It seems like everyone is learning a second language these days, and why not? The world is more connected than ever, so it just makes sense to learn at least one more language. This way you can travel the world more intimately, even if you never leave your home. And studies show there are all kinds of cognitive benefits to learning another Robotel language.
But which language should you learn?
Well if you are native English speaker, Spanish is one of the easiest languages to pick up as a second language. While they have different roots, the written and spoken versions of these two languages differ only in formation (morphology) and pronunciation (phonology). Also, they share the same alphabet (mostly) and have similar phonetics. BONUS: Spanish probably has the easiest grammar rules to learn, of all the Romance languages.
For a native English speaker, Spanish may also be the most beneficial to learn. After all, Spanish is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world and many of the countries that speak Spanish are located immediately to the south of the United States. That means there are many Spanish speakers spread out across North America.
While Portuguese is not commonly spoken as English or Spanish, it is very similar to Spanish in common use and that makes it quite desirable for Westerners to learn. With its French influences, Portuguese also has a bit more of an exotic sound than Spanish, in some cases.
What English speakers might appreciate most about learning Portuguese is that both language share interrogative grammar rules. Basically in both English and Portuguese, you can turn any sentence into a question by simply inflecting and intoning the end of the sentence. So “We are going to church” (with inflection down at the end) simply becomes “We are going to church?” (with inflection up at the end).
Finally, French is another language that is easy for Westerners to learn. But that is not because French and English are similar—actually, they are quite different. French is easy to learn because it shares a linguistic history with English.
But French might also be an important language for English speakers to learn. Much like Spanish, if you live in the US, you share a long border with a bunch of people who speak French (to the north); but more than 260 million people around the world speak French.