Learning a language to increase income

Is anyone learning their target language to increase their income or is learning it to increase their chances of employ ability

I am interested to find out if people have done this and how this has worked out for them?

look forward to reading your reply’s.


In my case I follow my heart rather than my brain. What I mean is that I pick up languages that I’m emotionally attracted to (sound, culture, people). After all, I will be spending with them the rest of my life. I tried to learn German which is undoubtedly a very useful language here and I’m pretty sure it can help to find a better job. However, despite reminding myself again and again of all the benefits this language could bring to me, I simply couldn’t continue studying it. I never felt any strong emotions relating to German.
So I just choose languages that I like not thinking so much about their usefulness. Nevertheless, my languages indeed helped me to find a job, especially Russian. Now I see that Spanish also has an increased value on the labour market so I’m paying attention to the latest job offers :slight_smile:

Same situation here, the languages I speak help me but I’ve never wanted to learn a language for economical reasons only. I know I couldn’t do it anyway, I need much more than the promise of a potential (small) increase in salary.

In my field too I’ve discovered there were quite a few very good German companies, however I’ve never really been interested in the language so far. If a German company was to offer me a job in Germany, I’d take the opportunity and would start learning it though!

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There are several factors here:

1.) Geographical location: In many countries, learning English becomes essential for job advancement in various fields. Of course those in the UK and the US don’t have to worry about this (which is unfortunate, but that’s a different discussion). I think that learning English in a non English speaking country would have the biggest “LingQs to Bucks” ratio (I just came up with that :slight_smile:

  1. Professional field: Knowing Italian as an Opera singer will probably have some great benefits, but as a martial arts instructor, Italian might be less practical – unless you wanna teach martial arts in Italy, which brings me to:

  2. Relocation goals: obviously if you’d like to get a job in a specific country, speaking the language will increase those odds. Also, #2 and #3 often go hand in hand.

  3. Passion and Profession: I think this is the most common factor for people in English speaking countries. For example, someone speaking French because they like the language and that leading to some carrier opportunities that may not have presented themselves to someone who doesn’t speak a foreign language.

  4. Ethnic Makeup of Community: For example many communities in the US have large Spanish speaking populations. In those communities speaking, Spanish as a second language becomes an advantage in many jobs.


It hasn’t increased my income but it has made me more aware of the world I live in. Since English is a lingua franca, I’ve met many foreign friends with whom I’ve developed an interesting relationship. In addition, thanks to learning English, I was granted a scholarship to study abroad. I feel learning a language gives you sth more valuable than monetary income.

Spanish has greatly assisted my ability to collect compliments at my day job (not more money though) and I do my job better as a result of knowing Spanish.

…and it HAS increased my income (by a small amount) in the freelance work I do translating documents.

However, I should add that when I was first drawn to Spanish and interested in it, it had nothing to do with how “useful” it would be. In fact, I originally chose French in school (something I’d like to return to at some point) and there were no Spanish speaking people on Long Island at the time. That is a (relatively) recent development.

You make some very good points, me being someone that will more than likely forever live within the UK I do think that me learning more languages or a language will open much more doors, for example the ability to move around the country, when I apply for a higher position within my company being able to speak another language I know will help and is something that I would most definitely put on a CV, I have been told that I would gain a 10% salary increase if I can become a high level in a language, working for an international business like I do I know that if I wanted to move to France for example and of course by that time I can speak French that door is also a possibility and with that possibility I can gain more money.

the law of diminishing returns exists as well because they are so many people that speak spanish in the us you will have to compete with thousands of people that have that same skill your cv better stand out .but learn a less known language like german chinese japanese or arabic and your gonna be in demand ,obviously it depends on the field your going in of course

where i live mandarin has suddenly become in demand the chinese embassy sponsore courses in mandarin and chinese culture many people who attain a good level have found good jobs even in asia but i have never really been interested in asian languages maybe some day i will