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Top Five Languages to Learn for Business


With new international markets emerging, being able to communicate with your business peers in countries that are expanding significantly can bring your company success. Whether you’re presently studying for an MBA, or a veteran executive with years of experience under your belt, speaking a popular language can help you forge important ties with business professionals abroad. No matter your command of the language, opening your mind to the new culture the language represents may give you a distinct advantage versus other competitors. Here are five important languages for business that will help you secure valuable gains for your company:

1. Mandarin

mandarin languageMandarin is the official language of China and the most widely spoken language in the world. According to Wikipedia, about 14.4% of the global population, or 955 million people, speak it as their first language. With China actively competing with the United States as the nation with the highest GDP, the demand for Mandarin-speaking professionals in business will continue to grow. The language is also the second most common language on the Internet.

2. Arabic

arabic languageArabic is the fifth most popularly spoken language in the world. It also is the official language for quite a few of the expanding economies of Africa and the Middle East. According to, Middle Eastern customers are increasingly eager to purchase world-class products and services. Although regional instability is something to be concerned about, the region’s continued importance in the energy sector and it’s need for material imports still makes it a key region to access if you’re doing business globally. A tough language to learn, just knowing a few phrases of the language can warm you to your business associates in the Middle East. But having a quality Arabic translation services team to handle your communications would be a must. 

 3. Spanish

spanish languageSpanish speakers around the world amount to 405 million individuals. It is the second most popularly spoken language after Chinese. Learning to speak Spanish in business would allow you to access the key Hispanic markets of Spain, Latin America and the minority market of the United States. A fairly simple language for English speakers to master, according to the US Foreign Service Institute, an average English speaker would only need around 600 hours of classroom time, or less than six months, to be able to speak the language proficiently.

 4. Portuguese

portuguese languageAround 215 million people around the world speak Portuguese as their first language. The nations of Portugal, Brazil and some regions of Africa have it as their official language. Business people around the world are viewing Brazil as one of the big emerging markets of the world. A big country and a big market, Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and one of the official BRIC countries. The vast majority of Brazilians are not proficient in English. If you’re looking to do business there, you’ll need to speak the language well or else be served by a quality Portuguese translation services team.

5. Russian

Russian languageThe eighth most popularly spoken language in the world, about 155 million people speak Russian as their first language. With Russia’s economy fast on track to beating Germany’s formidable economy by 2030, dubs it a nation full of wealthy people who are actively looking for new arenas to do business. However, most Russian business people do not speak English very well. Any global business looking to break into the market who can expertly communicate in the language has an immediate advantage. When all else fails, hiring a qualified interpretation services firm can do a lot to help forge valuable business ties.

Learning any one of these five vital languages in business will provide you with an ample latitude to do business. Though it takes patience, time and lots of practice, bending your mind to learning any one of these tongues will make you a valuable player on the international market.



Denise Recalde is a Senior Content Writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. A seasoned writer and editor with eleven years of experience under her belt, she is a bonafide wordsmith who loves playing with the written word creatively and always takes care to lend a certain hue of snap and color to her drafts. Always one to rise up to challenges, she has traveled to 14 countries and has worked on a smorgasbord of writing projects that spanned several industries, from finance to health to beauty and fashion.


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