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What foreign language proficiency would give the biggest edge to medical device regulatory affairs professionals in the world today or in future?


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If someone in medical device RA industry wants to learn a new language, what language should they choose that will be most advantageous to their career?

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
You didn't tell us where you live and what is your first language. Since you write here I'm going to assume you already know English.

English is essential in today's international MD RA environment. I have no reason to think this is going to change dramatically in the foreseeable future. Other than that I don't see a single language that is clearly a priority, regardless of location and intentions. However --
You might want to learn Spanish if your plans include working for US companies. I heard that there are now more people in the USA whose 1st language is Spanish than English. Plus there's an added bonus of covering most of South and Central America, Mexico, Spain, and some more countries.
IMO Chinese (Mandarin) is going to be more and more useful in the future, not just for MD RA. But it's quite difficult to learn.

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
I live in the US. What about Japanese? Yall think learning Japanese will give me an edge in RA?
From a narrow MD RA perspective I think that the ROI will be quite low. Becoming proficient in Japanese (especially written, which is where I think the RA advantage will be) is difficult.
Besides english, Chinese would be the most beneficial in my mind - in addition to the massive market for sales a significant number of products are manufactured there - my life would be considerably easier if I could read the reports that are produced without relying on colleagues to translate.
If you are in the US, I would say Spanish. We have plants where almost all the employees speak only Spanish. Without interpreters and our one bilingual manager, communication would be sub-optimal. Spanish speaking managers are in high demand, in my experience.
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