Are you interested in exploring the rich culture of the world through different languages and accents? From acquiring new job opportunities to building new connections and experiencing the fun of travelling with personality development, a career in foreign language comprises of gaining an endless knowledge of cultures, people, and languages around the world. Whether you’re interested in learning a European language or a language of romance, or an Eastern language, you’ll be enhancing your global perspective in the most meaningful way. Moreover, Globalisation has broadened the career opportunities for students across the world and learning a foreign language has become easier. But the questions that arise are that which foreign language has more career opportunities? Which is the most demanding language? And, where to learn this language? Through this blog, we’re excited to unfold the answer to all these questions for you.
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Why Choose a Career in Foreign Language?
Gone are those days when learning a foreign language was restricted to being a hobby. There has been an exponential demand for a career in foreign language because of the following reasons:
With more than 6,000 spoken languages in the world, choosing one to build a career in foreign language can be confusing. So, if you are wondering that which languages are in high demand then here is a comprehensive list of the same:
With the growing power of the Chinese economy, Mandarin is the most demanding language with around 1,000 million speakers after English. However, it is one of the most challenging languages to learn because of its difficult writing system and confusing tonal nature of the words. If the Chinese mainland isn’t your cup of green tea, the beautiful landscape of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan also offer an appealing experience of learning Mandarin.
Taking a sunbath on the sun-kissed coasts of Spain and ziplining over the luxuriant forests in Costa Rica can be blended with an incredible experience of learning Spanish. It is known to be the second most-spoken and one of the easiest languages in the world.
Portuguese is the 6th most widely spoken language worldwide with nearly 300 million people. It is known to be quite ahead of French, German and Italian. Having similar origins to Spanish, if you have learnt the basics of Spanish, you can easily become proficient in Portuguese as well.
German is known to be the language of art and music in Germany. With more than 100 million speakers, learning German can be immensely beneficial especially to work in the US. It is the third most popular language in the world and the second most popular in Japan and Europe. So, whether you want to study in Germany or work there, having a stronghold over the language can be beneficial!
There are a variety of places like Canada, Switzerland, France, and Morocco offering several opportunities to study the language of romance, philosophy, and fashion. With more than 200 million people speaking French, it is known to be a very common language to learn. Hence, this can be your ideal choice for starting a career in foreign language.
Being the largest native language in Europe, Russian is spoken by over 260 million people in the world. Russia being a technologically advanced country in science and research, a wide range of job opportunities in engineering, oil & gas, defence, etc can be easily acquired with the benefit of having a Russian language proficiency.
Japan is a strong economic force in science and technology allowing the Japanese to be a popular language with over 120 million speakers. Many big Japanese brands like Sony, Honda, Toyota, Toshiba, Mitsubishi have Indian operations with technologically advanced products. Moreover, if you are planning to study in Japan then you must know that some of the courses are taught in the Japanese medium.
Italian is the language of Romeo and Juliet, fashion and art, classical music, culinary dishes and some of the top economic brands. Around 90 million people in the world speak Italian as their first language. With the growing popularity of Italian companies like Fiat, Benetton, Banco, Gucci, Ferrari, Marconi, Pinnacle, Lloyd in India, gaining proficiency in the Italian language to explore immense career prospects.
Being a player of global affairs in the economic world, learning Korean will provide you with an edge in the job market. With stunning temples, shrines and coasts and of course the famous K-pop music, Korea itself is the best place to grab the Korean language.
Arabic is spoken by over 300 million people as a native language in 26 countries and is known to be the 5th most spoken language in the world. Famous countries in the Middle-East like Dubai, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain have job exciting career opportunities for people with proficiency in the Arabic language.
