Usually when one speaks just one or two languages; that is usually the mother tongue and either English or French, or just the mother tongue.
Recently I discovered that African countries, East Africa in particular, there are so many big business projects owned by foreigners.
Now, for these to earn their profits they are encouraged to learn the local dialects. For example, when one enters an Indian restaurant, one can actually eavesdrop as the manager rebukes or corrects his Ugandan workers in really bad but understandable Luganda; a dialect spoken in the central part of the country.
I also realized that when companies recruit youths in African countries to go and work in foreign countries, they always stress the issue of at least being able to express themselves in the English language.
This is further stressed by the fact that for certain jobs; cleaners, drivers, security personnel without arms, one does not have to be highly learned or sophisticated. What matters is that one can communicate in English.
Here is another scenario, when in a foreign country and in need of directions. People always inquire in the English language.
Crossing boarders for Business
Anita Oragun is a Senegalese national currently in hair salon business in China. In Senegal French is the official language while in China a few speak English. But she too testifies that she had to learn the basics of Chinese and English because, tourists from around the world flock to China. Those who pass by her hair salon to have their hair plaited or styled communicate in the little or good English they know.
On the other side, we cannot fail to recognise that some business oriented countries like Japan and Germany do not prioritise English.
Even when in class, in these countries it is their local languages that are focused on, with English being just another class subject.
But then, they would still require basic knowledge of English, why?
Because if their businesses are to expand internationally, English must be a tool used for market in the English speaking countries. We realize that there are some unnecessary inconveniences that would not have been the case if a person could speak English.
Look here, the international speeches of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany are always made in German and then have to be translated or interpreted to specific languages in European Union meetings for effective communication.
She is just a good example of the many people in business positions internationally whose speeches have to be translated. It is therefore of much importance to learn English as it is taking a global space and when it comes to making influential business decisions, it plays part.