Doing business in the global economy today means communicating with the international clients. This means learning an Additional Language can significantly push the prospects of your business forward. So, if you have already taken steps to learn Spanish, French, Mandarin, Russian or Chinese, you are in fact augmenting the competitive advantage of your business over the others.
Top reasons to learn a new language
- Communication is at the core of every business. If you can communicate confidently in your client’s language, you sell your ware better.
- Multilingual communication decides the rate of success in the international market place and every new language learnt is a sure step to further your business aspiration.
- Though English is the international language of business, failing to learn new language is undermining your business potential losing out the opportunity to enter high potential markets.
- It is unrealistic to presume your target customer will speak English well to make up for your poor exposure to their native language. Hence, learning a new language is a proactive step to bridge the gap.
- When your business expands into new geographies and your client-facing personnel are not fluent in the client language, having to appoint translators and interpreters will mean adding up to overhead costs.
- Lack of language proficiency is often a frustrating experience leading to project overrun, misunderstandings and cross-cultural issues.
So plan for the next move
The discussion boils down to say to be successful, every business operating globally has to adapt to the needs of foreign clients. Therefore, learning a foreign language needs to be on top of the agenda for planning for business success. To be able to communicate effectively across several languages is crucial for relationship building and financial success.
What do experts say?
Korn Ferry, global human resources’ former chairman is a senior advisor for business schools and leading businesses. He urges those seeking employment with top firms to learn Mandarin “as soon as they can, if they want to get a leg up on their competition and accelerate their futures. Anything that helps or speeds up their preparation can be a significant plus!”
Atlas Real Estate Partners Managing Principal, Arvind Chary, says “he always focused his recruitment campaigns to target multilingual employees since his firm is fast expanding into markets characterized by a majority of Spanish speaking people.”
He remarks, “We have been raising more capital from abroad and need employees who can communicate with our foreign investors. I would encourage anyone to learn a second language in order to advance their career opportunities.”
Authoring his new book “Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone At Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language From Anywhere In the World,” Benny Lewis encourages more entrepreneurs and employees to learn new languages. He states learning an additional language could be easier than what people imagine.
Notably, Benny Lewis has a fluent mastery over 10 languages and communicates in their native accent with locals during his extensive National Geographic travels.
Wake up to the reality
Responding to a survey, over 80% businesses believed they can significantly increase their business if they had employed internationally competent staff.
Foreign customers speaking languages other than English present immense business prospects for businesses. The trade is now shifting across geographies. Also, the local markets are facing a tough competition from foreign firms which are now manufacturing in the country.
The UK already leads the game by conducting research on which languages are the most advantageous for the executives to learn. The country is actively encouraging multilingual capabilities.
British Council’s recent release the “Languages for the Future” points out to those languages that will be crucially needed for furthering international opportunities. Basing its study on market growth and trading opportunities, the report lists out Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese as important for businesses in the same order.
Studies in biology shows polyglots have definite advantages from a biological perspective. Cathy Price of the University College London who is a famed neuroimaging analyst has concluded that bilinguals show up more grey matter in the brain region connected to vocabulary acquisition.
He further states when an individual learns a second language, the vocabulary acquisition part of his brain is receiving a workout growing fast and turning more efficient. This will mean the more languages you learn the more your brain develops and the smarter you become.
Why learn an additional language soon
The younger you are, the easier it is for you to pick up an additional language. Learning a new language also boosts up your mental aptitude. Renowned neurologist Dr. Judy Willis says, “Compared to monolinguals, the studied bilingual children, who had had five to 10 years of bilingual exposure, averaged higher scores in cognitive performance on tests and had greater attention focus, distraction resistance, decision-making, judgment and responsiveness to feedback”.
In this statement, Wills is making a mention about the executive functions like planning, goal setting, memory and retention, analytical abilities and judgment.
The widening avenues
Once you have decided to increase the proficiency of your executives in new languages, you have no dearth for potential opportunities out there. With a large number of businesses showing active interest in training their employees in additional languages, language courses specially developed for businesses are growing in popularity.
A large number of competent firms are offering language classes for businesses. These courses can provide training either from scratch or augment the existing language skills of the employees. Most companies provide training at the company premises ruling out the need for the staff to travel.
On moving with the mission
- Your business wins that definite advantage over those of your competitors when you invest in language training.
- The starting point to acquire new languages is to know your market place and the prospective overseas markets and identify the languages beneficial to your situation.
- While choosing the right provider, identify experienced teachers with a business experience combined so that you do not go wrong.
- Irrespective of your industry domain, your business receives a valuable attribute, good will and client appreciation when it acquires new languages.
- Management guru Peter Drucker says, “If you think training is expensive, try ignorance!” Therefore, it is the right time now for your business to create a breakthrough by pushing language training on top of your developmental initiatives.