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The five best languages to learn for business in a changing world

Some South American nations are promising emerging markets, and countries like Paraguay and Ecuador offer cheap agricultural land for those seeking business opportunities or a self-reliant lifestyle. Both South and Central America offer great expat living at cheap prices.

Thanks to imperialism, Portuguese is also the official language in a number of African nations, some of which could be long-term frontier market plays (including some currently playing host toChinese investment in Africa). Portuguese is, of course, also the official language of Portugal, where investors can obtain asecond residencethrough the countrysGolden Residenceprogram foroffshore real estate investment.

Neat article! Portuguese is next on my list of languages to learn. I noticed a mistake in 3: Equatorial Guinea is in Africa, not the Americas.

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Ive been witness business growth through Americas and Asia towards language spoken and I realized Portuguese is not the language to invest. Go further French and German.

Long a popular language taught in North American schools, Spanish is the easiest language to learn on this list, and is useful for those wishing to live or do business in the growing Latin world. As countries like Mexico begin to turn the corner economically, Spanish will be more useful for doing business with rising nations.

Do you agree with these best languages to learn? Why do you want to learn a second language? Is there another language you feel is important? Leave a comment below!

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In Africa: Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia,Sudan, Tanzania, and Tunisia.

Thank you for this information. I didnt know that!

Where in the world is Spanish spoken?

The world is changing, and the days of speaking one language are over. As I travel the world, I frequently spend time in places where locals speak English perfectly as well as several other languages.

In all the places I go, French is what the old people speak. Youth much prefer English. Therefore, French is only good for living/doing business in France and a few other French speaking places. It may come in handy in parts of Africa if youre doing business in ultra-frontier markets, but other than that, France is a place I would avoid like the plague for anything other than a casual business. The government is anti-business and the tax regime brings new meaning to the word regime.

Andrew has been internationalizing since 2008, and has learned what works and what doesnt work when it comes to reducing taxes, increasing personal freedom, and creating wealth.

Unfortunately, I dont see French as playing a role. I believe emerging languages like emerging countries are the future for any number of reasons.

Areas like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have become emerging international financial centers, but wealthy Middle Easterners will also look to diversify their wealth outside of the region, creating opportunities for those who speak their language to tap into lucrative business deals.

Beyond wealthy oil states, Arabic is also the official language of ultra-frontier markets like Iraq and much of northern Africa. Countries like Tunisia are an example of more developed markets that speak Arabic.

Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, breakaway regions of Georgia; second language in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Turkmenkistan, and Uzbekistan

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Arabic is the primary language of some of the worlds up-and-coming nations, wealth centers, and frontier markets. The Middle East is becoming aformidable playerin global finance and investment, and those who can speak Arabic will have an advantage in this often insular market.

Russian, Spanish, Arabic (MSA and a dialect, probably Egyptian), Mandarin, and German. Ill probably throw in Hungarian or Turkish in there after that, just for larks.

Im learning German because I now live in Switzerland, but I would rather be learning Spanish.

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I believe anyone looking to be a global businessperson can benefit from speaking another language. So how do you decide the best language to learn for business? By studying international business trends and the emerging world, you can determine the best languages worthy of your time.

Im not sure Russian is hard. Im pretty fluent at it.

Chinese is much too hard. I wouldnt waste my time with it. Too hard to speak and too hard to read.

In Europe: Portugal, small communities in Spain, France, and Luxembourg

In the Middle East: Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

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Very helpful article. But i am confuse between French, Spanish and German because i want to get masters in a language which is very useful and most spoken language. Please guide me for the same.

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Russian is one of the best languages in the world to learn for business.

Where in the world is the Arabic language spoken?

But that also comes from my Asia bias, and so your thoughts on Spanish could be very helpful to someone more interested in the part of the world that speaks Spanish.

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The five best languages to learn for business in a changing world

In particular, grammar is a (relative) cakewalk.

The Russian language is also an important second language in a decent number of emerging and frontier economies in the CIS States and Eastern Europe.

Spoken in Brazil and parts of Europe and Africa, Portuguese is one of the best languages to learn for business.

