Mind your language

The changing face of language for study and business

Choosing the language in which they should study, is now becoming a more difficult task for some. The choices are growing and factors such as where students live and where they’ll do business in the future, need to be taken into account.

In previous years, the list of languages that were regarded as important to know would have included English, French, Spanish and German – maybe a few others depending on where you lived in Europe or Asia.

More recently, that has changed as an ascending China as well as other BRICS and Asian countries, has brought about a shift in the global power and business landscape. While English remains emphatically the World’s most-studied language, the above factors have opened-up exciting new opportunities for language providers across the globe.

Asian languages are on the rise and it is becoming generally regarded as an advantage to have mastered at least one South or South Eastern Asian language – especially as many Asian economies are expanding alongside growing populations.

Languages that may dominate global business

By 2050, the Washington Post expects that Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Indonesian will dominate much of the business world, followed by Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.

Other languages such as French should not be overlooked as much of the World’s population are natural Francophones. Forbes Magazine suggests that by 2050, some 750million people will speak the language.

While English, being spoken in 101 countries around the World, is firmly in number one spot, taking a broader approach to study language choice may not be a bad idea.

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