Jim Rohn consistantly taught his students that learning more than one language would likely increase their income. It’s really quite simple – the more languages you know, the more people you can communicate with. The more people you can communicate with the more people you can do business with. So he also spoke about the benefits of learning more than 2 languages for business. Learning a second language also makes you much more valuable in the eyes of employers, especially in the financial and business sectors. But that leaves us with question of which language to learn. There are hundreds of languages and clearly some would be more useful than others. This is a list of the 10 best languages for business purposes. For this article I will not be including English as I assume you can already speak it.
Portuguese – 260 Million Speakers
Portuguese is easily one of the best languages for business purposes. The reason to learn Portuguese has nothing to do with it’s native country – it’s all about Brazil. Brazil is now one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the entire world. It’s leading the way for South-America’s emergence as an economic hub. Portuguese is the second most spoken language in South-America, even know it’s only a native language in Brazil. About 65 percent of the Brazilian population is under the age of 35 – this makes it an extremely valuable market, as young people like to spend money. Brazil also has a seemingly endless supply of valuable minerals just waiting to be extracted by foreign investors.
Russian – 280 Million Speakers
Russia is known for it’s strong market of natural resources. Oil and natural gas are a huge part of their economy, and absolutely vital to the world economy. In fact, Russia just recently signed a new deal to become China’s biggest supplier of oil. Up until now China’s main supplier of oil was Saudi Arabia – the fact that they lost their position to Russia shows that the Russian economy is still a major force. This has boosted confidence in the Russian markets, leading to fresh interest in investment in Russian-speaking nations. So maybe you should consider learning Russian if you like the sound of traditionally strong industries – because it’s one of the best languages for business purposes.
French – 220 Million Speakers
It’s important not to forget French. France remains one of the worlds most reliable and strong economy with a hugely successful financial sector. Due to it’s imperial past, there are many other nations where French is still spoken – like Morocco and several others in North-Africa. It is also widely spoken in Switzerland, which is one of Europe’s most stable and wealthy economies. With French being a useful diplomatic language, I really doubt it will lose it’s significance any time soon. But then again, French was once seen as the international language of business… which is now English.
Korean – 90 Million Speakers
Korean may not be as widely spoken as most other languages on this list, and South-Korea may easily be forgotten due to it’s size. But Korean is definitely one of the best languages for business because of the growth rate of the South-Korean economy. South Korea is an important G20 state, and is actually the most technologically advanced nation on Earth. Much of their economy is internet-based, their government had the foresight to introduce broadband infrastructure in the 1990s. Because of this, foreign investors are flocking towards South-Korea to make big money. And you can get a piece of that action – first step is to learn Korean.
Japanese – 142 Million Speakers
Japan has lately been the slowest growing economy in the G20, but it’s still a major economic force and a key player in Asian power struggles. Their tech industries are so far ahead of western countries that they have one hell of an advantage. If you want to invest in future technology, maybe you should look to Japan. In fact, the Japanese robotics industry is expected to be worth $70 billion by the year 2025. On a different note, Japanese exports and shipping is also a huge business. But it’s incredibly difficult to engage in these industries if you don’t have any command over the Japanese language.
Hindi – 400 Million Speakers
Hindi is the most spoken language in India other than English. Now, English is the international language of business and India produces more English speaking graduates than anywhere else in the world. But the Indian economy is growing so rapidly that Hindi can’t be ignored. India has great opportunities for business, Amazon is currently trying to break into their domestic retail market of over 1 billion people. This is a huge challenge for them, and will only be achievable if they employ speakers of Hindi. So if you want to expand into India, take inspiration from Amazon.
Spanish – 490 Million Speakers
Spanish is often the first language to come to mind for people considering learning a second. This is for several reasons. It’s fairly easy to learn – there are more native speakers of Spanish in the world than English – and it’s the official language of several rapidly growing economies like Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. Spanish is also becoming a major language in the United States. This is due to their high levels of Hispanic immigration and birth rate. The obvious outcome of this is big businesses looking to take advantage by offering their services in the Spanish language. It’s becoming the second language for international business.
Arabic – 520 Million Speakers
Arab countries are hubs of success for oil and real estate companies. One only has to look at the recent transformation of Dubai to see just how valuable the oil business is. And there are many Arabic-speaking nations with massive oil supplies. Just visit central London and you’ll meet wealthy middle-easterners who spend their time developing real estate in European countries. It makes it a lot easier to get a piece of these real estate deals if you can speak Arabic. It’s an incredibly difficult language to learn but the rewards can be really huge.
German – 180 Million Speakers
German – the official language of Europe’s fastest growing and most strong economy. Germany is the powerhouse of Europe, with the lowest unemployment rate for 20 years (Even during the Eurozone crisis). German banks are some of the most trusted on Earth when it comes to issuing loans. German scientific research as given rise to many new industries in biomedical science and pharmaceutical treatments, which attracts multi-billion dollar investments from abroad. This is impressive for a country that only reunified in the 1990s. German is also spoken in Austria and Switzerland, which are stable economies.
Chinese Mandarin – 1.03 Billion Speakers
With that many speakers, you know you’re onto something good! Mandarin is the main language of China, the largest economy in the world. Chinese stock markets basically dictate the direction of the global economy. At the end of 2015, Chinese markets crashed – the worldwide economy followed suit by slowing the growth in most countries. China has lifted more people out of poverty in recent years than any government ever. If you want something manufactured, China is the place to go. If you want any kind of cheap worker, China. The last decade has seen the Chinese doing huge business in Africa, exchanging natural resources for training and investment. It’s now the world’s great export destination, and continuing to grow really really really quickly! The Chinese economy is not stable – but it’s bloody large. So if you want to make some real money, consider learning Chinese mandarin. I really thinks it’s the most useful of the 10 best languages for business.