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Ending Communication Difficulties With Your Foreign Customers

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Ending Communication Difficulties With Your Foreign Customers

Having many customers is the desire of every B2C business and a blessing to those who have it. However, such blessings can come with specific barriers, especially if your business satisfies a global audience. Communication is one of these barriers, and international business experience this issue when communicating with foreign partners or customers. These communication difficulties can cause businesses to lose customers and affect sales. Here are a few ways to end communication difficulties with your foreign customers. 

  1. Show emotions: Understanding another person’s language can be complex and time-consuming. However, it is easier to read and understand emotions; businesses can use this universal language (emotions) to bridge the gap between them and their foreign customers. We feel all emotions – joy, fear, frustration, excitement, anger, etc. -and business owners ought to learn to convey positive emotions to get the desired customer behavior. Some customers have a limited understanding of English, and it is best to refrain from formal vocabulary and figures of speech while communicating with them. Speak slowly so they can understand, and accompany your words with a welcoming smile to make them comfortable.

2. Use picture cues: Signs and pictures are not language-biased, and the simplest drawing can convey more information than written or spoken words. Picture cues are more helpful and do a good job when words fail. Your foreign customers are more likely to understand you if you have a picture that succinctly augments your explanation. If you’re attempting to sell them a product, you can also allow them to test-run the product independently to gain understanding.

3. Use translation services: Translation is one of the easiest ways to bridge the gap in communication between you and your foreign clients. A translation expert can quickly help you communicate your agency’s value proposition, service cost, and other relevant details to foreign customers. There are several ways to get a translator and interact with customers. You can ask for help from locals fluent in both languages or an employee from your organization. However, finding a local can be difficult, and using an employee would mean they have to neglect their job for a period. The best option would be to contact a professional translation company and hire an expert. These experts are well-versed in multiple languages and available to move around with you wherever you require their services. Contacting a translation company is undoubtedly the most effective way to communicate with your foreign client since professional translators know their onions and have experience dealing with these situations.

4. Exercise patience: When you convey essential information to foreign customers, it might take a while before they fully understand your message. As a business owner, you must be willing to explain yourself repeatedly to ensure they understand you or have any questions. The language barrier requires a bit of effort to overcome, causing frustration for you and your clients. Patience attracts good luck, and a lack of patience can make you lose clients. Customer satisfaction is the advertisement strategy any business can have. When you lose one foreign client, their influence can cost you the patronage of prospective and existing clients and even taint your company’s reputation. 

5. Maintain your sense of humor: It is not uncommon for foreign customers to feel uncomfortable when dealing with you. You don’t speak their language and barely understand their culture, so they might be inclined to tread cautiously. However, it would be best if you put in the effort to lighten the air and make them comfortable, and humor is a great way to do this. Putting a smile on your customers’ faces can help to develop trust and ensure customer satisfaction.

It requires time and effort to end communication difficulties and bridge the language barrier. It is essential that, as a business, you take time out to satisfy your customers’ needs, regardless of whether they understand your language if you want to build a successful relationship. You could use picture cues if written or spoken communication is optional. Hiring a professional translation company or a linguist to help you is the most effective way to communicate efficiently with a foreign client. Remember to keep the atmosphere light, be patient, and encourage them to ask questions.



Operating in Multilingual Markets: Best Practices

Expanding to and operating in multilingual markets has become the norm as technological advances keep breaking geographical boundaries. But it takes more than a solid marketing strategy to break into and capture audiences’ attention in foreign markets and across different languages.

In most cases, brands must do thorough research to understand the market and their new target audience, develop a strategic multilingual marketing approach, and localize their multilingual websites to establish their presence and credibility in the new market successfully.

This post explores the best practices for safely and intuitively expanding your brand into a new market. By unpacking considerations such as customer profiling, sales in a new market, and customization for the international market, we’ll guide you through the fundamentals of global brand expansion.

Comparing Local Markets to International Markets

Many brands assume that tactics and sales strategies used in their original target markets will effortlessly work in foreign markets. But regional preferences, local regulations, and cultural expectations vary from one market to another, often tremendously.

However, with a thorough investigation, you can empower your brand’s position in the new market, maintain brand identity, and launch a successful multilingual website and digital marketing campaign. 

Brand expansion doesn’t happen overnight and certainly doesn’t happen with simple translations of marketing campaigns and slogans. But it also doesn’t happen by chance.

Establishing a solid brand presence requires building rapport with consumers and authentically connecting with them. Brands must bridge the connection between their products and services and how consumers feel about their offerings.

