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  • Writer's pictureMarine Lienard

The best languages to learn for a British citizen

In an increasingly interconnected world, speaking more than one language has become an invaluable skill. For British citizens, learning a new language not only opens doors to diverse cultures but also enhances job prospects, travel experiences, and cognitive abilities. In this article, we will explore some of the best languages for British citizens to learn, considering factors like practicality, cultural richness, and global relevance.


Bilingual children

  • Spanish

Spanish is a highly practical language for British citizens to learn. With over 460 million native speakers worldwide, it's the second most spoken language globally, and it's widely used in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Learning Spanish can be a gateway to rich cultures, travel opportunities, and even job prospects, particularly in tourism, trade, and diplomacy.

  • French

French remains one of the most popular foreign languages for British citizens to learn. It is widely spoken in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and parts of Asia, making it a versatile choice for travel and business. French is also the language of diplomacy, and many international organisations use it as one of their official languages.

  • German

German is the most widely spoken language in Europe, making it an excellent choice for those interested in the European job market. Germany is the largest economy in Europe, and the ability to speak German can provide a competitive edge in various industries, including engineering, technology, and business.

  • Mandarin Chinese

With the rapid growth of China's economy, learning Mandarin Chinese is increasingly beneficial for British citizens. Mandarin is not only one of the most widely spoken languages globally but also offers access to a rich cultural heritage. Fluency in Mandarin can open doors in business, trade, and international relations.

  • Arabic

Arabic is the official language of numerous countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Given the region's strategic importance and its role in global affairs, learning Arabic can be highly advantageous. It's also a valuable language for those interested in international diplomacy, journalism, or the energy sector.

  • Russian

Russian is another language of strategic importance, particularly for those interested in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It's the most widely spoken language in Russia, a country with vast economic and political influence. Proficiency in Russian can be a valuable asset in sectors like energy, finance, and international relations.

  • Japanese

Japan is known for its technological advancements, and the Japanese language is essential for those interested in business, engineering, or the tech industry. Learning Japanese opens up opportunities for cultural exchange and international careers, as Japan plays a crucial role in the global economy.

  • Portuguese

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and several other countries. With Brazil being an emerging economic powerhouse, learning Portuguese can be a strategic choice for business and trade opportunities in South America.


  • Italian

Italian, as a Romance language, is closely related to Spanish and French. Learning Italian not only offers access to Italy's rich culture but also enhances your ability to understand and speak other Romance languages. Italy's contributions to art, cuisine, and fashion make it a compelling choice for cultural enrichment.

  • Dutch

While Dutch may not be the first language that comes to mind, the Netherlands is a major global player in trade, technology, and agriculture. Learning Dutch can open up opportunities in European business and commerce.


Choosing the best language to learn as a British citizen depends on individual interests, career goals, and travel aspirations. Whether you want to engage with different cultures, advance in your career, or simply broaden your horizons, learning a new language is a rewarding endeavour. It not only allows you to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds but also enhances your cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. Ultimately, the best language for you to learn is the one that resonates most with your personal and professional aspirations.


Marine, mother and founder of St Pancras Recruitment

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