Published 16th May 2019


If you’re a TEFL teacher, your focus is mostly on teaching English. You will immerse yourself in theories of teaching and learning and you will become familiar with the ins and outs of the English language. You will prepare and plan engaging lessons in the hopes that your learners will walk out of your classroom with a better grasp of English. But what about you?  We discuss here which are the most useful languages to learn for travelling.

Learning a language is useful for anyone, no matter their age. Learning a language provides mental exercise for the brain and it helps you with creativity, logic and reasoning, and problem-solving. Not to mention that if you are living in a foreign country, learning the local language will open the door to the local culture.

Of course, learning a language is not easy and it takes time, motivation and dedication. It makes sense that you should carefully consider which language you want to learn, so that you can get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.

So which languages are the most useful tor travelling?

Mandarin Chinese

First on the list has to be Mandarin Chinese. It is well-known that Mandarin is spoken by the most people in the world but of course most of these people are in China! So if you are contemplating living in China, learning Mandarin will go a long way in helping you settle into the culture. At the same time, Mandarin is fast becoming a language of business. If you can speak Mandarin you will be a hot commodity in business circles.


Spanish is an obvious choice. It is spoken by more than 35 million people in the United States alone and it’s the second most popular language in Europe. In fact, no matter where you go Spanish will probably come in handy – it’s the first language of 21 different countries.


Ah, the language of love. Speaking French will no doubt make you more attractive to the opposite sex. But if that isn’t reason enough for you, you must realise that French is spoken not only in France, but in Canada, Switzerland, the Seychelles< Mauritius and numerous African countries.


For the adventurous language learner, learning Arabic is a must. Arabic is by no means an easy language to learn but it’s one which will provide you with a wealth of benefits. Living in the Middle East or North Africa, a knowledge of Arabic will open many doors for you. But even if you are in the United Kingdom, the United States or in fact many countries around the world, being able to speak Arabic will help you forge friendships and understand a culture you might not otherwise.

Of course learning any language is a good idea and you can’t say that some languages are better than others. If you’re going by numbers, though, and which languages are spoken most widely, you can’t go wrong with these ones. Happy learning!