Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:16:51 +0000We live nowadays in a globalised world, and the economy is not the exception; far from it. It seems logical that multilingual businesses will certainly have a head start compared with their peers which are monolingual.
Here in the UK, three quarter of British adults can’t speak a foreign…
We live nowadays in a globalised world, and the economy is not the exception; far from it. It seems logical that multilingual businesses will certainly have a head start compared with their peers which are monolingual.
Here in the UK, three quarter of British adults can’t speak a foreign language competently; and some of them are part of the workforce of businesses dealing internationally with the rest of the world. They are missing out reaping the benefits of being able to communicate with overseas clients, suppliers,and buyers in their own language, and it is more difficult for them to reduce the culture gap.
“That’s the work of interpreters and translators”, I hear you say, yes but it will never be the same as when you’re handling the conversation in the boardroom, and you’re able to perceive the general mood in there which sometimes can be “lost in translation”.
I truly think that these businesses should invest in encouraging their employees, at all levels, to engage in learning the language of the countries they’re dealing with. They should be given incentives to further their education and should be supported all the way to fluency. It would be a win-win situation both personally and at the corporate level.
So, What are the advantages of being multilingual for a business?
1- Knowing a foreign language levels the organisation up with the rest of the international business community. It is easier to build relationships with your foreign partners and this leads you to financial success.
2- As a corporation, the ethos of the company is more culturally tolerant. You’re more open to other cultures and you learn to respect other people’s traditions. This can create new opportunities for your business.
3- All the members of your company become more perceptive.
Learning another language gives you lots of advantages and one of them is that you focus more on what is relevant to you and your organisation. You’re able to analyse the outcomes that suit better your company and business is done faster and more efficiently.
4- Your multilingual employees are better problem solvers.
They innovate more. They cultivate the ability to think outside the box. This on the long run benefits your company.
5- Your employees are more confident
Knowing a foreign language boosts your employees confidence. They feel empowered. They take greater initiatives. They are also more supportive of your vision and goals for the company as they feel a part of it.
6- It’s easier for your organisation to build networks of potential clients which would be inaccessible to a monolingual business.
7- It makes your brand visible
Your company looks smarter, sophisticated and on-trend with global changes. You become more appealing to the rest of the world.
It goes without saying that with a greater global reach, your sales and your revenue increase beyond your wildest dream.
As a nation, I think that a mind shift is in order concerning language learning. It should be relevant from an early age where it is easier to learn and children would benefit from all the mental aptitude boost given by learning a foreign language. Their overall performance at school would improve as well.
By the time these children grow and join the workforce, they would be an army of multilingual individuals ready to face the challenges of the world.
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