The New Year always comes with new goals for the year so while making your plans for 2020 why not add learning a modern foreign language to the list.
It is important to note that half of the world population is bilingual, but only 25 percent of Americans can hold a conversation in another language.
Developing your language skills makes an individual more valuable in the social market, making language advocacy necessary, as it gives you potential lead admit your peers.
Notably, before learning any language, it is necessary to pick one that would be beneficial for your career and your personal life, which would invariably make you more competitive in this area.
Reasons for learning a foreign language
Offer acknowledged and career benefits
Firstly, acquiring foreign language skills is associated with increased job opportunities. A recent survey has shown that there’s a high demand for bilingual workers in the United States, which has doubled from 2010 to 2015. Notably, over 11 million US jobs are related to exports, and most of the top trading partners of the US use languages other than English.
Offer more social and global skills
Secondly, getting a foreign language will develop your social skills as more than 60 million people in the US speak a language other than English. In contrast, those who only speak English alone miss out on being able to communicate with others directly.
Language learners also tend to develop a more positive attitude toward both the language and the culture of the country where it is spoken.
Also as speaking another language also opens up opportunities to do business and work in other parts of the world. Notably, 75 percent of the world population does not speak English.
Make you more attractive and creative
A survey by the University of Benin has shown that knowledge of more than one language is associated with better reasoning, problem-solving skills, and creativity. It also helps people deal with unknown and unfamiliar situations.
Offers broader access to education and information
If you speak another language, you could earn a degree in another country, which could end up being a less expensive way to get a college education. If nothing else, it at least enables you to enjoy better studying abroad and to learn more than you would if you only spoke English.
The same is true when it comes to the news media. Those who only speak English cannot directly access news and perspectives in parts of the world where other languages are predominant.
Best foreign languages to learn in 2020
More than a billion people can be reached once you learn how to speak Mandarin. It’s not the easiest language for English speakers to learn, but the upside is worth the effort.
Learning Mandarin is one of the smartest moves you can make for a business. At the current rate, China’s GDP is set to overtake the US by 2029, and it’s already the world’s largest trading nation.
Apart from being the most spoken language in the world, it is also the second most used online. Meaning there is plenty of opportunities to practice.
The Arabic language is quickly becoming a seriously worthwhile investment for those hoping to reach the growing economies in the Middle East and Africa.
According to the World Economic Forum, it’s the 5th most powerful language in the world, and it will probably continue to climb ranks as trade continues to expand to and from Arab nations.
Knowing how to speak Arabic is reportedly the golden key to entering the Middle Eastern economy, which has increased by over 120 percent in the past five years, an enormous growth rate.
It is important to warn you, though Arabic is known to be one of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.
While German is officially spoken in six countries (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein), it is notably also expressed as a native language by around 100 million people.
Germany is the largest economy in Europe, making German an important language for international business and diplomacy.
Also, according to experts, knowing how to speak German will offer the highest reward in bonuses compared to learning how to speak Spanish or French.
A bit of a surprise, as Hindi isn’t always at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to foreign languages.
More importantly, we’ll see a surge in economic growth as more and more jobs are outsourced to India and as Hindi entertainment catches on in western countries.
This is a language you’ll want to acquire as an investment in the future of India.
Here’s an additional thought – you need to be proficient in English too, even if you are already speaking it, but not as a native speaker. While over 800 million people speak English, most English speakers aren’t native speakers. The recognizable American accent is what English learners commonly strive for. Read more here.
Still, you need to pass English Grammar tests when applying for a job requiring proficiency in the English language. So, what to do? Practice makes perfect, as they say. Read more here.