Language learning is tough work.
And if you want to be a polyglot, you’re going to have to endure the daily grind over and over in your life.
It takes a whole lot of effort to maintain the languages you’ve already begun.
But let’s say you’re satisfied with your current levels and you’re once again turning your sights on the wide world of languages out there.
Or maybe you’re just starting out.
Nearly 7,000 languages are ready and waiting in the pages of grammars and dictionaries around the globe.
You may be asking yourself, “what language should I learn?”
Should you learn French or Spanish? Tamazight or Swahili? Abkhaz or Sesotho?
How can you ever decide?
Enter the trusted adviser of millions, the beloved internet quiz.
People don’t necessarily take online quizzes that tell them what to do with their lives because they think the quizzes are completely accurate. More often than not, they’re just a fun way to get the ball rolling with regards to big decisions, and to explore options. In this limited way, they actually can be useful.
There may not be a crystal ball to divine the languages you will or should learn in the future, but why not take the next best thing?
In this post, I’ll introduce you to eight fun and laid-back resources for deciding which language is best for you, presented in that timeless format.
That’s right—it’s time for language quizzes.
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Why Internet Language Quizzes Aren’t Necessarily a Waste of Time
I know what you’re thinking. Can a BuzzFeed quiz really tell me something new about learning languages? That question has two answers.
One, they’re not all BuzzFeed, and two, of course they can!
Quizzes, no matter how silly, can clue you in to factors that you might not even have considered. People learn languages for all sorts of reasons, and it’s great to be exposed to a bunch of different sides of the question before you start off.
Of course, I’m not telling you to hand your language learning future over to the whims of some online algorithm. It’s important to consider a lot of things that online quizzes aren’t quite equipped to provide.
But quizzes are a fun way to see how your favorite foods and tourist destinations as well as your habits and personality might point you toward your next language learning adventure.
And some of us language fanatics are really just in it for the challenge. We love languages not because they’re going to open up doors for business or travel, but because they’re fascinating in and of themselves. A second opinion from a quick and easy online quiz can really give us an extra push of inspiration to start learning something new.
The Top 8 “What Language Should I Learn” Online Quizzes
We all know it’s a big commitment to start learning a foreign language.
TakeLessons’s quiz is a bit pragmatic, as it directly brings up practical questions, like how much time you’re willing to put in.
You’re also going to have to consider what’s most important to you when starting to learn a new language.
Personally, I chose to learn to speak with people at home and abroad. In this multicultural world, you can use your languages practically around every corner.
In the end, there’s a great little write-up about the target language you’re given. Where most quizzes just give you a little blurb of congratulations, the quiz at TakeLessons gives you solid advice to consider about the language and its speakers.
I only had one complaint. The question about food uses a picture of a wonderful-looking pizza, but there’s no option for pizza anywhere!
BuzzFeed has been in the online quiz game for a long time, and it shows. In my opinion, this is the prettiest of them all.
Interestingly, this quiz is almost entirely about food, books and movies.
I thought it was pretty hard to guess what my answers were leading to—what do Brad Pitt movies have to do with language learning?
This quiz isn’t going to give you much information about what it takes to actually learn the language you’re assigned, but the pictures could make you pretty hungry!
And sometimes that’s all we need. If you’re wavering between Italian and Greek, a picture of some mouth-watering baklava is the perfect extra push to get you going.
Independent Self-assessment on FluentU
Okay, okay, we know that FluentU isn’t itself a quiz. But hey, we’ve got quizzes. And you can use those quizzes to help you figure out which language you want to learn—and then, to actually learn it.
If you want to find out first-hand which language might suit you, take advantage of FluentU’s free trial.
All the videos are made for—and by—native speakers. You’ll get more than just grammar and vocab: You’ll have a wide-open window into the cultures where the languages are spoken.
Do a deep dive into authentic content for a generous double-handful of languages: Discover how to draw a Russian nesting doll, get your groove on in Korean with a K-Pop star, perfect your pasta knowledge with a quiz in Italian and much more.
With our transcripts and translations, you’ll also have a magic decoder ring to unlock the meaning of any video: Start learning any of FluentU’s available languages with our interactive captions, instant definitions, multimedia flashcards and customized quizzes.
One account gives you access to all our video content. Want to learn more than one language? You’re free to indulge your inner polyglot! It only takes a few seconds to switch target languages with FluentU. Your progress for each language is saved separately, so you can easily pick up right where you left off.
Personalized video suggestions and timely study reminders keep you motivated and on-track. You can learn from anywhere on your mobile device or enjoy FluentU at home on your computer.
Try out FluentU today to explore your choices and start learning with compelling real-world videos in your target language—or languages!
I liked this one right from the start. Instead of asking you “French, Spanish, or Italian?” in the description, you get a few pretty uncommon languages there. Welsh? Tibetan? Bulgarian? Exciting!
Playbuzz’s quiz starts out with great pictures of food, drinks and books, and then gets a little more creative.
Next come some really solid questions for asking why you want to learn, and how prepared you might be for different features of different languages. Ever thought of learning a tonal language?
EuroTalk’s quiz is one of the more esoteric quizzes on the list. Like the BuzzFeed one, there are some funky questions that might not seem to relate to language learning at all.
And I was really surprised that there weren’t any questions about cities or travel. I love foreign cities, and they’re perfect places for getting exposed to lots of different varieties of a language. But play to the end, and you might get an interesting answer.
It’s hard to guess from EuroTalk’s name, but this one definitely features some languages off the beaten track.
I think that’s a great feature of this quiz—offering you choices that hadn’t been on your radar at all before.
One of the reasons I study languages is to just hear the different sounds from all over the world. After I got my answer of Hawaiian, I went and looked it up. It sounds beautiful!
The BrainFall quiz seems to be pretty similar to some of the previous ones, but it’s a little bit more involved.
There’s no linguistic information included, but at the end, you do get a short write-up that actually connects well to the answers you provide.
And this is one of the few quizzes to have a section on movies. Film is such an important part of language and culture!
If you’re a language lover, you likely already know about Babbel thanks to their interesting videos and interviews with language learners.
Check out this eight-question quiz to see which language might fit your interests.
They’ve got a simple mix of questions about grammar and culture—two things that are crucial to consider.
After the quiz, you don’t get a breakdown of why that language might be your next one—but since they’re actually a website designed for language teaching, you know this quiz was made by some of the top minds in the industry.
This one might be the longest, but the format makes it a breeze. One new thing this quiz brings to the table is the idea of “same or different from English.”
Obviously, no language is the same as any other, but it’s something you have to ask yourself regardless: Do you prefer languages that share a lot of features with your native tongue or languages that make you think about the world in a new way?
At the end, you’ll actually get a ranking of languages from most to least suitable for you.
How did these quizzes do for me? I took all of them twice each for this article, just to see if I might get different answers on another day.
The first day, I got Mandarin, Spanish, Spanish, Hawaiian, Russian, Italian and Arabic.
The second day? Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Cornish, Hindustani, French and Russian.
Interesting! I’ve studied lots of different languages, and even though German is my best, it never showed up. Arabic is a match, and so is Spanish (the main language I’m studying now).
I’ve never tried to learn Chinese, Hawaiian, Cornish or Hindi/Urdu before. Who knows, maybe the time is right!
Deciding what language to learn next doesn’t have to be a big deal. If you grow bored with a language or it’s just not working out the way you planned, there’s no shame in putting it aside for later.
And of course, the easiest and most fun language to learn is the one that’s interesting to you. So try as many as you like! You might just find the perfect fit.
Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer, polyglot and co-founder of WriteWorldwide. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.
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