The Most Impactful Languages to Learn for Business: An 80/20 Piece

Want to learn or hone a language enough for you to do business with other countries?

If you’re a native English speaker, we broke down which languages will take the least time and are worth the investment to learn.

Inspired by a LifeHacker article and a US Foreign Service Institute (FSI) study, we put together the following 80/20 piece for you to learn or hone a language for business with the biggest bang for your time / effort.

Starting with the US FSI study, we have the following time to learn (in weeks) for these major languages.

The lower bars are, obviously, the quicker languages to learn.

We took the ratio of time to learn : number of native speakers, added a coefficient multiplier for friendlier values, and yielded the following chart.

The lower bars are the quicker languages to learn with native speakers factored in.

Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese, Hindi, Russian, Arabic, German, French, or Italian.


We took the ratio of time to learn : GDP of native speaking countries, added a coefficient multiplier for friendlier values, and yielded the following chart.

The lower bars are the quicker languages to learn with GDP factored in.

Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), German, French, Japanese, Hindi, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Swedish, Turkish, or Korean.


We took the ratio of time to learn : GDP per native speaker, added a coefficient multiplier for friendlier values, and yielded the following chart.

The lower bars are the quicker languages to learn with GDP per NS factored in.

Arabic, Swedish, Dutch, French, German, or Italian.


Hopefully this brief article sparks you into learning or honing a foreign language to help you and/or your business.

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A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

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Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

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