s need to learn these languages in order to strengthen their relationships with various markets around the world.
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During a session of RedditMicrosoft founder Bill Gates said his biggest regret in life was that he could only speak English. It’s not something you would expect from the billionaire who created one of the world’s greatest tech companies.
This admission is the result of Mark Zuckerberg’s demonstration of speaking Chinese in a question-and-answer session at a Beijing university. By learning this language, Zuckerberg demonstrated that fluency in a language is key to better negotiating and relationships in order to win the hearts and minds of your target market.
Here are the languages every global CEO should be able to speak:
1. Spanish. This is the most translated in my agency, One Hour Translation. Learning Spanish is very useful not only when an entrepreneur is visiting South and Central America (with new economic powers like Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela) but also for the Hispanic community in the US. Unidos shopping millions of dollars.
Unlike other languages, the written form of Spanish is similar to other languages, which makes it easier to learn. As a Romance language with the same letters and roots as English, I assure you that it is less complicated than Chinese.
2. Portuguese. Brazil has developed from an emerging market into one of the richest nations. With a large population, thousands of natural resources, and a growing tech community, learning the Portuguese language will help you get started with the local corporate culture.
3. Chinese. Dozens of languages and dialects are spoken in China, and while Mandarin is the most widely spoken (it is the most widely used language in the world with 1.1 billion native speakers), millions of people use other dialects.
For example, Wu, which is spoken in the financial center of Shanghai, is spoken by more than 80 million people, that’s a potential market the size of Germany! Depending on the area of China you are targeting and the fact that the written dialects are basically uniform, Wu, Jin, Min, or Yue are well worth a visit.
4. Russian. This country has a market of nearly 150 million people with access to powerful and seemingly endless natural resources. In addition, it is spoken in post-Soviet states (nearly 300 million people), many of which are large emerging economies. Speaking Russian will earn you the trust of local executives.
5. Arabic. Millions of people around the world speak it. The Arab world with a growing online culture has neither its own Alibaba nor Amazon, which makes it a market with great potential for expansion.
Executives who speak it will have an advantage in this intercontinental market. The inconvenient? With dozens of variations on this language, choosing the right language will be a challenging process.
6. German. German is the second most frequently translated language in our agency, which reflects the country’s status as an economic power in Europe and one of the strongest in the world.
Learning another language can be a tremendous investment of time and energy, but even a little native language can help you break down walls that you might not otherwise be able to do.
7. English. This language is the most widely spoken in the world (one in five speaks it). It’s official in 45 countries and around 85 percent of websites use it.
Learning not only helps you when you travel for pleasure but also in your professional career. Investing in this project will improve your resume and open the doors for your work in other countries. It is also a reality that almost all bosses want people who can speak English.