Foreign Languages in Demand in India: Learning a new language can be really fun and exciting! It opens up a whole new world of people to talk to and things to learn. There are so many awesome foreign languages out there that students in India are interested in studying. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 languages that are in high demand right now.
Top 10 Foreign Languages in Demand in India for Students
These 10 foreign languages are the most popular and useful options for students in India to learn right now:
Even though there are two official languages of India, Hindi and English, English is by far the most important language for students to master. It’s essential for higher education, professional success, and interacting with people from other countries.
Nearly 125 million people in India speak English, making it the second most spoken language in the country after Hindi. English is the dominant language in sectors like business, law, medicine, tourism, media and more. It’s the language used for official government work as well.
For students hoping to study abroad in places like the US, UK, Australia or Canada, fluency in English is a must. Strong English skills also allow access to more prestigious schools within India that use English as the primary language of instruction.
Overall, English is considered the most useful foreign language for Indian students to learn for academic achievement and expanded career options.
Mandarin Chinese is quickly becoming very popular for Indian students to learn. China now has the world’s second largest economy and is a major global power.
Mandarin is the official language of both mainland China and Taiwan. It’s also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. With over 1 billion native speakers, Mandarin has the most speakers of any language worldwide.
Proficiency in Mandarin provides Indian students with way more opportunities to study, work and do business in China or with Chinese firms. As China continues growing in influence, knowing Mandarin will be a huge advantage.
Mandarin is considered a Category IV language by the Foreign Service Institute, meaning it takes over 2,000 hours of study for English speakers to become proficient. The tonal nature of the language and complex written script make Mandarin one of the most difficult languages for Indians to learn.
However, parents want their children to gain this competitive edge, so Mandarin language programs are expanding across India. Being fluent in English and Mandarin is an extremely useful combination.
After English and Mandarin, Spanish is the next most spoken language worldwide. It’s the official language in over 20 different countries, most of which are located in Latin America. Spanish is also widely used in the United States.
Knowing Spanish provides Indian students with greater opportunities to study or work throughout Latin America and Spain. As Latin American economies continue developing, fluency in Spanish becomes even more valuable for doing business in the region.
The telecom, banking and natural resource extraction sectors often value Spanish language abilities. Indian students interested in politics, international relations or non-profits will also benefit from learning Spanish.
Since Spanish shares roots with English, it is considered one of the easier foreign languages for Indians to learn. Spanish only takes around 600 hours of instruction for English speakers to become conversationally fluent. The grammar and vocabulary are fairly straightforward.
Overall, Spanish is a major world language that opens up doors for Indian students across many fields.
Germany has one of the largest economies in Europe and the world, making German a very useful foreign language for Indians to know. It allows greater access to study and work opportunities throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other regions where German is spoken.
German language skills are especially valuable in sectors like engineering, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, electronics, chemicals and more. Some major German corporations hiring foreign employees include Volkswagen, Bayer, BASF, SAP, Siemens and Adidas.
Knowing German also makes it easier to get a degree from world-class German universities, which have become popular destinations for Indian students in recent years. Germany offers more affordable tuition rates compared to the US, UK or Australia.
German is not as widely spoken globally as English, Mandarin or Spanish. But within Europe, it’s considered the most important language for Indians looking to live and work abroad. The grammar and vocabulary take some time to master, but German is very manageable to learn with consistent practice.
The French language opens up opportunities around the globe for Indian students. It’s an official language in 29 different countries, as well as the United Nations, NATO, the Olympics and the European Union.
After English and German, French is the most widely learned foreign language in the European Union. It’s especially important for Indian students interested in studying or working in France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg or various parts of Africa.
Being fluent in French allows Indians to attend French universities, which have become popular study abroad destinations. France is also a major economic power and center for international diplomacy, making French beneficial for careers in business, politics, arts and humanities.
Knowledge of French vocabulary and grammar can take around 600-750 hours for native English speakers. The languages share thousands of cognates due to linguistic roots in Latin. While not the easiest language to learn, French is very doable with regular practice.
Japan has one of the largest economies in the world, and it’s also a global leader in industries like technology, cars, engineering, robotics, video gaming and more. This makes proficiency in Japanese an asset for Indian students.
Knowing Japanese allows easier access to prestigious universities and coveted jobs throughout Japan. Strong language skills are desired by major Japanese corporations like Toyota, Sony, Nintendo, Canon, Honda, Panasonic and more.
As Japan continues to influence global culture through anime, food, design and entertainment, the language also becomes more popular worldwide. Japanese is seen as a smart foreign language investment by Indian parents looking to distinguish their children.
However, Japanese is considered one of the most difficult languages for Indians to learn. Native English speakers require over 2,000 hours of study to become proficient in reading, writing and speaking Japanese. The three writing systems and cultural nuances take significant time to master.
