The world is more connected than ever. You see it in the media, on the internet, in sport, even in the turbulent world of finance. Businesses are constantly looking for new countries to sell to. But are foreign language skills still essential in 21st century communications? Don’t we all speak English? Will languages really bring you more opportunities?
Given that 75 per cent of the world’s population doesn’t speak our language, English is not enough. It’s a multilingual world and UK businesses are now realising that they need foreign languages to compete when trading internationally. It helps to speak languages over here as well. More than 300 languages are spoken in the UK, and millions of visitors come to our shores. Public services and the tourist industry need languages too.
This doesn’t mean that you need to learn to speak the language fluently. There is room for all levels, and openings from the switchboard to the boardroom. Although fluency will give you more options, basic ability in languages is in demand as businesses look to break the ice with a few phrases in a meeting.
Speaking languages gives you the key to a whole new world. According to recruitment agencies, languages can even help you earn between 8 and 20 per cent more in your job. Jobs involving languages can be attractive. You might get to travel overseas or take on new responsibilities simply because you have the right patter.
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