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Thanks for the comment, Matt! Chinese is hard; I know more Russian I picked up as a kid than Chinese I was force fed a year ago.

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That said, I do think Chinese is a great language for someone with business aspirations to learn or for parents to teach their children when its easier to learn. As the saying goes, successful people do what unsuccessful people dont.

I`m actually not sure that Russian is easier then Chinese or another in this list. In fact, Russian language one of the hardest languages in the world because of the grammar and pronunciation.

No. Indians themselves do not use Hindi for their business/commerce/education. English has trumped all Indian languages for good.

Auf deutsch, statt Its Greek to me sagt man Mir ist das spanisch.

Thanks, Lizzie, for your comment and for noticing that error. It was listed correctly under Portuguese.

Its no secret that China is the worlds new dominant economy, with a growing influence from Africa to the Americas. Weve written about the fact that barely ten million Chinese speak English a small number when compared to the nearly 1.4 billion people in Mainland China. Thats whyspeaking Chinesecan be helpful in business.

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Mainland China, second dialect inHong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

In the Americas: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico,Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay andVenezuela; second language in much of the United States

In fact, I daresay attaining spoken coherence in Mandarin is fairly straightforwards and can be done quite quickly. (Written is a whole different kettle of fish, of course).

Mandarin Chinese is the best language to learn for international business in a changing world.

Arabic is the second best language to learn for future business growth.

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Youre right; Russian isnt easy. The lack of tones does make it seem more approachable for many westerners, though. Thanks for commenting!

Where does French fall in this conversation/list? Just curious. At the school where I teach we offer French, Latin, mandarin and Spanish.

Just the other day, I spoke to a girlin Kuala Lumpurwho was learning Japanese her seventh language just for grins.

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While Russia isnt exactly a fast-growing economic superpower (thank its very, very slow population growth), it does have a number of wealthy oligarchs who are spending big money around the world.

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I already speak four languages (four mother tongues, if you can believe it), and I can understand (and speak with difficulty) another one. Heres my bucket list for the languages that I plan to learn in the near future (in order):

I would suggest Dutch only if you want to work toward Belgian citizenship (which became harder about a year ago). The EU wont be around forever, and the German police state will probably cause some regional incident again.

While residents of many countries do indeed speak English (and manyemerging nationsare pushing their youth to learn it), many countries also have official or unofficial second languages other than English, which can help you broaden your horizons.

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Spanish is one of the best languages to learn for international business or simple expat living.

Chinese influence has expanded into Africa and beyond, and Chinese consumers are desperate for energy and other resources all of which will require more communication with Chinese buyers and investors. While Chinese businessmen have been very pragmatic and have gone to great lengths to communicate in English, I believe they will be more demanding as their spending power grows. Those who speak their language will have a leg up on the competition.

Chinese is hard, but it is arguably easier than Japanese and Arabic, and not much more difficult than Russian.

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Nonsense. A lot of people are put off by the cases and conjugation, and they find it difficult because theyre learning the rules by rote, instead of letting their brains absorb the rules naturally through practice (much as children do when learning their own mother tongues). The problem with Chinese/Japanese is not so much the spoken language, but the written one.

I have friends who have made a lot of money selling Western real estate to Russians by speaking their language and understanding how they do business. Speaking Russian is a first step to doing that, and its an easier language to learn than some others on this list.

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I would learn Spanish, then Portuguese is half the effort. Then you can piggy-back into Italian and French.

While Portuguese may not seem like the next growth language, it is the official language of Brazils growing 200 million-strong population. Despite recent stumbles, Brazil still has some promise as an emerging market including its large domestic population.

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Where in the world is Portuguese spoken?

Here, we examine the five best languages to learn for international business, finding opportunities overseas, or just improving your qualify of life while living overseas as an expat.

I am surprised german is not on here being the central EU economic power. And can lead in to dutch and other Germanic languages.

Where in the world is Russian spoken?

In Africa: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, São Tom and Prncipe

i think Arabic is the easiest language to me and i really dont know all the people said its hard. i have learnt it around 4 month and now i am in advanced level


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