There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a second language for your child to learn. A second language could help with schooling, future jobs, or could even change their life completely. We put a list together of potential languages your child could learn, and describe why they’re important in today’s world.
- Spanish: 40 million people living in the United States spoke Spanish at home in 2016, according to the United States Census Bureau. They report that this is more than a 133% increase since 1990. If your child learns Spanish, they will have an easy time finding someone else to speak the language too. Spanish is similar to English, with multiple cognates. It will be an easy language to learn because of this.
- Latin: The University of Kentucky calls Latin “a highly organized and logical language”. They, along with most Latin educators, believe it sharpens the mind and even helps with problem solving skills. It is the root of all languages, and two thirds of the English language comes from Latin. If your child is really good with science or wants to go into the medical field, this is the language to learn. Medical terminology comes from Latin, so studying the language can help them understand that field in greater detail.
- Chinese: One out of five people on this planet speaks Chinese. China is the most populous country, and it’s a hot spot for business opportunities. International businesses are more likely to hire someone who speaks Chinese, so the language is a great asset for anyone looking to go into that field. Their economy is booming and is works with a lot of Western companies, so success could come quickly to someone who knows the Chinese language.
- French: The language of love… People like learning French because it has a lot of cultural, literary, and historical background. The University of Virginia argues that learning French makes students more creative, and they say it is the second most useful language to learn for business. Forbes reports that French could be the most used language by 2050. If you live near Canada, this could also be a great option for you as many people speak French there too.
- German: German is a great option for future engineers. Germans are the leaders in engineering today. German is also decently easy for English speakers to understand, as it comes from Latin and has multiple cognates.
- Dutch: Dutch has a lot of English and German influences. If by chance your child knows both languages, Dutch is a great third one to learn. The Netherlands are home to some of the happiest people in the world. A lot of people are trying to move to these northern countries, and knowing Dutch can certainly help.
- Italian: Italian is another language people love to learn because of history and culture. Creatives will learn Italian to understand operas and art. Italy is also a great place for fashion, graphic design, and engineering. Italian is also really similar to Latin.
- Swahili: Swahili is another widely spoken language on this list. People who have a heart for helping other humans and wildlife could greatly benefit from learning the language. It is spoken throughout Africa, and there are a lot of volunteer opportunities there. Many diplomats also use Swahili. It may be more difficult to learn than many Latin-based languages, but there are many benefits to understanding Swahili.