Last Updated On: October 15th, 2018
Which Foreign Language to Learn in India?
Once you are convinced about the advantages and benefits of learning a foreign language in India. This brings up the question “Which Foreign Language to Learn?“ Which one has more demand, good paying, better career prospect and Job opportunities ?
Not sure how to choose which Foreign Language is best to Learn in India ? If you are not able to decide which one to learn in 2018 and better for future. This guide can help you decide which languages you should consider.
Studying a foreign language has numerous rewards! Not only it is interesting and exciting but beneficial at all ages. We all have a different reasons why to learn a foreign language.
In an age of increasing globalization, It can benefit your career prospects, School and College education, emigration, studying abroad, travel, and pursuing your hobbies and interests.
“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” ‒ Sarah Caldwell
Choosing the right foreign language to learn is a very subjective thing and often very difficult to answer.
While any language will be useful for some jobs or for some countries or where your interests lie, it depends on the purpose of the person learning the language. Career Options in Foreign Languages is the most important reason while selecting a language.
Since it takes lots of time, effort and persistence to learn a new language. Therefore, It is always advisable to study foreign language that has more career scope and demand in India.
Here are some important pointers to consider.
Most Widely Spoken Foreign Languages
Top 4 foreign languages with the most speakers (Natives and Non-Natives) are Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and French. I have not considered Hindi and English since both are official languages of the Government of India. There is no national language as declared by the Constitution of India.
German and Japanese are also popular in India since the economy of Germany and Japan are highly developed and offer lots of job and career opportunities in India and abroad.
Over last few years, The demand for Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Russian, etc. are also growing in India for multiple reasons.
Top 10 Foreign Languages to Learn in India
French is the most popular foreign language to learn in India. Since French is the part of most School and College curriculum, More than 1 lakh students studying French in Delhi / NCR only. Add other Indian cities, the number will be staggering high.
French is also one of the best foreign language to learn for jobs in corporate sectors in India. Many multinational companies use French as their working language in a wide range of sectors (fashion, travelling, retailing, education, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.). Learning French can be a career asset in several sectors. The career benefits of Learning French is immense.
It is spoken in over 30 countries across five different continents and is also the second most studied language in the world, after English.
Even though German is not widely spoken such as French, Spanish, Arabic, or Chinese. It is still second most popular foreign language in India after French. The four main reasons:-
i) Most spoken language in Europe. It is official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, just to name a few.
ii) Germany is an economic powerhouse and lots of job opportunities in many big German companies such as Volkswagen, BASF, Daimler, BMW, Bosch, Siemens, etc.
iii) The German language is part of academic curriculum in more than 500 Schools and Colleges in India including more than 250 Kendriya Vidyalayas alone.
iv) “First Move advantage” – Like French, German government initiated to promote German in India several decades back. In 1957, the first “Max Mueller Bhavan” was inaugurated in Kolkata. In fact, The first German lessons in India were imparted in Pune and Mumbai in 1914 (more than a century back).
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Spanish language in India is the third most popular foreign language to learn after French and German.
There are multiple reasons why to Learn Spanish. Multiple career paths like Travel and Tourism, Foreign service, Jobs in BPOs/KPOs, Translation, Interpretation, Teaching, Journalism, International business for which proficiency in spoken and written Spanish can be a valuable asset.
Due to growing business relation between India and Hispanic countries specially South and Central America, Second most spoken language in USA and popularity of Spanish Football, Music and Movies are few more reasons people are opting for Spanish courses in India.
Demand for the Japanese language is high due to growing India-Japan relation and Japanese companies expanding Indian operations. Japan is synonymous with high quality and technologically advanced products. Japanese is the most popular choice among East Asian languages in India.
Since Japanese has a reputation for being difficult to learn. Thus, there is less competition for job positions with Japanese-speaking applicants. If you’re looking for a foreign language that is highly paid in India, then Japanese is the language that get you paid the most in India and abroad. The Career Scope of Japanese in India is stupendous.
Read – Japanese Classes in Bangalore and Japanese Course in Delhi.
5) Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more than a billion people in the world. The 21st century belongs to China and Knowing the Chinese language will allow you to compete effectively in the global economy of the future.
China has become a huge market, and International businesses and companies are looking for people who can speak Chinese and operate successfully in a Chinese cultural context. Since very few people speak Chinese in India. Proficiency in Mandarin Chinese may give you an edge when competing for an important position in any firm.
Beyond above mentioned five most popular foreign languages in India, The next five other important and useful foreign languages are Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Arabic and Korean.
Russian language is popular in India since a very long time. However, the demand has declined in last few years. It is spoken by over 300 million people around the world. It is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the largest native language in Europe.
