April 7, 2010
With the current open marketplace, having global experience and being bilingual is not only a skill but a requirement. Learning a new language can be a great asset – from endless job opportunities to attracting new customers.
Betty Liu, host of Bloomberg TV's “In the Loop,” attributes her edge in the workplace to her language skills – she speaks Mandarin Chinese and some Cantonese. “It always sets you apart from the rest. Employers are always looking for that extra dimension,” says Liu. “If it wasn’t for my language skills, I wouldn’t have gotten my job as an international correspondent in Asia. It opens a world of opportunities.”
However, between closing deals, helping your favorite non-profit and creating a beautiful life, you may not have found a program that works for you. Here are some options on how to say "Hola" to fluency:
Listening to music in your target language can make learning more fun, as can watching the news in a new language or finding your favorite movie dubbed, suggests ExpatWomen.
Experts say the best place to learn a language is at the country of origin. MyHappyPlanet.com may be the next best thing – a free online community where you can practice with a native speaker, watch videos in multiple languages and even find a study buddy.
While waiting for your meeting with a foreign client or going abroad, iPhone apps, like WordPower Lite and pocket Italian, can teach you key phrases. Plus, load your mp3 player with BBC's list of essential phrases in 36 languages.
Minute Mentor: Can’t find the time to learn a new language or head back to school for your EMBA? One woman’s story may convince you otherwise.
PINK Profile: Betty Liu shares what it takes to climb the corporate ladder – and how she did it with twin boys on board.
By Muriel Vega
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."