In this day and age of globalization we are constantly interacting with people from different countries and different cultures. Be it for work or for social reasons, there is no avoiding crossing borders, even if only virtually. While English might be the most widely spoken language, it is not the only language out there and there are a lot of cultures that prefer to communicate in their native tongue. Learning to speak a foreign language could widen your horizons to a great extent.
With the availability of translation apps understanding other languages is not a problem but, there is nothing quite like conversing with someone in their own language. Learning a new language not only lets you pick up nuances that can be lost in translation but can also help you immerse in a new culture.
These are four languages that you should consider learning:
1. Spanish: Second in popularity to English is Spanish. Spoken in forty four countries around the world, knowing Spanish can come in very handy. Spanish is not only spoken in Spain but all across South America, with a considerably large Spanish speaking population in the United States. There are about 400 million Spanish speaking people all over the world. Learning to have a conversation with them could work wonders for your personal and professional life
2. French: France is a beautiful country but if you plan to visit it learning to spea French would prove immensely useful. Canada too has a sizable French speaking population and knowing French would be a big plus point if you plan to visit French Canada. Doing business becomes a much smoother process if you are able to communicate with groups of people in their language. With over 290 million French speakers in the world, learning to communicate in French could really boost your business on international platforms
3. Japanese: This island country might be small but it has been making waves on the technology front for decades. If you run a business involved in tech, electronics and automobiles, then learning Japanese would be useful. Conversing with suppliers would become so much easier and a lot of misunderstandings could be avoided if you understood and spoke the language. Also if you plan to visit Japan you will never be stranded if you can talk to the locals. And of course all the best places to visit and eat at can only be discovered if you have an inside source
4. Mandarin: China is one of the largest exporters of manufactured goods to the United States and United Kingdom. We’ve all read the “Made in China” labels all too often to know just what a large presence the country has in the global market. From a business point of view speaking Mandarin has huge advantages. Imagine how much weight it would add to your credentials if you applied for a job with a company that did trade with China. Being fluent in Mandarin could get you selected to represent your company abroad giving you the opportunity to travel and have new experiences. And again, if you plan to visit a country, knowing the local language will deeply enrich your experience
From both a personal and professional point of view learning a foreign language can be very beneficial. You might even have a gift for picking up languages and learn more than one foreign language. Multi-linguistic people are in demand in multinational corporations. Having the right qualifications and being fluent in different languages could make you the face of the company at international conferences. You broaden your scope of travel and can have a much more fulfilling experience when visiting a place where you know the native tongue.
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