The most popular languages in the world
There is no doubt that English is by far the most widespread language in the world. Not only do a lot of countries have it as a first and second language but it is also widely taught in schools and colleges all over the world. But today in our globalised world other languages are becoming more popular and important. The top 10 spoken languages in the world by number of people speaking them are as follows:
However you should not restrict your interest to only these, as your choice of language should cater your personal needs, for example your favourite travel destination or something similar. Some languages are more influential in a particular professional area, like Latin is very important for Medicine or Law, but other than that it is a dead language.
If we're talking about the most influential languages in the world, English comes first again, but there are a number of other languages that are expanding in their importance. French, for example, is an official language in 25 countries and is used in many international organisations and companies. It is also one of the most popular to learn. Spanish is chasing French in this race; it is spoken by many as a second language and with Latin America coming into the world stage, Spanish will naturally become more influential.
Turning away from European languages, Arabic is the language of Islam and is arguably the most international one and lately is becoming very important in political and economical fields. However, there are a lot of different dialects of the language which can be very different from the modern standard Arabic. Mandarin has about a billion native speakers and China is becoming more influential in the world economic market so it won't be long until it becomes one of the key languages of the world. Russia is a major player in the global arena and as the language is being spoken and understood in Eastern Europe and Central Asia it is also a very important one.
Other less influential languages like Italian are important in the world of music, (opera in particular), fashion and design, and international sports. It is also Vatican's official language so it plays an important role in politics. Japanese, on the other hand is arguably one of the hardest languages to learn, but due to the fact that the country is growing its economic power, the language has a lot of influence on business and trade.
This is far from a complete list of languages when deciding which language to learn and it is important to consider your personal needs when doing so.