Language services are not new, but with all of the advances in technology and connectivity that have taken place since the 1990s, they have become much more visible than before. We’re not just talking about visibility to businesses who want to expand their profiles, either. Those same advances have also led to a rising generation of new professionals who are already linked across international borders. Our industry depends on young, enthusiastic talents with a love for multilingual communication and the drive to make international connections – and we’re very excited by the talent we see coming into the job market.
We recently had the pleasure to connect with Kay Leigh, a fresh college graduate with a major in Linguistics and proficiency in several languages, and we asked her what she thought about foreign language and international business. We’d like to share her response here. Hopefully, we’ll hear from her again soon!
English has quickly become the go-to language for international communication. Because of this, many Americans have not felt a need to learn a foreign language, knowing that they will be able to make it in the global economy. Compared to other employees around the world, Americans might ‘have it easy’. They can grow up learning their native language, English, while others speak another language at home and have to learn English in order to gain success in the business market. With English-based companies, many employers now desire to have employees that speak another language, in order to appeal to their customers that may not speak English as their first language. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable when giving their business to someone, and that comfort starts at the language they are spoken to in.
The only true way to grow a business is to create a line of communication that is easily accessible for customers. No one wants to be put on hold for hours on end! That raises the customers’ frustration and may lead to them taking their money elsewhere. Customers want to feel important. Highlighting their importance to the company is beneficial to a business’s success. One way to point out their crucial role is to offer customer service in their native tongue. Many companies in America have begun to touch on this and now offer customer service representatives that speak Spanish due to the rising population of native Spanish speakers in the United States. If those same American companies could find customer service representatives that spoke multiple languages, their customer base would expand. Customers are more likely to return to a company if they speak the language that the customers speak at home. They want to be able to communicate their problems with ease to the company’s representatives, and the easiest way possible is to have employees that speak their language.
Due to the increase in companies that operate on an international scale, many employers are drawn to a résumé that includes multiple languages. Even American high schools and colleges are requiring their students to study foreign languages to prepare them for a career and a life in the global marketplace. The world does not speak just one language, so even young children need exposure to other cultures and languages. Beginning a study in a foreign language is essential for anyone, no matter what their career choice might be. Having just one more language on a résumé will draw in an employer because that extra amount of knowledge means they have the opportunity to expand their company to another language and another culture. If a business owner wanted to expand their product to another country, but didn’t speak the language, he would have a hard time getting his feet in the door. He would begin to seek an employee that spoke the language, so his company could better communicate with his customers and provide the best possible customer service. The global marketplace depends on multilinguals for the expansion and success of companies all around the world.