To really excel in business you need that competitive edge, and learning a language fluently is guaranteed to be the asset that will take you there. Not only are these languages useful for business, they are also regarded as part of the top 10 languages to learn for any purpose, making them indispensable in overall.
Starting with the obvious, English is perhaps the most geographically widely spoken language in the world. It is estimated that approximately 1.5 billion people in the world speak English with more than 400 million speaking English as their native language. From these statistics it’s pretty clear that English is mandatory in the business world. However, even if you are a native English Speaker you shouldn’t allow yourself to get complacent. Fluency in another language is more impressive and advantageous.
Spanish is undoubtedly a top choice when it comes to doing business within Spain or Latin America. It happens to be the fourth most geographically widely spoken language in the world with native speakers in 44 countries. Luckily, Spanish is actually pretty easy to use, and it happens to be one of the world’s most phonetic languages, meaning that the way a word is spelled is most likely to also be the way it is pronounced.
Chinese is perhaps one of the hardest languages to learn in the world, but with approximately 1.2 billion native speakers of this language, it’s at least worth giving it a shot. China’s large economic power is also a huge contributing factor towards why you should learn this language. Not to mention that it is also the biggest manufacturer in the world, making business opportunities abundant.
If you plan to do business in countries within certain parts of Africa and the Middle East, Arabic is indubitably the way to go. However, akin to Chinese, it’s a rather difficult language to learn, especially for Westerners. You should still make an attempt to learn it though; Arabic speaking countries are a fast growing market for trade, and it’s important to try and understand the language and culture in order to do business effectively.
Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, and subsequently the Russian economy, Russia is still considered to be a top economic power. Russian should, therefore, still be seen as an invaluable language to learn. It is, however, another difficult language to learn, but as a Westerner is shouldn’t be quite as difficult because at least half of the alphabet will be familiar. However, Russian grammar can be very difficult to grasp so you will need lots of patience and practice.
Author: Amanda Clarke is a copywriter for a digital marketing agency in London.