Multiple Languages Critical for the Global CEO

Photo by DDholer on Flickr

Why should your child learn another language? Because multiple languages are no longer just a key component in global business, they’re quickly making a huge financial success difference. Especially for the future CEO of a global company. Knowing different languages isn’t a required piece of knowledge (yet), but it is a strong advantage.

Many top global business leaders speak multiple languages. Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, speaks Chinese along with his mother tongue. And he doesn’t just kinda sorta muddle through it either – he gives speeches and takes questions in it.

(With English subtitles)

Leo Apotheker, former CEO at SAP and Hewlett Packard, is fluent in German, Dutch, French, English and Hebrew. His multi-fluency was one reason why he was chosen as CEO of Hewlett Packard. Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke, fluent in six languages, says on their website, “Being multilingual creates a strong connection with peers, employees and consumers, which is critical for a business like ours.”

And multilingualism isn’t just for companies doing business overseas anymore: Now it’s just as important for doing business on the home front as well.

If you’re hoping to raise the next Sheryl Sandberg or Elon Musk, an article in Entrepreneur names the six top languages global-minded CEOs should know. It quotes Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder, who said his biggest regret in life is that he speaks only English. (Not that it’s hurt him much, at $81B, and consistently one of the richest men in the world for decades.) With that in mind, here are the top 6 languages the budding CEO should be learning:

  1. Spanishlanguages-bubble
  2. Portuguese
  3. Chinese
  4. Russian
  5. Arabic
  6. German

Knowing how important languages other than English are in the global business world can make a big difference in your little future entrepreneur’s success in life. Not only does speaking only one language limit your view of the rest of the world and other cultures, but monotonous monolingualism can even cost you your job.

Still not convinced? Learning another language boosts brain power and multi-tasking, enhances decision-making and improves the first language.

What’s the downside? Nothing that we can see.

sign promoting learning multiple languages

Photo by Michael Coghlan on Flickr

Written by Cara Buckspan and Nicole Chardenet, Social Media and Support Representative and Sales Development Rep at Yappn. For more information, visit us at or contact us at

Share This Post