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11-09-2018 by Linda

Many studies show that speaking an extra language is worth a lot on your CV. It doesn't only makes you look more interesting and more ambitious, it also often has a real practical value. For example, if you work in an international company and you are one of the few who can translate and answer the emails from that Spanish customer or partner. The American economist Albert Saiz calculated that mastering a foreign language boosts your salary by an average of 2 to 3 percent. How comes?

What makes an extra language interesting for employers?

Multinationals largely depend on people who speak at least two languages, and preferably even more. Recent studies even show that multilingualism has an even greater advantage over the job market than thought before (Kortromin, 2017). Speaking one or two 'foreign' languages makes someone the ideal candidate for business travels and ensures that you can work location-independently (both as an employee and as a freelancer). Even with smaller companies, knowing a foreign language will ensure that you distinguish yourself from other applicants. It indicates industriousness and curiosity.

What language yields the most

The economist Albert Saiz did not only calculate how much money speaking an extra language delivers on average. He also did research on which language offers the most. The German language is on top of this pyramid with an average salary increase of 3.8%. French produces 2.3% and those who speak Spanish well earn about 1.5% more. For the average American college student, this means learning Spanish will bring you $ 51,000, French $ 77,0000 and German $ 128,000 - taken over a lifelong salary. Can you imagine what money it will delivers you if you manage to speak all these languages fluently? Learning a new language feels like a time investment for some, but if it brings you a check with thousands of dollars, it suddenly seems worthwhile.

For that matter, learning a new language is not only fun and good for your CV and salary. Research shows that people who speak several languages less often have Alzheimer and that it makes younger people suffer less from memory loss.

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