Norwegian and Chinese – the languages expected by employers


The knowledge of two foreign languages on the labor market is a kind of a standard. At present, the employers expect from their candidates to know Swedish, Dutch or Norwegian. The oriental languages, especially Chinese and Arabic are also popular.

At present, the knowledge of foreign languages is one of the most important skills on the labor market. According to GUS, people who speak fluently at least one foreign language earn much more money in comparison to their colleagues speaking only Polish. No one is surprised that employers except the knowledge of at least two foreign languages – fluent English and the second one (the most often German or Russian) on at least communicative level.


The knowledge of English is quite a basic ability which may be even comparable with the ability of using a computer. It is worth taking care to speak fluently some other foreign language than English. At present, the entrepreneurs are searching for people with the knowledge of such languages as French, Spain, Russian or German. These languages – except for English – are welcomed by employers – emphasizes Magdalena Marcinkowska, manager in the Skrivanek language school.


English and German dominate in the rankings of languages which are the most often acquired by Poles. According to information provided by the Ministry of National Education, 90 per cent of high school students and 85 per cent of technician graduates chose English on their matura exam. Secondly, the high-school leavers chose German (13 per cent). First and foremost, the popularity of German is related to good occupational perspectives resulting from an active economic exchange between Germany and Poland.


In the context of more and more frequent business contacts between Polish and Scandinavian companies and due to increasing earning emigration to Norway, Denmark and Sweden, the national languages of those countries are becoming popular among Poles. In respect of the number of users who are fluent in a foreign language, the Mandarin, Spain, Arabic or French languages should be mentioned in a first place – except for English, of course. It is worth mentioning that the biggest and the most dynamically developing economies are China, the USA, India, Brazil and Russia. I think that it is worth investing in languages which are spoken in those countries – believes Magdalena Marcinkowska.  


The international rankings evaluate the knowledge of foreign languages in Poland really high. In comparison to Education First, which examines the knowledge of English in companies, Poland is on the seventh place exceeding i.a. Germany and Switzerland. The first sixth of the ranking also include Scandinavian countries, Belgium and the Netherlands. According to research conducted by Education First, every second adult Pole speaks at least one foreign language and 40 per cent know English on the communicative level.


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