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Meat Boy
Meat Boy

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Easy to learn second communication language?

Hey everyone, I am confused because I am picking a new language to learn in the future and there are so many options! Which communication language (not programming) do you think is easy and worth to learn? Especially on IT job market. Spanish? French? Hindi? Russian? Other? What do you think?

Top comments (4)

ahferroin7 profile image
Austin S. Hemmelgarn

For quick reference, the most spoken languages in the world, based on data from Ethnologue, starts with:

  1. English (because we have more second language speakers than any other language in the world)
  2. Mandarin Chinese (has more native speakers than any other language in the world)
  3. Hindi (mostly because of the very high population in India and the fact that it was a common intermediary language there before English became big)
  4. Spanish (due to the spread of the language, not centrally high populations)
  5. French (due to second language speakers)
  6. Standard Arabic
  7. Bengali
  8. Russian
  9. Portuguese (mostly because of Brazil)
  10. Indonesian (similar case to Hindi, just in Indonesia not India)

Of these, if you already speak English, Spanish is probably the easiest to learn. Learning it also makes other Romance Languages (Portuguese, Italian, French, Romanian, etc) easier to learn, and it's close enough to Portuguese that you can get your basic point across pretty easily if you need to.

French is a decent choice also because it's a widely used diplomatic language (and also one of the main languages for a lot of international organizations), but it's harder to branch out from than Spanish because it's very much the odd-one-out among the Romance languages.

If you don't mind a challenge, Mandarin Chinese is almost certainly your best option though, as most people who speak it do not speak more than a few basic words of English. Just understand that it is seriously difficult coming from English (many semantic aspects of the language are drastically different from English), and that the likelihood of finding other people who speak it outside of China or areas with lots of Chinese immigrants is very low.

All of the rest are not as likely to be encountered outside of the regions where they're an official or administrative language, and you're pretty likely even then to only end up dealing with people who also speak English (or possibly Spanish in the case of Portuguese) unless you choose to live in such a region.

jhall profile image
Jonathan Hall • Edited

IT is done almost exclusively in English, often even in countries where English isn't spoken otherwise. Strong evidence of this is the relatively low popularity of the non-English StackOverflow sites.

So if you want to learn a second language, doing it for IT work isn't a good reason, unless you're in a specific niche where a second language is valuable.

I am a native English speaker, and have learned Spanish and Portuguese, and have never used either of those in my job (outside of an occasional hallway conversation). Knowing those languages (especially Spanish) is very helpful to me, but not for work reasons.

So the best way to answer this question is: What language interests you?

adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him)

I speak 5 languages almost fluently. Persian, Azeri, Turkish, English and Spanish. No language is easy to learn unless you love it and spend lots of time on it. The difficulty of a language can depend on your mother tongue as well.
On IT field there is no language as popular as English.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel πŸ•΅πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Fayard • Edited

Hello @meatboy
I am a language geek as you can guess by looking at my profile

jmfayard image

What language is worth to learn? is not a question that can be answered in general. Every language of the world is worth learning for someone.

WHY do YOU want to learn a language? is the real question.

So define your WHY? What would you like to do with this new language of yours once you know it? What will you do differently? Which kind of people do you want to meet with it?