Top Ten Most Useful Languages to Learn

pirloandrea
Rated by:

1. Number of speakers: With how many people in the world can you communicate with this language, including languages that are similar.
2. Geographical distribution: Over how many lands is this language spread/in how many parts of the world can you use it.
3. Cultural and historical significance: can you use the language to understand scientific words/is the language important for a certain culture

PS: First 6 languages are UNO languages and the UNO has had good reasons to select them.

The Top Ten

1 English

English is the international language, if you can't speak english. You do not have access to a lot of stuff! I'm French and I can say it's so annoying to can't know speak English. - Squadela

So in case you go into a state filled with people who speak English, you could go along with them. It's very useful, especially in New York - JaysTop10List

Most international language, it is mostly in the Vest part of the earth, but soon it will become much more spoken in the East as well.

It's easy.

V 4 Comments
2 French

Number of speakers not so big but distribution quite big through colonial empire. Culturally very important either to induce scientific Latin words or because of being the language of the dominant culture of Europe from 17th century until first half of the 20th century (together with Britain, most modern inventions setting of fashion trends together with Italy, cuisine etc.). The language of the nobility and diplomacy.

Regions: France, Belgium, almost whole of northern and western, also central Africa, Haiti, Guyana, Canada - pirloandrea

French language is the official language of 29 countries and 57 countries and regions where French is the first ("mother") or customary language, and a total of 84 Member states of the International Organisation of La Francophonie. Approximately 274 million people are speaking the language. According to a demographic projection, total French speakers will number approximately 500 million people in 2025 and between 650 and 700 million people by 2050, 80% of whom will be in Africa.

It was the lingua franca so even if there are less French speakers than Spanish or English speakers, French is spoken on every continent and is very significant (just behind English). - lili117

Every continent has some french in it, North America has Quebec, Maritimes, Lousinia and Vermont, South America has French Guyana, Europe has France, Africa, has Eastern African nations, Asia has parts of Mongolia and Kazakhstan, Oceania has Fiji

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3 Spanish

The biggest colonial empire after Britain, or maybe even just as big as Britain or bigger than Britain. Actual number of native speakers has surpassed that of English. With Spanish you can also understand Italian and some other romance languages as well as scientific and other international Latin words.

Regions: Spain, almost the whole of America, even southern USA. - pirloandrea

Spanish is the most useful. I am learning it right now. - Joansb

4 Chinese

Biggest number of speakers and its economy is on route to be the biggest in the world. I am currently learning Chinese and it isn't as hard as people say it is. A lot of experts say that Chinese is the language of the future and that demand for Chinese speakers is only going to get higher. It is a great language for business and it sounds great in the ears.

Chinese has the biggest number of NATIVE speakers, though to be technical, Chinese is broken into a minimum of six distinct dialects. Counting second and third-language speakers, English is the most-used worldwide.

Yes but

1. All of China virtually speaks the Mandarin standard language which they learn in schools or even nursery schools and media.

2. Even if taken alone, only the northern dialects, which are one of the 7 groups you mentioned, and which Mandarin belongs to, have more than 700 million native speakers. - pirloandrea

The biggest number of speakers in the world, big diaspora in south east Asia and many other countries.
An important language of East Asia through the script but a big disadvantage is that you can't understand any international or scientific words with it. - pirloandrea

You need to learn Chinese so that you can talk to many people. - InfernoTopTenners

V 3 Comments
5 Russian

Yes its useful...

The times when Russian used to be second most important language of the world because of the Soviet Union are over but it is still among the top 6. Numbers of speakers is not among the biggest though still quite big. Culturally not so important. But still very important through Russia's strong political role and the distribution across a vast territory.

Regions (native, administrative and culturally related): Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, baltic states, central Asia, Georgia, Armenia... - pirloandrea

6 Arabic

Considerable number of native speakers spread over a vast territory. Culturally and historically an important and/or respected language in Muslim countries, from western Africa to southeast Asia.

Regions:

Native: north Africa, West Asia
Culturally important: west Africa, sahel, horn of Africa, Turkey, Persia, central Asia, Pakistan, Indonesia - pirloandrea

7 German

No. German dose not have more speakers than French. I don't know about Turkish though

Germany have good beer (first for these)

105 MILLION speakers. More than French, Turkish etc.

8 Esperanto

It's making a comeback!

9 Italian

Apart from being a relatively big language in Europe, it is probably, alongside with Greek, the most important cultural and historical language which, through its relatedness to Latin, opens the doors to understanding the meaning of most scientific and other international words. And even when leaving aside its closeness to Latin, Italian has been the most important cultural language in Europe in the Middle Ages and the early modern era until the 16th century in fields like Christian religion, music and cuisine. - pirloandrea

Only Italian people speak Italian as Latin will dead soon

It's the working language of Vatican City and the Catholic Church.

V 1 Comment
10 Hindi V 2 Comments

The Contenders

11 Portuguese

Another language of a big former colonial empire with speakers in many parts of the world, though not as many English or Spanish.

Regions: E.G. Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique - pirloandrea

12 Greek V 1 Comment
13 Japanese
14 Yoruba

It is now part of the most useful language all over the word and most especially nigeria as a whole - God-care

15 Latin

Same with French, Italian and Romania

16 Korean

Very useful if you want to literally to know the English lyrics of Gangnam Style. Like pyeongyoja prounounced (pong-yo-ja) At the first chorus stanza, you'll hear it 60 nanoseconds in the music video because he dances Gangnam Style in the building literally means in the Romanized Korean English translation, let's dance my friend! - JomartheGreat

17 Persian

Love

18 Romanian
19 Indonesian

More than 200 million people speak Indonesian. It is very useful, because when we go travel to Indonesia, we will find better communication. Seriously, this country is so beautiful! It is the largest archipelago country with a lot of amazing places to visit! :)
Indonesia is going to be the greatest country in several years, so get ready and learn Indonesian language.

20 Turkish

A considerable number of native speakers in Turkey and can be used for communication throughout Asia from western Asia to the uyghur region in China.

Regions: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uyghuristan (China) - pirloandrea

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