So You Learned Spanish. Now What?

It’s time to learn your next language.

Photo by Hannah Wright on Unsplash

You’ve mastered Spanish. Congratulations! You did it. You took the plunge and finally learned Spanish. Maybe a future trip to Spain inspired you. Or you had a desire to connect with your Latinx roots. Or you were curious about a new language. The point is you studied hard. As a result, you can now hold your own in a conversation.

Picking up a new language is no small feat. So now the question is, what’s next? Which language should you learn next? Obviously, the answer to that question depends on several factors.

Here are a few things to consider when making your decision…

What’s Your motive?

Are you looking to learn a new language for fun or business? If it’s for fun, then the sky’s the limit! Pick whatever language strikes your fancy. If you’re looking to learn a new language for business reasons, consider languages that are useful for your industry.

For example, Mandarin Chinese would be a good choice for someone in the import/export business. However, Mandarin Chinese is one of the most difficult languages for English speakers. This language is tonal. This denotes that the meaning of words changes based on their pitch.

But don’t let that intimidate you! If you want to learn a truly unique language, Mandarin Chinese is the way to go. Plus, speaking Mandarin will be handy when traveling to China or Taiwan.

At the same time, French would be a good choice for someone in the hospitality industry.

Why not learn other similar languages?

Studying another Romance language will be easy if you are proficient in one, such as Spanish. This is because Romance languages share commonalities in grammar and vocabulary.

I mentioned French already. It’s a beautiful language to learn. But it also
shares many similarities with Spanish. So learning French will be a breeze if you already know Spanish. The accent can be tricky, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to order croissants like a pro.

Or take Italian. Just like with French, you’ll learn it easier if you already know Spanish. That’s because Italian is another Romance language. As a result, the grammar rules are similar. And once you learn Italian, you’ll have an excuse to visit Rome and tour the Colosseum — two birds, one stone!

How much time do you have?

All languages take time and effort to master, but some languages are more difficult than others. If you’re short on time, then you’ll want to choose a language that is relatively easy to learn.

For example, the easiest languages for English speakers to learn are Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish. This is because these Scandinavian languages share parallels with English grammar and vocabulary.

Other relatively easy languages include German, Dutch, and Afrikaans. Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian are on the other end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, these languages take years to truly master.

Learning a new language can be daunting, but it’s also enriching. So if you’re looking for your next linguistical challenge after learning Spanish, I recommend French, Italian, or Mandarin Chinese if you’re up for the challenge.

However, remember that it depends on your motivation to learn a new language. And it depends on your available time. If you’re looking to learn a new language for fun, pick whatever strikes your fancy. If it’s for business reasons, consider the language spoken in your industry. Finally, choose a relatively easy language to learn if you’re short on time.

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Edy Zoo

Edy Zoo is an author who writes about social subjects. He contributes to the ever-growing library of social critics.