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English as essential language of business

Posting in Education

China may have the world's second largest economy, but speaking Mandarin isn't a required business skill yet. English, according to a study by EF Education First, will remain the basic language of business.

Dorie Clark for Forbes outlines the study and writes that

English will maintain and grow its dominance, moving from “a marker of the elite” in years past to “a basic skill needed for the entire workforce, in the same way that literacy has been transformed in the last two centuries from an elite privilege into a basic requirement for informed citizenship.” (Indeed, the British Council reports that by 2020, two billion people will be studying English.)

The findings will be reassuring to native English speakers in the United States, of whom only 10% speak a second language. However, speaking another language in addition to English (in the United States, I'd argue for Spanish) is vital to participating -- and having a competitive edge -- in business and finance on a global level.

Read the entire study on the EF website.

Infographic by EF

English - The Language of Global Business? [Forbes]

Image: Shelly Flickr

— By on October 28, 2012, 1:58 PM PST

Sun Kim

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sun Joo Kim is an architect and creative consultant based in Boston. Her projects include design and master planning of museums, public institutions, hospitals, and university buildings across the U.S. She holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure