iLearn, a leading national specialist provider of onsite instructor-led and online e-learning training methodologies, advises those entering the job market to take the opportunity to learn a third language.

The company offers online courses in a range of local languages, particularly those that would be most practical in the Africa market. The profile of language courses on offer covers the spectrum of official languages in South Africa, including Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Shona, Xhosa and Zulu.

These multiple-level courses are all available and conducted via the Web. They are competitively priced to suit the needs of the market.

Richard Rayne, MD of iLearn, says gaining proficiency in a third language is vitally important in the market and its significance should not be underestimated.

“It is widely accepted and understood that in order to seriously engage the market in Africa, the ability to speak to people in their language is critical,” says Rayne. “Job seekers and those wanting to establish a career should utilise every opportunity to expand knowledge and cultural understanding.”

Rayne points to a number of statistics that supports the advice to acquire linguistic skills.

According to local media and Census 2011, more than a fifth of the population speak isiZulu at home. isiZulu is a first language for more than 11,5-million people and Afrikaans remains the third most popular language in South Africa.

“A review of what is being printed in the media about population demographics and growth of cultures indicates that there is growth and a sense of cultural maturity. This bodes well for business development, particularly at start-up level and corporate communication in general across the Africa market,” says Rayne.