challenge, but well worth the reward.
Arabic is one of the most sought-after languages in need of translators. This may be due to the region’s stronghold in oil, gas and other natural resources or its increasing presence in real estate. Arabic has many different dialects that can vary greatly. Furthermore, it’s written from right to left. Still, if you can master Arabic, you will be in high demand.
When it comes down to it, learn a language that excites you or fits your aptitude. That way you will be more engaged and enjoy the learning process. Here are some languages you may want to consider.
Known as the 3rd language in America, ASL (American Sign Language) is not as nuanced as spoken languages, many times meaning is derived from the context of the sentence. Naturally, it’s perfect for those who excel in visual memorization and a great idea if you are looking to learn a more expressive language. Don’t forget, ASL isn’t universal, but it will definitely help you carve out a niche.
From music to tv dramas to food, Korean influences are on the rise. Hangul, the written language, was designed to be simple; you could start teaching yourself in the morning and have it memorized by the evening. Yet, Korean is an honorific language and has multi-tiered speech levels, making it more intricate. Nevertheless, it’s worth learning.
Bored or Have Extra Time? What You Should Be Reading But Probably Aren’t
Have you ever heard the saying, “Knowledge is Power?” Of course, you have. With all the influences from other parts of the world impacting our modern society, we as professional women must continue to feed our minds powerful information, if we want to always have a seat at the table. So, edify yourself—because the world is changing and you don’t want to be left behind. Be knowledgeable and stay curious. The following are excellent reading recommendations with an international scope.
The go-to for almost anything happening in the world today. Not only do they report things first—way before many US outlets—they cover everything, from travel to world affairs. Additionally, BBC offers fun series like The Boss for business enthusiasts. So, if you aren’t getting BBC news sent to your inbox daily, then you aren’t getting the full story.
Specialty: Obviously, Everything (full stop).
2) Gen T
This is the coolest, hippest site featuring emerging leaders in Asia. Honestly, what other platform for young leaders has this much swag? Along with copious interviews and profiles, they also house some pretty neat “think” articles and host events. Also known as Generation T Asia, it is a sub-brand of the popular site Tatler Asia.
Specialty: Connecting ideas and leadership in Asia
3) Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera has so much to offer in terms of the way they deliver information to the world. A major news outlet for most of the world, including the Middle East and Africa. Al Jazeera is also a dynamic platform for you to dig deep into documentaries. From Fork the System (a food docu series) to Start Here (a hot topics docu series), there’s plenty to indulge in.
Specialty: Amazing documentaries that will have you hooked and knowledgeable in no time.
4) Flyer Talk
Billed as the world’s most popular frequent flyer community, it’s perfect for those of you who travel a lot for business or pleasure. With articles on travel—hence the name—and an active community, Flyer Talk provides insight to your traveling questions, needs, and more. Current topics affecting the travel world, you will find them here.
Specialty: A destination for travelers wanting to know what’s going on in the air and on the ground.
A leading newspaper in Brazil, Globo is ranked among the top websites in the world. It offers a mix of news, sports, trending stories, and a bit of Brazilian pop culture. It kind of has that telenovela feel and we like it! Most importantly, this website provides a good resource for current events in Brazil. Be sure to hit translate unless you know Portuguese.
Specialty: Trending news in Brazil, telenovela style.