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French seems like an obvious choice: Spoken (to some extent, don't expect everybody to be able to communicate with you!) in 20+ countries, not much overlap with English, mostly standardized and easy to learn for English speakers (compared to Arabic or local languages), not limited to a specific region (unlike, say, Swahili which does enjoy some use as a ...


While this question is answered (in short: English is probably your best bet), as a native, I'd like to provide a more complete explanation. First of all, the first part of Mark's accepted answer is highly misleading (even if we ignore the fact Wikitravel's Quick Facts now contain data that is 13 years old). The two major flaws in that logic are: The ...

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