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Speaking more than one language is important for the job market. Nowadays, even if English is becoming the international lingua franca, still not everyone in the world speaks it, even in trade and tourism sectors.

So, which other languages are worth studying, besides English?

Every language can be interesting and fun to learn but if we are looking for the most useful languages professionally, it is better to consider and choose them rationally and carefully.

 According to the ethnologist Paul Lewis the top 10 languages (by population) are Mandarin, Spanish, English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and German.

Of course, this does not mean they are the most “useful” languages or the wisest professional choices. For example, let’s think about Bengali…

If you are studying a language to increase your job prospects, you should take into account these 3 main criteria:

1.Global spread
2.Economic and political interests
3.Geographical proximity

And the winner are…

  1. French

It is definitely one of the most spoken languages in the world (71 million people). Aside from France, it is spoken in 51 countries including Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, and Congo. Furthermore, it is one of the EU’s official languages, having an important role in the institutions and among diplomats. Several French brands are exported to the US and all over EU and vice versa. So it means demand for French speakers is very high.

  1. Chinese

China’s economic growth over the last 3 decades has truly internationalized the country’s reach. Geographically and culturally far from the Western World, the People’s Republic is an important trading partner: as these trade relations increase, so does the demand for Mandarin speakers. Furthermore, Mandarin is the most spoken language by population. It is a very hard language, but its grammar is relatively easy. My suggestion is: start to study it as soon as possible, you will not regret it in the (near) future.

  1. Spanish

It is spoken in 31 countries (about 414 million native speakers). About 37.6 million people in the U.S. speak Spanish as their first language and several studies expects the Hispanic population to reach almost 128.8 million by 2060, making the US the largest Spanish speaking country ever. Furthermore, there is an important demand for Spanish speakers in construction, media and nursing sectors. A recent British Council report ranks non-English languages in order of importance for UK citizens to learn, based on cultural, economical and diplomatic factors – and Spanish is the first.

  1. Italian

Again, according to the British Council “If you’re looking for a job in business, you’ll find that speaking Italian is a particularly useful skill. In research carried out two years ago, Italian was the fourth most frequently requested language by employers. It appeared in 14 per cent of job advertisements for languages, particularly in the financial sector”. Italy is a founding member of the European Union, so Italian is still a very important language within EU institutions and within Europe. There are some careers tfor which Italian is essential or very useful such as: teaching, hospitality, high fashion, import / export, art restoration, music, museum curation, gastronomy, cinema.

What about the other languages? Check the next post.

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