Two Non-English Languages Every American Should Learn


Maanya Bhutani

The Weddington High School Spanish Department celebrates Hispanic History Month with decorations in Upper E Hall. Photographed by Maanya Bhutani.

Tola Aluko, General

 English is regarded as the universal language since it is spoken in a wide range of countries and regions, and is the most spoken language in the world. This benefits native English speakers in the United States (and other English speaking countries), however, it can also limit them. 

Many Americans don’t see a need to learn a new language because English is the language widely used for communication world wide in several aspects; work, networking, and more. For example, in global business, “More and more multinational companies are mandating English as the common corporate language,” despite the companies being based in a country where English is not the common language.

With studies like this it may be seen as unneeded to learn another language, but in general, picking up another language doesn’t only open doors, but it can also forge a sense of global integrity. In today’s era, it is especially beneficial to learn a new language as the rate of globalization increases. Therefore, Americans should be more open to learn new languages.  

There are many languages that Americans can benefit from learning; however, there are two that can have great benefits and offer numerous opportunities. 

Mandarin Chinese is spoken by over 1.1 billion people and considered the second-most important language in global business, according to Babbel. Many Mandarin speakers are native Chinese, but the language has a strong presence in global business. China is among the world’s fastest growing economies, and is second to the United States in GDP. As China emerges as a world power, Mandarin becomes a more tempting language for Americans to learn.

Second, Spanish. According to Forbes, “Spanish is spoken by more than 559 million people globally,” and roughly ⅛ of the United States population speaks Spanish, making Spanish the “most common non-English language spoken” and the second most-spoken language in the United States. Over the last few years, America has seen a growing number of Spanish speaking immigrants. With more and more Spanish speakers coming to the U.S., it would be a huge benefit to learn Spanish. 

Being fluent in Mandarin and Spanish is a major advantage for many jobs. Bilingual or multilingual speakers can be offered better job opportunities with higher pay. The United States Hispanic population and China’s influence in business are both expected to grow, so it would be a good idea for Americans to expand the number of languages they speak.