There’s an old Czech proverb that goes: “You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once“. With that in mind, we’re here to help in your journey to learn languages. Here is a list of the 10 most beautiful languages that you can learn and start living your beautiful new life today.
Since we started this article with a Czech proverb, why not start our list with the Czech language. Originally known as Bohemian, the language shares similarities with other Slavic languages. A few examples would be such as Polish and Russian. However, it was also influenced by Latin and German. Today, there are around 10 million Czechs speaking the most beautiful of all the Slavic languages. It has a truly unique sounding “ř”, or “rzh” sound, like that in the middle of composer Antonin Dvořák’s surname. So if you want to learn languages, Czech might be of interest.
Wolof is from the Atlantic language family of Western Africa. You can hear it mostly in Senegal but also in Gambia, Mauritania, and Mali. You can write Wolof by using either Arabic or Latin-based scripts. Over time has built up a significant body of poetry and song. Chances are that, even if you’ve never heard of the language, you know a few words of it. The word “banana” likely originated from the Wolof language. Other words like “chigger”, “jive”, and “juke” have also entered the English lexicon from Wolof.
Almost everyone can agree that the language of Dante, da Vinci, and Pavarotti is a beautiful language. And speaking of Dante, though it’s been around since at least the 900s, the language didn’t become standardized until the time of Dante Alighieri some 400 years later. But ever since, Italian has long been known as one of the foremost languages in the world of art, classical music, opera, and of course, romance. Even spoken Italian can sound like a song to non-native speakers. Of course, there’s nothing that sounds as passionate as something does when it is said in Italian.
Finnish is one of the two official languages of Finland (the other being Swedish). There are approximately five million Finnish speakers around the world. The language is gender neutral. Meaning there’s no need to remember whether the word pöytä (“table”), for example, is masculine or feminine. There is also no future tense in Finnish, which would make it seem that it might be easier to learn. However, Finnish has 18 diphthongs which gives the Finnish language its reputation for being, shall we say, challenging.
Welsh is mainly spoken in Wales and Patagonia, South America. Even though Welsh began to emerge as a distinctive language sometime between 400 and 700 AD, Welsh was nearly drowned out in the sea of English that surrounds it. However, over the last several decades, it has undergone a revitalization process. Wales is now officially a bilingual society. One that can act as a model for endangered minority languages all over the world.
Cherokee is the native language of the Cherokee people, the indigenous people of the southeastern part of North America. Although most Cherokees speak English, around 20,000 of them also speak the Cherokee Indian language. The word Cherokee pronounced “CHAIR-uh-kee” actually comes from a Muskogee word meaning “speakers of another language”. So, by that definition, we can all be Cherokees. The beauty of Cherokee is that, although it’s a complex language, it’s a language with soft sounds. Just look at the Cherokee words, osiyo (pronounced oh-see-yoh), a friendly greeting, and wado (pronounced wah-doh), meaning “thank you”, and you’ll see what we mean.
One in six people speak Chinese. It also has a 3,000 year old writing system featuring no alphabet, and over 20,000 characters. This means instead of learning 25 – 45 symbols as you would when you learn languages, in Chinese you have to learn thousands upon thousands of characters, each character representing a word. Nevertheless, Chinese calligraphy has always been highly prized as an art form.
Often claimed by its 243 million native speakers to be the most second most beautiful language in the world, Bengali does, indeed, have a gorgeous system of writing and melodiously flowing sound. Native speakers love their language so much that protests were held by native speaking students, several of whom were killed, when they were forced to use Urdu instead of Bengali in their studies. As a result, Bengali is still a spoken language by 230 million citizens in Bangladesh and is the second most commonly spoken language in India.
Speaking of English, though it doesn’t top our list at number one, English is considered by most to be the official language of business, travel, medicine, law, politics, and more, basically the world. Chances are, if you’re reading this, then you’re most likely a native speaker or you speak English as a second language, so we could say that English is pretty prominent around the world and, dare we say, outer space? English is also a requirement if you want to be an astronaut.
As of 2020, Arabic has become one of the fastest growing language, moving from the 5th most-spoken language in the world to 4th place. Not only is Arabic an official language of the UN, it’s also the official language of 22 countries of the MENA region. Perhaps like no other language on our countdown, Arabic has heavily influenced many other languages, including English. In fact, if you’re thinking of learning Arabic for beginners, then you’ll mostly likely also learn basic Arabic words that you may have not realized you already know. Many English words like cotton, magazine, and sherbet, come from the Arabic قطن (qutun), مخازِن (makhāzin) and شراب (sharāb), respectively. You may find Arabic’s most beautiful aspect when you learn Arabic alphabet letters and the incredible calligraphy of Arabic. Arabic calligraphy has always been highly prized as an art form not only in Arab culture, but around the world.
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