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5 Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead In Your Career

5 Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead In Your Career

The future of business is global, and there’s no getting around learning top business languages to survive.

By 2025, 50% of the world’s biggest companies will be based in emerging markets. This is up by 10 folds from only 5% in 2000.

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    CareerBuilder.com’s hiring forecast showed that 39 percent of U.S. employers said, they plan to hire bilingual candidates, and half said that if they had two equally qualified candidates, they would be more inclined to hire the bilingual one.

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    What’s more, salary bonuses vary depending on which languages you’re able to speak. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few different secondary languages and their annual bonuses as reported by The Economist:

    • Spanish — 1.5 percent bonus
    • French — 2.3 percent bonus
    • German — 3.8 percent bonus
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      This means that you can make an additional $50,000 to $125,000 just for knowing how to speak a foreign language!

      5 Top Spoken Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead

      To arrive at our 5 top spoken business languages, we took a number of factors into account.

      The first one is the number of native speakers. While this shouldn’t be the only factor you take into account when choosing what business language you should learn, there is a noticeable correlation of how impactful it would be.

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        The second is comparing countries with the largest GDP’s in the past (2010) and where they will be in the future (2020). While there are smaller variables taken into account, these two factors can help us narrow down the 5 top spoken business languages you should know to get ahead in your career.

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          1. English (365 Million Native Speakers)

          English is the obvious first choice when it comes to the top business languages. With economic powerhouses like the U.S, the U.K, and Australia, there’s no getting around English. Even when you’re speaking with native speakers from other countries, it’s likely that they speak English as their second language. Since most of the readers here are already English speakers, we’ll keep this section short and concise.

          2. German (92 Million Native Speakers)

          German is a perfect example demonstrating that the best languages shouldn’t be based on the number of native speakers in the world. Not only is it Europe’s largest economic powerhouse, with a GDP of 2.4 trillion Euros, but it’s also the largest export market for British goods.

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          Anyone seeking a job in the U.K, Austria, Germany, or anywhere that’s doing business with the companies (nearly everyone) in Germany, understanding the differences between ‘danke’ and ‘Ihr willkommen’ is critical.

          3. Russian (160 Million Native Speakers)

          Germany may have the largest export market for the U.K, but Russia is the U.K’s fastest-growing major export market. While there are fruitful opportunities to work with companies in Russia, there aren’t as many fluent English speakers that live in Russia, and knowing how to speak Russian comes with a big advantage.

          4. Spanish (406 Million Native Speakers)

          Recognized as one of the most popular European languages, Spanish is a beloved language not only in terms of usefulness in business, but in many areas of society. It’s the leading language that fuels many of the fastest-growing Latin economies in South America, Central America, and North America (Mexico).

          Given that it’s the second most spoken language in the U.S, with over 20 countries around the world that uses Spanish as their official language, 37% of American employers prefer hiring people who know how to speak Spanish.

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          5. Mandarin (935 Million Native Speakers)

          With just under a billion native speakers around the world, Mandarin has more native speakers than English and Spanish combined. This makes it one of the most attractive places in the world for businesses to target and a great investment for any professional to make today.

          Bloomberg has also ranked Mandarin as the number one business language to know after English.

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          Sean Kim

          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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          Last Updated on February 11, 2021

          Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

          Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

          How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

          Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

          The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

          Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

          Perceptual Barrier

          The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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          The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

          The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

          Attitudinal Barrier

          Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

          The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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          The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

          Language Barrier

          This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

          The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

          The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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          Emotional Barrier

          Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

          The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

          The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

          Cultural Barrier

          Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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          The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

          The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

          Gender Barrier

          Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

          The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

          The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

          And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

          Reference

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