Analysis of Common Foreign Languages
Take a look at the detailed analysis of the above-mentioned foreign languages to help you choose an ideal one for building a career in foreign language:
|Foreign Languages||Official Language (Total No. of Countries)||Total No. of Speakers||Features||A Common Example of Greeting|
|English||35||Around 1000 million speakers||Leading international language||Hello|
|Mandarin Chinese||5||More than 1000 million speakers||Most spoken language in the world||你好 (Nǐ hǎo)|
|Spanish||21||More than 500 million speakers||Also known as Castilian due to its origination near the Castilla region||Hola|
|Arabic||More than 20 countries||Around 420 million speakers||The word Arab means nomad. Arabic writing starts from right to left||مرحبا (marhabaan)|
|Portuguese||10||Around 300 million speakers||Modern Portuguese Over 400 modern Portuguese words have their roots in Arabic. The language is similar to Spanish in origin||Olá|
|French||29||Around 229 million speakers||The French language has its root in the Latin language of Ancient Romans||Salut|
|Russian||10||More than 260 million speakers||Second most commonly used online language after English||Привет (Privet)|
|German||6||More than 132 million speakers||In German, every noun has a gender (feminine, masculine and neutral)||Hallo|
|Japanese||2||More than 120 million speakers||The first Japanese books were originally written in Chinese||こんにちは (Kon’nichiwa)|
|Italian||More than 6||Around 90 million speakers||Known to be the official language of classical music||Ciao|
|Korean||3||Around 70 million speakers||It is one of the top language-isolates in the world||여보세요 (yeoboseyo)|
Career in Foreign Language: Top Universities
Though academic institutions like Harvard University, University of Cambridge, Stanford University, Yale University, The University of Tokyo, Peking University, Princeton University, etc have etched their names in offering Modern Language courses, with the growing demand for foreign language professionals, a wide range of universities all over the world are now offering quality education through such programs. Below is a list of popular universities and colleges offering courses to develop your career in foreign language:
|University||Foreign Language Courses|
|University of Oxford||BA in French/German, etc.|
|University of California, Berkeley||BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures |
PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures
|Michigan State University||BA in Russian/Japanese/Chinese/French/Arabic, etc.|
|The Australian National University||BA Arabic|
|University of Bristol||BA (Hons) Czech and Italian|
|Tokyo University of Foreign Studies||Doctoral Program in Japan Studies|
|University of Winnipeg||BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures|
|University of Warwick||BA (Hons) French and Theatre Studies|
|University of Arizona||MA in Persian and Iranian Studies;|
MA in French
MA in Latin American Studies
|The Chinese University of Hong Kong||MA in Chinese Studies|
|University of Auckland||MA in Spanish|
Apart from the aforementioned universities, here are some other educational institutes which you can consider:
- Columbia University
- The University of Edinburgh
- University of Toronto
- Durham University
- National University of Singapore
- University of St Andrews
- Seoul National University
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of Buenos Aires
- The University of Sydney
- Fudan University
- Kyoto University
With the growing demand for skilled professionals with language proficiency, a career in foreign language is one of the best-sought opportunities for individuals aspiring to work across a wide variety of sectors. So, if you have pursued courses in foreign languages then you can find employment opportunities in the Travel & Tourism sector, Embassies, International Organisations, Public Relations, Foreign Language Institutes, Publishing Houses, etc. Below is a list of possible career prospects available after pursuing a course in foreign language.
- Become a translator
- Work as an interpreter
- Become a part of secret intelligence/expert in a foreign language
- Become a foreign language teacher
- Acquire a position in customer service or immigration offices that require a foreign language
- Join the import/export sector
- Get engaged in a linguistic profile in the military
- Become an online content creator, language blogger or start a career as a YouTuber
Tips & Tricks
Many Indian companies are developing their business worldwide in the field of manufacturing, Information Technology, pharmaceutical, hospitality, education, KPO, BPO, healthcare, media, etc. Due to this, English may not be the central language of conversion and transition in these sectors. This is why a career in foreign language is on the rise and the trend will continue to grow in the future.
Below mentioned are some essentials to keep in mind when building proficiency in a foreign language so that you can further opt for a career in foreign language:
- You should have a passion to learn a new language.
- Try learning from scratch and construct your own sentences in order to understand better.
- You should have a zeal to learn new words and excel in building language proficiency.
- Use your skills to interact with people which will help you understand your mistakes and allow you to learn better.
If you’re willing to learn more than the language of your motherland, experts at Leverage Edu can help you discover all the options that suit your interests and find an ideal language that you can build an incredible career in learning and exploring the world.