Can you hold a conversation in a second language? Pick The Brain’s Sean Kim reveals why learning a language is important not just for holidays but also for career progression and lifetime earnings.
As English is the most common second language in the majority of countries, native English speakers often feel that there’s no need to put in the effort required to learn a second language. However they could be missing out. Sean explains:
Just for fun or for career advancement too?
Learning a second language has traditionally always been popular with the hobbyist and travel community. But what about the business community?
According to Euro London, a recruitment agency, learning a language has shown to add between 10-15% to your income. This only goes to show that learning a foreign language is a wise investment for business professionals and CEO’s.
Let’s take the average salary of someone in New York City, ~$85,000, a 2% “language bonus” average over 40 years, and also a 1% raise annually, you’d have an extra ~$110,000 by the time you retire.
Read more at pickthebrain.com…
Perhaps you should make learning a new language part of your money magnetism strategy? But does it matter which language you learn? Evidence would suggest it does. It seems some languages will give a bigger jump in both income and job prospects as Susie Poppick of Time.com Money explains:
Can a foreign language help your earning potential?
When it comes to money, members of the U.S. military can earn up to $1,000 more per month if they are proficient in multiple languages.
A foreign language can also amp up your desirability—and therefore your pay—in business or law, particularly if you speak Chinese or Japanese, says Charles Volkert, executive director of the legal department of staffing agency Robert Half. Recently, 42% of employers at top law firms surveyed by Volkert’s team saw an increase in legal jobs requiring a second language.
“With so few qualified candidates, there’s a huge demand for professionals who can speak Asian languages, particularly at globalized auto and tech companies,” says Volkert.
Read more from Time.com…
While it’s not true that all languages are as valuable to your future wealth, you don’t have to start learning a alphabet before you attract the big bucks. German is an easier option to boost your pay as The Economist points out:
What is a foreign language worth?
Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. Not bad for a few years of “où est la plume de ma tante?”
Albert Saiz, the MIT economist who calculated the 2% premium, found quite different premiums for different languages: just 1.5% for Spanish, 2.3% for French and 3.8% for German. This translates into big differences in the language account: your Spanish is worth $51,000, but French, $77,000, and German, $128,000. Humans are famously bad at weighting the future against the present, but if you dangled even a post-dated $128,000 cheque in front of the average 14-year-old, Goethe and Schiller would be hotter than Facebook. Read more from The Economist…
If you don’t fancy going back to school to find a class, there are a wealth of online language programs which can move you from tourist level directions and restaurant ordering through to fluent conversation and business vocabulary.
As long as you choose the right method to learn a new language quickly, that’s a pretty good return on your time.
Image from time.com