French has a long history as an international language of commerce, diplomacy, literature, and science.
Did you know French is the official languages of 33 countries across 5 continents and spoken by 130 million speakers worldwide? It is the official language of France, southern Belgium, western Switzerland, Monaco, certain parts of Canada and the United States. The Francophonie, the international organisation of French-speaking countries, comprises of 68 states and governments.
French is a Romance language (descending primarily from Vulgar Latin) and evolved out of the Gallo-Romance dialects spoken in northern France. French gives learners a solid foundation for learning other languages particularly Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian. Did you know that fifty per cent of current English vocabulary is derived from French?!
There are many advantages for speaking French; professionally it opens doors working for French companies based in France and other French-speaking regions (Canada, Switzerland, North and sub-Saharan Africa, etc.). It also offers access to a wealth of literature, film, songs, dance and the world of fashion. If you have the chance to visit Paris or other French region, it will make you stay even more enjoyable.
French is a beautiful, rich, melodious language. It is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for business discussions and negotiations.
Spanish has been named the most important language to learn by the British Council’s in its recent ‘Languages for the Future’ report. With an estimation of over 437 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most spoken language by native speakers Mandarin Chinese. The United States has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world outside Mexico. There are more than 21 million students learning Spanish as a foreign language worldwide, with popularity rapidly increasing in South East Asia.
Spanish (also called Castilian) is a Romance language originating from the Iberian Latin dialect of the central region of Spain, Castile. Thanks to Spain’s strategic location and imperialist past, the Spanish language has been influenced by Greek and Arabic as well as indigenous languages from the American continent such as Quechua.
Some of the regional varieties of the Spanish language are quite divergent from one another, especially in pronunciation and vocabulary but are less so in grammar. Nevertheless, “Standard or Neutral Spanish” is widely understood both sides of the Atlantic. Be aware that some common words have developed distinct senses in different regional dialects, some of them are rather vulgar in nature! Spanish has special letters and punctuation that do not exist in English, for example the letter “ñ” ("énye") and the inverted question and exclamation marks (¿ and ¡). Have a go at trying to draw it for yourself and you’ll have a challenge! It is known as the “handwriting twister”.
Whether you want to learn Spanish for business or personal reasons, you will enjoy the learning process and benefit from enhanced career opportunities and cultural awareness.
Italian is spoken by 61 million people in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City and western Istria (in Slovenia and Croatia). It previously held official status in Albania, Malta and Monaco, where it is still widely spoken, as well as in former East and North Italian Africa where it plays a significant role in various sectors. It is the fourth most studied language in the world and is known as the language of art and culture.
Italian is the closest language to Latin. 30% of English words are of Latin origin, this is already a very good start if you are a beginner learner of Italian. Its musicality also makes it quite a simple language to comprehend and to speak. Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts, interior design, fashion, furniture design, machine tool manufacturing, robotics and much more… Since Roman times, Italy has exported its literature and culture to other parts of Europe and beyond. Knowing Italian will allow you to understand, appreciate, and analyse this treasury even deeper.
Italy is one of the top ten economies in the world and is an ideal country for overseas investment. International companies are always looking for staff with a command of their host country’s language so knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in several career fields.
Brazil’s rapid economic growth and it’s increasing global presence has given rise to a new demand for Brazilian Portuguese language training across the globe in recent years. Brazilian Portuguese is fast overtaking its European counterpart as the language of business across the Portuguese speaking world and is definitely a language to watch as BRIC plays an increasingly important role in international affairs.