I think stuff like family ties, business, or frequent travelling to a specific country should be a reason to learn the language, no matter how many speakers it has. After all, it's nice that I can theoretically talk to half the planet, but with how many will I actually get into contact? (this is simplification, not taking into account the amount of media and such stuff).
so why not think of it the other way around? Learn a language first, and then in order to practice, or in order to not feel bad about spending so much time learning a 'useless' language (if you're feeling pessimistic), seek out people and places to communicate regularly with speakers of that language.
I don't know, but do you all choose, whether to need or learn a language first? I've been in plenty of situations, where I wished I had learnt the language before
Either way, language first or contact first, is absolutely legitimate. So is learning without any intention to ever meet the natives.
See, this is one of the reasons why the original incarnation of my post included a billionaire dangling a million dollars for each language you learned.
I like this game and cannot see why this thread got into some less pleasant stuff.
One point in this thread and elsewhere that I think needs attention: we shouldn't approach the languages with a saviour complex. The natives are keeping the language alive and making its future, with heritage speakers and with immigrants learning it. Not foreign learners, nobody is waiting for our mercy. It was also a very good note that 2000000 speakers, that is not an endangered language. I know lots and lots of people living full and happy lives as Czech monolinguals, therefore using only a 10 mil. language. And in today's globalised world, I don't think 10 mil and 2 mil are such a huge difference. Languages with just hundreds of thousands speakers (and most of them bilingual), that is a different story.
I wouldn't trade my languages in for other ones. I am not primarily after the amount of natives, but I simply love them (even though not all of them equally). But I would definitely consider small languages as my next choices, depending on my free time.
These would definitely be considered:Basque.
I've seen it just in the streets of Bilbao and it looked so great! And I want to return to the north of Spain again, including this part of the country.Latvian
as Lithuanian is too big for this game and there is little difference in their tiny usefulness for me. But they look and sound so nice and are so different!Welsh
I was about to start it once! It is so beautiful!
It's funny, how many languages I immediately thought of as "small" proved to have many more than 2 million natives