Front cover of Languages for the future report

November 2017

Languages for the Future identifies the priority languages for the UK’s future prosperity, security and influence in the world. It updates the British Council’s 2013 report. The report considers the outlook for the supply and demand for language competence in the years ahead and looks at the linguistic dimension of a variety of economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational factors, scoring languages against these. As in the 2013 report, the same five languages top the list: Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic and German. They appear some way ahead of the next five, which are: Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Russian. The report argues that, in a new era of cooperation with Europe and with the rest of the world, investment in upgrading the UK’s ability to understand and engage with people internationally is critical.