There's often a huge debate among people on what language is the most useful to learn. Usually, people will lean towards whatever language they speak or whatever language they think would be the most useful. Although I believe every language has its usefulness, that's not something we'll get into today. Here, I will give you real, solid reasons on what languages really are the most useful in the world.
1. Mandarin Chinese
According to the CIA World Factbook, 935 million people speak this language worldwide, making it one of the most useful languages based of this fact alone. This means that 12.44% of the world speaks it. It might seem like a small percentage but in the real scope of things, that is HUGE. English only comes in at 4.83%...
With the Chinese population rapidly growing more and more, it could very well become the universal language and overtake English's throne - and according to experts, is already on it's way to becoming it. If you want to be prepared for that transition, then consider learning it.
It's also great for landing a job. China has a huge market and is constantly needing people to help bridge the communication gap. If you can fill that gap, then you got yourself a very high paying, evergreen job. Although it's a very hard language to learn (mostly in writing), it's well worth it.
Shocker? If you're reading this, then you obviously know English and know it's one of the most useful languages. English can get you around basically anywhere in the world. Whether it be Romania, Russia, Indonesia or Japan...you will find someone who speaks it, every time. Although not everyone speaks it, of course.
In a lot of places in the world, it is becoming increasingly harder to land a job without some knowledge of English since it's currently the lingua franca. Almost all international business and diplomatic matters are held in English. If you live in a heavily touristed area, then by all means, you will need to know it for job purposes.
Spanish can get you around almost all of Central and South America and even Spain. That is a lot of places with a lot of speakers. With 4.85% of the world population speaking it, it has just a bit more speakers than English does.
If you live in the US, then you know that Spanish has become a big language here. You see it everywhere nowadays it seems. In my hometown, we have whole towns where everything, the shops, restaurants, etc... are all in Spanish. If you want to be able to communicate with the growing population of Spanish speakers then you should take it up.
Spanish translators are highly needed. You will have no problem getting a job by knowing Spanish as a second or third language.
Let's also not forget how easy it is to learn, especially for any European language speaker. Given around 3 months or so, you could very easily be on a conversational level. If you are looking to learn Spanish, then I suggest taking a look at Assimil (my review).
French is still a huge language and has always been (it used to be the lingua franca). While it might not be close to the others listed here (1.12%), it's still useful to learn for many reasons and still has over 190 million speakers. It's also the most popular second language for people to learn.
French is spoken in many more places than just France, for instance Belgium, Canada, and many countries in Africa. Around 29 countries speak French, so it's pretty big despite what the numbers say.
Arabic is becoming a huge and useful language for a multitude of reasons. The 25 countries that speak Arabic and their markets are quickly becoming a global powerhouse. With somewhere around 400 million speakers, it's a no brainer.
Arabic speakers are in huge demand right now. The problem is - there isn't enough people to fill this demand. If you're looking for the best translator job, then this would be it.
Arabic is also beautiful and full of a rich history dating back centuries. It might be useful to you if you are interested at all in the history of different cultures.
You may or may not agree with this list, but that's ok. It's still just my opinion!
What languages do you think are the most useful and why? Leave a comment below and tell me!