If you are considering learning a new language to expand your business possibilities, you might be struggling to pick the right language. It’s true there are many different beautiful languages in the world, but how do you know which one is right for you? And, which new languages should business professionals be learning? Here’s a list of the most relevant languages for business owners to learn.
- English – In the business world, especially in finance and other international industries, English is the lingua franca. If you’re not a native English speaker and you want to succeed in business, especially business in countries where this is the dominant tongue, it will be worth your while to learn this language. If you don’t have someone at your company with extreme and native English fluency, then it is time to hire someone. The last thing you want is business communications going out with incorrect English.
- Russian – Russian is spoken by more than 160 million people in the world. While that’s half of the population that speaks English and only a tiny fraction of the people that speak Chinese, learning Russian allows you to understand and communicate with many others that speak a Slavic language. Since Russia is up and coming in the industrialized world, knowing how to speak this language can be a huge asset.
- Spanish – For businesses that want to expand in America, learning Spanish is probably your best bet. Spanish is the second most common language in the world, and while there are many different variations, learning one version of Spanish can help you communicate with anyone who speaks one of these dialects. Versions of Spanish are poised to overtake English as the most pervasive language in the United States.
- Mandarin Chinese – Spoken by more than 900 million people in the world, Chinese is also the national language of the fastest growing economy in the industrialized world. Most financial experts believe China will be the largest and most important economy by 2020, which means knowing this language could be seriously helpful in the next decade.
- German – Germany has never been unseated as the industrial center of Europe. Spoken not just by Germans, but by many in the surrounding countries, and commonly taught in schools around the world, German will continue to be an important language for business leaders to know (and if you already speak English, learning German is easier). Thankfully, many Germans speak English fairly well, but it can help when you show an interest in their language.
- Japanese – Like Germany, Japan is and will continue to be considered an international business magnate. Learning at least basic Japanese could help you further your business interests and even open door into countries beyond Japan. If you are looking to learn a new language, Japanese is certainly a good language to choose.