10 Asian Languages Every Translator Should Learn

It’s no longer a secret that the world is getting smaller, and digitization makes global communication easier. This global connectivity comes with many opportunities for people from all over the world to find jobs and work together from different countries. The growing demand for translation has also led to a boom in the industry and has created a lot of openings for people with a passion for language. This article explores ten Asian languages every translator should learn.

1. Thai

Thailand has the third-highest foreign workforce globally and has an estimated 2 to 3 million international workers. The country has over 20 different ethnic groups, but many now speak Thai as a first language. If you are interested in learning Thai, you can find great online classes. You could also visit learning institutions that teach the Thai language.

2. Indonesian

Indonesia is the largest country in Southeast Asia and has been one of the most influential nations. The country has the world’s fifth-largest population of Muslims and is also home to around 200 ethnicities. While English is widely spoken, you need to learn Indonesian to enable you to translate various materials.

Besides the actual language, you must also learn English to Indonesian translation services and tools to help you deliver quality.

3. Chinese

Chinese is one of the world’s widely used languages, spoken by more than a billion people. Traditionally a written language, it has become more and more used in spoken form over the last few decades. It is also very important for job seekers as only a small part of its population is bilingual in English. So if you desire to work in China or a Chinese-based organization, you need to learn Chinese.

4. Hindi -Urdu

Both Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of India; they are both very similar but not the same. While Hindi is more of a dialect of Gujarati, Urdu is spoken more like Pakistani, Afghan, and Bangladeshi languages. Besides, the most significant difference between them is that Hinduism is almost exclusively practiced in India, so you must learn Hindi if you want to translate such tasks effectively. It enables you to deliver quality work without altering the meaning.

5. Japanese

Japanese has developed from a language isolate into one of today’s most important international languages. It was perhaps the first Asian language to be written down, and it was one of the few countries with a native speaker present at the signing of World War II’s Instrument for Surrender.

Today, it is an official language in Japan, and transcribing or translating material in these areas requires a good level of Japanese knowledge. By understanding the language and culture, you become ready to work in companies or tasks that require Japanese proficiency.

6. Vietnamese

Vietnamese is a language that facilitates Southeast Asia’s culture, trade, and traffic. The population of this language is over one hundred million, and it is spoken in some areas all over the globe. When you can translate or interpret your documents into Vietnamese, you become ready to work on projects that involve trading or business between countries that speak the same or a similar language. You are more eligible for Vietnamese projects.

7. Korean

The Korean language is hard to master, but it is also one of the most important languages in the world. You will be able to work for companies that speak Korean, or even if you are a Korean teacher or translator, you will be more eligible for tasks or work in this language. While the Korean culture is complex to master, you can hack it. It proves to be more beneficial as it allows you to learn more about the culture and makes you more qualified for Korean-based translation and transcription projects.

8. Filipino

The Philippines has a diverse population with more than 100 ethnic groups and dialects. This makes it challenging to translate cultural aspects or idioms into different languages, hence the need for translation services in this language. Filipino has a unique culture: It is influenced by American and Mexican culture, ironically having some English words. The English-to-Filipino translation workflow can be streamlined using quality audio transcription and general transcription services.

9. Russian

Russian is the language primarily spoken in Russia. Translation services in Russian are essential for international businesses to communicate with foreign clients. The transition between the two languages is relatively easy but to ensure quality, you need to learn and be proficient in the language.

10. Malay

Malay is a major language spoken in Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. The language is important to most people due to its cultural relevance in the region. Some of the popular gigs you could get include Malay movies, Malay books, Malay cuisines, and Malay music. For business requirements, it would be great to learn the intricacies of this language so that you can make it a priority for your clients.


The communication industry is growing exponentially. It may surprise you, but almost half of the world’s population speaks a language other than English. With so many people counting on you to get a message across, you need to know as many different languages as possible. Fortunately, learning Asian languages isn’t as difficult. You can sign up on online teaching platforms and learn all the languages you desire.

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