Does It Pay To Know Another Language?

An important decision that many people face in life is whether or not to learn another language. However, is it really worth the effort financially, and which language does it pay the most to learn?

These are both questions we’ll investigate during today’s post.

Does Knowing a 2nd Language Earn You More Money?
As it turns out, the answer to this is a resounding “Yes.”

In the article I found at the link below from the job section, it states that 67% of business executives (one the highest earning work group classifications) surveyed knew more than one language. Addtionally, a search yield over 6000 job results requesting bilingual applicants. This sounds like a promising market!

Why It Pays to Be Bilingual –

In fact, I learned that on average, bilingual pay ranges between 5 and 20 percent per hour more than the position’s base rate, according to This is quite a signficant find.

There are two additional cases that I wanted to make from my personal experience that prove the benefits of being bilingual.

First, if you work in a multi-national corporation (as I do) with offices in almost every country in the world, you are more likely to have increased job flexbibility to move different places if you already know the language. This can result in several things; either avoiding being laid off by downsizing in a certain country or gaining valuable experience at different locations, thus accelerating the promotion process.

In fact, from what I’ve seen so far, people that get promoted the fastest are individuals that have worked at many different locations, and are therefore, able to provide a lot of depth in their perspectives. This definitely benefits the company.

The second case that I wanted to make for being bilingual is that in my experience, you immediately gain much more respect from people you are dealing with if you are able to at least try to speak their language. This will enhance your professional success and personal happiness.

Note: Learning a foreign language is exponentially easier at an early age because the brain is willing to accept new knoweldge without question. So, do yourself and your children a favor, give them a financial head start on life by exposing them to foreign languages early!

What Language Pays the Most to Know?
The short answer to this is that speaking the language that is used by the majority of the market where your particular business is conducted will make you the most money.

What does this mean exactly?

For example, if you are in the service industry in the USA, the two most common languages are English and Spanish. In fact, Latinos are now the nation’s largest minority group, accounting for half of the nation’s population growth since April 2001, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In this case, knowing Spanish as a 2nd language would benefit you greatly. It is estimated that the buying power of Hispanics in the USA could reach as much as $1 trillion by the end of this year (2010). That is a big potential market to capture!

On the other hand, if you are in the manufacturing industry, it might be better to speak Japanese or Chinese, since so much business is shifting to that region nowadays.

Keep on learning!


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