The Arabic language opens up opportunities in the Middle East and Northern Africa for Indian students. It’s the official language in countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco and more. Arabic is also used by 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide for religious purposes.
Having proficiency in Arabic allows Indians access to the growing job markets in the Middle East. Fluency can be a huge advantage for careers involving fields like construction, oil/gas, aviation, finance, translation, journalism and more.
Major Indian firms like Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra and Infosys that provide IT services in the Middle East increasingly desire employees who speak Arabic. The language also makes studying abroad in the region a possibility.
Arabic poses major challenges for Indians due to its completely different script, vocabulary, grammar and structure. At least 2,200 hours of study are needed for native English speakers to gain proficiency. However, many ambitious Indian students are willing to take on the difficult language.
The Russian language opens doors to opportunities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for Indian students. Although not as widely used globally as other languages, Russian is still important for certain careers and regions.
Knowing Russian allows Indians greater access to education and jobs throughout Russia. Russian fluency is valued in fields like science, technology, research, business, politics, oil/gas and more. For example, around 75% of engineers in Russia’s high-tech sector cannot speak English, only Russian.
Professionals doing business involving eastern European countries or former Soviet states can benefit from understanding Russian. The Indian immigrant community in Russia is also fairly large, making Russian useful for family reasons.
Russian is considered one of the toughest languages for Indians to learn due to its different script, complex grammar, intricate vocabulary and tricky pronunciation. At least 1,100 hours of study is required to become conversant. But for motivated students, gaining Russian fluency can really pay off.
The Portuguese language allows Indian students to pursue opportunities in Portugal, Brazil and former Portuguese colonies. As emerging markets like Brazil gain economic strength, Portuguese is becoming more important for international business.
Knowing Portuguese makes it easier for Indians to attend universities in Portugal or Brazil for affordable tuition rates. Multinational corporations also employ Portuguese speakers for doing business in these regions. Since Portuguese shares roots with Spanish, learning both languages can be advantageous.
Growth areas like tourism, aviation and natural resource extraction are seeking professionals who can speak Portuguese. The language can also be useful for jobs involving Angola, Mozambique and other former Portuguese colonies.
For native English speakers, Portuguese takes around 600 hours of study to become conversational. The vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar have much in common with other Romance languages. While not the easiest language, Portuguese is certainly learnable for ambitious Indian students.
The Korean language is growing in popularity worldwide thanks to the rising influence of South Korea and the spread of entertainment like K-pop music. For Indian students, Korean proficiency provides exciting opportunities.
South Korea has a technologically advanced, fast-growing economy where knowledge of Korean is a big advantage for landing jobs. Korean corporations like Samsung, Hyundai, LG and Kia need international employees who can speak the language.
Studying abroad at a Korean university is also easier with fluency in the language. Understanding Korean entertainment and pop culture is also a motive for some young students to pick up the language.
Korean is considered one of the most difficult Asian languages for English speakers due to its complex grammar, intricate script hangul, tricky pronunciation and honorifics. At least 2,200 hours of study is required to become conversant. But with hard work, Indian students can unlock doors by learning Korean.
Why Foreign Languages Matter For Indian Students?
Learning in-demand foreign languages like Mandarin, Spanish, French or Arabic along with English looks great on college applications and provides key advantages for Indian students:
- Allows studying abroad in countries where the language is spoken
- Opens access to more career opportunities in diverse fields
- Enables easier communication when traveling internationally
- Provides cognitive benefits from having a bilingual brain
- Helps stand out when applying to global companies
- Increases pay potential by filling skills gaps
- Allows deeper connection with other cultures by understanding the language
- Keeps India competitive on the world stage where multilingual skills are needed
So take the time to become fluent in one or two of these key foreign languages. The hard work will really pay off down the road for your education, your career and your understanding of our world!
There are so many fascinating foreign languages that open up amazing opportunities for Indian students. The top 10 languages in demand right now are English, Mandarin, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Korean.
Learning a new language allows you to meet new people, explore new cultures and study or work abroad. It’s impressive on college applications and can give you a big advantage when applying for international jobs. Plus, picking up a new language is just plain fun and satisfying.
With interesting apps available and immersive experiences in your community, it’s easy to start gaining basic language skills. Don’t be intimidated to jump in and try! Stick with consistent practice and make the language part of your daily life as much as possible.
The world is full of possibilities when you speak the language. Give one of these in-demand foreign languages a try and see where it takes you on your educational or professional journey!
Give one of these in-demand foreign languages a try and see where it takes you on your educational or professional journey!hink about which languages inspire you the most. Then start practicing! Your multilingual life awaits.