The world might be mushrooming in terms of population, but globalization has brought people of all cultures closer together than ever before. If you are a business major, these are exciting times for you. The world is truly open for business, and you are about to enter in an effort to bridge gaps and increase profitability. You can expand your horizons and do business globally in ways never before thought possible, but you will need to be able to communicate with others in order to do so effectively. With that in mind, consider the following four languages that every business major should consider becoming proficient at.
In the business world, English is a key language. If you’re reading this, then you most likely already speak it. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is your first language. In that case, you can always become more proficient at it than you already may be. This will open the doors for you in the business world not only in the United States but across the world as well. This can be done by taking ESL classes, like those at the Interactive College of Technology, and engaging in more English conversation. In your business and educational environments, you should always seek for opportunities that advance your vocabulary and increase your ability to speak—like public speaking engagements and presentations.
The most widely spoken first language in the world is Spanish. Because of this, you cannot go wrong with spending some time as a business major in developing your proficiency in this language. Most of Central and South America speak Spanish exclusively, and it is one of the predominant languages of business. While you will find many business executives who speak English in these countries, you may get much further if you can converse in their native tongue. This looks more impressive and can help you delve deep into the Spanish world and build connections.
Brazil has a rapidly expanding economy and it is a Portuguese-speaking country. If that wasn’t enough reason to become proficient in this language, consider Portugal as a gateway to conducting business in both Europe and Africa. In fact, it just might soon be considered the international language of Africa. Learning this language can help you negotiate trade agreements.
As hard as you think it may be to learn Mandarin, it’d be worth it. It is the world’s most spoken language. Therefore, learning this language will open the door to networking, trade agreements and making strategical maneuvers when climbing the economic ladder. It can also give you a huge advantage when it comes to being employed by a company with an international focus.
If you can learn at least two of the above four languages, you will be able to effectively communicate with a majority of the world’s population. Business is essential to all cultures, so that is a great way to expand your horizons and make a great living at the same time. However, make sure to become certified in the language so that you have something official to put on your resume.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. Hannah recommends getting a masters in public administration online through the University of San Francisco.