If you’re a UK business owner, learning a new language can improve your global business prospects by tapping into potential import and export partners. Here are the seven most sought-after languages for businesses based in the UK.
French is a prominent language in the global business world and is spoken by around 68 million people worldwide. Proficiency in French is a particularly sought-after skill among UK employers and, as a popular second language, can also be used as an effective bridging language.
With its close trade ties to the UK, Germany remains the largest single export market for British goods outside of the USA. The country is a major centre for finance and manufacturing in Europe. It’s no surprise, then, that German remains one of the most important languages for British businesspeople to learn.
Largely considered the most important language in business after English, Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more than 845 million people, making it the most spoken language in the world.
According to the government’s Trade and Investment website, Russia is the UK’s fastest-growing major export market. The language has experienced immense growth in recent years as the UK’s trade with Russia, Kazakhstan and surrounding nations has flourished. Russia has also grown into a centre for gas and oil production, which is attracting the attention of global investors.
If your business is in any way related to the production or distribution of new technology, you might want to consider Japanese as a second language. Even a modest attempt at communicating with a Japanese businessman will be appreciated. The Japanese business markets are well developed and the language is spoken by more than 132 million speakers worldwide.
Spanish is spoken by an estimated 400 million people around the world and is one of the fastest growing languages of the twenty-first century. Several Spanish-speaking countries are currently experiencing a wave of economic growth and are fast becoming prominent trade partners to British-based businesses.
Spoken by more than 200 million people, Arabic is fast becoming a commonly-used language in global business and the importance of business-level Arabic to the UK’s economy cannot be disputed. If you’re looking to do business within the UK or move into new markets in the Middle East or parts of north Africa, consider learning a relevant Arabic dialect.
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