How to Choose a Language to Learn

There is a world out there waiting for you my dear readers. This world will be opened to you when your mind opens to understand the richness and complexity of a new language. The world is vast as are the people in it, and the more you learn of their languages the more you will learn about the people around you.

"How do I choose one? There are so many out there! People tell me Spanish is useful- do I learn that??"
Ahhh patience dear citizen (yes, I am in a French Revolution mood from Bastille Day) there are many ways to choose the perfect language for you.


Probably the most important one- what area of history are you drawn to? Do the ancient Vikings intrigue you? the Romans? or are you more interested in the Middle Ages? Early Modern? Modern? Go with whatever language is popular for the area of history you are interested in. Why am I picking on history? Alas my dear citizen, the best way to understand every culture of the world is to know their history. I cannot truly understand Italy without knowing the Romans. Nor could anybody understand the United States without knowing about the American Revolution. Open up your mind to history- and then you will become a more tolerant citizen of the world.

Movies and Music

This I may have to caution- sometimes people listen to music in a foreign language and are unaware they are listening to offensive racial or sexist slurs and then they use the words in daily life and gasp! That would not be good!

I would recommend by starting with something safe like Disney songs or children's songs in other languages and listening for which one sounds the most pleasing to your ears.

Who Do You Know?

Are there alot of Germans around you that you would love to speak with? Are you hoping to travel to China someday? Are you looking forward to doing business in the Middle East? If you are frequently interacting with a particular group of people and wish to understand them better- learning their language is a great start!

Your Career

Strategically looking ahead- is there a language that comes up often in your career? For example in business, depending on your region of the world, German, Arabic and Mandarin are all wonderful languages. For the arts? I hear Italian is important to know! Diplomacy? French dominates the world of foreign policy. Look ahead at your career and choose the language that fits your path the best.

Go Ahead and Learn Czech

Has there been a language that has been tugging on your heart for sometime and you do not know why? A region of the world that your imagination keeps travelling to? Go ahead and learn that language! If the language is special to you, that is what makes it worth it. No amount of language learning is wasted and regardless of what others say about it- language learning is your choice, and you have that liberty to study whichever language you please whether it is Basque, Hindi, Czech, or Finnish. You can choose your own world by whichever language you choose, and by learning a language you are doing this not only to understand those who speak it but so that you to may take that step and travel into their world.

Report this Content

More on Odyssey

Facebook Comments