The most in-demand languages for UK businesses

In the context of an increasingly global marketplace, demand for talented, multilingual professionals continues to gather pace. This is great news for linguists looking to differentiate themselves from the crowd as they compete for the job opportunities of their dreams.


French and German have long been important to UK businesses. In recent years, we have seen a sharp increase in demand for Arabic, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Turkish speakers too.


For a snapshot view of the top ten most in-demand languages for UK businesses today, please see our list below. Sitting comfortably? Then, let’s get started!

  1. French
  2. German
  3. Spanish
  4. Arabic
  5. Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese
  6. Portuguese
  7. Italian
  8. Russian
  9. Turkish
  10. Japanese


As new business opportunities emerge – in large part prompted by the increased adoption of internet and mobile phone technology worldwide – the list of in-demand languages is likely to evolve further. Hindi, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, and Persian are good cases in point. Triggered by the immigration and geographic dispersion of Ukranian war refugees, Ukranian is also moving its way up the list.


Please read The Languages of the Future report, published by The British Council in 2017 to deep-dive the subject. Despite its age, many of the insights included in the report hold true to this day. It talks of a language deficit here in the UK that can partly be addressed by encouraging British students and workers to learn a wider range of languages in far greater numbers going forwards. It also claims that talented non-British workers with one (or more) second language, will also continue to play a vital role in filling the gap.


If you’re currently looking for great job opportunities that will enable you to use your valuable language skills, please get in touch. We currently have many fantastic roles for German, French, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish speakers in particular.


Please contact our team of expert recruitment consultants at or on 020 7092 3911 to brainstorm the options today!