In some industries, expecting to do business with people who speak only English becomes a thing of the past. Companies are reaching out and doing business with people in countries all over the world. This has changed the expectations of businessmen and executives who are now supposed to know other languages to communicate with people who might not speak the same mother tongue. For those traveling on business, knowing how to use another language is essential, personally and professionally.
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Communicating with partners
Being able to talk with associates who speak a different language offers many benefits while on a business trip. It will be much easier to perform the work that needs to be completed and more positive progress can be made. Associates will appreciate the sincere attempt of someone who makes the effort to learn their language – and in turn, may be more pleasant and easier to work with. Even if that person is not a native speaker of the same language, international business associates could most value as a business partner. It also gives a leader an advantage over others, whether it is the same or a competing company.
Understanding the language can also help to better learn the culture and vice versa. For example, in Korea, different words for “thank you” are used depending on the age and situation of the other receiver. Knowing how to speak all the words that mean “Thank You” and using a correct depends on the circumstances is a double bonus. There are also cultural differences when it comes to body language, such as the use of gestures. But using the wrong gesture could create a bad tone. Knowing how to communicate with words decreases the amount that gestures should be used, further reducing the chances of a misunderstanding.
If the business trip lasts more than a few days, there is a good chance that the executive will have to move into the city to eat, shop and get from a place to use transportation. Knowing the language will be easier a lot. This includes ordering food, shopping essentially at the grocery store or taking a taxi from the back office to the hotel. It can also be useful if the executive has dinner with one of the associates. Showing that she knows how to get to the restaurant, how to control and follow the customs of the country can show strength.
Talk with residents
People are social and love to talk and meet. Being able to speak the language of the locals actually, makes this much easier and gives the person on the business trip the advantage. Because he knows the mother tongue, it is much easier to approach people and start a conversation. Without being able to speak the language of the country, the visitor must wait for people to approach him and begin a conversation. Conversing with locals could further improve language and cultural skills too, which for a better working environment with business partners.