Does establishing the languages of the future implies simply listing the world’s most spoken languages? The answer would be yes and no. Having a first-hand experience working for a translation agency, I would say yes, for the reason that a language which is widely spoken suggests that it is valuable in many aspects such as in business or education. And no, because the truly exciting part of a language is the country or countries where it is spoken, its culture, people and history. In the hope of taking this blogpost a step further, I thought it would be great to link the languages of the future with a destination of the future. Perhaps this way, you may become inspired to enjoy traveling to a faraway place and while picking up on some local words and phrases, picture perfect!
I have kick started the list off with Mandarin, which for many is not only the language of the future, but also of the present. What makes this a language so special? Well, Mandarin as we know it is the most widely spoken language in the world with its 1.3 billion speakers. This broadly spoken language is continuously growing with research suggesting that there are a whopping 40 million students currently learning this popular language. Learners of Mandarin hail from all corners of the world, from Asia to Africa, and Australia to Europe.
The scenic island of Taiwan is located away from China’s south-eastern coast, boasting stunning landscapes, rich traditions and a remarkable culture. The capital city of Taipei hosts a vast number of museums such as the National palace Museum which holds some of the finest collections of Chinese art. The Southern city of Tainan is the oldest city in the island nation and famous for its timeless traditions, historical buildings and of course food and snacks. And on the subject of food, night markets are a great way of unearthing Taiwanese dishes and an even better way to shop for bargains. A stroll inside a brightly lit up night market is sure to get you talking to locals so that you can pick up on local phrases in Mandarin.
Hindustani is the main language of India comprising of 400 million speakers. Hindustani is made of a number of dialects with Hindu and Urdu being the most commonly spoken of the dialects. The two languages share many common words and grammar, however they contrast in their written forms as Urdu is written in Arabic script. It has been predicted that the Indian population is to surpass Chinese strongly suggesting that Hindustani is definitely set to be a language of the future as it increases in numbers.
India’s diversity is astounding, from its contrasting terrains with the far north featuring snow topped mountains, and sun filled beaches in the south, there is nothing India falls short of offering. This is a nation alive with colour from the beautiful saris worn by the women to the colours of spice infused foods found in markets. India offers a rich and charming culture that travellers undoubtingly take away even after their adventure. Spirituality is a customary part of India with Hinduism being the largest religion in the country. This is finely reflected by temples and festivals that are held throughout the country. India also offers tourists a whirlwind of differences, whether it be backpacking in one or two star hotels or a stay in some of the most luxurious hotels the country has to offer. And not forgetting India’s distinctive food which is a favourite across all corners of the world.
English is the second most spoken language in the world and the most popular second language for non-native speakers. Looking at the data available in the translation agency where I work, English as we know it is the lingua franca of business. At present, it is estimated that there are 506 million English speakers. The British Council predicts that there will be 2 billion people studying English by 2020 suggesting that English will continue to dominate as the language of global business, securing itself as a language of the future.
Destination: New Zealand
This unspoilt country which was chosen as the location for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ film is undoubtedly one of the most incredible places to visit. From its local culture, distinctive wildlife and outdoor adventure, New Zealand is quickly becoming a destination of today and the future. New Zealand’s North Island is the home of multicultural cities such as Auckland and Wellington and offers slightly warmer weather than the South Island. The equally stunning South Island is home to spectacular mountains and also the home of picturesque Fiordland National Park.
There are over 414 million speakers of Spanish making it the third most spoken language in the world and a language of the future. Recently, Spanish took the top spot as the happiest language with Portuguese and English following closely behind. The findings were based on the scores of 5 million people ranking a variety of words on a nine point scale, with nine being the most positive and one being the most negative. In conclusion, the researchers found that the Spanish language was made up of a lot of positive words. But what makes Spanish a language of the future? There are many factors making this a language of the future. For one, Spanish is spoken across four continents and according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, an estimated 2.8 million non-Hispanics actually speak Spanish at home. The number of Spanish speakers in the US has also risen moderately in recent years where it is further estimated that by 2050 the Hispanic population in the US will rise to 24% of the country’s over-all population.
Nicaragua is one of the least visited countries in Central America, but a destination which is anticipated to drive in increasing numbers of travellers. This tropical paradise nation neighbours popular Costa Rica offering the same spectacular landscape but on a relatively cheaper budget. Nicaragua is also known for its striking volcanic landscapes with venturesome hiking trails for adventurers. But even with all of its natural beauty for years Nicaragua has carried the stigma of being a war torn and a poverty stricken country, all of which has reflected their low levels of tourism over the years. Today however, Nicaragua’s tourism revolution means that the country is seeing a growth in the number of visitors offering them an essence of preservation to tourists. Nicaragua’s colonial cities, dense rainforests and untouched beaches are set to be filled with travellers, making this a destination of the future.
Arabic is one of the oldest languages in the world and spoken across numerous Middle Eastern and African countries, including Jordan about which you can read in more detail here. Spoken by 295 million, people Arabic is the official language of the Muslim holy writing. This growing language has also influenced other languages such as Urdu and Spanish. The Arabic languages shares an estimated 4000 words with the Spanish language and is one of the official language of the United Nations making it a language of the future.
Destination: United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates has proven itself as a destination of the future already. With its growing number of visitors, this expanding destination is rapidly becoming a hot spot for travellers seeking a combination of luxury and hot weather. The United Arab Emirates offers a whirlwind of landscapes ranging from its modern sky scrapers, to its deserts and warm beaches. And aside from showing visitors some well needed extravagance, travellers can also get lost in markets to grab the best bargains and not forgetting the infamous gold and spice market.