Every month this year, we will be turning our focus towards one of the core languages we love to teach – looking at the language’s potential for business, considering a few facts and figures to put its global prospects in context, plus sharing some tips to help you get started. By the end of the year, you will be able to explore all 12 languages – and if you are still undecided, learning one of these languages might become a 2022 goal!
As we publish each article month by month, we will add a link here so that you can access the information within moments. Look out for our latest monthly update around the beginning of each month.
These are the languages we plan to focus on this year.
January: Mandarin Chinese
China is home to more than 1.4 billion people, and Mandarin Chinese is the second most spoken language in the world after English – in fact, around 1 in 6 people in the world speak Mandarin Chinese! To find out more about this increasingly significant language for business, click the link below.
Over 660 million people around the world speak Spanish in countries from Spain itself to Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Ecuador. It is truly transatlantic! To find out more about learning this far-reaching European language, you can read more at the link below.
English is the global lingua franca – meaning with English, you have the best chance of being understood in most places around the world. With this degree of connectivity, it makes sense for any business to invest in developing the English language skills of their employees in the UK and around the world. To find out more, check out the article below.
Germany has a population of almost 84 million, which accounts for the majority of German speakers (around 130 million people speak German as a native or second language). While these numbers may seem small compared to the number of people who speak languages such as English, Spanish or Mandarin, the German language remains a popular and desirable language to learn for business and within politics due to the importance of Germany on a global business, economic and political stage.
India is one of the largest countries in the world, and it has the second-largest population after China (at 1.39 billion). However, the 600 million people who speak Hindi adds up to barely half of this because India is a country with considerable language diversity, with other common languages including Bengali and Urdu. Yet 600 million is a phenomenal number of people, and Hindi jostles with Spanish for third and fourth place when it comes to the most spoken languages in the world.
Japan has a population of 126 million people, which accounts for almost all Japanese speakers (also around 126 million). It may be tempting to dismiss Japanese as a language that does not ‘travel well’ due to this concentration of Japanese speakers; however, Japan is a manufacturing giant compared to its small size and, like Germany, it offers a myriad of business opportunities if you work in certain industries (such as manufacturing, technology and automobile industries). Japan’s significance on the global business stage should never be underestimated.
France has a population of 65 million people, very similar to the UK, and like the English language, French is spoken far beyond the borders of France. Over 260 million people around the world speak French – it is spoken by people in all six inhabited continents in at least 50 countries.
Portuguese is spoken far beyond the borders of Portugal, where over 10 million people speak Portuguese. Globally, Portuguese is spoken by 234 million people around the world, from Europe and South America to Africa and Asia.
Arabic is thought to be spoken by over 400 million people, and it is the fifth most spoken language in the world. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It is an official language in 23 countries, including Morocco, Egypt, Syria and much of the Arabian Peninsula.
- October: Dutch
- November: Italian
- December: Russian
Of course, you may already know exactly which language you would like to learn next – though some of these articles may inspire your next language-learning adventure. Some languages complement each other well too – for example, starting from French or Spanish could lead you naturally to picking up Italian or Portuguese in quick time.
If you would like to find out more about learning a new language, contact us today. We can work with you to develop a bespoke language-learning plan for you and your business, as well as provide cross-cultural training to help you connect with your global colleagues, whether virtually or in person.
All our courses can be taught live online.