Spanish is most important language for UK’s future

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Spanish Flag A new study by the British Council finds that not French, Arabic or even Mandarin Chinese is the most important foreign language for the UK, but Spanish. The study identified the 10 most important languages for the UK’s future based on economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational indicators.

Top 10

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

These findings don’t suggest that people in the UK are learning the wrong languages, but the UK needs to develop in a wider range of languages, and in far greater numbers in order to reap the economic and cultural benefits available to them. It’s no surprise that the UK has a lack of language skills, but at the moment, 75% of the UK adult population are unable to speak any of these languages well enough to hold a conversation!

The number 1: Spanish

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language by first language speakers, with 848 million speakers. But this report reveals that Spanish, with 406 million speakers, is the number 1 language for the UK to learn.

  • Spanish is the second most spoken native language in the world, with an official status in 21 countries.
  • Spanish is currently listed as number 5 in the Top 10 languages of the UK’s most important export markets.
  • When looking at high-growth markets and their languages, Spanish scores particularly high, with great opportunities in countries like Argentina, Chile and Mexico. But there’s a key condition for British firms to grab these opportunities… They have to operate in Spanish.
  • Not only in business, but also in sports, Spanish skills can make a difference. Gary Lineker is quoted in the recent British Council report referring to a quote on the Rosetta Stone Blog:

Gary Lineker

Source: Languages to the Future Report, British Council 2013 p. 31

  • Apart from business benefits, Spain was the most popular destination for people from the UK in 2012, with more than 11 million visitors. And we all now that if you really want to dive into a new culture and connect with the locals, you need to know more than a friendly “¡Hola!”.

Your new language

Whichever language is most beneficial for your future in- or outside the UK, Rosetta Stone can help you to learn the language in a fun and easy way, so you can speak confidently where ever you go. Choose from over 20 languages here.



Miriam Melchers

Miriam is Social Media Manager EMEA at Rosetta Stone. She said ‘Dag Amsterdam. Hello London!’ and moved to the most multicultural city in the world. She speaks Dutch, English, un petit peu Français and thinks German is ‘ganz toll’! That’s why she’s improving her German with Rosetta Stone. She loves languages, but she loves engaging with our learners and fans even more. Follow her on Twitter.

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