Open New Career Doors with a Second Language


Infographic submitted by Shane Whelan of ULearn

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ULearn - SecondLanguage

Open New Career Doors with a Second Language

In an ultra-competitive jobs environment, having something extra on your CV is always a bonus, particularly if it is a second language.

Further Your Career….With a Second Language:

  • Opportunity to specialise in a specific area such as: Translator, Interpreter, Linguistics or Language Teacher.
  • Employment of translators and interpreters in the US alone has increased by over 20% in last 10 years.
  • Can also be used in banking, law, tourism, government, sales and marketing and public relations.
  • By being more culturally sensitive, employees tend to have better communication skills in both their second and first language.
  • If you are one of the only employees that speak a certain language it increases your job security.
  • Even if you are not fluent in your second language, understanding the cultural subtleties of your second language can lead to better business relationships.
  • To a potential employer, your ability to communicate with different demographics can be a huge advantage.
  • Important for client retention.
  • For a company entering new markets there is a necessity to be able to communicate in their language.
  • Your chances of travel and relocation with work increase.
  • Employees that have a second language can command a higher wage or salary.
  • Learning a language that is in high demand may be key to higher earnings.

European Facts and Figures:

  • English is the mother tongue for 16% of the EU.
  • 31% of the EU speak English well enough to hold a conversation.
  • Languages considered of most use to know in the EU are: English, French, German and Spanish
  • EU figures show that over 50% of young people are learning a second language in Europe.
  • 66% of these can speak a second language by the working age.
  • In the UK, 25% have a second language by the working age.
  • In France 93% of pupils learn English at primary level.
  • In Luxembourg, 99% of population know at least one secondary language.
  • In Ireland in 2013 Paypal had to hire 500 employees from abroad to meet its linguistic requirements.

Most Spoken Languages Worldwide:

English: 375 million people state English as their native language. 750 million people state English is their second language.
Mandarian: 960 million people state Mandarin as their native language. 66 million people state Mandarin is their second language.
Spanish: 407 million people state Spanish as their native language. 59 million people state Spanish is their second language.
Arabic: 293 million people state Arabic as their native language. 129 million people state Arabic is their second language.
Hindi: 311 million people state Hindi as their native language. 69 million people state Hindi is their second language.
Russian: 154 million people state Russian as their native language. 123 million people state Russian is their second language.
Bengali: 206 million people state Bengali as their native language. 44 million people state Bengali is their second language.
Portuguese: 216 million people state Portuguese as their native language. 24 million people state Portuguese is their second language.
French: 77 million people state French as their native language. 143 million people state French is their second language.
German: 89 million people state German as their native language. 39 million people state German is their second language.
Japanese: 126 million people state Japan as their native language.

Benefits of Learning a Second Language:

  • Improve brainpower: Research has shown that analytical and interpretive capabilities may improve as a result of learning a second language.
  • Math and verbal test scores improve with every year of learning a second language
  • Learning a second language has been proven to delay the onset of dementia.
  • Helps with executive function in children.
  • Helps to improve reading
  • Access and interact with more communities than as a monolingual speaker.
  • Enrich your travel experiences.
  • Study abroad.
  • Easier to meet new people and find common interests.


“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela

“Increasingly, multinational companies value language skills as an added extra when considering applications.” – Deborah Till, University of Nottingham Career Services