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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.

2. English

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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.

3. Spanish

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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).

4. French

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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.

5. Arabic

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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.

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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!

Today, I decided to post some of my favorite language learning books I've read in the past year. Although, not all I've personally read as some are recommended by other language learners. Anyway, here are the 10 recommended books on language learning. Enjoy!

  1. The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast
  2. The Third Ear
  3. Language is Music
  4. Speak Like a Native
  5. How To Learn Any Language
  6. The Polyglot Project (FREE)
  7. The Pocket Linguist
  8. Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One
  9. Accelerated Fluency
  10. How Languages Are Learned

Want more?

Check out the current bestsellers in the lingustics books on Amazon.

Note: Languageholic earns a small commission if you purchase one of these books after clicking on one of the above links. This helps LH sustain itself – I appreciate your support!

Today's guest post comes to us from Brendon Gleaves where he'll be teaching us how to be better at self-learning French!


We live in a world and age where most people know two, three or even four languages. The reasons behind the decision to know several languages are many: a better paid workplace, a job in another country, a relationship, etc. Out of all the 6000 languages spoken today, the fastest and easiest language to learn by a native English speaker is French. Not only that English has “stolen” many words and phrases from French (including culinary ones such as “French fries”), but French is an amazingly easy language to learn.

The good news, in case you want to learn French, is that you don’t necessarily have to pay a tutor to teach you. You can also self-teach yourself this language. Rather than paying out of your pocket for a private tutor or spending precious time going to classes, you can learn French from the comfort of your home. The only challenge you might face if you choose the second option is to convince yourself to study every single day. When it comes to learning a new language, regularity and repetition are vital for attaining success. In order to improve the learning process and learn French faster, here are 5 things you can do.

1. Mix It Up

First of all, you need to realize the need to do exercises from different areas each day. For instance, mix two exercises of grammar with learning a new verb. Moreover, try learning two more nouns and start getting involved in a conversation with a French speaker. If you see a cat or dog on the street, do not hesitate to greet it in “en Français”. Use phrases and words in French as often as you can and you will definitely see the results in a short span of time.

2. Use Music and Sounds

imaasgeAn amazingly interactive way to learn French is by listening to music. There are tons of artists available for you to listen to, from Celine Dion to Lorie and Lana Fabian. Here is a list with the best French pop music artists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_pop_music.

3. Do Not be Afraid of Making Mistakes

You will definitely mess up a lot of verbal agreements and nouns during the first couple of months. Do not be disappointed, but keep going. You should not be worried about making mistakes, but about not making progress. When learning a new skill, mistakes are always part of the learning process. Therefore be kind to yourself and believe in your potential.

4. A Movie Per Day

Most teenagers in Europe are well versed in communicating in English because they have literally seen all Hollywood movies. The same is true for French. If you want to immerse in their culture and learn idioms and words commonly used in France, watching a movie a day should not be too much.

5. Get New Connections

Lastly, in order to get your French skills to a whole new level, you should find yourself some French friends. You can easily look on forums or social networks and start talking with a guy or girl who seem interesting and friendly. There are also many French learning organizations that can help you find amazing natives eager to help you improve your French skills.

With these in mind, start getting your French skills to the next level and plan your upcoming trip to Paris – it will definitely worth it!


Brendon Gleaves is a language enthusiast currently interested in mastering Spanish. You can find some of his best language learning tips and tricks at
http://www.languagehelper.net.