Do you want a bigger pay check? Learn Mandarin!

If you want a high paying job in South Africa, try learning Mandarin. (ShutterStock)

We've compiled a list of languages in demand on the South African job market, from highest salary to least.

Speaking a second language is often a plus when applying for a job. Even when a particular language isn’t essential to the job, it shows the employer that you are versatile, eager to learn and have various skills. For instance, being able to speak to a broader public, have a better memory, are more creative, perceptive and tolerant… The list could go on forever. On top of that, studies have shown that speaking more than one language will improve your multitasking, planning and decision-making abilities.

If you think you’re already safe because you were raised bilingual, this will convince you to learn yet another language: speaking multiple languages will give you job opportunities with a higher pay, especially if the language you speak is in high demand. In South Africa, the foreign languages that are highest in demand are German, French, Portuguese and Mandarin (Chinese). The lowest in demand (yet still on the relatively short list of being in demand) are Finnish, Russian and Swahili.

When speaking one of these languages, you could earn a lot of money per year. Here’s a list of languages in demand on the South African job market, from highest salary to least.

1. Mandarin

Average salary: R335 863
Job demand: 203

2. Japanese

Average salary: R335 625
Job demand: 27

3. Zulu

Average salary: R332 714
Job demand: 421

4. Xhosa

Average salary: R318 923
Job demand: 142

5. French

Average salary: R304 378
Job demand: 453

6. Finnish

Average salary: R301 236
Job demand: 11

7. Portuguese

Average salary: R298 975
Job demand: 294

8. Dutch

Average salary: R298 478
Job demand: 72

9. Russian

Average salary: R280 531
Job demand: 18

10. Swedish

Average salary: R279 872
Job demand: 56

11. German

Average salary: R278 064
Job demand: 563

12. Norwegian

Average salary: R271 734
Job demand: 31

13. Arabic

Average salary: R264 667
Job demand: 117

14. Spanish

Average salary: R255 674
Job demand: 134

15. Turkish

Average salary: R231 047
Job demand: 37

16. Swahili

Average salary: R198 000
Job demand: 21

17. Italian

Average salary: R193 976
Job demand: 127

18. Afrikaans

Average salary: R176 992
Job demand: 4866