Language learning isn’t just great for personal development, it’s an in-demand skill that employers will pay a premium for. Digital nomads can dramatically expand their horizons by adding at least one foreign language to their repertoire, while jobseekers looking to go in-house can bolster their salary by 15% with language skills. Although many people focus on Asia when considering new languages to learn, the Indo-European language family is arguably more lucrative. Unsure of whether it’s time to firm up your French or pursue Portuguese classes? Read on for the most valuable l European languages you should be looking to learn.
With more than 460 million native speakers, Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages on the planet. This number is quite staggering when fewer than 50 million people live in Spain itself. More than 110 million Spanish speakers live in Mexico, although you’ll also find significant populations throughout South America. If you’re looking to travel to one of the 22 countries that recognise Spanish as an official language, being able to speak it fluently will make your life easier. With companies like Banco Santander and Repsol ranking in the Fortune 500, Spanish language skills can bolster career prospects.
Portuguese is often dismissed as secondary to Spanish, but this distinct language is incredibly widespread. It’s a recognized language in more 10 different countries, with 279 million speakers worldwide. As with Spanish, only a tiny percentage of Portuguese speakers live in its country of origin. It’s the official language of Brazil, with 211 million people using it as their native tongue. You’ll also find sizable Portuguese-speaking populations elsewhere globally, with around 693,000 speakers in the United States. If South America is on your travel bucket list, this is one language that’s worth investing the time in.
With more than 95 million native speakers in Germany alone, German is one of the most widely spoken languages. After English, it’s also the most commonly spoken language in the European Union. Aside from Germany, it’s an official language in countries including Switzerland and Austria. It’s also widely used elsewhere on the continent, with large groups of speakers in Luxembourg and Belgium. It’s hardly a romance language, but mastering German can yield lucrative returns. The German economy is one of the strongest globalloy, with the country dominating several sectors including the mechanical engineering and automotive sectors.
Are you thinking about dusting off your high school French? It’s certainly worth considering. More than 300 million people use this language regularly, with more than 278 million people speaking it as their native tongue. It’s the official language of almost 30 countries scattered across five continents, meaning it enjoys considerable cultural and economic importance. Working on your French skills is something to think about if you’re looking for a language to guide you through globe-trotting adventures or grant you access to international freelance assignments.