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The 3 Most Useful Languages to teach your Child
Living in Kenya, I will make sure my children are learning Swahili and English. But research would suggest that I might need to add Mandarin and French. Mandarin, China’s official tongue, is also the top language worldwide for business other than English, according to Bloomberg Rankings.
Mandarin, spoken by 845 million people, scored highest in a ranking of languages, excluding English, based on business usefulness. The ranking scored languages according to the number of speakers, number of countries where the language is official, along with those nations’ populations, financial power, educational and literacy rates, and related measures.
French, spoken by 68 million people worldwide and the official language of 27 countries, was ranked second, followed by Arabic, which is spoken by 221 million people and is official in 23 nations. Mandarin is unlikely to supplant English soon as the primary language of business. In much the same way that the dollar remains the preferred currency, English will remain the preferred language for the foreseeable future. Speaking the language confers a huge advantage for anyone who wants to do business in a non-English-speaking country. It gives you flexibility, knowledge that you need, and personal connections that can make a difference in the speed and effectiveness of your negotiations.