We English speakers have a bad reputation in the world of language.

According to a European Commission survey in 2012, 61 per cent of British respondents could not speak a second language. However, with growing foreign economies and more global communication than ever before, languages are becoming a crucial skill for professionals.

Luckily, English is not an isolated language. Rather, it is linked to many European Germanic languages by descent or influence. It also absorbed foreign vocabulary in its earlier years; over 50 per cent of English words stem from Latin or French.

This means that when it comes to language study, English speakers aren’t starting from scratch. With common alphabets, structure, and vocabulary, foreign languages can be relatively easy for English speakers to learn.

Of course, easiness is relative. Language learning varies massively according to a learner’s time allowance, resources, and motivation.

And if you’re more concerned about which languages will come in useful, take a look at the languages rated most useful to business by UK firm managers.


The Telegraph