Which Foreign Language Should You Learn?

More Intelligent Life has an interesting series concerning what the best foreign language to learn is. The contenders are Arabic, Chinese, French, Latin, and Brazilian Portuguese. If we interpret “best” to mean “most useful,” and if I had to choose from only those languages mentioned, I would have to go with Brazilian Portuguese. To be honest, the best language to learn really varies depending on one’s situation.

This quote from Josie Delap’s article extolling the virtues of Arabic made me laugh:

When you understand how beautifully Arabic fits together – why the root meaning “west” leads to the words for “sunset” and “strange” – the sense of illumination is sublimely satisfying. No mere French subjunctive or Russian instrumental can do that.

Admittedly I cannot speak for French – as it has been much too long since I studied that language – but you’re wrong, Josie. Nothing compares to the satisfaction of learning the Russian case system. 😉

Here are the links for the other articles in the series: Chinese, French, Latin, Brazilian Portuguese.


One thought on “Which Foreign Language Should You Learn?

  1. It depends on the reason, I suppose. But if one wants to learn a language for the pleasure of it, then the answer is easy: the language one feels most passionate about 🙂 I personally never picked a language because it was useful (the possible exception being French, and that wasn’t a success story)…


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