25 Languages You Should Learn If You Want To Beef Up Your Resume

So of all the languages in the world, which ones should you learn, if any at all? If you live in a bilingual nation or have a multilingual family background, then this choice is probably more obvious for you. For the rest of us though it may be slightly more difficult. One way of doing this, however, is to rank the languages according to the collective GDP of their speakers. For example, only 22 million speak Dutch. Why would anyone want to learn that language? Well, those 22 million people account for a disproportionately large percentage of the world’s total GDP. Learning Dutch could make a lot of sense if you are seeking business or work opportunities. Of course, some of the languages on this list are only here because they have so many people speaking them. For example, there are hundreds of millions of Bengali speakers. Put together, all 300 million of them earn about as much as the 22 million Dutch speakers but each individual Bengali speaker has a per capital GDP (income) that is significantly lower. While no list is perfect, this one will at least give you a different perspective on the relative importance of languages in the business world today. These are 25 languages you should learn if you want to beef up your resume.

25

Finnish

Finnish

World GDP – less than 1%

Perhaps not surprisingly you should expect to see most of the Nordic countries represented on this list.

24

Swedish

Swedish

World GDP – less than 1%

What did we tell you? We weren’t lying.

23

Greek

Greek

World GDP – less than 1%

Although its economy isn’t doing too great right now, compared to the languages and countries that didn’t make this list, it’s definitely worth learning.

22

Hebrew

Hebrew

World GDP – less than 1%

For a country as small as Israel, its economy and society are remarkably efficient and high performing. Furthermore, plenty of large, international companies have set up shop in Tel-Aviv.

21

Danish

Danish

World GDP – less than 1%

Although it’s only spoken by 6 million people, Denmark has a powerhouse economy that provides plenty of business opportunities.

20

Persian

Persian

World GDP – less than 1%

Spoken mostly in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, Persian has over 100 million speakers worldwide. Although the combined GDP of these 100 million people is less than the 4 million people of Norway, there are still reasons to learn Persian/Farsi. Just ask the CIA.

19

Norwegian

Norwegian

World GDP – less than 1%

With only about 4 million people, Norway has one of the world’s highest per capita GDPs. It’s a very wealthy country.

18

Polish

Polish

World GDP ~ .9%

The 6th largest economy in the EU, Poland was the only member state to not have a decline in its GDP in recent years. In fact, its economy has been expanding rapidly ever since gaining its independence in the 90s,

17

Thai

Thai

World GDP ~ .9%

Spoken in Thailand, there are definitely business opportunities in the region considering its large tourist industry.

16

Turkish

Turkish

World GDP ~ .9%

Although it is only really spoken in Turkey, the country has made great strides in recent years, especially with reforms intended to make it a candidate for the European Union.

15

Bengali

Bengali

World GDP ~ 1%

Spoken in Bangladesh as well as several Indian states, Bengali has about 300 million speakers.

14

Dutch

Dutch

World GDP ~ 1.3%

Although there are only about 22 million native speakers in the Netherlands and Belgium, those speakers account for more than 1% of what the entire world will earn this year.

13

Indonesian

IndonesianImage: pixabay

World GDP ~ 1.4%

With over 200 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world.

12

Korean

Korean

World GDP ~ 2%

Although North Korea doesn’t really contribute much to that 2%, South Korea has a powerhouse economy and it will most likely remain that way.

11

Hindi

Hindi

World GDP ~ 2%

Although most significant international business in India is conducted in English, Hindi plays an important role as well.

10

Arabic

Arabic

World GDP ~ 2.5%

Although it has a number of mutually unintelligible dialects, knowing standard Arabic can be useful if you’re ever on a business trip in northern Africa or the Middle East.

9

Russian

RussianImage: pixabay

World GDP ~ 3%

Used in many of the former Soviet republics, Russian can be useful if you’re planning on doing business in eastern Europe or northern Asia.

8

Italian

ItalianImage: pixabay

World GDP ~ 3%

Spoken in Italy and Switzerland, Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world.

7

Portuguese

Portuguese

World GDP ~ 3%

Primarily spoken in Portugal and Brazil, with Brazil’s economy picking up speed this language could gain international significance in the future.

6

French

French

World GDP ~ 5%

Spoken in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland and elsewhere, many prosperous nations use this language at home.

5

German

German

World GDP ~ 7%

Although it is spoken by significantly less people than many other languages on this list, and in only 3 countries, those countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) account for roughly 7% of the entire world’s GDP. That means that learning German definitely opens the door to some potentially high paying jobs.

4

Spanish

SpanishImage: pixabay

World GDP ~ 7%

Spoken in more countries than any other language, Spanish also has the second highest number of native speakers after Mandarin.

3

Japanese

Japanese

World GDP ~7%

With the third largest economy on Earth, Japan plays a significant role in international affairs.

2

Mandarin

Mandarin

World GDP ~ 13%

Although it is for the most part only spoken in China, the population of China is so big that Chinese social media platforms like Weibo make Twitter and Facebook look like they don’t have any users (remember, Facebook is banned there).

1

English

EnglishImage: pixabay

World GDP ~ 30%

English has become the lingua france of modern society. From the streets of New York to the back alleys of Mumbai, if you can’t speak English, well, you wouldn’t even be able to read this to find out what your missing!



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