Have you ever read through a job description, and found a seemingly perfect role to apply to — good location, great salary, and a job scope you'd enjoy doing. But then, as you continue reading the details, you come across that one requirement: a second language as a pre-requisite.
For many of us, even if we have knowledge in a certain language, not having fluent command of these languages can still be a deterrent for applying to jobs that require bilingualism.
Hence, knowing another language is extremely important in today's business world, and being business fluent, that is. But where do we start? What new language should I pick up?
Here are a couple languages that are most ideal for enhancing your career experience.
French is the working language of international organisations like UN, UNESCO, NATO, FIFA and WHO. More than 300 million people across the globe speak french, and is the 5th most widely spoken language in the world. Frances is also one of the world’s largest economies and a leading destination for foreign investment, and knowing french would definitely help put you out there on the international job market. You should definitely be fluent in French if you're pursuing a career in diplomacy or international relations.
China is one of the largest economies in the world, meaning there are a plethora of business and employment opportunities there. With over a billion speakers and the second most widely used language in the world, being fluent in Mandarin Chinese is definitely a vital asset to have. Mandarin Chinese is the mother tongue in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, and is also widely used in other asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Hong Kong, Mongolia and the Philippines. As a country that is likely to play a major role in international affairs in the future, there is no doubt that it should be one of the top languages in your list to learn.
Japan is one of the world's most innovative economies, and is famous for its consumer electronics and automobile industries. Anything that has to do with manufacturing, engineering, or research and development goes well with a side of Japanese language skills. Since the country exports and imports a lot of goods, there are plenty of opportunities to be in touch with a Japanese company – and impress them with your Japanese skills.
Similarly to French, Spanish is also the official language of many international organisations, and one of the most widely used languages on the internet. It's the second most common language in the US, so if you plan on moving to the States for work, it's good to have some knowledge in Spanish.
Arabic is the communication gateway to the Middle East, where many have made a fortune in energy, construction, and real estate. It is definitely one of the more challenging languages to learn for English speakers. It is the 5th most widely spoken language, with a total of 490 million speakers worldwide, and is at the top of every language list, whether it is ordered based on influence, number of speakers, popularity or others. If you’re planning on travelling to the Arabic world for business, or would just like your CV to stand out, Arabic is definitely a language you should pick up