A foreign language refers to a language other than a person’s native language. A foreign language may at times be described as a language that renders someone unable to identify with and in the long run renders communication worthless. A language is therefore a tool that mankind uses to communicate and agree upon on different aspects of life. There are no specific methods used in learning foreign languages rather than a person’s ability and curiosity to learn.
In the past, people used to learn foreign languages out of default. Today it has become almost a necessity to be conversant in more than one language. This is because the world has intertwined itself to form a network that has facilitated the conveyance of messages between individuals and corporate.
Unlike the past, today businesses have grown to carry out transactions internationally. This move has been made possible with advancements made in technology. Today most businesses conduct their operations online thereby reaching potential clients irrespective of their country or continents.
Businesses have realized that in order to grow and acquire better chances of investing in foreign countries then it would be a prerequisite to understand and to put into use the use of foreign languages.
The most popular foreign languages are English, Germany, Chinese and French. Since Africa has also penetrated into the list of the most potential areas to conduct business, foreign languages like Swahili and Afrikaans have been well considered.
There are several good reasons that make businesses encourage the use of foreign languages. These reasons are considered to be in favor of the business in its day to day operations. Learning foreign languages improve the understanding of the cultural aspects of another potential business destination. Different organizations, all around the world, practice different modes of conducting businesses. For instance, in China and other parts of Asia, business is rarely conducted in a professional environment. Unlike Americans, the Asiatic communities prefer to befriend and then go ahead to carry out businesses. The environment for which to conduct business is also different.
The Asiatic community culture guides them on the methodology of going about doing business. They consider it rude when business is carried out without sense of kindness or humility. China has the biggest world population and since population is good for business, more and more companies have opted to expand their activities to China.
Most business considers hiring locals in management positions rather than importing business personnel from their own countries. This is because of the business need to minimize cost and maximize its profits as much s possible. Hiring locals is much more cost effective, since it is cheaper to hire the foreign locals than pay an imported personnel.
When a business decides to expand its operations globally, it means that it would take the responsibility of responding to the immediate local needs. These needs can only be understood by the local nationals since out of absence of communication barriers. In order to fully understand and meet the needs of locals, potential global businesses will therefore make it a mandatory to not only learn but also understand and comprehend the foreign language at hand. This move will have to be made so that the business may remain relevant in the prevailing new markets and therefore guarantee its continuity.
Another reason for business learning foreign languages is the fact that it would be greatly considered when making effective decisions, that is, for business to efficiently make decisions then they have to involve everyone in the company, and this employees, including even a mere purchase officer, may have ideas for business but if they cannot converse in the local languages it would make no difference for business to achieve winning the edge.
Business need to be familiar with foreign languages in the environment in which they are operating since most of regulatory documents such as import documents, treaties and regulatory documents are mostly acceptable in their local languages and this will therefore steer for any negotiator or beneficiary to present the documents in the language in which they are conversant with. This move is seen to catapult the trust and confidentiality of both parties that are involved.
Businesses operate effectively and efficiently when they have favorable factors in the environment in which they operate. The favorable factors that businesses require in order to fully reach optimum level of operations is labor, raw material availability and an infrastructure that has been set up in a feasible way Needless to say that without all this combined factor, business is doomed to fail.
China’s larger population has been viewed to provide a business environment that is not only favorable but also one that could easily steer the operations of the business effectively and at a very minimal cost. China has a fast developing economy and therefore foreign companies that consider investing in the country need to have already acquired the required resources and the most important resource is being able to effectively communicate in Chinese.
A business that has decided to explore foreign territories will have to learn local languages lest they risk the problem of not running the “show”. Many businesses have their own policies, rules and regulation under which they operate or rather conduct business and would therefore demand that those policies be followed to the latter. If senior management cannot effectively converse with supervisors, it would therefore mean that it’s them that would run the activities according to their own understanding. This is because of communication barrier. This situation in the long run will affect business and may even lead to losses rather the intended profits.
Business may sometimes plan to amalgamate, takeover or merge with other foreign business. Irrespective of how well their policies are formulated, the business that takes the management of the newly created organization will be the one that is fully accustomed and familiar with local language. This is one of the mandatory requirements that businesses look up for when entering into agreements of jointly conducting business with other businesses.
Businesses operate under several environments. Political environment is one of these environments that businesses beat the odds to effectively operate in. A business that has expanded to foreign countries has the responsibility of clearly understanding the prevailing political environment lest they suffer great consequences. Most politics are done in native local language and it will therefore take a business effort to deploy employees that are well conversant with the local language to aid in interpretation of the political scenarios.
In conclusion, it will be wise to say that businesses that have the urge to grow and expand internationally will have to consider carrying out research of the need to be bilingual in the job market. This will not only be of use to their staff but also the external competition at large.