So you're probably as hungover as we are... and you probably promised that you'd do so many things this year. What are they? Lose weight, quit smoking, see your family more? Learn a language is one of the most common resolutions... and we hope you picked that one! But which language should you learn?
Following a study by George Weber in 1995, languages were evaluated based on six factors, ranging from number of speakers to how influential the countries where they're spoken are.
If you're learning a language to find love, then perhaps you should be playing the numbers game and picking one with the most speakers. Or one that would find you the best jobs. Without further ado, here they are:
We all knew English would probably be in this list. It is our mother tongue here at The Lingua File, and its influence across the globe in terms of film, literature and television helps it top this list. It's also used as a lingua franca in many places and tends to be learnt by most people in the tourism industry, probably because its native speakers tend to be terrible at learning other languages.
|It's hard to find a nicer place than Nice!|
French is a beautiful language and France is a beautiful country. If you needed more reasons to learn the language you can also consider that it is spoken in Canada, principally in Quebec, as well as many nations in Africa thanks to France's imperial past. France and Canada are both first-world countries and French also features heavily as an official language for organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the International Olympic Committee, FIFA and many others.
Spanish would be pretty good. The language is rich with pretty sexy nations. Spain and the majority of South American countries speak Spanish. The language comes with a rich culture, great films and great party music.
|Russia has also given us matryoshka dolls.|
The language of the world's largest country is not only incredibly interesting, but also incredibly useful. Russia has a decent economy and is still considered one of the world's major powers. Plus you can watch spy films where the bad guys are Americans!
With so many oil-rich nations in the Middle East and Arabic being the main language, having a good grasp of Arabic will help you along. If money isn't your thing then you should consider that Arabic is a macro-language spoken from North Africa to the Middle East and is awash with history and culture.
|We also have the Chinese to thank for fireworks.|
Chinese has plenty of native speakers and would be a good place to start. With China becoming stronger and stronger economically, it's always going to be a useful language to speak. Although in the past Chinese businesses have had to speak English, things are starting to turn around.
As one of the strongest economies in Europe, Germany is a good place to be, and as a result, German is a good language to learn. Knowing the language of Europe's economic powerhouse can't possibly hurt when it comes to finding jobs or generally planning your career.
Aside from Japan being one of the coolest countries we can think of, Japanese is useful due to a large number of native speakers and Japan's economy. Plus you can always watch loads of cool animé films without dubbing or subtitles!
|Brazil also has beautiful beaches full|
of lovely people.
With Brazil having one of the world's largest economies, Portuguese has found itself as one of the most important languages in the modern world. If you already know any other Romance languages you should take the plunge and invest your time in Portuguese.
India is going from strength to strength economically and the most-spoken language in the sub-continent is always considered a good one to learn. The culture in Hindi is massive so you'll never be short of materials to help you learn.
If after all this you can't decide or are still not sure, why not pick a language from the easiest languages to learn?