Language and business
In a recent survey of British businesses, a quarter of them admitted that they had lost business contracts due to the lack of language skills among their staff. The survey of more than 500 companies in the UK also found that 1 in 10 of them needed to call in translators in order to understand foreign documents as none of their staff were able to read them.
Companies involved in manufacturing, catering and leisure are those most in need of employees with knowledge of foreign languages, and 20% of the companies surveyed said that they would pay higher salaries to staff with language skills.
The most useful language for business, at least in the UK, is quickly becoming Mandarin Chinese, and by 2050 Spanish could challenge English as the language of global business in the Americas.
Do you think it’s better to employ people who already speak other languages, then train them in the other skills they need, or to employ people with the other skills, then train them in the languages?