WHY BILINGUAL SKILLS MATTER: THE BENEFITS OF DEVELOPING YOUR LANGUAGE SKILLS
As technology drives global communication and cultural diversity continues to grow in the U.S., so does the demand for employees with bilingual capabilities. Knowing multiple languages enables seamless global communication, improves cultural awareness, and creates new personal customer connections.
There are now more than 50 million Spanish speakers living in the U.S., which is about 15% of the total population, and global internet use is roughly 25% English speaking. The other top languages include Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Indonesian, French, Japanese, Russian, and German. So as your language skills increase, so do your opportunities for connecting with a wider range of media outlets, and marketing to a larger customer base. When running global marketing campaigns, delivering your message in the local tongue can make your brand seem more inclusive and lead to a greater emotional impact on the consumer because it shows that you care. Being able to connect with foreign business partners in their native language builds trust and allows you to communicate more clearly and efficiently, saving time and mistakes.
Whether you’re promoting a new product or service or managing an active crisis, it’s essential to understand the viewpoint of your audience. Communication mishaps when translating can be embarrassing and harmful, and the smallest details can make the biggest differences. An example of this is when HSBC bank’s call to action “Assume Nothing” was mistranslated to “Do Nothing” in several countries. Only one word was changed, but it ended up costing the company a $10 million re-branding campaign in 2009. Google translate just won’t cut it when trying to communicate important messages. That’s why it pays to have someone on your staff with a working knowledge of the languages you’re dealing with.
When you’re getting ready to launch your next campaign, remember to think outside the boundaries of the English language. If you need help reaching across the language barriers of Arabic, German, French, or Spanish, Brandware can help. Contact us to learn more.