You can be absolutely brilliant in your field of work and yet miss out on the most lucrative career opportunities abroad, just because you don’t know the right language. Now, what if you are not the absolute best in your field? Most of us are not and that’s okay, but what it means is you probably can’t afford to miss out on any opportunity that could come your way, including that lucrative offer outside the country. As a student, it is important to add as many useful skills to your repertoire as possible because you will probably need them all down the line to broaden your career in this extremely competitive world that we all are trying to work in.
However, a foreign language is something that most of us cannot just learn without some guidance from an experienced teacher. The good news is that you won’t really have to leave your room after a busy week at college or work to go to your foreign language class because you can find a tutor from your laptop using a website such as Superprof. Home tuition is great, but if you would rather take your language classes face-to-face, that option is also there, and the best part is that you will almost always find tutors in any given location on this website. It’s the more time-efficient and cost-effective way to learn just about any language in existence. You can also use a language app such as Duolingo if you have less time to work with a tutor. You can do this anywhere – for example when you’re sat on the train – and it will send you reminders to ensure you keep up with it. Both of the options mentioned above are great ways to learn a language and strengthen your CV as a result.
Here are eight important languages that would very likely help you improve your life.
Most people get it wrong when they are asked what the most spoken language in the world is because they end up saying English or Spanish. However, the right answer is Mandarin (including all the various dialects) because China has the world’s largest population and everyone speaks Mandarin there. Given that China is right now one of the largest markets for just about everything and it’s growing bigger with each passing year, learning Mandarin is definitely a sure shot way to boost your CV and increase your chances of landing a job in a multinational company. After all, it’s a very tough language that in spite of being spoken by over 16% of the world’s population, is hardly spoken by anyone in the English-speaking nations.
Arabic is one of the six languages officially adopted by the UN and about twenty nations use Arabic as their national language. However, the completely foreign nature of the language is one of the prime reasons as to why dealing in the Middle-East is a lot more challenging than it should be for businesses originating from other sections of the world. The wealth in the Middle-East has drawn the attention of several multi-billion-dollar companies from all parts of the globe over the years and if you know Arabic, then rest assured that it will instantly put you ahead of the competition when appearing for an interview for one of those companies.
The second most spoken language in the world is Spanish and if you plan to work in any of the South American or Central American countries, you will probably need to learn Spanish before going there. In Europe, there’s Spain that you need to consider as well. A lot of native English speakers who know Spanish end up as English teachers in the US, where there’s a big demand for such jobs. While one may argue that the same logic applies to all the other languages as well, Spanish-English teachers are the most in-demand English teachers in the West.
Writing French is a lot easier than pronouncing it because there are visible similarities between English and French, but as far as the pronunciation is concerned, it involves a different phonetics altogether. From the perspective of building a career outside the UK, learning the French language could come in very handy since France is one of the premier places to work in within the European Union. Aside from France itself, there are a number of regions around the world which use French as their first language.
The Russian language is another very important and widely spoken language within the EU territory. The main reason behind the widespread nature of the language is because a number of the independent nations in the region only came into existence after the Soviet Union broke down. While the politics might have changed, Russian is still the dominant language in areas such as Latvia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. If you ever need to work in Russia or the nearby locations to boost your career prospects, learning the language would make you more acceptable to the 250 million+ Russian-speaking population there.
Learning sign language, or at least the basics of it, is a life skill that should come in handy in more than just one situation. Even just from a professional perspective, it opens you up to a whole new range of job opportunities such as teaching disabled children, acting as an interpreter at a number of government and private agencies, and working as an audiologist. If you are a therapist or a counsellor, learning sign language is particularly important as it will allow you to communicate with and provide help to people who are mostly unable to express their feelings in any other way.
If you were born and brought up in the UK, English is possibly not something that you will ever have trouble with. Then again, not everyone who lives in the UK was born there. If you happened to have migrated here from some other country where English was not the first language, then this could be a very big problem. While English may not be among even the top three most spoken languages in the world, rest assured that it is the language of the internet and the easy to learn nature of the language has also made it more internationally accepted than any other tongue in the world. Almost everywhere in the modern world, most people understand at least a few common English words, but despite Mandarin being spoken by over 16% of the world’s population, it is very unlikely that you will find too many people in the UK that understand a word of it! Therefore, take some time out to learn a bit of the English language and if possible, master it. Learning English will also make it easier for you to learn other languages such as French and German.
The final entry on this list is a somewhat controversial one because some people are of the opinion that Latin is a dead language and there’s no point in learning it. While there’s some truth to Latin being (almost) dead, that’s precisely why you should consider learning it. While you won’t be holding business seminars in Latin, knowing this rare but extremely potent language instantly makes you a member of an elite group. However, what makes Latin the most useful language to learn is the fact that if you have a good hold of it, you will be able to learn other languages such as Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Romanian quite easily and much faster. Latin is the parent language from which a number of these modern languages have evolved and it is also the most complicated one of them all.
Communication is one of the keys to success in work and life in general and learning even just one of these languages is like getting one of those keys for yourself.