Is learning a foreign language relevant today?

You must wonder if learning a foreign language is worth the effort today. There are various considerations before deciding on registering for a language course.

Why do you want to learn the foreign language?

Learning a second or third language maybe a worthwhile upskill, but only if you can respond affirmatively to the following questions.

  1. Does your long-term career goal involve interacting with people from different countries/cultures?
  2. If yes, what kind of interactions are they? Are they one-on-one interactions? Are they interactions through email, newsletters, product or service promotions, etc?
  3. Is it difficult to do your job without knowledge of a particular second language?
  4. How would learning another language help you outside your career?
  5. Or, are you shifting to a different country?

Be objective when answering these questions: it’s not a matter of ‘maybe’. Learning a new language requires a lot of interest and effort.

While some people learn a foreign language out of fun, many people do out of necessity. However, it appears this necessity has increased in the new global village that we live in. People are travelling like never before.

Getting a job or settling in a new country is a constant reality. Selling products and appealing to people of different nationalities and languages has become a primary need for businesses.

What to consider when choosing a foreign language to learn

Let’s say you have decided to learn a new language because of necessity. What factors would you consider before deciding on picking Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic or Swahili?

  1. Will the new language help you in carrying out your duties in your career or business? Will it save you the expenses in translation services? Does it make it easier to respond to majority of your clients in the language they understand best?
  2. Is the new language the common tongue in the country where you are settling as an expat or immigrant?
  3. If you were to change careers, will the language you have learnt remain relevant in your new pursuits?

Learning a new language can therefore make economic sense if only you choose right. Language is meant to be used; it wouldn’t make sense to learn a language you will never use.

Where to learn a foreign language

Some people hire personal tutors to teach them a foreign language. Sports people are especially known to hire private language teachers when they move to a new country to play professionally.

You can register at a foreign language academy for physical lessons. Or you can opt in the many foreign language apps on the web. There are also many online language tutors and schools which offer affordable and customized lessons. The good thing with using interactive tutoring is that you get to practice in person on language use.

Of you are lucky to work in a multilingual business, make sure you sharpen your skills by speaking with people with similar language. Career professionals around the globe easily solve communication challenges by learning a new language.