(This article was originally published by thenationalstudent.com)
Fancy learning a language but you’re not sure which one to go for? Want to know how much it will cost to learn the local lingo on your next adventure? Or maybe you’re just curious to see if all of those hours you’ve already put into language learning will ever be worth it?
Fear not, LanguageLine, has created an interactive map that shows the world’s top 20 languages after English, where they are spoken, and how long they will take to learn, as well as just how much £££ that will cost you. With all of this info at hand, there are some really interesting facts to be discovered…
For example, I bet you didn’t know that it would cost you about £66,000 to reach fluency in Chinese? Yep, Mandarin is the most expensive language to learn, which sure is bad news if you wanted to give it a go, but great news for the aspiring Mandarin tutors out there- you could bag yourself up to £30 an hour! On the other end of the scale, Telugu is the cheapest to learn, at ‘only’ £9,900 in total. (Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either, but it’s an official language in India and spoken by 81 million people worldwide!)
According to Language Line, those of you studying French have it the easiest. This language apparently only takes 550 hours of practice to reach fluency, which is a whole 1650 hours less than the notoriously complex Arabic or Japanese. In the middle of these two extremes, you could always try out Swahili, Malay or Russian which surprisingly will only set you back 900-1100 hours. (That’s about 45 days in total)
Some people who view the map might be surprised to learn just how many countries share the same language. For example, it is interesting to see which areas of the world speak French, Spanish, and Portuguese outside of Europe. In fact, Spanish is the one of the top three most widely spoken languages on the list– the official language in Spain, Central America, and almost all of South America too, Spanish racks up a total of 560 million speakers worldwide. (Although that’s nothing compared to the number of Mandarin Chinese speakers; a whopping 1090 million!)
As well as providing us with some fascinating facts, so much language-related information is also great because it may just inspire some of us to give another language a go… English speakers are, after all, the laziest language learners there are. But just because our language is the most widely spoken, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a go at another one!
(Check out the map here)
Would you like to learn a language? Are you already? Maybe you discovered some interesting information about your chosen language? Leave a comment, I’d love to know!