by Catherine Deschamps-Potter, ICD Translation Vice President of Sales and Marketing
- Mandarin: Already the most spoken language in the world, the demand for speakers of this language will only increase in the future. Mandarin is also one of the most popular languages online, second only to English. For English speakers, Mandarin is difficult to learn, taking approximately 2,200 hours to master.
- Arabic: As the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world, Arabic is the main language of many rapidly growing countries in the Middle East and Africa. Because of the overall instability in these regions, the demand for Arabic speakers has grown, especially in the fields of intelligence and diplomacy. Along with Mandarin, Arabic is also considered a difficult language to learn, with more than 88 weeks of class needed to become proficient.
- Spanish: As the second most spoken language in the world, Spanish is spoken in Latin America, Spain, and the United States, among other areas. Spanish is relatively easy to learn for English speakers; learners need only 600 hours (less than six months) of classroom time to achieve proficiency.
- German: As the strongest and most important economy in the European Union, the demand for German speakers is higher than ever. Like Spanish, German is relatively easy to learn, and takes about 900 hours to master.
- Portuguese: Spoken by more than 215 million people in Portugal, Brazil, and some parts of Africa, Portuguese is an important world language, especially because Brazil is a big country and an even bigger market. Because most Brazilians speak little to no English, it is critical to speak the language if you want to do business there. Similar to Spanish, Portuguese is pretty easy to learn for English speakers.
If your company is looking to get involved in any of these target markets, you ought to consider a translation agency, such as ICD Translation, that offers Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, German, Portuguese and other top language translation services.