Business is business, and if you have an international company, you must work harder than the average businessman. Since you’ll have to deal with people from other countries, it’s only normal that you’ll have to speak foreign languages to get along with people. Not to mention, speaking multiple languages will give you a better reputation as a person who does business, while your presence abroad will get a boost as well.
The world has many languages, so many that’s it hard to grasp all of them. The average number of languages is said to be 6,500. However, not all of them are used – in reality, there are 2,000 languages that less than 1,000 speakers are using.
Since it’s hard to learn a lot of languages as a single person, it will take a while for you to get used to the business languages. Nowadays, the top languages spoken in business are English, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Portuguese. Here’s what you should know about them:
The Most Important Languages to Know for Business
It’s only expected to have English on this list. It’s the international language, and a lot of non-native English or American people speak it. This is why knowing it unlocks one of the obstacles in communication, giving you the opportunity to connect with multiple people.
Apparently, there are more than 1.75 billion people in the world who speak English and can have a conversation in it. So, in business, it’s very likely that you’ll stumble upon it. Even big companies like Airbus or Nokia have chosen it as their official language.
English is the official language of multiple countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and the United States. Knowing it is a big advantage, so if you don’t speak it too well yet, you’d better grab an English grammar manual and start practicing.
Russia is known to be one of the biggest powers of the world, in politics and economics. They’re also known for their potential when it comes to real estate investment, as well as rich culture and reserves of gas. So, Russia being on this list with their language is not too much of a shock. It is spoken in countries outside of Russia too, such as Ukraine, Israel, and the USA. Furthermore, it’s said to be history’s most influential Slavonic language.
If you’ve learned the language, you have a bigger reach in the business world, because workers and entrepreneurs are welcomed by the country if they speak it.
Spanish is a language that is increasing in influence, and it’s becoming more widely spoken in the USA too. In the USA, there are more than 37 million citizens speaking it, while in the world, 577 million people speak it, and the number continues to grow.
The advantage with Spanish is that it’s not too difficult. In fact, it might be an easy language to learn for English speakers, so you should give it a try if you can.
- Mandarin Chinese
Did you know that more than 1 billion people speak Mandarin? In any case, you know now. Mandarin is the official language of China, although Chinese has two variations, one being Mandarin, and the other being Cantonese.
China is a big business power and it’s already common knowledge that a lot of products are being imported from China annually. And if you’re an entrepreneur yourself, chances are you’ll clash with Chinese partners or clients at one point in time.
Given they have such an influence, knowing their language will be a big plus. It’s definitely one of the most important business languages, so knowing it won’t be useless.
You might be a little surprised to see Portuguese on this list, but even more surprised to know that more than 200 million people speak it. The language is the official one in Brazil, a country that has established as one of the largest economic powers on the planet.
Portuguese is great to learn if your business will have youth as a target. Basically, more than 60% of Portugal’s population consists of young people, respectively people below the 30-year-old mark. So, it would be a good opportunity for you to reach your target market.
Learn Portuguese, and you’ll have better opportunities as an entrepreneur.
Languages are a wonderful, interesting thing, all with specific grammar rules and histories. Nowadays, some are more spoken while others are very rare. The most powerful countries, however, have established their languages and thus they’ve become the most important international business languages in the world. Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and English are languages with great potential in business for any worker.
You should learn whichever is more convenient for your situation. Until getting used to working in a different language, maybe you should try Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese or Russian translation services to help you out.