Speaking English does give you an advantage in life and in the business world. It is the third most spoken language in the world and is often looked upon as the official language of international business. But learning a language outside of English can widen your business horizons. Forbes recently posted an article, “How Learning An Additional Language Could Influence Your Business,” which focuses on the business opportunities American business have missed by language or cultural misunderstandings. While English is a great baseline for the business world, learning another language can take you to the next level. While you can think of many reasons not to learn a language, but you can’t think of a single good reason for not learning a language.
According to Forbes, thinking English is the only language you keep can really hurt your business. They said ” This thinking is seriously undermining America’s economic potential, experts believe. The U.S. Committee on Economic Development (CED) suggests that American businesses lose more than $2 billion a year to language or cultural misunderstandings. To be successful, international businesses (which is pretty much all of us these days, as foreign trade has become a substantial component of the U.S. economy) need to adapt to the needs of foreign clients as well as to communicate with foreign partners effectively.”
While learning another language can be hard, it is worth it. Here are just three reasons why!
- Being bilingual gives you a new perspective. During a study in 2002, researchers found that if a word is masculine or feminine in the language you are speaking in, subconsciously changes how you think of it. Take the word bridge for example, it is feminine in German and masculine in Spanish. When they asked a group of native Spanish speakers, they described a bridge as strong, big and towering while when they asked a group of native German speakers, they described it as beautiful and elegant. People often describe having slightly different personality in each language which can be linked to this idea of subconsciously thinking differently when speaking different languages. Being bilinguals can help you recognize these subconscious stereotyping of words and adjust to them.
- You meet more people. Pretty much everywhere you go people will speak English especially in touristy places however there is nothing as amazing as speaking to someone in their native tongue. You get to discover their person in a whole new way and develop deeper friendships. Being able to communicate with people from other cultures is a huge social advantage and can open up so many more doors in life.
- You’re more creative. You’re more likely to “think outside the box,” when you are bilingual. A word doesn’t always translate well from one language to another. Sometimes it takes sentences or paragraphs to explain just one word in another language. Knowing things are more than meet the eye, allows you to grow creatively. You think of things different and you imagine them different.
To take your business to the next level on the global scene, you need to open to learning other languages and cultures. Like we said earlier while you can think of many reasons not to learn a language, but you can’t think of a single good reason for not learning a language. Take a class and advance your business.
More good news that you can advertise your business on Kompass in 24 languages. Check out our Booster program.
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