Which language should I start learning next?

If you want to learn a language but can’t decide which one to go for, then we’ve got some tips to help you make your mind up.

View the power language index

Which language is the easiest to learn?

The decision will, of course, rest on lots of factors that are personal to you. Where you are likely to travel to, which cultures you are most interested in, and which languages your friends and relatives speak. You can try out lots of the languages with Rosetta Stone Unlimited, where one account gives you access to all the 24 languages we teach.

What are the most useful languages?

The World Economic Forum publishes a list of what it calls the most powerful languages: Those that have the greatest influence and the potential to empower the people who learn them the most. The Power Language Index is an algorithm that takes into account many factors – such as economic usefulness, communicative usefulness, media available in the language – to produce a listing for the Top 10 most powerful languages:

1. English
2. Mandarin
3. French
4. Spanish
5. Arabic 

6. Russian
7. German
8. Japanese
9. Portuguese
10. Hindi

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What are the easiest languages?

This is also personal to you and your experiences. For example, what your existing languages are and your preferred learning style. Factors you should consider are:

1. Your appetite for rules and structure. – how grammar-heavy is the language?
2. Your ability to mimic complex sounds. – is the language hard to pronounce?
3. Your ability to access learning resources. – do you have friends or family that speak the language?
4. Your willingness for a challenge. – how similar is the language to your mother tongue?

For English speakers, the other European languages are probably easiest, with Spanish identified by many linguists as the easiest of all. Although English shares roots with German, it is not seen as an easy language to learn. French is mid-way between the two.

Of the non-European languages, Arabic may be the easiest. The initial pain barriers when you first tackle a language with a different script can be high, so making a start with a listening and speaking methodology is a much easier way in.

The decision

You should take all factors mentioned into consideration, but if you’re still struggling to make a final choice, then we’ve got good news for you: with Rosetta Stone you don’t have to choose. Get all the 24 languages we teach in one package and try them all out. What better way to discover which language is right for you: 

Start learning now with our special offer

About the Author Simon Goodall

Language learner, teacher and contributing author to the Rosetta Stone magazine

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