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Does Business Really Only Need One Language?

Jul 18th 2016

Does Business Really Only Need One Language?

Language has always been a fluid concept, a catalyst for articulating a person's thoughts. We appreciate it for a variety of reasons: the way it evolves, the amount of people who speak it, its artistic value, etc. Language is also valued for a more practical reason: its global power.

Knowing a certain language opens up communication with a significantly larger portion of the population. The more languages you learn, the more attention you can garner. English for this reason is a very popular choice of language study. In 2010, there were ~365 million native English speakers around the world, while the number of total English speakers (L1 & L2) reached 1,500 million. This aggregate number puts English as the most widely spoken language, above Spanish and Mandarin. This lingua franca is very good for business. Globally, companies can break through language barriers for ultimate access and efficiency. People from two completely different languages can exchange information to become more informed about other cultures. Finally, tolerance can be promoted through complete understanding.

Though we live today in a very connected, globalized society, we are still multi-lingual. Though many countries highly incorporate English and promote English education (Scandanavia, India, South Africa, Singapore, Nigieria, Phillipines, etc.) there are other key economies that do not have large populations that speak English (Russia, Brazil, Colombia, China, etc.). Because of these and other emerging economies, fluency in these language is in higher demand. Besides that, relations between organizations can be strengthened by a shared knowledge of language. As the late Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the thesis of this article.
If you have ever learned another language, you will know the feeling when you meet someone that speaks the same language. Both your faces light up, you talk with great enthusiasm; you have made a real connection. This experience is useful to no end. We as social animals love the ability to connect with others when we like to and when we need to (job interviews, business meetings, etc.). In the marketing world, this skill is the whole business. If we use different language as way to reach our audience, we will have infinitely more success.

So study Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese… etc. Chances are people are going to need it. And even if you speak a language that is not as widely spoken, use it anyway. The rarity of finding someone that speaks that language makes the interaction more beautiful. Language indeed touches hearts and we here at Socialman prize international community, which is why we have begun our service for the online giveaway world. Globalized communication is the future; its time we adapt to that future.

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