October 28, 2016
Do you know how to say Hello in Chinese? You are not alone if you don’t.
While globalization is making our world a “global village”, people across the world stick to their mother tongues since language is the most concentrated form of culture, and culture is hard to change. So, as global villagers, we are perhaps more perceptive than before with regard to the barriers and potholes caused by language and cultural difference.
How to overcome these obstacles? What can you do to be more fluent in international arenas? And how to make language as the best asset of your global market plan?
Just recently, I became acquainted with a Finnish growth and sparring competition, Kasvu Open. I studied the competition finalists’ business targets for the next year outlined in their interviews on the Kasvu Open Facebook page. They are planning to expand their business onto the global market. We at Lingo are excited about their passion and ambition, and have been discussing how we could help them get ready for their journey with the help of multilingual communication, as we have done with the Kasvu Open sparring program itself.
Here the language aspect of a business expansion plan comes in. Consider these:
Before you get started, know where you are going.
Use the Internet to study the market area, get acquainted with the language and cultural aspects. Do you know anyone already present there?
Can you learn the language, any of it? Who could teach you about cultural habits and manners?
If you need help, what could it be? Translation, editing, interpretation, language learning?
This is where language professionals, translators and interpreters come in, helping you to bridge the language gap in communicating with international clients and partners. You may also choose to learn a foreign language yourself with the help of language instructors. Your new or renewed language skills will bring you closer to your potential business partners and help to dispel doubt and mistrust from their minds, leading to a favorable business environment.
Although English is generally the working language in international activities, being able to use the language of your potential business partner is definitely a plus. It will help you to drive home your ideas easily. Furthermore, your partners will appreciate the convenience and feel valued and respected. They are likely to think that you are earnest in doing business with them, and with them only. In this way, you have a better chance of clinching a deal.
Even if you aren’t able to conduct the entire negotiating process in your partner’s language, just being able to present your main terms and conditions in their language, whether orally or in written format, can make a difference.
By delivering your message in your partner’s language, you will receive more attention and reach a wider audience, and eventually, you may find your customer or client base growing. Imagine a business environment where everyone speaks English. It is always a nice surprise if you can say a few words in your partner’s language to emphasize a point, to clear up a misunderstanding, or to warm up the atmosphere. You don’t have to sound fluent in the foreign language. People appreciate your effort more than language accuracy.
Recognize the strategic importance of the language aspect in business, and consider it in your market plan. You will find it leading your business to a foreign market faster than the business plan itself. Greet people in their own language, and you will find them respond more quickly with a smile.
And choose a reliable language service provider to support you through your journey to the world. We are always ready to help.
And Hello in Chinese? It’s Ni hao.
Lu Johansson – Lingo Languages Oy
Lucy Johansson is an expert in the Chinese language and she also speaks excellent English and very good Finnish. Lucy gained extensive experience in international business in China, for example, at UPM China Co. Ltd., where she held multiple management positions.
Lucy’s strengths are organisational skills, the ability to cooperate effortlessly with people from different cultures and her excellent attitude toward work and achieving set targets.