“Learning a language is a treasure that will follow the owner everywhere he goes.” – Chinese Proverb
One can embrace the diversity in the world by learning another language since it’s not just the words that are imbibed but also the culture that it brings along. Travelling is one of the most enriching experiences one can have, yet the quality of that experience will be significantly enhanced by the ability to speak that language. English for that matter is also a foreign language which travellers use to converse around the globe.
Being an English speaker can be an asset but knowing an extra language can be a cherry on top! Student gives IELTS exams and other English language exams to get admissions in various universities. Similarly, if students want to study in Europe they are required to give exams like DELF, which is an exam for French. This shows whether you are a student or a traveller, Language is an asset you do not want to miss out on! Therefore, in this blog, we will be covering the language that can help you enhance your experience.
“Buenos días” | Spanish
Spanish is ranked the second most spoken language in the world with around 460 million native speakers. From Mexico to Central America, knowing Spanish will help you transform your travel experience by being your aid in at least 21 countries around the globe. Knowing just English is at times going to restrict your exploration just too popular tourist spots and hotels. If you are visiting a Hispanic country, Spanish is going to enrich your experience and will surely make you appreciate their cultural contributions. Interestingly, Spanish has official language status in 20 different countries worldwide. In general, it is perfectly possible to plan a holiday in a Spanish speaking country without knowing the language, however, it will restrict you to some extent when it comes to going places or communicating with locals which means missing out on some raw aspects of the culture.
Apps to learn the Language: SpeakTube, Duolingo, Espanol, Babbel
“Bonjour” | French
With over 275 million speakers in the world, French is the only language other than English to be spoken in all five continents. It also represents the 2nd most widely spoken native and foreign language in Europe. French is not only the ninth most widely spoken language in the world, but also the third most widely used language on the Internet (after English and German). An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication This truly gives an advantage to all modern-day travellers out there.
While French is an important career asset, it is also the language of international relations. French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is also a good grounding for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) and even English since over half of modern-day English vocabulary is derived from French.
Apps to learn the Language: Duolingo, Learn French with Babble, French
“Bom dia” | Portuguese
The Portuguese language has around 220 million native speakers and a total of 270 million speakers in the world. This is the 6th most spoken language in the world. In fact, the Portuguese language has influenced a lot of languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Indonesian, etc. and they contain many loanwords having Portuguese origin. Knowing Spanish makes it easier for one to learn Portuguese since they have a similar Latin origin. This language not only has an important historical presence but is also one of the western romance languages. According to UNESCO, Portuguese is also the fastest-growing European language in the world after English.
Apps to learn the Language: Duolingo
“Z?oshang h?o” | Mandarin
Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. It has a Sino-Tibetan language origin and around 918 million native speakers. From Beijing to Singapore, about 1/5th of the world population speaks Chinese. This gives an added advantage for travellers to learn it. Not only is it a culturally rich language but has also been a significant door opener when it comes to business and economic opportunities. The common fear of difficulty that people have is a myth as Chinese is free from complicated honorific grammar. So, it becomes one of the easier languages to grasp as it doesn’t contain verbs, conjunctions and other grammatical complexities. Also, due to its wide usage, learning it is even more convenient. Many offline and digital platforms offer Chinese language courses. And lastly, if you’re planning your travel to China, you can interact with more than a billion people in the most populated country in the world.
Apps to learn the Language: FluentU, Pleco, Skitter, Stand Mandarin, Free Chinese Podcast
“Sabah el Kheir” | Arabic
Arabic has 274 million speakers in the world and therefore another language the travellers should consider learning. This is the 4th most spoken language in the world. This macro language has 30 varieties of dialects and carries a rich culture with it. If you’re travelling to the Middle East or countries of Europe, this is the language you must look out for. Speaking the local language not only makes you feel at home in any country you travel to, but also gives you a deeper insight of traditional aspects specific to the area and other points of interest. If you’re someone who has a keen interest in literature and philosophy, the Arabic language is your key to their famous classics.
Knowing Arabic not only makes you appreciate their unique way of life, cuisine, music and art but also helps you understand Islam and its teachings better.
Apps to learn the Language: Duolingo
With languages learnt, you are not just a more confident traveller, but you’re also home everywhere. The more languages you know; the more looking glasses you have to view the world! Every language you learn has a history and story to tell. Therefore, with each language you learn better, you understand better and you immerse yourself with the world better!
I hope this blog was informatively brought out the drive in you to learn a new language and explore a whole new world!
About Author: Srishti Choudhury an avid reader and writer. She has also published an article in 2019 with the Delhi Medical Association Publication. Current she is working as a content writer for the tech startup Exambazaar.