While predictions vary, depending on geographical location and the field in which one seeks to develop, here are some ways to address this issue.
If the objective is to thrive economically in growth markets, the countries that make up the association BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), are perceived as the largest emerging economies in the world, and therefore the languages spoken there will compete for global importance.
A recent study found that Spanish and Arabic are the languages most likely to dominate the spectrum of spoken languages in the future. However, if you take into account the demographic trends that are predicted for the year 2050 as established by the United Nations, the results are very different.
Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Indonesian will dominate much of the business world by 2050, followed by Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian, eluding any mention of English. So if you want to get the most out of your language course, studying one of the above languages is probably the best option.
Of course, demographic changes are difficult to predict. What’s more, the study only included current growth markets, which says little about the growth potential of other nations that are quite small today. In addition, Arabic and Chinese, for example, have many dialects and local varieties, which could make them much harder languages to learn by those who want to study them as second languages.
Nevertheless, the study offers a broad overview of the linguistic direction the business world is taking: further away from Europe and North America and closer to Asia and the Middle East.