Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Revealed: the most profitable second languages that we should all learn


Documentary-maker Louis Theroux once said that everyone should learn to drive, to cook one dish very well, and to speak a second language.

These skills, he said, speaking on The Adam Buxton Podcast, would allow everyone to live a truly independent life – although he admitted that he couldn’t parlez-vous in French quite as well as he liked just yet.

Read more: The two little words you should never use when asking for a raise

While many of us have got the first two down pat, it was recently revealed that three-quarters of adults “cannot speak a foreign language” in the UK.

However there are many benefits to learning another country’s lingo – particularly in the workplace.

But which is the most useful language to learn, from a business perspective

German is the most valuable second language in the UK business arena

German is the most valuable second language in the UK business arena

Well, new research from Adzuna has identified the highest-paid languages in the UK, as well as those that are most in demand.

And there’s good news for German speakers; not only are there more opportunities for this language than any other in the UK (according to Adzuna, there are currently at least 6,800 vacancies in the UK), but those who speak it can also command, on average, a salary of £34,534.

While European languages made up the bulk of the most valuable languages, however, Arabic, Japanese, and Mandarin also featured highly in the rankings.

Check out the full results below:

Highest Paid Languages In The UK

  1. German              
  2. Arabic  
  3. French 
  4. Dutch   
  5. Spanish
  6. Japanese            
  7. Russian
  8. Italian   
  9. Mandarin           
  10. Welsh  


Most In-Demand Languages In The UK

  1. German                   
  2. French       
  3. Spanish
  4. Italian   
  5. Dutch         
  6. Polish         
  7. Mandarin           
  8. Russian      
  9. Swedish                    
  10. Arabic        

Mandarin, Russian, and Arabic, similarly to German, proved to be both highly-paid and most in-demand.

While Welsh speakers are shown to be highly paid, only 1,000 jobs asked for the language, spoken by just under 20 per cent of people in Wales. 

Polish speakers, however, did not make it onto the list of highest-paid jobs, despite the language being shown to be in high-demand among employers.



The two little words you should never use when asking for a raise

laptop coffee.jpg

The innovative UK companies with a six-hour working day policy


“Word to your boss – this overtime has to stop”


Sex toy reviewer is a job and it pays £28,000 (with unlimited holiday)

Get paid to do something you really love: you

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017

Why the quietest colleague in the office may have the last laugh

How to deal with feeling drowned out

by Amy Swales
14 Aug 2017

These are the 5 worst questions you can ask in a job interview

Don’t blow it.

by Moya Crockett
14 Aug 2017

Why using smiley faces in work emails could damage your reputation

Think a ':)' makes you seem friendlier? You’re wrong.

by Moya Crockett
14 Aug 2017

These are the 20 best companies for work-life balance in the UK

Feeling burnt out? Consider sending your CV here

by Moya Crockett
10 Aug 2017

Why this Google employee was fired for his report on women in tech

James Damore’s controversial memo has reignited the debate about diversity in tech

by Moya Crockett
08 Aug 2017

How to successfully launch a business in your spare time

By four women who made it work

by Sarah Biddlecombe
04 Aug 2017

Why you really need to start taking lunch breaks at work

A culture of presenteeism means we're glued to our desks and rarely go outside

by Anna Brech
27 Jul 2017

The one thing you should never include on your LinkedIn profile

Employers are less likely to hire someone who does this...

by Megan Murray
27 Jul 2017

How to spot if your boss has psychopathic tendencies

“The most obvious, immediate behaviour is that they lie”

by Anna Brech
27 Jul 2017