Language Ranking in the World of Business

Which languages – other than English – are the most useful for conducting business around the world?

Whatever business sector you are heading for, knowing which foreign language to focus on might be the key to success. If you are fortunate enough to get counsel from a business advisor, then take a look ahead to get a clear idea on what countries are likely to succeed in the near future.

Bloomberg published this Languages of Business Ranking.

Personally, I would opt for Korean language and culture as I see this country on the rise.

Additionally, running with the masses to study Mandarin is too conventional. By the time a foreign language looks promising for business, it might be too late already. Choose one based on the country’s future potential and get a head start.

Speaking of the underdog in business, learning Greek might be a long-term option. During this crisis, Greece might take this misfortune to reinvent itself. Without a real industry and too many college graduates afloat, the need for an industrial brand is obvious.

When I think of Austria, the crystal maker Swarovski comes to mind. The Swiss have their watch making industry. The Germans have their foothold in the car industry. The French have the Eiffel Tower to attract 80 million tourists a year. The list could go on. What product/industry comes to your mind when you think of Greece?

I’d like to think Greece will get through this ordeal and spend more time on innovation.

BBC offers  All you need to start learning Greek.

Notes from Germany

Yesterday, on facebook, I asked my friends the question which other countries would leave goods out on the road for sale.

Not only is payment based on trust, but there is also the risk to have the whole lot stolen at the same time. This got quite a few responses, but only from areas and countries, where this kind of sale is still part of the rural norm (except for the contribution from Tokyo).

*  West coast of Ireland. Both are great places.

*  Switzerland was the same! 🙂

*  Michigan, but rarely.

* oh it happens in the countryside in England, yes. A lot. I think it’s more universal than you realise!!

* Certainly plenty of honesty boxes in the Niederrhein…. (Lower Rhine region)

* We have a place out by the ranch that sells fruit like that… (California)

* Here in south-central Pennsylvania, you see many of these. It’s nice.

* Common thing here in Japan!!

* I’ve seen many of these in Japan. (even in Tokyo!)

*  Country roads all over Canada, too.

*  In Kent…

*  In NZ on almost every corner too 🙂

* Here in the US in the country on the way to …. College.

What I thought was mostly unique to a handful of countries, seems to be common practice around the world. Interestingly enough, there were no contributions from friends where this is not done.

Roadside sale of firewood

The world seems to be a good and honest place, in many parts.

Roadside sale of pumpkins

Based on my own experience, I had seen these kinds of sale in Japan and in parts of France. Other than that, I thought it had mostly gone out of style. Good to know I was wrong. When I read about other areas of the world where people kill each other over a handful of rice, I tend to forget the normal life.


Entlassungsproduktivität is another word used in Business Administration.

It is used to describe the situation when a company improves their productivity by reducing the size of their workforce.

Various theories exist as to how this comes about.  It may be that by making some people redundant, the others try to protect their jobs more by working harder.  On the other hand, it may be that the people who lost their jobs were, by chance, the unproductive ones holding the others back.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast


Humankapital is a term that is often used in Business Administration.  It refers to the value of employees in a company.

There are different ways of using it and thus calculating that value.  One way means the amount that an employee costs, eg. their salary, telephone, computer, insurance.

Used positively, it can refer to the value that an employee has because of their knowledge and motivation.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

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