Can you guess the top languages spoken in the so-called “melting pot” of the world? A quick glance at the most popular languages in the U.S., besides English, illustrates the nickname still fits. While the classic languages still dominate, a few of the changes since our last article in 2015 surprised us! In addition to the regions where the languages are concentrated, we’ll mention industries to apply them for employment purposes and a few resources CORE Languages loves so you can learn German or another top ten language today!
Italian is a common heritage among US citizens and it’s reflected in American’s love for pizza and pasta! Three-quarters of a million Americans speak Italian and it’s useful for work in the fashion, automotive or hospitality industries.
Russian-Americans live primarily on the coasts of the U.S. Major waves of Russian-speaking immigrants arrived after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Today, almost 900,000 Russian speakers call America home. Russian can be advantageous for military, intelligence and government careers, because the Federal government considers it a critical foreign language.
Especially beautiful in its written form, Arabic is fast-growing in all forms of communication. Arabic may be an asset for the oil and gas industry, and natural resource management. Like Russian, it is a critical foreign language and is valuable for work in security and in the military.
In many states, German is the most spoken language besides English and Spanish. With a history in the US dating back to the colonial period, German is still the largest ethnic group in the US. However, only a million people speak it today, and they will find application for it in the fields of manufacturing, engineering, energy and other sciences. If you’re looking to learn German, Schritte international 1 and Komm mit!: Level 1 are great launch points, in CORE Languages experience.
The sixth most popular language in the US may come as a surprise to those located outside major metropolises. South Korea is a humble world leader in manufacturing vehicles, electronics, and machinery. It also excels in industrial technology. If you’re not intimidated by a language with different characters and sounds, and are interested in international business or manufacturing, learning Korean is an excellent investment.
Another Asian language hits number five on our list of top ten foreign languages spoken in the US. The prevalence of Vietnamese-speakers is attributed to large-scale immigration occurring between the mid 1970’s and early 2000’s; these immigrants settled in Western states. Vietnamese can be applied to the fields of machinery, energy, natural resources and garment production.
Tagalog is a language spoken in the Philippines—and also in the Western United States, including Hawaii. Over 1.6 million Americans speak Tagalog, a language which, like Vietnamese, can help for work with garments, natural resources, electronics and pharmaceuticals.
French is the first language on our list to break the 2 million speaker mark. French-speakers live in areas that were once French colonies or bordered them: Louisiana, Mississippi, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. If you want to speak the beautiful language of a country with a bustling economy and many successful companies, CORE Languages’s recommends Easy French Step-by-Step to learn French.
As a unit dubbed “Chinese,” Mandarin, Cantonese and other variants of Chinese are the second most popular foreign tongue. California and New York house almost half of the nation’s 2.9 million Chinese speakers. The volume and diversity of goods and resources China exports is difficult to rival. Those proficient in Chinese, especially Mandarin, will find myriad applications in international trade, financial markets and investing, and can call this language of the future an asset.
Se habla Espanol “Spanish spoken here” is a sign advertising Spanish-speaking service posted in many a store-front in the US. Between sections of the Southern US formerly belonging to Spain and Mexico, high volumes of immigrants and many Spanish-speaking southern neighbors, it’s no wonder Spanish is the most spoken language besides English. The Spanish language boasts 37.5 million speakers and is the most-taught foreign language in US schools. If you want to learn on your own, we recommend: Spanish Now! Level 1: with MP3 CD and Learn Spanish the Fast and Fun Way Third Edition.
A multitude of fields need Spanish speakers, but business, customer-based and human service-based Spanish jobs are the most prevalent. If you want to choose a language that will afford you a lot of verbal practice, learn Spanish!
If you’re motivated to start learning one of the top ten languages today, start with the 100 words you need to master a foreign language!