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 language to learn in 2019 and better for the future. This guide can help you decide what 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 different reasons to learn a new 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 language 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 one of the vital motivation 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 a foreign language that has more career scope and demand. Here are some essential 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 the last few years, The demand for Portuguese, Italian, Korean, and Russian are also growing in India for multiple reasons.
Top 10 Foreign Languages to Learn in India
1. French (Français)
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 are studying French in Delhi / NCR only. Add other Indian cities, the number will be staggering high.
French is also one of the best foreign languages 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, education, banking and finance, export and import, traveling, retailing, education, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.).
Learning the French language in India can be a career asset in several sectors. The career benefits of Learning French is immense. With over 30 French-speaking countries, French is spoken across five different continents and is also the second most studied language in the world, after English.
2. German (Deutsch)
Even though German is not widely spoken, such as French, Spanish, Arabic, or Chinese. It is still the second most popular foreign language in India after French. The five main reasons:-
- i) The most spoken native language in Europe. It is the official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and more.
- ii) Germany is an economic powerhouse and the ability to speak German offers plenty of job opportunities in many big German companies such as Volkswagen, BASF, Daimler, BMW, Bosch, Siemens, etc. German is a top choice in the field of Science, Engineering, Automobile, etc.
- iii) The German language is part of an academic curriculum in more than 500 Schools and Colleges in India, including more than 250 Kendriya Vidyalayas alone.
- iv) “First Move advantage” – Like French, the 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).
- v) Germany’s universities have an excellent international reputation and among the best in the world. Thanks to a wide array of scholarship, Proficiency in German language plays an vital role if you’re planning to go to Germany or Austria for higher studies.
3. Spanish (Español)
There are multiple reasons why to Learn Spanish. Numerous career paths like Travel and Tourism, Foreign service, Jobs in BPO / KPO, Translation, Interpretation, Language 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 especially 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.
4. Japanese (日本語 / Nihongo)
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 gets you paid the most in India and abroad. The Career Scope of Japanese in India is marvelous if you achieve a high level of proficiency like JLPT N2.
5. Mandarin Chinese (普通话 / Pǔtōnghuà)
More than a billion people speak Mandarin Chinese 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 an enormous 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 useful foreign languages are Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Arabic, and Korean.
6. Russian (русский / Rússkiy)
The Russian language is popular in India for a very long time. However, the demand has declined in the last decade or so. 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 Russian soft power.
There was a time when the Russian language was prevalent in India (in top 3) and was taught in several cities and a host of universities. However, the loss of Russia’s superpower status was accompanied by a loss of interest in the Russian language in India.
The Russian Government has started giving adequate attention to teaching the Russian language in India. Will the scope of learning Russian language in India will become popular again? Only time will tell. With the growth of industry and opening up of the private sector, the need for language translators and interpreters who are proficient in Russian is evidenced in most Indian cities.
Read — Russian Course in Delhi
7. Portuguese (Português)
The Portuguese language is the 6th most spoken language in the world. The demand for the Portuguese language in India is growing rapidly due to the rising strength of Brazil’s economy and the 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 the 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
8. Italian (Italiano)
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 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.
9. Arabic (عربى / Al-‘arabiyyah)
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 indeed a global language.
The 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.
10. Korean (한국어 / Hangugeo)
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 excellent 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 particular booming industry or country.
Many other foreign languages 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, and Norwegian are the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese are also the 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 languages to master. If you are looking for the 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.
Many learn a language for the sake of learning it. In that case, they search for the 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. You can read — Time required to learn a language and Language learning Methods.
Choosing the right foreign language is very important. It would be challenging 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 read — Which Foreign Language to Learn in 2019. And you can always drop a comment below this post.