9 Languages to Learn for Environmental Science

If you are interested in protecting nature, conserving the environment, and making the world a better place to live, consider pursuing a degree in Environmental Science. 

From pollution to climate change, environmental scientists play a crucial role in finding lasting solutions to various ecological problems facing the earth.

They spend hours in the lab and out on the field researching how to implement new findings to save our planet from destruction.

As much as you may be passionate about the environment, earning a degree in Environment Science is not for the faint-hearted.

The program has core courses that involve a lot of mathematics to help you comprehend and address various environmental challenges. 

Since your career will take you to virtually every corner of the world, you need to learn a few foreign languages to make it easier to communicate better with the locals.

Coding languages will help you automate tasks and analyze large-scale environmental data effectively.

With that said, here are the top 9 best spoken and coding languages to learn for environmental science.

Spoken Languages

Conserving the environment is a collective effort that requires the input of individuals from all walks of life.

Spoken Languages

As an environmental scientist, you will be interacting with your colleagues from other parts of the world.

For this reason, it is essential to learn at least one foreign language in addition to your native language.

With that said, here is a detailed list of spoken languages ideal for environmental science:



English is the universal language of science and many other disciplines. With over 1.1 billion speakers, it is widely spoken across the globe.

Moreover, it is the official language of instruction in many institutions offering environmental science programs.

What makes English popular with most science scholars is that it requires few words to express complex scientific concepts.

Besides, it is very easy to learn thanks to its rich vocabulary.


French is another popular and significant language for Environmental Science students to learn. In any case, French is the official language in over 29 countries across Europe, Africa, North America, and Francophone regions. 

Nearly all Western and Northern African countries speak French, and it is the language of choice for the majority in countries like Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. French is an ideal choice because it is practical and flexible like environmental science itself.



Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages if the current statistics are anything to consider.

It is the official language in nearly all Central and South American countries except for Brazil.

If you didn’t know, South America is home to some of the world’s most dense forests and vegetation, so it makes perfect sense to learn Spanish.

With over 600 million people having embraced it globally, the chances are high that you will meet and interact with Spanish speakers in your class.

Your mastery of the language will help you get along well with other students as you pursue your degree.

Mandarin (Chinese)

With China growing as a powerhouse in science and technology, Mandarin is quickly emerging as a valuable language for environmental science.

China has produced some of the world’s most celebrated environmentalists and ecological engineers. This development further explains why Mandarin is a must-learn language.

Results from various surveys issued to students also suggest that Mandarin is one of the most important languages to learn besides English and Spanish.

Contrary to popular belief, the language is easy to comprehend, but you might need more practice to learn how to write in Mandarin.



Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and several other countries in Africa and parts of Asia, along the tropics.

Interestingly, Portuguese is similar to Spanish, French, and Italian, making it easy to grasp if you already know any of the other three latter languages.

Portuguese speakers are in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, Sao Tome & Principe, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, and Macau.

All these countries have dense forests and vegetation at risk of deforestation due to a lack of appropriate conservation policies.

Read Best West Coast Colleges For Environmental Science.

Coding Languages

As you will find out later in this post, coding is an integral part of environmental science. Scientists use various coding languages for environmental modeling and develop algorithms to analyze data and tabulate research findings. Environmentalists also use coding languages to create programs that automate repetitive tasks such as data collection and interpretation.



Python is one of the best programming languages for handling data on hydrology and climate changes.

The main advantage of Python is that it is practical and easy to learn. Students can use it to create hydrological models that can help forecast changes in weather patterns. 


R is the ideal coding language for statistical computing and graphing. If your environmental studies involve analyzing plenty of data and tabulating statistics, the R would be the perfect programming language to learn.



C++ is a general-purpose coding language recommended for environmental modeling and forecasting.

You can also use it to develop algorithms on carbon sequestration, environment structure, and climate change, among many other related topics impacting the ecosystem.


MATLAB is another general-purpose programming language that all environmental scientists should consider learning due to its flexibility.

It is one of the few coding languages compatible with lines of codes and routines from other programming languages.

You can use it to create algorithms and for all manner of environmental modeling.

Is environmental science hard?

No. Environment science is not hard compared to other science programs. It is among the easier disciplines to pursue since most of the courses revolve around nature and everything surrounding us.

The “hardness” of the program depends on your passion for pursuing the subject. If you are passionate about the environment, you will find the subject fun and interesting.

However, like any other science program, environmental science has its fair share of challenges.

Students must undertake somewhat demanding units like physics, biology, coding, mathematics, geology, statistics, economics, and even political science.

The interdisciplinary approach can sometimes become overwhelming for environmental science students.

Is environmental science a good career?

Environmental science can be a lucrative and fulfilling career. It opens up many job opportunities in various fields related to the environment.

It also offers you a chance to further your studies and gain a competitive edge in your area of specialization.

Since the course embraces an interdisciplinary approach, you can learn other subjects as you pursue your degree. 

There’s no limit to what you can do with an environmental science degree. Graduates can become botanists, ecologists, environmental engineers, pollution analysts, environmental journalists, modelers, and biologists, among many other professions.

How is coding used in environmental science?

Coding is an integral part of environmental science. It comes in handy in guaranteeing more accurate results when conducting your scientific research and experiments.

Programming languages also help environmentalists develop programs that will automate their research methodologies and data analysis. These programs go a long way to save time conducting repetitive data collection and result-tabulation tasks.

As you already know by now, environmental science uses an interdisciplinary approach that requires students to learn a variety of disciplines, including coding and computer science.

With your knowledge of the various coding languages, you can design programs or use available software to interpret and analyze scientific data and statistics quickly and easily.

Learning how to code also opens up your mind to help you think more critically.

Is there a lot of math in environmental science?

Environmental science is the study of interactions and interrelationships between human activities and the environment.

It is essentially an interdisciplinary field consisting of various minor disciplines such as ecology, social sciences, biology, chemistry, and mathematics.

Depending on your field of study, you need math knowledge to model these complex interactions and interrelations.

Unlike other science programs, environmental science does not have a lot of math. In any case, studying environmental interaction is rather practical.

It requires students to go out to the field to make observations and collect data. Your math knowledge will only come in handy during your statistical analysis of data or when quantifying information.

What subjects to choose for environmental science?

A degree in environmental science has various entry requirements.

The main subjects for this program include Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Geology, Geography, and Psychology.

Depending on your university of choice, you must meet the minimum entry grade of at least one of these subjects to qualify for entry.

Final thoughts

No doubt, environmental science can be a lucrative and rewarding career with plenty of opportunities for you to give back to the world.

In the same breath, however, it can be highly competitive. Only the best in the field get to fulfill their potential in their quest to conserve the environment and save the planet.

The good news is that you can be part of the best by advancing your skills. One way to go about it is to learn various spoken and coding languages.

English is undoubtedly the primary language of science. However, since you will be trotting the globe, it is best to learn different languages to complement your biodiversity conversation efforts.

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