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One aspect that many language learners consider is "how often can I use the language?". This is probably because those who spend years studying a language want it to be useful (although various aspects go into the usefulness of a language). Such individuals may want to look into Chinese ( 汉语/漢語 Hànyǔ or 中文 Zhōngwén). According to "Nations Online" there are  1,146,755,000 first language and  1,343,755,000 second language Chinese speakers. The second most popular language is debated. Some sites put English, others put Hindi, others say Spanish. However, all of the sources I went to put the macro language Chinese as the most widely spoken all over the world. Therefore, if you are debating about which language to learn (or learn next), some form of Chinese will allow you to converse with millions of people. 

****Disclaimer: I do not believe in learning a language just because it is widely spoken. All of the languages I want to learn are spoken by my family. However, some individuals base their studies off of which language is most applicable.*****

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Off topic: I just removed your second topic, which was exactly the same as this one.

On topic: I don't believe Chinese is the language you can use the most often, despite the amount of speakers.
Out of the 1,164,755,000 native speakers, almost all of them live in China (or Singapore, Taiwan or Vietnam?).
Although we do have lots of Chinese people living in the Netherlands, they will almost always speak Dutch to you, assuming you won't understand Chinese anyway.

When I travelled back from my JLPT test, I was actually sorry I didn't bother to learn Spanish beyond the very basics, since I had to use Google Translate to make ourselves at least a bit understandable to each other.
At least I'm glad a random American appeared who spoke Spanish. :P

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We all have different reasons for wanting to learn a particular language, and I do think that it's due to varied reasons. Of course we want to learn the language that could be most beneficial for us, so it's up to us to make that choice.

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I learned Spanish to help out a friend who's first language was Spanish. Through learning Spanish I was able to help him to  learn English, so we helped each other out with the languages really. Learning languages that are useful to me to be able to communicate with people I know or in countries I'm likely to go to is more important to me than whether the language is widely spoken. 

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On 7/14/2016 at 1:59 PM, Blaveloper said:

Off topic: I just removed your second topic, which was exactly the same as this one.

On topic: I don't believe Chinese is the language you can use the most often, despite the amount of speakers.
Out of the 1,164,755,000 native speakers, almost all of them live in China (or Singapore, Taiwan or Vietnam?).
Although we do have lots of Chinese people living in the Netherlands, they will almost always speak Dutch to you, assuming you won't understand Chinese anyway.

When I travelled back from my JLPT test, I was actually sorry I didn't bother to learn Spanish beyond the very basics, since I had to use Google Translate to make ourselves at least a bit understandable to each other.
At least I'm glad a random American appeared who spoke Spanish. :P

 

That is something that I believe many languages learners choose to over look. Just because a language is the most spoken doesn't mean it's diversified among the international community. I believe the language that is the most recognized all over the planet is English.Dozens of countries use the language as their default, and many more have plenty of citizens who use it. 

It's a universal language, and is super easy to learn. I remember when I wanted to learn mandarin, but changed my mind when I knew the countries that I planned to travel to did not have citizens that speak it. I had better luck learning French, Italian, and Spanish.

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In my opinion, I think it is best to choose a language that directly affects us. Like traveling to a particular country or having friends in the target language that we communicate often on social media or Skype.

It does not necessarily have to be an internationally accepted language, as long as it meets the goal of the person learning the language.

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I also agree that we all have different reasons for going with whatever language to learn. Chinese for me is bound to be one of the most widely spoken languages, but predominantly because China is one of the most populous nations on earth. Of course, the language has over the years gained alarming popularity across the world and has even led to the theory that it could possibly overtake English as the most widely spoken language.

IDK, personally, the reason why I chose French is because I have always liked the language, from a very early age. I didn't even have a specific reason for it, it looked and sounded good to me. With Italian, I always loved everything about Italy, so when I realised my dream of re-visiting the country as an adult, learning the language was a natural progression.

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For me the reason I'd want to learn a language isn't because there are many people who speak the language. I'd learn the language or at the very least enough to permit me to get by asking for directions because I do travel a lot (solo) and getting lost is almost a given as I try to find my way around. So I always choose to learn the language spoken in the country I'll be visiting.

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I think the reason to learn a language is very important.  I want to learn Korean because I want to go to South Korea and travel without a translator.  Plus, I watch k-dramas and listen to k-pop all the time so I get constant 'practice' listening to the language.  I don't necessarily agree that it's wrong to pick a language based on how common it is.  In America, Spanish is probably the second most spoken language and I don't think it's wrong to learn it so you can speak to people in your country even if you have no other desire to speak it.  The same could be said of French in Canada.  So there are practical reasons for picking a popular language because you have a higher change of using it.  But I do understand picking a language you're interested in for your own reasons.

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As far as I know English is the most used language. The English language users can be classified as those using it as a first language and those using it as a second language. Currently, more people use English as a second language than English as first language. Currently English is not just restricted to English speaking countries like UK, US Canada< Australia, New Zealand, but in the countries like India, China, Pakistan etc.

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6 hours ago, Rooks57 said:

I think the reason to learn a language is very important.  I want to learn Korean because I want to go to South Korea and travel without a translator.

Your reason is pretty good! I like it because it has a practical application and direct gratification for your efforts.

Learning a language only as an abstract concept just because of the possibility it may be useful later in life does not seem very motivating to me. The main reason should always be something more practical that touches our lives such as achieving a better working position thanks speaking the new language.

This direct motivation has much more advantages than something perceived as merely abstract or as "possible". I commend you for your clarity regarding your goals.

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Sexy languages I know now were forced on me because I was put into schools that required learning them to pass when I was younger. Had I had a choice looking back on it now, even though I appreciate that I know an extra language I think I would have rather just learned something I could have chosen personally instead of spending all that time on something that was forced on me. Now I am learning other languages that I have chosen but it's a little bit more difficult because I'm older which is why I wish I could have started with these languages when I was younger instead of ones that were chosen for me. 

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On 27 July 2016 at 8:56 PM, John Snort said:

For me the reason I'd want to learn a language isn't because there are many people who speak the language. I'd learn the language or at the very least enough to permit me to get by asking for directions because I do travel a lot (solo) and getting lost is almost a given as I try to find my way around. So I always choose to learn the language spoken in the country I'll be visiting.

I'm totally with you there, John Snort....I could never just learn a language just because it's the most widely spoken. I would have to have another reason other than that. I mean, Chinese is meant to be catching up to English as one of the most spoken languages in the world, but I won't be learning it any time soon because I just have no use for it. I dream of going to the Far East some day, China included, but realistically speaking, I'm not sure I'll ever realise that dream :( So until I know I'm definitely going, I won't be taking any Chinese lessons at all.

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