Learning other languages can be both fun and rewarding! Scientists have found that this activity has a positive effect on a person’s mental abilities and memory, and also helps to slow down the aging process of the brain. In addition, multilingualism makes it possible to communicate with a wide variety of people.
Those who wish to learn a new language will find it difficult to make a choice, because there are about 7,000 dialects in the world. Some of them are spoken by half the world, others by only a handful of people, but each has its own fascinating characteristics.
Top most fun and useful languages
English is an incredibly expressive, varied and flexible language. It is recognized as official in 53 countries, including the United States, Great Britain and Canada – the largest countries in the world. Therefore, knowing English, you can communicate with people almost anywhere in the world.
It is the language of computer technology, and much of the media industry is built on it. English speakers don’t need translations and subtitles to enjoy their favorite books, songs, movies and TV shows.
Americans love to make up buzzwords and make them official. Moreover, they apply to the whole world. So, everyone is used to calling their photos “selfies” (from the English “self” – “himself, himself”). We also borrowed the terms “clutch”, “leggings”, “tuxedo”, “freelancer” and many others! Moreover, Americans continue to introduce more and more new words into everyday life. According to some reports, their dictionary is updated every 2 hours.
There is not a single language in the world with a large number of speakers, namely – 982 million! In total, 1.1 billion know Chinese. Although the vast majority of people use Chinese in China, it certainly deserves a place among the most important languages.
The history and culture of China is one of the richest and most ancient. Studying it in your native language will allow you to better understand the “soul” of this unique nation.
Chinese grammar is actually pretty simple: they don’t have verbs, plurals, tense, conjugations. Indeed, there are more than 80,000 symbols in the alphabet, but only 3500 of them are used in everyday life. Yes, these hieroglyphs are not easy to draw, but during training you can improve your artistic skills.
Learning to speak Chinese will be difficult, but fun. It is a tonal language in which 1 sound can be expressed in 4 different ways with 4 different meanings!
From the first try, no one can master this technique, so you need to be patient.
Italian wins hearts with its musicality, charm and sensuality. Probably everyone will agree that declarations of love are most tender and expressive from the lips of Italians.
Also, Italian is key for the study of art history, literature, archeology, philosophy. After all, 60% of all cultural heritage sites in the world are located in Italy! If you are one of those who dream of strolling through the cobbled streets of Rome and talking about the city’s sights in Italian, then it is definitely worth exploring.
Plus, Italian is very close to Latin, so knowing it will make it easier to learn Spanish, French, Portuguese, Romanian and other Romance languages.
German is widely spoken on the European continent. In addition to 100 million native speakers, there are 80 million people around the world who use it as an additional language. In addition to Germany, German is official in Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg.
German sounds quite serious and authoritative, which perfectly reflects the determination and assertiveness of the Germans. Its zest is surprisingly long terms that, in our opinion, can only be described in a sentence, for example, schadenfreude (feeling happy when you see the unhappiness of others), fernweh (craving to change places) or verschlimmbessern (making something worse in an attempt to improve it). The Germans also have quirky, funny proverbs, for example, “alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei” (everything has an end, only a sausage consists of two).
For those who know English, it will be easier to learn German, as they share a common language family tree. This is why German is easy to read in English. They even contain many similar words: bruder – brother, wasser – water, freund – friend.
German is useful for those who work in the tourism industry or travel often, as Germans can be found almost everywhere. People in Germany spend about 80 billion euros / year on travel. This is their favorite way to spend their vacation.
It is one of the most interesting languages in the world. Well, who isn’t curious to watch people communicate with gestures? In addition to hand gestures, facial expressions are used during the “conversation”. For example, by raising their eyebrows, a person shows that they are asking a question. In this way, feelings can be conveyed more deeply and visually.
By studying sign language, you can master completely new skills, train your mind and imagination. There are also practical advantages to this: you can easily “talk” in sign language with your mouth full, or while at a noisy concert! It is also a privilege – after all, very few hearing people can boast of knowledge of sign language.
Essentially, sign language becomes our first mode of communication, as all babies are first explained without words.
Esperanto was developed by the Polish physician and linguist L.M. Zamenhof in 1887. The scientist’s goal was to create a universal simple language that could be used by people around the world. For this, Zamenhof spent 10 years. He collected elements of all European languages, and the alphabet was based on Latin letters.
Zemengoff’s idea, nicknamed “Esperanto” (hopeful), was appreciated in scientific circles, so that at one time Esperanto was quite common. In the 1920s, they even wanted to make it official for the League of Nations and include it in the curriculum, but one of the delegates voted against. Later, the United States became the most influential power, and English spread internationally, supplanting Esperanto.
Esperanto is not accepted officially in any state, but there are still people who are interested in studying and popularizing it. There is even a worldwide Esperanto community. They have their own institutions, culture (music, films, books, etc.). According to various estimates, there are now between 100,000 and 2 million Esperanto speakers. Esperanto is easy to learn. In addition, they say that later it is easier to master a new language.
Surprising fact: you can type in Esperanto on almost any keyboard. You need to press a certain combination to get a character with diacritics (a small cap above the letter).
This language is of little use in life, but it is really unique, for which it got into this top. Klingon is an artificial language spoken by fictional creatures – the Klingons from Star Trek. You can see that in almost all sci-fi films, aliens speak their own way, but Klingon is special.
First, it was developed by a professional linguist. Secondly, it is a fully developed language with its own grammar and phonetic systems (although the Klingon dictionary uses Latin characters).
Klingon has several unusual features, for example, different terms are used to denote the plural and singular (“jengwa” means “cymbal”, and cymbals sound like “njop”).
Although Klingon is only taught by die-hard Star Trek fans, it is truly a linguistic phenomenon that deserves attention.
Interesting facts about the languages of the world
- In total, the peoples of the world use 46 alphabets.
- There are over 1000 dialects on the African continent, but 80% of them are not written.
- The longest alphabet is Cambodian, which consists of 74 letters. And the shortest belongs to the Papuans. Its volume is 12 characters.
- In Chinese, the expression “difficulty / inconvenience” consists of the same ideograms as the word “woman”.
- Sranan Tongo, spoken in Western French Guiana and Suriname, contains just 340 words.
- For most peoples, the word “mama” begins with the letter “m”.
- People who use gestures to communicate can also have an accent.
- In Mexico, there is a language that is threatened with extinction, as the remaining two speakers refuse to speak to each other.
- Research has confirmed that the language of the Native American Zuni tribe has biological similarities to Japanese.
- There are languages in which whistle is used instead of colloquial speech.
- In some areas, due to factors such as geographic or political isolation, hundreds of new dialects have been formed. So, in Papua New Guinea, as many as 832 were formed!
- Every 2 weeks a language or dialect dies. To this day, more than 231 languages have become completely extinct, and 2400 are under threat of extinction.
- There are about 200 artificial languages that were invented for books, television, films. But few people know that such “fake” languages were invented centuries ago for various purposes, for example, philosophers used their own special dialect for discussions.
- It is also curious how certain peoples “sound” animals. If our cat says “meow”, then in Estonian it sounds “nau”, and in Malay – “nzhau”. In Africa, bees are not buzzing, they are “zoe-zoe”. Indian cows say hamba, Thai owls say huk huk, and Albanian pigs say khank khank.
- The Senegalese word “Ayubovan” means “good morning”, “good evening”, “good night” and “goodbye”. Very practical!
- Italian has the most terms for food and dishes!
Finally, we will quote the words of the famous politician Nelson Mandela: “Words spoken in a language understandable to your interlocutor hit the head. But if you speak his native language, the words will touch the very heart. “