What are the most important languages you should learn as an entrepreneur?

Not so long ago being an entrepreneur simply meant building your business and reaping the profits, often via taking risks and making good decisions.

To succeed as an entrepreneur nowadays, it takes quite being a touch business savvy and having a way of adventure – you want to also reach a worldwide audience. You can do this by learning new languages.

The interconnection of the worldwide marketplace (thanks to the web and a highly developed international infrastructuresmeans tapping into foreign markets and opening up new streams of revenue has never been easier. However, to actually succeed, you’ll got to speak the local lingo of the new markets you would like to interrupt so as to effectively target overseas consumer bases and maximise your outreach.

Learning new languages has been proven to have many benefits. You access a different culture to your own in a new way. Learning new languages also gives you an advantage in your investments. If you trade indices you can access news and information before it is translated so you are one step ahead of other investors.

Below are five languages that an aspiring entrepreneur should consider tackling so as to expand their business to its fullest potential. Of course, which one you ultimately choose will depend upon your industry and unique circumstances, but it doesn’t hurt to possess a handle on the foremost attractive options – and here they are.

Mandarin Chinese

Not only is Mandarin the language with the most native speakers in the world (close to a billion people have the language as their mother tongue), but China is also the second largest economy in the world. Considering that China has some of the cheapest manufacturing in the world, it is likely that at some point or another in your business journey you will use a Chinese supplier. Therefore, learning Mandarin should be the top of the list for any ambitious entrepreneur looking to tap into this wildly lucrative market.

Arabic

As the official language of around 27 nations and with approximately 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, Arabic is an often overlooked but invaluable tool in accessing a vast consumer base. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are among some of the richest countries in the world right now, investing heavily worldwide. Capitalising upon this with a solid grasp of their official language is a smart move.

French

Did you know that for centuries, French was actually considered the lingua franca for business and trade across the globe? It was only with the increase of British Empire and America’s subsequent economic boom that English replaced it. Even today, French is the principal language of many Mediterranean and African countries, meaning that a multitude of emerging markets, like the quickly growing economy of Senegal, still prefer to conduct their transactions in it.

Spanish

With the exception of Brazil, Suriname and the Guianas in the northern tip of South America, the entirety of the continent shares the common tongue of Spanish, as does the majority of Central America (and Spain, of course). Spanish is also important to learn for doing business in the USA, it is the second most spoken language after English and it helps when you cross the border into Mexico. Mastering this Latin language may be a prudent step in breaking into the Spanish market, a big portion of the world’s population.

Russian

The enormous country of Russia is teeming with wealthy and impressive businessmen, but who often can’t speak English well and as a result, like better to do affect those with a handle on their own tongue. Though Russian may be a challenge, it’s a rewarding one – it can allow access not only into the country itself, but also an entire host of former Soviet nations which are now finding their feet in the world of business.