Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

7 Best Languages to Learn That’ll Open Doors of Opportunities

Whether you are looking to study abroad at a tuition free university, want to work overseas or just want a professional edge in the market, learning a second language, especially as it related to your specific goals is the smart thing to do.

For instance, if you can speak German or French, you will have better chance to study at a tuition free university in Germany or to study at a less expensive university in France. That also goes for working or doing business overseas.

While learning any language is going to be beneficial for your career and your personal life, some languages are more important than others. Some of the factors that determine how important a language is globally include:

  • Number of potential speakers
  • Growth of native speakers
  • Economic power of countries that speak the language
  • And more…

So today, we bring you 7 best languages to learn to increase your chances at exploring opportunities and to stay competitive in the job market.

While you are here, consider subscribing to After School Africa on Youtube to continue exploring opportunities and watching entertaining videos like this one below:

WATCH: 25 Reasons You Should Study Abroad!

  • Mandarin

When Mark Zuckerberg publicly showed off his Mandarin skills for 20 straight minutes, some were wowed, some amused, and others cynical. Whatever the reactions were, learning Mandarin is one of the smartest moves you can make for career or business.  It’s the most spoken language in the world – and the second most used online. Once you learn how to speak mandarin, you can speak to an additional one billion people on the planet.  The number of multinational companies that are looking for executives who speak Mandarin has risen by 35% from previous years. China is also becoming a major study destination for international students and most importantly, China is a world economic powerhouse.

  • German

While German is only really officially spoken in six countries (namely Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein), it is spoken as a native language by around 100 million people. It is the most widely spoken native language on the European continent. Germany is an academic, economic, and political powerhouse, with the largest GDP in Europe. Many are flocking to the country seeking educational and career opportunities. According to The Economist, knowing how to speak German will offer the highest reward in bonuses compared to learning how to speak Spanish or French.

  • Spanish

Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Spain…just a few of the countries where you’ll be able to practice with more than 480 million native speakers across the globe. Equatorial Guinea is the only country in Africa that has Spanish as one of its official languages. From entertainment to the number of native speakers and career demands, learning Spanish offers unprecedented career advantage.

  • Portuguese

Portuguese is not only spoken in Portugal but also in Brazil, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Not only that, it’s spoken in 10 countries from South America to Africa, making it a handy language to know. In fact, the British Council added Portuguese in the top 10 most important languages for the UK future, a clear indication that it offers a world of opportunities for education, diplomacy and of course foreign investment.

  • Arabic

Arabic is spoken by over 300 million people throughout 57 countries around the world. Knowing how to speak Arabic is the golden key to entering the Middle Eastern economy, which has increased by over 120% in the past five years. According to the World Economic Forum, it is the 5th most powerful language in the world. Speaking Arabic also provides ample opportunities for work and travel.

  • Hindi

Even if you don’t have the desire to go live in India, the number of speakers alone (500 million plus) should convince you of the potential of learning the language. More importantly, we’ll see a surge in economic growth as more and more jobs are outsourced to India and as Hindi entertainment (like Bollywood) catches on in western countries. However, since many people in India also speak English, it’s not a completely necessary language to learn, unlike Russian, because most people in Russia don’t speak English.

  • French

World Economic Forum listed French as the third most powerful languages in the world. France offers affordable higher education to international students. Whether you want to travel to France, Quebec, or any of the 11 Sub-Saharan African countries where French is the sole official language, it’s worth thinking about learning this lingua franca that could open some serious doors for your future.

There are a number of reasons you might want to learn a second, a third… or fourth language. Whatever reasons you have, we believe these languages will open more of the world to you and help you achieve your professional and personal goals! The only question is: which of these languages will you learn next? Let us know in the comment section. If you are yet to subscribe to our channel, this is likely a good time to Subscribe.