Which language do you think is most important to learn?
Which language is most important to learn out of all the choices? I was thinking Spanish. I want to learn languages that are often used so I can hold I conversation with someone. But I don't want to learn a language that I wont use, no what I mean? can anyone help me with that? I don't no how to ask this any better...sorry.
A language is only as important as you make it. Sure, there are over a billion speakers Chinese, but if you never go to a country where it's spoken, never make an effort to find native speakers to converse with, never read books or watch movies in Chinese, etc., it won't be very useful. If you learn Irish, which has a relatively small number of speakers in a mostly English-speaking country, but make an effort to speak with native speakers and immerse yourself in Irish culture and media, it'll be very useful.
Also, I think that enjoying the language you're learning is pretty important :)
In 2010 there were 57 million outbound Chinese tourists, that is to say, Chinese visiting other countries. In 2016 there were 100 million. The numbers for 2017 are projected at ~130 million.
There's a lot of implications to a country being an emerging superpower, and one of the chief among them is the fact that it's no longer about us going to them. Like it or not, they're coming to us, and the usefulness of Chinese as a business language is no longer limited to high level jobs in multi-national corporations. As Chinese tourism continues to increase beyond record levels, it will no longer be a matter of "making an effort to find native speakers to converse with."
It all depends on where you live, really.
In America, Spanish is pretty important, since it's so prevalent in just about every state, (especially in the south). A second language that would be good to learn would be Mandarin Chinese, probably. I'd only consider learning French if you're pretty far north near Canada or something, that is, if you would want to use French on a somewhat daily basis.
On a more global scale, Chinese is what you would want to learn. Seeing as how many countries trade and deal with China, it's a very good language to know on a professional level. That said, if you're just looking for a language to enjoy and find lots of speakers, Spanish is the one for you, since quite a few countries speak it in South America and in Europe, as well as in America.
Mandarin Chinese. It's the #1 most spoken language in the world, used predominantly by an emerging global superpower. Being bilingual in the two most popular business languages in the world is an incredible career asset.
Learning French is a labor of love for me, but as soon as I'm fluent I'll be devoting all of my time to learning Chinese.
English. I understand this might not be the most obvious answer for some, as it is already their native language and they don't have to learn it, but I think that proves the point exactly.
Aside from English, the question is a little harder. It's interesting to see that a lot of people here define "importance" judged by how many people speak the language. Sure, this correlates strongly with business and travelling, but there are many ways to define importance. French, for example, may not be used that much anymore globally (although still an important global language), but has historically been the lingua franca in Western Europe for such a long time that many literature and other important texts are written in it, not just by the French, but by the English, Dutch, Russian and many others as well.
Or what about the ancient languages? Hugely important for understanding world history, religion and literature. Classical Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Latin; but I'd say that (ancient) Greek is fundamental in that aspect.
But you do mention conversations. Okay, so then it becomes a question of geography: Americans want to learn Spanish, Latin Americans Portuguese or Spanish (depending if you're living in Brasil or a Spanish-speaking country), Europeans German, East-Asians Chinese, Iranians Arabic and so on and so forth. But I fear that I cannot make this decision for you. You have to determine for yourself what you consider important in learning a language.
If you learn a a language simply because you feel you have to, you won't enjoy it. I speak from experience with Chinese, which I doubt I will ever return to studying again. I just studied it because I felt obligated to because it's the most spoken language on Earth. I didn't find it too hard, I didn't hate the tones or the characters, I didn't find it too confusing, I just didn't enjoy learning it because I felt like I had to do it.
Uzbek of course! And if you cannot find the resources, why not try Finnish? (just a bit of a joke)
But all jokes aside, the most important language you will ever learn in my opinion, is your mother tongue. May sound obvious, but no matter which language you speak natively, there will always be people severely lacking language skills, even in their native language (bad spelin, grammar no is good, etc.). Always try to improve not only your skills in a foreign language, but in your native language as well.
I want to learn languages that are often used so I can hold I conversation with someone.
Well, in that case: get a map (Google Maps will do) and look at the neighbouring countries. Which language(s) do they speak there? Try learning one of those. Alternatively, if you live in a decently sized city, listen to what languages people are speaking. Try to figure out which languages they are. (The Great Language Game is great for learning how to recognise languages)
If you just keep hearing certain languages (in my case it would probably be Turkish and Moroccan Arabic), try learning one of those.
I hope this helps.
Other then English... Spanish is the most useful, more nations speak it then any other language. If you live in north America an argument could be made for French, even Japanese or Germany would be useful considering the number of Japanese and Germany companies.
I would rate it 1)Spanish 2)French 3)Japanese, German
After those Korean Mandarin Russian etc.. all could be good.
I assume that you come from an English-speaking country. If your primary goal is to find opportunities to speak with people, then one strategy is to choose languages that have many speakers who can't speak English. According to my own experience, when a language has more than 20 or 30 million speakers, it's likely that a lower percentage of its speakers have mastered another language. There are, of course, exceptions like German and the Indian languages, and most people who travel to your country have probably tried to master English.
If you're in the US or Canada, then Spanish can be important and is likely to be more important in the future, but you may have noticed that the number of Chinese students at the universities in the US has increased considerably in the past 10 years, and many have also moved to British Columbia.
It can be difficult to predict which foreign language will be the most important for you. If you haven't managed to reach a conversational level in a foreign language yet, then I would recommend making a short list of languages you think you might use and then choosing the easiest, because that will help you develop the confidence to learn whichever language turns out to be the most important.
From my experience (as well as talking to other leanguage learners), if you're going for a language specifically because of its usefulness, it won't be fun for you. You have to love the language you are learning and you have to be passionate about learning it. Learnng a language is not something "just to pass the time" (despite what some people think), it takes time, effort and commitment. If you have even one slightly lazy bone in your body, you will NOT learn a language that you are learning solely based on its "usefulness". In fact, it will become a chore for you and it's possible that you will grow to hate the language. It's a reason why many language learning "learn" multiple languages at once. Even with the language you are passionate about, sometimes you don't feel like continuing, so you go on to something else for a little while. Italian is my primary focus, Romnian is my secondary focus and German is my tertiary focus. When I'm bored of Italian or getting frustrated, I do some Romanian, and when I get bored or frustrated with both I do some German. But I love all three languages, and if I didn't love one of them, it would take all the effort I have to push myself to do it, and that's not fun for me. The language you are learning must pull you in.