I liked this article which appeared in rediff http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2007/dec/27lang.htm
Love learning languages? Make it your career!
English has been the de facto standard for business executives the world over for many decades now. However due to the rise of Asian giants like China, Japan [Images] and India this is set to change. Coupled with globalisation and adoption of the internet in all spheres of life this change is further likely to accelerate.
A quick look at the internet users in the picture below shows that only 36.5 per cent of user demand English as the medium of communication on the information highway in 2005! While no recent statistics are available the author is fairly confident that internet would have only gotten better for non-English speakers in the meantime.
Which language pairs must I choose?
A quick look at the report from Google further strengthens the argument that this will be a century where CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) and FIGS (French, Italian, German, Spanish) dominate the internet in general and business communications specifically.