¿Se habla Espa ñol? 你说普通话吗？ 日本語を話しますか。? هل تتكلم اللغة الإنجليزية /العربية؟?
If you don’t, new reports indicate that you may be at a distinct disadvantage in procuring a new job. An El Paso, TX news affiliate sheds light on the difficulties that black non-Spanish-speakers face finding work, particularly in border cities. The trend toward bi- and multilingual hiring is only expected to grow in the future. The 2010 U.S. Census revealed that the Latino population has quadrupled since 2000, making Latinos America’s largest minority group, at 50.6 million residents or 16 percent of the U.S. population.
According to The Grio, this should be particularly noted by black college students and job seekers, who are less likely to study foreign language:
According to doctoral research she conducted at Louisiana State University, Katrina Watterson found that black college students take fewer foreign language classes and major or minor in foreign languages less frequently than their white counterparts. Further, African-Americans do not participate as often in foreign exchange programs. There is simply a lack of interest, in her view. And in the case of Spanish, part of the problem is that the language often is taught in a vacuum, where black students are unaware of the linkages between African and Hispanic culture, the Spanish and Portuguese slave trade, and the contributions of Afro-Latino people.
While a grasp of conversational Spanish remains one of the most immediate ways to distinguish oneself in the job market, Mandarin, Japanese, and Arabic (as listed, respectively, in the first line of this post) are also in increasing demand.
Are you multilingual? Has it helped you find employment? Do you actively use a second language at your job?