Which languages are worth learning, and what to focus on when choosing a language?
The choice of language or languages that are worth learning in 2021 should be considered against your individual plans. Are you considering economic migration? If you put a good salary first, do some research into where the labour market is open to immigrants. It is also worth considering how many countries a given language is used in. The more popular the language, the more places you can potentially choose as your employment destination. However, when choosing a language that is widely used in the world, you must also take into account that there will be more competition.
If, on the other hand, you’re planning a trip somewhere, its direction will probably determine the choice of course. If you want to communicate with locals during your vacation, language proficiency is not heavily required. You just need to learn the basics. In order to reach the basic level (A1) on the CERF six-point scale (this is the European Framework of Reference for Languages, determining the level of language proficiency), you need to study for approximately 80-100 hours. With a systematic approach, you can achieve A1 level after about 3-6 months. With such skills at your disposal, you will most likely get along with local residents at least on basic issues, the areas most useful during foreign travel.
Learning foreign languages is not only a way to improve your qualifications or make your life easier on vacation. Languages are also worth learning to give the brain some solid exercise. In this way, you’re working for your health and comfort, and avoiding the risk of diseases associated with old age.
3 languages worth learning to make it in the business world
Are the world’s most frequently spoken languages also the most desirable in business? To a large extent, yes. English is still the international language of business. It could not be otherwise, since the US has the most powerful economy in the world. English can be considered the language of the past, present and future, although it must be admitted that the knowledge of this language is unlikely to make you stand out. The use of English in business is not an advantage, but often rather an obligation.
So what languages are worth learning to shine in the job market and the business world? It is certainly good to bet on those that are less popular, but which may have interesting professional prospects.
In the British Council ranking, Russian is listed in the top ten most important languages. The economy in Russian-speaking countries is constantly developing, which means that countries such as Russia, Ukraine or the former republics of the Soviet Union will undoubtedly need well-qualified workers who speak Russian fluently.
The language is spoken by over 221 million people (these are the people for whom Portuguese is their mother tongue), most of whom live in Brazil. And it is because of this huge South American country that it is worth learning Portuguese in 2021. The economy of the Coffee Country is one of the most dynamically developing economies around the globe, and the largest and most important on its continent.
The World Economic Forum ranks Japanese fourth in respect to the attractiveness of this language for economic reasons. It is forecast that Japanese will not fall outside the top ten at least before 2050. Knowing this language is an attractive option, especially for people working in modern technologies. The industry in the Land of the Rising Sun is famous for its innovative solutions, and as the population growth in Japan is small, this country will certainly have to open up to immigrants in order to sustain economic development.
The 5 most commonly used languages in the world
The number of people who speak a given language can also answer the question: what languages are worth learning. Below you will find a list of the five most commonly used ones:
With 1 billion and 132 million users, English is the number one, most spoken language in the world. And it is the mother tongue of only 379 million people, which proves the enormous popularity of English as a second language. No wonder then that it is the most common foreign language in Polish schools.English is the official language in 67 countries.
Mandarin comes second, with 1 billion and 117 million speakers and an impressive mother tongue count. There are as many as 918 million native speakers. Mandarin uses a pictographic writing system, where each character is a different word. To master the basics, you need to learn about 3,000 characters. It is a difficult language, so when choosing Mandarin, reach for a proven course. If you are physically attending lessons, it is also worth supporting yourself with a mobile course from SuperMemo. For beginners, we recommend Chinese Fast Track, which, thanks to the SuperMemo spaced repetition method, will make it easier to remember Mandarin characters.
Mandarin dialect is the official language, in 4 countries, and these are, apart from China, Taiwan, Singapore and Burma.
Hindi takes the last place on the podium. It is spoken by 615 million people, and for 341 million it is the mother tongue. Interestingly, Hindi is only one of the 23 constitutional languages in India.
Hindi is the official language only in India.
Spanish is spoken worldwide by 534 million people. It is the mother tongue for a large part of this group, as many as 460 million. After Mexico, the US is the second most populous country in the world to speak Spanish, and this number continues to grow. This is why Spanish can be regarded as the language of the future, at least in the Americas.
Spanish is the official language in 22 countries.
French, with 280 million speakers ends our list. It is the mother tongue for 77 million people. It is most commonly spoken in France.
French is the official language in 28 countries.
Of course, the most popular language is not always the best choice. If you want to learn to find a better job, sometimes it’s worth targeting a slightly more niche language. This way, you will certainly face less competition.
Languages of the future – the Polish perspective
Considering that, according to Central Office of Statistics data, Germany is Poland’s largest trading partner, a German course is a good idea. This language is invariably one of the most popular foreign languages in Polish schools. Germany is our neighbour and, in addition, a real economic power, so learning this language will be a future-proof option in the very long term. It is a safe choice that will surely increase your value on the labour market.
Business cooperation with China is also strengthening. If we take into account the number of people who speak Mandarin, the economic potential of China and the fact that the value of goods imported to Poland from China is growing, it is worth considering Mandarin as your new language.
Undoubtedly, Scandinavian languages should still be considered as the languages of the future. Iceland is one of the most interesting emigration destinations. Poles constitute as much as 5.3% of the country’s population. A very large percentage of our compatriots are also in Norway, where Poles constitute nearly 2% of the population. People are attracted to the Scandinavian countries because of high earnings and openness to immigrants. Admittedly, it often happens that Poles treat these countries as economic stoppages and live in Polish enclaves without knowing the language. However, if you are thinking about staying in the north a bit longer, it will be a good idea to improve your Icelandic, Norwegian or Swedish language skills. You can learn the basics of Norwegian and Swedish with SuperMemo – Norwegian. Fast Track and Swedish. Fast Track.
The intensity of political and economic cooperation between Poland and Hungary has also been increasing for some time. And while the former is sometimes unstable, the economic ties definitely have more stable foundations. Therefore, if you are not afraid of Hungarian tongue twisters, you can reach for Hello! Magyar – a beginner’s course, thanks to which you will learn over 500 basic Hungarian phrases after just 2 months of learning for a dozen minutes per day.
How to learn the languages of the future
We have answered the question which languages are worth learning in 2021 quite extensively. But how should we learn the languages of the future? The answer: by going with the times and reaching for modern tools. The year 2020 got us used to e-learning. While learning from home, many people also had to learn to be systematic and develop the persistence needed in independent learning. That is why, in 2021, we especially recommend mobile SuperMemo courses. They are based on our original spaced repetition method. Thanks to this, you don’t have to spend several hours a day studying to see satisfying results. It is enough to repeat the material regularly for only a few minutes daily. The frequency of repetitions in SuperMemo is set by a special algorithm and adapted to individual predispositions.
However, in learning the languages of the future, it is worth diversifying the tools that are used. It is important that you have as much contact with the language as possible. Therefore, in addition to classroom courses and learning applications, immerse yourself in foreign languages on a daily basis. How can you do it? Technology comes to the rescue again.
While it is very easy to access movies and series in the most commonly used language of the world, i.e. English, it may be a bit harder with other languages, the languages of the future. However, if you are a crime fiction fan, you can easily pick up some Norwegian, Swedish or even Icelandic while watching crime series on Netflix and HBO Go. The choice should be quite large. In turn, if you decide that in 2021 it is worth learning Hindi, Bollywood will come to your aid, with a lot of productions that are also widely available on streaming platforms. The more you come into contact with a language, the faster you will see progress.
So, no matter what language you will be learning in 2021, remember to be systematic in learning and take advantage of the opportunities offered by modern technologies.