Due to the historical and good relation between India and Russia, It has myriad opportunities in Engineering, Science & technology, Oil & Gas, defense sector, etc. Russian language gives access to rich russian literature and scientific literature of the country and is a barometer of country’s soft power.
There was a time, when Russian language was very popular in India (in top 3) and was taught in several cities and in a host of universities. However, the loss of Russia’s superpower status was accompanied by loss of interest in the Russian language in India.
The Russian Government apparently has started giving adequate attention to teaching Russian language in India. Will the scope of learning Russian language in India will become popular again? Only time’ll tell.
With the growth of industry and opening up of private sector the need for translators and interpreters who are proficient in Russian is evidenced in most Indian cities.
Read – Russian Course in Delhi
Portuguese language is the 6th most spoken language in the world. The demand for Portuguese language in India is growing rapidly due to the rising strength of Brazil’s economy and growing relationship between India and Brazil.
All the eight Portuguese speaking countries including Portugal and Brazil offer a distinct stake for Indian interests, and together they represent eight valuable votes and a lot of influence on the global stage. Growing relation between India and Lusophones (Portuguese speaking countries) will boost Scope of Portuguese language in India.
There is increasing demand and scope for Portuguese Language Experts in India in various industries like Finance, Exports, Accounts, Technology, Technical Support, IT/ITES, Tourism and Education.
Read – Portuguese Course in Delhi
Italian is the eighth largest economy and ranks as one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Italian is the most romantic of the romance languages.
Several International Italian companies like Banco, Fiat, Benetton, Gucci, Lloyd, Ferrari, Marconi and Pinnacle etc. that have set up their business in India are looking for those who are proficient in the Italian language in India.
There are lots of Italian language specialist jobs in India. The scope of Italian language in India is increasing year after year. If you want to make your career in this beautiful language, then go ahead. Future of Italian language looks bright.
Italian is also relatively easy to learn for Indians compare with other European languages like French or German or Russian.
Read – Italian Classes in Delhi
Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world. More than 300 million speakers speak as their native language and it is mostly spoken in Western Asia and North Africa. It is one of the UN’s six official languages. It is spoken in 26 countries and truly a global language.
Arab world has untapped economic potential and extremely rich in natural resources. Proficiency in Arabic opens opportunities in business, government, nonprofit, education and beyond.
There are many job opportunities in Arab-world and other countries as well. Like 10 millions of Indians, If you are also planning to move to Middle-East countries like UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, etc., learning Arabic is the right thing to do.
Korean is the official language of South and North Korea. South Korea has a strong growing economy and 7th largest export economy in the world. The interest is rising northward in India due to the tremendous demand for language experts in many International Korean companies such as Samsung, LG, Kia, Hyundai, Posco, Lotte, etc.
It increases your potential business and job opportunities not only in Korean companies but also companies deal with businesses in South Korea. The reason is the good pay package and comparatively lesser competition.
Some languages are valuable because they are difficult to learn and the number of people who are proficient in the corresponding language is very less.
Other languages are fueled by a specific purpose like emigration to a particular country, Diplomatic reason, learning for hobby or looking for the job opportunities to a certain booming industry or country.
There are many other foreign languages that are not so popular or less common languages for varied reasons. Asian languages such as Turkish, Persian, Bahasa Indonesia, Tibetan, Mongolian, Eastern European languages such as Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Romanian, Hungarian and Polish, Central European like Dutch, Catalan, African Swahili, Scandinavian Languages such as Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, etc.
Scandinavian languages like Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, etc are easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese are also easiest language to learn for Indians if we compare with French, German, Russian.
According to the FSI study, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic are some of the most difficult language to master. If you are looking for easiest foreign language to learn with good career scope, then Spanish is the best choice.
If your Job or Business tend to require a knowledge of any specific language that is not popular, then that would be a completely different ball game. Otherwise, the practical use and benefits you get out of it is not as great as say, French, Spanish, German, Japanese or Chinese.
All languages are important. Therefore, always choose the language as per your career goal or interest, rather going with the most popular and obvious one’s. You will never regret learning a foreign language.
There are many who learn a language for the sake of learning it. In the case, they search for easiest foreign language to learn. This is one of the main reason why most people fail to learn a language. Language learning takes time. I’m not talking about weeks or months but several years.
Choosing the right foreign language is very important. It would be very difficult to change the language midway. Read, Think, Observe and decide which foreign language to learn.
If you want to learn, Whatever your reason – as long as you have a reason – you’re more likely to reach your language goals.
If you’re still not sure which foreign language to learn in India, you can always drop an email, comment below this post or ask on our FB page.
I take a great interest in the languages of the world and that is why i choose this career. By profession I'm a College lecturer, Corporate trainer and Foreign language faculty and by passion I am still a language learner. When not working, I write articles at studyfrenchspanish.com/blog and languagenext.com/blog.