Hello, I hope I’ve posted this to the correct forum.
I’m wondering what the three most useful/practical languages would be, if one were to plan to travel around the world (aside from English, which would likely be in most top three lists). I’m approaching this from a tourist perspective, rather than a business one, although I’m not sure if the angle would be any different.
Spanish: I’ve been told this is currently what Japanese was supposed to have been a decade ago: the best language to learn for business. I know I’m not thinking business, but I do think that where there are business opportunities, there are people. I’d imagine it takes care of significant parts of the Western Hemisphere, and a little of Europe.
Mandarin (Chinese): I realize that though it is the language spoken by the highest number of people, it does not spread far from China. Is there a better language that covers Asia more consistently?
Arabic: My understanding is that ideally a Muslim is to learn to read and recite the Qu’ran (Koran) in its original language, although I don’t know how often this occurs in reality. Islam is certainly a large religion (second in numbers overall), and so I suppose one could speak with Muslims around the world. Of course, I haven’t tested this theory (and I would be happy to know how sound it is, if anyone knows).
I think the one glaring omission as far as continents covered is Africa. What would be a good language to know if one were to travel over the whole of that continent? I don’t believe it is any of these, although I think Arabic takes a lead amongst my three.
I’m anxious to see what insights anyone else can offer.