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Which are the best languages to know in the consulting world?  

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FilippoIguera
Posts: 14
(@filippoiguera)
Junior Consultant
Joined: 6 months ago

Hi guys,

Which do you think are the best languages to know in the consulting world?

I am a native Italian guy, I am bilingual in English, and I also know Spanish quite well. Next year I have the possibility to learn another language. Of course, I will study it only two years at uni, but then maybe I will continue to revise them.

I am thinking about selecting Chinese, but also French is fascinating me. What do you think? What also do recruiters value more?

7 Replies
L - Rathke
Posts: 28
Admin
(@rathke)
Moderator
Joined: 8 months ago

Hi Filippolguera,

first of all English is a must-have working in consulting, I think everyone agrees on that, right? 😉 Spoken everywhere, anytime and over a billion speakers... Mandarin has also over a billion speakers, yes....- but English is simply more globally spoken and way easier to learn. 

So knowing that you get to know a lot of different cultures in consulting, I definitely say that knowing any foreign language is very useful. For me, there are 5 languages, which are very useful to be able to speak and based on that you should look out for your personal favoritism/fit to them. (English, Mandarin, German, French, and Spanish)

Which are useful for you at the moment? Knowing the current language you work at (regarding long-term projects), having some personal interests into a language or wanting to live in a specific country is very striking.

Start with the personal preferences of these 5 and then go for the other foreign languages I did not mention.

What do you think about the most important ones?

 

cheers!

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FilippoIguera
Posts: 14
(@filippoiguera)
Junior Consultant
Joined: 6 months ago

Thank you very much, Lasse!

I think I will pick up Mandarin other than French. Why did you mention German?

Yes, it is ok but not as the others you mentioned in my opinion. For me, coming from a Neo-Latin language french would be much more comfortable than Mandarin. However, I would prefer to learn a bit of Chinese and Chinese culture both.  

 

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L - Rathke
Posts: 28
Admin
(@rathke)
Moderator
Joined: 8 months ago

Some facts about the German language and why I think it has a quite impressive value:

1. Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. 

2. Germany is the UK’s biggest trading partner, with German exports to the UK totaling €73 billion and British exports to Germany €44 billion in 2012.

3. 45% of UK employers rate German as useful for their business, classing it as more useful than Spanish or Mandarin (CBI/Pearson 2013).

4. German is the most widely spoken native language across the EU, with 16% of EU citizens speaking German as their mother tongue.

 

--> Fluency in the German language often proves key to business success on the European continent.

 

Also definitely start with practicing Mandarin, it will only benefit your future!

cheers

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FilippoIguera
Posts: 14
(@filippoiguera)
Junior Consultant
Joined: 6 months ago

Thank you, Lasse for your insightful reply!

I didn't consider how important is the European market in the global economy. I was thinking more at developing/fast-growing countries.

You are surely right because being a European, I will surely start here my career and for this reason, picking up a bit of German in the future is not a bad idea.

I will start Mandarin next year at uni, as an elective (facultative) module.

Cheers

 

 

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