There are countless reasons why people choose to learn a foreign language. For some individuals, learning a new language like Spanish or French lets them better understand a new culture or cuisine. Upscale chefs, for example, might want to learn Italian in order to better understand traditional recipes and local ingredients. If you work in the field of business and you are thinking about learning a new language, keep reading to learn why that is such a smart idea. Here are four ways that learning a new foreign language can improve your business.
1. Widens Your Potential Client Base
Native English speakers will only be potential business partners for others also that speak English. If you have an American company that is successful in countries like the United States, Canada and Australia, you might soon realize that your growth is limited unless you can change. By learning a new language, you open yourself and your company up to a whole new client base. Buyers will be more interested in your products or services if they can speak to you in their native tongue over the phone and read your promotional materials without difficulty.
2. Earns You Respect in Foreign Countries
The business world revolves around mutual respect. Clients, business managers, buyers and sellers all need to trust and respect one another in order to have successful business relationships. If you only speak your own native tongue and expect others to communicate to you, then you might not be showing them respect. In turn, you will lose respect from others. Making an effort to learn a new language to communicate with partners or clients will earn your their respect as well as their gratitude.
3. Helps You Better Understand Business Culture Abroad
Each nation has their own customs and formalities when it comes to business. A casual handshake and using someone’s first name right away might be fine in California, but in Japan it would be greatly frowned upon. To better understand the business culture of a new location, you should try to learn a few key words of the language. Mastering the local tongue will make it easier for you to embrace the traditional customs, mores and conversation that international businessmen will appreciate. Even knowing how to correctly pronounce menu items in a foreign country will go a long way in impressing your colleagues.
4. Enhances Your Mental Capacities
Learning a new language is about more than simply learning new words and vocabulary. It involves a whole new way of sentence structure and a different way of thinking. Challenging your mind in this way will help you to increase your lateral thinking and problem solving skills. With your expanded and improved way of thinking, you will be better able to tackle new challenges in business and come up with creative solutions that benefit everyone involved.
Whether you learn Spanish, French, Japanese or Italian, you will reap the benefits that come from learning a foreign tongue. These skills can help you to feel more comfortable traveling to new destinations and will improve your business relationships around the world.
Cynthia Yu writes for several higher ed blogs. To read more about online mba degrees,click here.