Language can be greatly effective for your business. Knowing the best languages to learn for business can benefit you to better understand the market and the requirements of the locals.
With internet, when we say we have a global platform, so why not expand our business beyond? If you are confined to one language, then you can target only the native consumers. But the potential to grow can be enormous if you know at least the basics of some of the important foreign languages.
Here’s a list of best languages to learn for business based on the industry and economic importance.
Best languages to learn for business
Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in China. There are approximately 879 million native speakers and 193 million people who speak Mandarin as their second language. In total, there are 1.05 billion people who speak Mandarin, making it one of the best languages to learn for business.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China has the largest economy by purchasing power parity. China is a home to many of the giant businesses like Alibaba, QZone, Sina Weibo, etc. With China very particular about its culture, the basic knowledge about the language can ease trading with China.
China is also the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Over a span of last 30 years, China has accounted 10 percent average economy growth making the country the largest manufacturing and export network. Hence, the opportunities are enormous.
Apart from China, Mandarin is also spoken in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. What’s more, all these nations have the fast growing economy both in terms of production and purchasing power.
Worldwide, 983 million people speak English. However, there are only 371 million native speakers of this language including the countries- United states (US), United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In fact, English speakers can be found anywhere in the world.
In many countries, English is the primary foreign language. One third of the world’s population understands english. It is also the official language of many leading organizations in the world. English, therefore is an important language for businesses to flourish globally.
English is spoken in 94 countries, making it the most widespread language in the world. It is also holds the number one position for the most commonly used internet language. The top educational institutions in the world teach in English as primary language.
As computers and mobile phones are becoming an integral part of any business, and since most of the softwares are developed and used in english, it is necessary to learn this language. Considering the current trend, English is the best language for business.
There are 436 million native Spanish speakers. About 527 million people speak Spanish globally. The countries where spanish is spoken as a primary language are- Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, United States, and Spain.
Spanish language is important because almost 30 percent of US population speak Spanish. It is projected that the number of Spanish speakers will cross 60 million by 2020. Many of the words in English language are also derived from Spanish.
More than 20 countries use Spanish as their official language. According to British Council, 34 percent of the business in UK is done in Spanish.
If you wish to expand your business in UK and US, then learning Spanish can benefit you.
Across the world, there are about 422 million people who speak Arabic. It is mostly used in the Middle East.
The demographics say- in the last 10 years, the use of Arabic language has grown by 2500 percent! It has even crossed the benchmark set by Spanish and English.
Arabic is the language of the Middle East, which has grown with its oil and gas businesses. Well, today their business is not only confined towards oil fields, but also in tourism, infrastructure, and fashion.
If you are looking to trade with these nations, then we suggest you to keep this language in your bucket.
There are 229 million Portuguese speakers out of which 218 million are native, mostly concentrated in Brazil. It has similarities with Spanish language.
Portuguese language is important because it is native in Brazil. Brazil is intrinsic of BRICS and they are influencing the world with the way they do business. It is also considered as an important foreign language in South America.
The past Portuguese invasion can be seen in other parts of the world like India, China, and Africa. Whether it is culinary cuisine or it is the administrative setup; Portuguese influence is remarkable. Hence, because it is widespread, we need to learn Portuguese to unleash business opportunities in different parts of the world.
Overall there are 267 million Russian speaking people out of which, 153 are native to Russian Federation and the rest live in Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.
Again, considering the BRICS power, Russian language is important because Russia is considered as one of the world’s biggest business influencer nations. Russia is also the world’s sixth largest economy. It is projected to overtake Germany by 2030.
Russia has the finest minds in core science, engineering, and materials science. Also, the people here are less proficient in English. This indicates that learning Russian can be fruitful if you are exploring business opportunities in Russia.
There are 76 million native German speakers and 129 million people worldwide speak German as a foreign language. Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Lichtenstein are the countries where the knowledge of German is must.
Germany has dominated the automobile sector since decades. Only about 80 million German population contribute to 4.5 percent global GDP. It is an important language in banking as well. Germany is also the third largest contributor in research and development in the world.
We need to learn German to walk shoulder to shoulder with one of the finest craftsmanship in the world. If your business adheres to health and social science, arts, automobiles, then knowledge of German can be beneficial.
Globally, 229 million people speak French, with 76 million native speakers. It is considered as a language of love, but it holds importance in business as well. The French speaking community comprises 102 million internet users. French is also the official language of international organizations like United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organization (WTO).
French is spoken in 39 countries across the world. It has great influence in some parts of Africa like Rwanda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. These countries are not proficient in English. If you are pitching business in these regions, then learning French can be useful.
Japan is known for its technology and the prosperous lifestyle of the people. With 129 million Japanese speakers located primarily in Japan, it is one of the most technologically advanced nation of the world, and incubator for innovations in learning. Because of its involvement in different sectors globally, Japanese is an important language.
Japan is a major contributor for development assistance across the world. Its influence in climate policies, finance, energy and natural resource security is remarkable. In 2016, Japan accounted 89 billion dollar sales through ecommerce.
Japanese gives an edge if your business relates to Japanese policies, technology, and environment sustainability then knowledge of Japanese and partnering with japan can be an advantage.
There are 544 million Hindi and Urdu speakers, of which 329 million are native to India. India is the second most populated nation contributing to the future manpower. However, Hindi is not the national language of India. Instead, it is one of the officially recognised language in India.
India is a growing economy and despite the diverse language group found here, Hindi is common in all official documentation. It is important because of significantly growing Indian consumer market.
India is a land of diverse culture, art, and agriculture. It is a major consumer market and developing manufacturing sector. Though English is popular in India, 85 percent people are not fluent in the language.
If you want to trade with this developing economy, then learning Hindi can help you in gripping the local market place.
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