It does not matter what language you are learning as long as you are learning a language. Spanish teachers will beg to differ. They will tell you that it is actually possible to choose the wrong language to study. And they would be right. Before choosing what language to study, contemplate these 5 things to consider when deciding what language you should learn.
Motivation is the number one factor when it comes to determining what language you should study. Now, if all you want to do is just learn about a new language, motivation may not be as important. If your goal is not to be able to actually use the language, any motivation will do. But if you want to learn a language for the purpose of being able to gain fluency and use it with native speakers, you will need a good motivating factor. Although fluency is a good goal, it is not your motivator. One motivator could be to be able to speak with a family member or friend in their native language. Another motivator could be that it is a language that your ancestors spoke, so you want to connect with your heritage. Another good motivator would be to learn it to advance your career.
Although learning Klingon on Duolingo may seem fascinating to you as a Trekkie, it will likely not be relevant enough for selecting that as the language you should study. The language you choose to study needs to be relevant to your daily life. Studies show that people learn better when the material they are learning is relevant to their lives. One major thing to consider about the relevance of a language to your daily life is do you or could you interact with people who speak this language on a daily basis? The ability to practice a language with native speakers will have a huge influence on your ability to become fluent in that language. The ideal would be to choose a language that you can use every day.
Your purpose for learning your language of choice will determine how you go about learning the language. If your purpose for studying a language is to learn your significant other's language, the best way to learn may be simply talking with your SO and asking them how to say certain things. It is likely that they will teach you more informal language, since you have a close relationship. If your purpose for learning is to speak with customers, you will need to learn more formal language. Using the language in a business context will also call for a higher level of language abilities. This may require you to take your studies up a notch from using only apps and websites for your learning.
Will you use a book? A tv show? Do you want to focus on grammar? Would you rather focus on communication first? Maybe you would prefer to listen to songs to immerse yourself into your studies. Or maybe you will use a little of all of the above. Maybe you are not sure what method would be best for you. When choosing a method of study, there are many great options. The difficulty is finding the best one for you. You could try all of them or ask an expert what they think will work best for you. No matter what method you decide to use, you will need to determine if these materials are available in the language that you are considering studying. If not, you might need to consider choosing another language to learn.
A very important thing to consider when deciding what language you should learn is the means of learning the language you are considering. Although Esperanto may be available for study on Duolingo, finding a teacher for that language may not be possible. If having a teacher is a must, you might want to choose a language that makes the top 10 most important languages list. Or maybe the top 10 most studied languages on Duolingo list. If you are learning the language for personal reasons, a language app might be enough. For business purposes, however, language training might be a better means of language learning.