“Research from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages concludes that “globalization is driving the demand for a U.S. workforce that possesses knowledge of other countries and cultures and is competent in languages other than English… Most of the growth potential for U.S. businesses lies in overseas markets [while] our own markets are facing greater competition from foreign-owned firms, many of which manufacture products on U.S. soil.”
As globalization makes the world seem smaller, more American companies are realizing they have to expand internationally or lose out to those that will.
Fenstermacher told IMT that as businesses’ supply chains and customers become increasingly global, “the issue of language becomes more prominent. Multilingual personnel can interact more nimbly with all parts of the business and have a better sense of when and how to use professional language capabilities to meet the business’s goals.”
“The ability to work across cultures is no longer a nice-to-have skill set for elite executives; every year it becomes more essential to finding any job at all,” especially for small and mid-size businesses, Stacie Berdan, an international careers expert and award-winning author, told IMT.
“A machine operator at a plant in Topeka that exports widgets to Mumbai needs to know how to interact effectively when Indian customers visit,” she offered as an example. “A farmer in western Pennsylvania can open up potentially rich new revenue streams by understanding exactly what qualities in American ginseng will appeal to the Korean market.”
Do Small Businesses Need to be Multilingual?
July 13, 2013 | 0 Comments