5 Most Prominent Languages for Business

By Hayriye Simay Tunçkılıç

Doing business is part of our everyday lives, even if we do not notice. Prior to the advancements in technology, the business was limited only to our language, yet things are different now. In other words, technology becomes globalization and this definitely means new languages to sail around the world. Are you ready to conquer the business arena?


For starters, we are witnessing a shift to international business in the face of globalization, which is of course a good thing. However, the key point is how are we going to survive in this international realm?

Surely, we have to understand that our language will be not enough to communicate. We will need other languages to learn about scaling up companies. Let us take them a journey from local to international. Here are 5 languages to grow global!

1) English

Our number one is undeniable and this is one of the best languages to initiate international business. Yet, English not only limited to business, it also one of the key languages in academia and tech. Our world contains nearly 7.5 billion inhabitants, and 1.5 billion speak English. This means 20% of the Earth’s population, isn’t it shocking? I am not even referring that English has the most web content, you already know that.

Moreover, English is the most commonly studied language, which makes this language much more attractive. If you want to have a place in business, English is vital; do not worry, all you have to do is starting by saying “Hi!”

2) Spanish

I hear some of you saying “Spanish?”, and I say “exactly”! Whether you have realized it or not, Spanish is dramatically paving the way for having a place in international business. First things first the USA speaks Spanish as the second language in daily life and business is of course included. There are approximately 50 million Spanish speakers in the region, and along with 50 million speakers, you should consider their presence in international business through their companies and stores varying in size.

Furthermore, Spanish is not only spoken in the US but also in Mexico, Latin America, and Europe. In sum, the number of Spanish speakers is as many as not to be underestimated, if you want to thrive globally (at least in the Western hemisphere) is definitely the language that you should take into account. Say “Hola” to new opportunities!

3) Russian

Russia is mainly known for its enormous land area, indeed you are not wrong. Additionally, I also know that Russian may be extremely difficult for most people because of the alphabet. This may sound horrific, but Russian is widely respected in international business, and it is one of the most promising languages of globalization. Let us look at the reasons without any further due 🙂

Initially, it is necessary for me to say that Russian is indeed widely spoken. There are 160 million native speakers throughout central and Eastern Europe and in Russia as well as being the ninth most common language in the world and the second most used on the web following English. Moreover, we cannot deny the growing and influential power of Russia, both politically and economically. That power gives Russian immense importance that it is one of the official languages of the United Nations thanks to its power and influence.

In addition, Russia has a deep oil and gas reserves as well as having a quite rich culture, and is a hotbed for the estate investments. When we look at the reasons, choosing Russian to learn for expanding business would open new business chances. Now it is time to say Привет (privyet) to 160 million!

4) Mandarin

Sounds like a musical instrument? Well, not exactly. This Chinese language is indeed one of the most challenging languages of the world, perhaps the most difficult, I am not even mentioning the alphabet… A question comes to my mind right at the moment: Then why does Mandarin become so popular for international business? The answers are right at the bottom!

Mandarin has nearly 983 million native speakers, and more than 1.2 billion people understand the Chinese Mandarin dialect. Besides it is the second most popular language among internet users after English. Those figures already are indicators of how influential Mandarin can become.

Along with that, Asian markets and companies have been amplifying their internet usage through technological advancements across the region. That evidently means an international business expansion. The evidence is the economic shift from national trade to international trade supported by cross-border deals in science and technology. China may be a new fellow in the international business arena; however, without a doubt, this expansion and immense labor force will make this country one of the leading economies. Why are you waiting for to say “你好” (“nǐ hǎo”) to join the club?

5) Arabic

This may not sound plausible, but Arabic is one of the rising stars of international business. Arabic is spoken by 295 million speakers and is the official language of 28 Middle Eastern and African countries. Besides, it is the fastest-growing language on the web, and the Middle East is actually becoming where international business opportunities are immensely increasing.

By means of promising and dynamic economies within the region, Arabic is surely a focus point for many businessmen seeking global expansion especially in the area of high-tech and tourism. The UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait are the best examples regarding today’s holiday destinations. According to the British Council, Arabic is the second most prominent language of the future due to increasing business interactions. So, give yourself a chance to say Marhaba for a big plus!


As I mentioned at the very above, doing business is innate and an essential part of life. Technology and globalization have made one language inadequate for business and paved the way for international business instead of locality. If you want to make new business opportunities across the world, learning one of the 5 languages will take you one step ahead. They are waiting for you, give it a try and discover international business!

Inspired by:

10 Most Important Business Languages in Global Market by Startupr Hong Kong Limited.

How Many People Speak English, And Where Is It Spoken by Dylan Lions.