Do you speak the language of your profession?

It's essential for good business relations to speak the language of your business sector. We'll tell you which ones there are.

Read this article in: Deutsch, English, Español, Português, हिन्दी

Estimated reading time:6minutes

English has changed the world significantly and is essential for the business world. However, it isn't enough anymore, you should speak more languages.

Global communication has always been inhibited by language barriers and in the digital age linguistic diversity still is a problem. The Statista website even speaks of two worlds: the most widely used languages in the online world and in real life.

Most spoken language worldwide (number of native speakers in million): 

  • Chinese - 1,284: according to Ethnologue Chinese is including all varieties the most spoken mother tongue worldwide with 1.28 billion native speakers which equals about 16 % of the world's population.
  • Spanish - 437: second on the list of native speakers is Spanish. It's spoken in most countries in South and Central America as well as in Spain and some regions of the United States.
  • English - 372: although English is third on this list, it is the most spoken language worldwide with 753 million people speaking it as a foreign language.
  • Arabic - 295: is the official language in 26 countries. As the language of Islam in which the Koran was written, the language is spoken in 58 countries. 
  • Hindi - 260: India has 23 official languages, Hindi and Urdu are the most spoken with 260 million native speakers.
  • Bengali - 242: is the Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly by the populations of Bangladesh and the Indian state of neighboring West Bengal.
  • Portuguese - 219: is official language in 9 countries, the 5th most spoken language in the world, the 3rd most spoken in the western hemisphere and the most spoken in the southern hemisphere of the planet, moreover it's one of the languages of the European Union.
  • Russian - 154: is one of the six official language of the Organization of the United Nations and over one quarter of all scientific literature is published in Russian. It's also a reference language in the world of communication systems.
  • Japanese - 128: outside Japan the language is spoken mostly in the USA and in Brazil. Japanese isn't considered a world language because the number of foreign speakers is quite low. The Japanese use four alphabets, three of which are their own alphabets.
  • Lahndi - 119: is spoken in many parts of India and Pakistan. Songs in Panjabi now represent 50% of the top charts.



The widest spread languages worldwide aren't automatically the most spread on the internet and in business. On the Internet English is dominant with 52.9 % of all 10 million available webpages being in this language. Despite its presence in the real world, Chinese is almost rare in the online world with only 1.8 % of pages. Also Spanish only covers 5.1 % on the internet. Although German isn't listed in the top ten of the world's languages, it is second when it comes to online webpages. The third most used language on the internet is Russian. Then Spanish (5,1 %), French (4,1 %), Japanese (3,8 %), Portuguese (2,8 %), Italian (2,5 %) Persian (1,9 %) and Chinese (1,8 %) follows.

The dominance of few languages on the internet not only limits accessibility and understanding, but also plays a big role in the fall of minority languages.



But what does this mean for learning a new language? Before you decide to learn a new language, you should take all factors into consideration, e. g. in which business are you working and on which markets does your company operate?

Which language serves best in my profession?

In law

The lawyer who wants to obtain a solid basic knowledge of law theories should read the basic literature in its original language. the Common Law, which has Anglo-Saxon origin, and the Roman-Germanic Law, actually Byzantine-Germanic. So basically, you would need to learn German, Italian and Spanish to understand the original literature. The language that legal professionals must master in order to stand out in their profession depends on their field of expertise. If you want to specialize in administrative law, you should be familiar with French and Italian. Civil law, on the other hand, requires knowledge of German and English. Criminal law has a lot of German and Italian influence. Constitutional law requires lawyers to have extensive knowledge of all these languages.



In fashion

Dedication, good taste, creativity and originality aren't the only essential qualities for a successful career in the fashion industry. European languages improve your professional opportunities. France and Italy are the most popular fashion countries worldwide with the largest fashion events every year. Speaking both languages will not only help you to network, but you also could master your fashion knowledge in these countries and keep yourself in the loop more easily.



In the gastronomy

French gastronomy has been a reference since the Renaissance, when "Le Viandier" was printed, the first French cookery book, its influence has remained very strong. Since then, there have been many changes in the gastronomy, but French cuisine has remained topical, serving as inspiration for world cuisine. Therefore, it's only natural that cutting techniques - like julienne, brunoise and concassé - and some organizational concepts - like mise en place - are from the French cuisine. It isn't enough to know dishes, you should also know how to pronounce them correctly, and an education in France would be the ultimate career boost.



In engineering

French, Spanish, German and Mandarin are common factors in favor of promotions for engineers. Engineering has many areas and regardless of which of them you have chosen it is recommended to learn German. The reason for this is that many industrial rules, especially in control, automation, mechanical engineering and material technology, were written in German. Having knowledge in French and Spanish will also help you to stand out on the job market. Other languages are interesting if you work in a multinational company or want to live abroad.



For business purposes

The advantages of learning to communicate beyond the mother tongue are not limited to the curriculum vitae, they expand the network of contacts and create several other opportunities and add value to life as a whole. The Chinese economy has been growing every year, contributing to the country's industrial development. The economy has strong and essential traits of capitalism, however, China's politics focuses on communism, and so many Chinese do not speak English and knowing how to speak their language is an essential advantage for negotiations.




The importance of foreign languages in the business world is increasing. Overall, a good knowledge of English is fundamental to the international landscape. But those who want to improve in their area and excel in their profession need to adapt to the reality of communication in a globalized world, to communicate with their audience and which language is needed depends on the area of expertise and plans of each one.

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Wilgen and the alugha team!



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