Learning to speak more than one language is always a plus in life, especially when it comes to travel, business, and the internet. Knowing more than your native tongue is really beneficial in the business world, especially for those working in international business. While some languages may be harder to learn than others, it is important to work at your own pace and set goals for yourself when learning new languages. If you're thinking about picking up a second language the following are good to know now:
1. Spanish With over 34 million Spanish speakers in the United States, the US has the world's fifth largest Spanish speaking population. Spanish is also the second most spoken language at home, behind English, in the US. Working and living in the US, it is beneficial to know Spanish because of those statistics alone. Many states in the US require government notices and official documents to be bilingual in Spanish and English. Also, many jobs in the US today, either require the applicant to be bilingual in English and Spanish, or offer higher salaries for those that qualify.
2. Chinese Over 2 million people in the US speak some form of the Chinese language. Since China has become one of the largest trading partners with the US, it is very beneficial for English speaking people to learn Chinese. Of all foreign languages offered and studied at high schools and universities, the Chinese language shows the most increased enrollment rates. With such a fast growing economy and global market in China, speakers fluent in Chinese can find various jobs in fields such as government, international relations, technology, translations and many more.
3. French With French being the fourth most spoken language in the US, it is important to know the French language. According to statistics, over 1.5 million Americans speak French, and there are several French communities in the US- located in Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. In the US, most high schools and universities offer French language courses, and degrees in the language are becoming more common. The French language is also the second most studied foreign language behind Spanish, so there are plenty of opportunities to learn the language.
4. German Over 1.5 million people in the US speak German. The German language is offered in many high schools and universities across the country. Since German and English are both Germanic languages, they share some of the same words and origins, which makes it a good choice for English speakers. Since German is important in the global economy and many American companies are owned by German companies, learning the German language should be important for employees to know.
5. Tagalog Tagalog, which is spoken as a first language in the Phillipines, is spoken by over 1.2 million people in the US. The majority of Filipinos living in the US are fluent in Tagalog and it is offered as a major at many universities across the country. With Filipinos being one of the fastest growing Asian populations in the US, it may be likely that in the future, Americans who know the language are likely to be hired with companies who require fluency in other languages.
6. Vietnamese With more than 1 million Vietnamese speakers in the US, many of them living in California and Texas, Vietnamese is a fast growing population. Statistics show that many immigrant groups such as Vietnamese Americans tend to be small business owners, making their language an influential part of family owned businesses across the US. Many other states in the US that are fast growing in their Vietnamese populations suggest that the language may be beneficial to learn.
7. Korean Korean is the official language of Korea and is spoken by more than 850,000 people in the US. Like many immigrant groups in the US, Korean immigrants are small business owners across the country, making the Korean language favorable to learn. Korean is also one of the less difficult Asian languages to learn because the alphabet is simple, and reading the language doesn't require learning thousands of symbols.
8. Polish With more than 650,000 people speaking Polish in the US, it is becoming a more popular language to learn. The largest populations of Polish speakers exist in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago. The Polish people and language have been relevant in economical and social growth in these areas. The Polish in Chicago represent the second largest Polish population outside of Poland, making it very beneficial to know the language in that area.
9. Russian About 750,000 people in the US speak Russian. It is more frequently spoken in the areas of California, New York, and Miami, with its largest speaking areas in the Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island parts of New York. The large influx of Russian immigrants into the US, has caused an increase of the language usage, making it a more popular language, therefore, more beneficial for people to learn.
10. Italian More than 1 million people in the US speak Italian. Due to the large Italian immigrant influx the Italian language has been spoken more widely in the last 100 years. The Italian language is good to learn because it is connected to the arts such as, architecture, sculpture, and literature. If these are of particular interest to you, Italian is a good language to learn.