What are the top five languages post Brexit?


10-09-2019
 tutor with learner both in glasses looking at book

The UK’s future relationship with the EU is dominating news headlines daily.  As the UK government attempts to secure or expand trading agreements, we look to the skills and capabilities needed by British firms to thrive in diverse markets and continue their interconnectedness with European partners. Do you know which top five languages are important for the UK post-Brexit?

The UK’s future relationship with the EU is dominating news headlines daily.  As the UK government attempts to secure or expand trading agreements, we look to the skills and capabilities needed by British firms to thrive in diverse markets and continue their interconnectedness with European partners.

Language skills in most firms are still limited and many major exporters see a lack of proficiency in another language as a barrier to conducting deals overseas. The British Council produced a list of the ten most important languages for the UK post-Brexit. The indicators used took into account both economic and non-market factors.

  • Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic and German make up the top five, some way ahead of the remaining five
  • In the second half of the list is Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Russian. 

With only just one in three Britons reporting that they are able to hold a conversation in another language, the UK’s language capability remains a concern.  So what does this mean for Learning & Development professionals attending the World of Learning exhibition?

Now is the moment to initiate a bold new policy to improve foreign language learning in your firm in order to ensure a sustained improvement in language capacity over the medium to long-term.  Language skills should form an integral part of any strategic reviews, particularly in relation to achieving export-led growth. 

“We need to move on from the mindset that English is the language of international business” says Sue Curry, Director of Babel Language & Cultural Consultants.  “The UK’s ambition to forge new trading agreements around the world will require a wide range of languages and many firms may be vulnerable, just at a time when they need to expand” continues Sue.

Furthermore, she concludes, “in addition to language skills, cultural knowledge and international awareness must be developed within organisations so that key talent will have the capacity to engage international partners and strengthen successful relationships in Europe and globally for years to come.”

Babel delivers tailored, face-to-face, 'live' on-line or fully immersive language training.  For more details of the language programmes that we provide and how we can support you, please contact Sue Curry on 020 8295 5877 or sue.curry@babelgroup.co.uk

Come and meet Babel on stand G40, at the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition, NEC Birmingham on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th October.  Get in touch to be nominated for VIP entry to the exhibition!

To read more information, click here.

Babel delivers language training in all major world languages, coaches delegates to be culturally competent in their global roles, briefs expats for starting new jobs overseas and helps create high-performing remote teams.

Babel Language & Cultural Consultants