What are the best languages to learn for business?

languages

Here at Coach Direct, we work with businesses across Europe and beyond. As technology marches on, it’s much easier for even small businesses to trade internationally. Key to this is communication. So if you are a business owner or simply an ambitious business person, you may have considered learning another language. But which one? Below we take a look at 5 of the most popular.

Mandarin

mandarin

Businesswise, Mandarin has to be the number one language to learn. China is the world’s most populous country and they are only going to become stronger and stronger as an economic superpower. So much of the world’s manufacturing is done there, learning Mandarin is only going to help your business and your career.

The problem with learning Mandarin? It’s difficult, there is no getting away from this. Because it is not based on the same alphabet as English, it immediately makes it more difficult, as do some of the more subtle nuances of the language. There are simplified forms such as PinYin, but even if you can only get a rudimentary understanding of the spoken form of the language, it is going to be very useful for you. 

Arabic

arabic

The Arabic language has around 300 million native speakers and is widely used throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa. One of the fastest rising business languages in the world, it is a difficult language to learn. However, because of its widespread use, it can help you access markets that your competitors may struggle to.

Spanish

spanish

Over 200 million people speak Spanish, with much of South America speaking the language. It’s one of the most in-demand business languages as South America has some of the most exciting and dynamic expanding economies.

The great thing about learning Spanish is that it is relatively easy to do. Because it uses the same alphabet as English it much easier than languages like Mandarin and Arabic and you can get native experience of it whilst on your holidays in Spain.

German

german

Germany is Europe’s economic superpower which immediately makes it a useful language to learn. We may as a nation decided to exit the European Union but we will undoubtedly continue to trade with Europe and the UK does a huge amount of trade with Germany. For this reason, it is a great language to learn. 100 million speak German natively with an estimated 300 million more having some knowledge of the language. An added bonus is that it is relatively easy to learn too because it is (relatively) similar to English.

French

french

The ‘language of love’ it may be, but it’s also a great language for business. The most commonly learned second language in the UK, chances are you studied it at school for a while so you may have a good head start when it comes to learning French. As one of the official languages of the EU, UN, NATO and UNESCO, it’s of huge importance internationally and it is also a good base for learning other romance languages such as Spanish and Italian.