For decades English was considered to be the most widely used language for business, academics and tourism in major parts of the globe. But, in today’s world where businesses and industries are connected cross-culturally inter-connected, it’ll take more than good English speaking skills for you to make the cut globally. Knowing a second language will put you ahead in the list of applicants
applying for the same job and reduce the competition considerably. With the historical development of the world coming closer and barriers being reduced it has to be matched by large linguistic alterations and adjustments.
Each and every language carries with it a considerable amount of social, cultural and historical value. Able to converse in a variety of languages, changes the outlook on the world perspective of an individual broadening their horizons and approach. The formula used to derive at some of the most influential languages in the world is by keeping in my mind the following key factors;
- The number of Primary speakers of the language.
- The number of secondary speakers of the language.
- The population of countries using the language.
- The number of major fields in which the language is used internationally.
- The Economic, military and financial power of the country.
- The international socio-literary prestige of the language.
The 5 most influential languages that will set your company on the path of success and incredible growth besides English and Spanish (the most preferred already) are as under;
- Mandarin Chinese: It boasts of over one billion native speakers in the world and is the official language of the second-largest economy in the world-China. It is often thought of as a complex and difficult language to learn for native English speakers. But, wouldn’t it be a matter of pride to learn and master something presumed to be so difficult. If you choose to incorporate Mandarin then vast avenues open for you in China and other Asian countries in a wide array of sectors. It is also the language with the most increased enrollment rate.
- French: Known to be the language of love, it is spoken in over 40 countries around the world and is one of the most common languages found on the internet after English. Thanks to the enormous efforts of the French government and vast sums of money that go in creating awareness about it. If you are targeting European markets that French should top your list.
- German: It comes from the same family as the English language and therefore has similarities with it. It is the official language of three powerhouses in Europe. It entered the 20th Century as a major language of Science and technology however, it suffered a setback after Germany lost in World War I. But this scenario seems to be undergoing a revolutionary change now as major companies around the world are owned by German conglomerates. The Germans are known for their love for innovation, cars and Beer! So doing business with Germans can be far more interesting and fun as thought!
- Arabic: It has over 250 million speakers in the world and is the most important language if you belong to the petroleum or defense industries. With a combined GDP of over 600 million dollars the Arab world offers a host of different opportunities for enterprises across the globe. It is a huge export market for variety of goods and services that offer lucrative investment options.
- Japanese: If you wish to breakthrough in the cutting-edge hub of technology and robotics then having working knowledge of Japanese is a must. The Japanese prefer to work in their language rather than any other language unlike the Chinese who are open to working in English with foreigners. So you have no more options but to say ‘Konichiwa’ or hello to Japanese in ‘Japanese’!
To climb the ladder of international growth and success the working knowledge of the above mentioned languages will be of great importance. Ultimately, we can state that, “Businesses looking to flourish in foreign land must first flourish in the language of that country. This assures acceptability and long-term sustainability”.
Tim is a freelance writer and also contributes at Technovate Translations – a company that provides interpretation and document translation services. If not writing for the language and culture subject, he’s in the music room doing some guitar licks