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Although English has become the global language of business communication, learning new languages can provide you with a multitude of development opportunities both for yourself and your company. One way to achieve that is to learn the most commonly spoken languages, such as Spanish or Chinese, which will help you cooperate with experts worldwide; however, learning niche languages can also open you up for new markets and be even more appreciated by their users.
If you want to progress your career by learning new languages, there are some things you need to consider and do before you begin. It doesn’t matter which language you decide to go with as there are certain tips that are universal, including deciding which one will be most beneficial in your position, enrolling in a concise language course (e.g., learn languages with stories on Langster, one-to-one conversations, or in a traditional class), immersing yourself in the language, and focusing on business-specific lingo.
Once you get the hang of your target language, you will notice how it improves your career development. Read on to discover how you can achieve this!
Decide Which Language Will Be Most Beneficial
First of all, you need to figure out what language will be most beneficial for your professional development. The most spoken languages in the world, besides English, are Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, French, and Standard Arabic. All five are widely used in all spheres of life, from business to science. Learning them will help you cooperate with experts from all around the globe. However, if you want to focus on a niche language, you can choose Vietnamese or Dutch which will open you up for new markets, or Turkish which will be useful in one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. However, your final decision should be based on your field of work, chosen industry, and future predictions regarding the markets you will be working in.
Find Your Preferred Learning Approach
Once you decide which language will be most beneficial for your professional development, you have to find suitable resources. Apart from self-teaching, which doesn’t work well for everyone, there are other types of courses you can choose from one-to-one conversation classes, apps, online platforms, or a traditional course.
Apps and online platforms are the most convenient way to learn a new language, as you can do it whenever and wherever you want. There are dozens of mobile apps available on Google Play and AppStore that allow you to start learning a new language right away. However, be careful when picking an app, as not all of them are equally effective. Duolingo is pretty straightforward and can help you stay in touch with a language even if you are always on the go. For something more creative, you might want to use Langster to learn through stories.If you want to progress your career by learning new languages, there are some things you need to consider and do before you begin. It doesn’t matter which language you decide to go with as there are certain tips that are universal.Click To Tweet
A traditional course may be a better option if you want to learn the basics of a language with no stress and no haste. At the same time, you can ask your teacher any questions you might have at any time, which is not always possible when using an app or online platform. If you prefer the classroom approach, you can check with your local education center to see if they offer classes in a language you want to learn. Private tutors are another option, but they will be more expensive.
One-to-one conversations with an expert are another option that will let you dive into language learning in an efficient way. If you are unsure whether language learning is for you, this type of conversation can help you determine that.
While sentences like “the boy eats an apple” are essential for the beginner as they teach grammar, the focus should be on developing conversational skills as soon as possible. And Communicative Language Teaching is a great way to do precisely that.
Immerse Yourself in the Language
Once you start learning a new language, sooner or later, you will have to start using it with native speakers in order to gain fluency in it. What’s even better is that you can combine studies with work or vacation activities. That’s why you should consider spending some time in the country where the language is spoken.
If you are nervous about speaking your target language in the real world, take small steps first. For example, you can watch movies, listen to music, read books, or play online games in the language you want to learn. This way, you will be able to become familiar with the sound of words and different accents. The more you listen to the language, the more you will learn about the culture and etiquette of its users and how they speak and behave.
The most important thing is to be open to mistakes and use what you already know instead of feeling too self-conscious to speak.
Getting a language partner is an excellent idea – a native speaker of your target language. If you are learning a language that is not widely spoken, like Gaelic or Latvian, this will be even more helpful. Your language partner can help you with pronunciation and give tips on using the language in the right way. Try to talk as much as you can with your expert, so that your listening skills improve as well.
Apart from that, you can get in touch with natives on Skype or go on language exchanges. There are also websites that connect language learners and native speakers to the language they want to learn.
Focus on Business-Specific Lingo
Language learning is not just about learning new words and their translation. One of the ways to get ahead in your career is to learn industry-specific terms for different business fields. This way, you will be able to understand and use such terms when talking to your business partners or coworkers. The more specific the terminology is, the more valuable it is for your professional development, as it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile and learn something new. For example, if you are a manager in a company that sells medical equipment, it would be perfect if you learned some medical vocabulary.
If you are looking for an affordable way to learn business-specific lingo for your particular profession, there are many online platforms that can help you with that. The courses are specifically designed to teach you industry-specific terms in both written and spoken form. At the same time, you can take part in real conversations with native speakers in order to gain fluency in the language.
Another thing to remember once you are fluent in your new language is that it’s the culture that matters the most. Learn about the behavior of its users while trying to avoid pushing certain buttons that may cause offense or confusion. It’s also helpful to know about some common taboos within the culture of the language you are learning.
To Sum Up
Learning new languages is never easy, but you can make it smoother if you set specific objectives and work hard on achieving them. As you decide which language to go for, you should take into account your professional goals, your personal interests, and the opportunities in different regions of the world.
The language you pick will help you progress in your career and give you new opportunities to open up your business to new countries or apply for a job in international companies. So, if you are looking for an opportunity to improve your career development, learning new languages is a great way to do so.
Starting with pronunciation, you’ll learn how to rewire your ears and turn foreign sounds into familiar sounds. You’ll retrain your tongue to produce those sounds accurately, using tricks from opera singers and actors. Next, you’ll begin to tackle words and connect sounds and spellings to imagery rather than translations, which will enable you to think in a foreign language.