The business benefits of learning a foreign language

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The business benefits of learning a foreign language

Many Zimbabweans are eager to get University education: diplomas, degrees, masters and sometimes up to doctorate level. Some have come out of these walls of higher learning with flying colours but sadly their marque degrees still hang on their walls…making new statistics of unemployment rate in Zimbabwe. We all know the usual grand tautology about the causes of unemployment which includes blaming the economic sanctions and all that boloney. Iam not saying it doesn’t exist at the macro level, but sometimes we can make it disappear on the micro, or perhaps reduce it.

Why You Should Learn another Language

A lot can be done about this if one tries dealing with unemployment in Zimbabwe as unemployment in me or more appropriately at an individual. The question to ask ourselves is, ‘What can I do to get a job that has not yet been done?’ We can’t all be vendors and not all of us are smart enough to start a venture not to consider the uncertainty and costs involved with start-ups. Am I scaring you away? Maybe not but the point is some people are better placed investing in no such things but rather investing in self:

Investing in a foreign language.

English in Zimbabwe is kind of the first language despite the use of our natives mainly Ndebele and Shona. We find ourselves using English in almost all formal communications. I learnt English as a taught subject right from pre-school up to Advanced Level. Other countries like South Africa, use three native languages in almost all communications; banks, hotels, parliament you name it. I have been working at a hotel in South Africa for two years. The reservations I receive through phone calls from big travelling agencies will be in their three main languages.

The benefits of learning a second language

Whilst back in Zimbabwe, I was conditioned to think the best Investment any young person can make was in education. I never really thought of complementing my tertiary courses by learning a language. I never saw a language as a barrier to employment or an opportunity. Languages only went as far as being listed as barriers to communication during our Management of Business classes. I just did not care till I moved to South Africa.

It opens up so many more opportunities’: How languages can lead to a dream job

When I moved to South Africa I wanted a job at the first opportunity. I wasn’t going to be choosy. I got my first job and enrolled for an accounting course through correspondence. I kept searching the job market for even greener pastures. Everything that came my way required a bilingual person: either English and Germany or English and French. Every Zimbabwean is good in English as far as I can tell. Well that got me thinking: If my English is good, which other language can I try and knock horns with to get a job? I opted for Germany after a little research. Not only could I get a job in South Africa but in Germany as well. I enrolled at a Germany Institute and my journey began.

Why is language an opportunity?

Because many people are reluctant to learn a new language. Instead of investing in starting up a new company in Zimbabwe I said, ‘Why not invest in learning a new language.’ There are a lot of opportunities in countries like Germany, Italy France and regional Portuguese speaking countries like Mozambique. Why is that so?

People always hunt for jobs in English speaking nations.

It opens up so many more opportunities’: How languages can lead to a dream job

Why not go beyond English and explore those opportunities. I started studying Germany about five months ago and will be done in a months’ time after which I will get my certification. I can work here in South Africa or can go to Germany right away. One thing that was stopping me from getting the job that I wanted was ‘Germany language’ which I now speak. I decided it was more beneficial to go further my studies as well as my Deutsch in Germany. I will be working and studying at the same time. I can confirm that learning a new language is not complicated. Learning German in particular is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Let’s go for it my Zimbabwean sisters and brothers. Learn a new language.Deustch , Spanisch Italienisch Russich Franzosisch etc. Let’s dump Englisch for once. I just outlined the languages in Deutsch. Ich Spreche Deutsch aber meine Deutch ist nicht sehr gut.

As I sign off, I wish to say Ich liebe dich to my motherland Zimbabwe. I will come back to her and invest the wisdom I would have gathered from other nations. I will not stop with Germany. I hope this article has shown someone why they should learn a second language to explore opportunities beyond Zimbabwe.

This article was written by Nyasha, A Zimbabwean who found her niche in languages and tells her story about the opportunities speaking a language can bring.

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