vrijdag 29 januari 2016

United Kingdom's languages of the future...

Ever wondered which languages the United Kingdom will need in the near future? Instead of making difficult calculations, asking your friends and write a PhD about it - just read what the British Council says in an interesting report.

instead of calling home, better call
Spain! copyright: public domain
They published a report, based on a range of factors: which countries the UK will do business with, which languages are needed right now and in the future for the labour market, and so on. Spanish comes first, Arabic second (sure that report will welcome the Arabic-speaking Syrian refugees to the UK). French, Chinese (that is, Mandarin) and German add themselves to the top 5.

Interestingly enough, according to a survey of the British Council, 3 out of 4 Brits don't speak enough of the top-10 of the future languages to hold a normal conversation. Not that the Brits have been studying the wrong languages, it's just that they haven't done enough.

If you compare those numbers to the rest of the European Union, the Brits are dragging behind. Difficult to blame them though: English is everywhere. According to a European survey, only 15% of the Brits say they can speak two languages or more. That's a figure even worse than the British Council's. Only Hungarians and Portuguese do worse, while the EU's average is about 25%...

In a world where emerging markets like China, Africa and South America will increase their share in the world's economy, this might sound quite alarming.