Top 10 Languages to Boost Your Career Worldwide
Indulge us for a minute. It's a marvellous evening with the stars shining bright and clear across the sky. Below, the lights reflect off a slick limousine travelling towards a French Embassy.
Smooth jazz is playing in the vehicle while you enjoy a glass of champagne. The limo halts in front of a beautiful mansion surrounded by guests from around the globe. It's the start of an engaging evening. Business professionals and politicians gather to network and dine the night away.
You meet and greet people in different languages, enjoying some harmless gossip in Spanish and then exchanging business details with a new associate in Mandarin.
Sounds awesome, right!? Well, we can't sneak you into an embassy any time soon (stick around, who knows), we can, however, inspire you to learn a second or third language. This can open doors and expand your personal and professional growth. Maybe even push you to pursue professional translation or interpretation as a career path.
The question now is, which language to learn? Many factors may impact your choice, including personal preference and career goals. Perhaps you're in love with the phonology and culture of Japanese and Japan, but your career path may need you to work in North Africa, requiring fluency in Maghreb French.
In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 languages to learn in 2023 and 2024 and why they are important for personal and professional growth.
Top 10 Most Popular Languages in The World
1. English – 1,121 million speakers: The lingua franca of the 21st century, with no country or culture that cannot be accessed in a globalised world.
2. Mandarin Chinese – 1,107 million speakers: It is the official language of China and is becoming increasingly important in international business. As China continues to grow as a global economic power, knowledge of Mandarin Chinese is becoming more and more valuable. Many parents consider this as the best second or third language choice their children should learn now.
3. Hindi – 698 million speakers: Growing in importance for business with India, it's well worth the try to encompass some Hindu in your language knowledge base.
4. Spanish – 512 million speakers: Opportunity for professionals from all kinds of careers, especially in the US where there are more Spanish speakers than in Spain. This language is also easier to learn than French and sounds just as beautiful, a nice choice for personal learning.
5. French – 284 million speakers: Language of art and culture, spoken in 29 countries. It is the second most used language in international organisations such as the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee. Learning French can provide many opportunities for global business and travel.
6. Arabic – 273 million speakers: The beauty of this language continues to amaze linguists around the world, and it's becoming increasingly important for trade with Middle Eastern countries.
7. Bengali – 265 million speakers: An ancient language spoken in Bangladesh and West Bengal. It originated more than a thousand years ago and is part of the Eastern Indo-Aryan sub-branch.
8. Russian – 258 million speakers: A mix of Slavic languages and classical Greek, with a simple and interesting language and unique Cyrillic alphabet. It is the official language of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and is becoming increasingly important in international business and politics.
9. Portuguese – 234 million speakers: Important for business in Brazil, Portugal, and several African countries. It is becoming increasingly important in international business and tourism. Knowledge of Portuguese can provide many opportunities for global business and travel.
10. Indonesian – 200 million speakers: Mother tongue of the Republic of Indonesia, used more frequently in urban areas.
Learning these languages can help you expand your cultural knowledge, enhance your travel experiences, improve cognitive function, and open doors to new career opportunities. Not to mention, you can be the smoothest talker at any multi-cultural/lingual party.
Pursuing A Career in Translation and Interpretation
For those who seek to build a career in global business, English, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Spanish are the top languages to learn. These are widely spoken in countries with growing economies and expansive business opportunities.
If you're already bilingual and/or learning a third or fourth language, it may be worthwhile to consider professional translation and interpretation as a career. Intrigued? Check out one of our latest blogs here.
Learn about the steps to take to build a successful career with language, translation and interpretation. From developing your skills and gaining experience to building a strong personal brand. Dive into it here.
That said, au revoir, مع السلامة, goodbey, 面辞, adios!