British Council reveals which language UK needs and why

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Young people – and their parents – should seek out opportunities to learn languages, a language report commissioned by the British Council reveals.

The poll identified the 10 most important languages for the UK’s future based on economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational indicators. Here they are:

  1. Spanish
  2. Arabic
  3. French
  4. Mandarin Chinese
  5. German
  6. Portuguese
  7. Italian
  8. Russian
  9. Turkish
  10. Japanese

The report says, if UK citizens were competent in a wider range of languages, they could reap the economic and cultural benefits available to them. At the moment however, the report suggests that three quarters of the UK public are unable to speak any of these languages well enough to hold a conversation!

The benefits of learning a language 

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Speaking additional languages will have an immediate impact on your life. Think of your children who will grow up with an open, cultural mindset simply by being able to speak to their classmates coming from Japan, Turkey or the Arab countries. Often only a few words can make a difference. As students they will go abroad during their gap year, or decide to do work experience in Italy or France during the summer and they will come back with language skills that will add value to their CV, when applying for their first job. Last, but not least, just think of your advantages at work, being able to talk to your clients and business partners in their language. It will immediately open doors and will make you more successful at work. It might also create opportunities to be sent abroad to work on a project in China or Russia.

Gustaf Nordbäck, Managing Director EMEA at Rosetta Stone says: “It is not about speaking a language fluently, but having the confidence to engage with people in their native language, which will make a difference. A smile on the face of a French client you greet in his language, a big thank you from a German couple in London who you give directions to in German, or even all the encounters on your travels and friendships you will make for life thanks to language skills – is there anything more rewarding?”

According to the British Council’s report, young people – and their parents – should seek out more opportunities to learn languages and experience other cultures, both in school and outside – and receive more consistent advice about the benefits of doing so. Parents should leave behind their poor experience of learning a language when they were at school and embark on new ways of language-learning, that are fun and entertaining, and will bring many real benefits in their child’s future. Here are five easy ways to learn a language by #milestones blogger Stephanie Maede. What advice can you give to make language learning fun? Share it with us in the comments or via Twitter @RosettaStoneUK!


Katharina is PR Manager at Rosetta Stone Europe. She is from Austria and loves languages. She lived in Italy and is now based in London. She speaks German, English, Italian, Spanish and some French and is now immersing into Greek. Do you want to learn a language, too? Try a free Rosetta Stone demo.

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