Language careersNew survey from Rosetta Stone reveals career opportunities as a major source of motivation for learning a new language
One in five people who speak a second language say it has allowed them to further their career, new research from Rosetta Stone shows.
In Europe alone there are over 225 indigenous languages, yet the continent accounts for just three per cent of the world’s total languages - it's estimated that there are between 5,000 and 6,000 languages now spoken across the globe.
Rosetta Stone polled over 1,000 people to discover their attitudes to learning and speaking a foreign language, including the impact it has on their work and personal lives.
Of those who spoke a second language, around 20 per cent said it had allowed them to further their career. Nearly three in every five respondents said it had made travelling and seeing the world more accessible, 42 per cent said it had allowed them to develop personally and 35 per cent said it had allowed them to experience different cultures through music, film or books. One in ten said it had given them an edge in the job market.
Competition for jobs on the current job market is fierce and learning a foreign language can be one way to stand out from other candidates. With this in mind, Rosetta Stone looked more into why people felt that learning a second language would further a career.
Three in ten (30 per cent) said that understanding the culture of a community enables them to interact with people. Meanwhile, 23 per cent of respondents who could speak a second language said it helped improve their client relationships, and 16 per cent said it helped them work with people from different backgrounds and expand their industry knowledge.
Gary Lineker, English former footballer and sports broadcaster and ambassador of Rosetta Stone languages4schools project, said: "During my football career I realised quickly what a difference language skills can make. Speaking Spanish and Japanese has opened doors in my career and helped me bridge cultural differences, both in my personal and business life.”
Gustaf Nordbäck, Managing Director-EMEA at Rosetta Stone, said: "New technology helps you to integrate your language-learning efforts in everyday life. You choose when and where to learn. With our new travel app , for instance, you will not only acquire basic language skills, but the app provides pronunciation training, too. New words as well as the pronunciation are combined with images and arranged in a smart sequence - this way you will naturally connect the meaning.
"Learning a language should be a natural and instinctive process, like the way you learnt your first language. Choose a method that best simulates this. With the added benefit of technology, you can learn at your own pace in your own time without the constraints of classrooms.”
Respondents were also asked how they would describe someone who could speak a foreign language. Nearly one-third of people answered "more employable", while "interesting" was the most common term used (43 per cent), followed by "cultured" (34 per cent).
Over 70 per cent of Brits polled by Rosetta Stone admitted they did not speak any languages other than English. Of those who did speak a foreign language, 19 per cent spoke one language in addition to English and a small percentage (seven per cent) spoke two additional languages.
Rosetta Stone has also released an infographic showing some of the survey results, which can be found on the company's blog.