It is, therefore, essential to base your multilingual marketing strategy on verified, accurate, and current market research data.

Aligning Sales and Marketing with Your Website Translation Efforts

The ROI on brand expansion will naturally be higher when all teams coordinate. For instance, when a marketing department builds a solid foundation that empowers the sales team to convert potential leads into customers. To ensure they’re building effective strategies, marketing teams must study the market to determine the following aspects:

Customer Profiles

Brands must identify Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) for every market. This places the focus on local customer behavior and specific needs.

Marketing Collateral

Market research data should be used to strategize ads, tall tracks, and other elements surrounding your multilingual website that the sales team can use to drive conversions.

Competitive Studies

Are there ways in which your brand can stand out from the crowd? If you have similar competitors in the new market than you have in your local market, you’ll need to adapt your strategies to counter the opposition in the new market as well.

Product Analysis

How do your current offerings relate to the new market? Are there ways to improve on perceived weaknesses and create new hooks to capture the attention of the target audience?

Expansion Feasibility

What kind of investment is required to establish your brand in the potential market? How much time will you spend complying with local laws and regulations? What will investment costs be regarding tax compliance, payroll functions, and banking?

Researching Customer Behavior and Localizing Your Brand

Whether they’re B2B or B2C, modern customers prefer supporting brands that understand their unique needs and preferences. This means that organizations that expand abroad and grow their customer base must localize their brand messaging and offerings to cater to local nuances.

Know Your Customer. This three-word mantra sounds simple but is key to engaging multilingual markets. According to The Ultimate Localization Guide, getting it right requires an intuitive strategy built around accurate data.

Every local market has preferences brands should leverage to develop effective campaigns and messaging. To help you understand these nuances, you’ll need to research key areas, some of which include:

Local Practices and Customs Across Multiple Languages

How does your new audience prefer to communicate? Do they speak multiple languages in the new market? What values and beliefs do they hold? Are there any topics in the target language and culture that they consider offensive or particularly appealing?

Regional Differences

The traits and nuances in markets can vary by regionality as well, not just by country. Although it is considered that the African continent’s consumers prefer a more mobile-first marketing approach, it’s not true across the board as some regions aren’t as exposed to this marketing method.

Local Laws and Requirements

You’ll need to be GDPR compliant if you do business in Europe. But if you’re targeting a Canadian market, on the other hand, you must be compliant with French-language marketing regulations.

The Customer Journey in the Target Market

You might notice that some regions connect with your brand similarly across various markets, but in others, it might be entirely unique. To fine-tune the customer journey for every market, you need to determine if your product or service solves the same need across all your target markets. Or do you aim to solve unique problems for every market you target? What unique problems do your potential customers need, and what technologies do they use to search for solutions online? Do they use social media channels to solve their problems, and if so, which platforms do they prefer?

Search Engine Optimization for Your Multilingual Website

SEO is an incredibly complicated process, and adding a bunch of languages to the mix makes it even trickier. Your search engine optimization efforts should be adapted for every new market as it is the key to successful multilingual marketing efforts. To get it right from the start, you’ll need to do in-depth keyword research to determine the right target keywords for the market. 

Final Thoughts

When you gain an understanding of the market differentiators, you can make effective decisions surrounding a multilingual content marketing strategy. Growing your brand through international expansion is no small feat, but the potential ROI means that it can be a valuable investment in your brand’s future.

To help you avoid mistakes and perfect your multilingual content marketing strategy right from the start, it’s essential to start small and target single locations at a time. Due diligence goes a long way, but so does trying out new trends to stay on top of your game and position your organization as an authoritative brand in the new market.

When operating in multilingual markets, it’s advisable to expect the unexpected. Expanding into foreign territories is thrilling, but it can be one of your brand’s best moves!



Doing Business Under COVID-19: Going Online to Weather the Storm

Doing Business Under COVID-19: Going Online to Weather the Storm

At the time of this writing, there are now unprecedented restrictions being put in place to prevent the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19, its official designation by the World Health Organization. These actions have been proposed as necessary steps in order to prevent the spread and transmission of the disease. However, its impact on the socio-political and economic fronts cannot be overlooked.

Such is the nature of this virus and the ensuing government actions that this will likely forever change how we do business not only in our individual nations but across the globe as a whole.

The technological revolution has already progressed sufficiently to allow for automation in a great many industries, but how can small and medium-sized businesses prepare before the next global pandemic?

Even in times of crisis, businesses still need to maintain communications with global partners, clients, and stakeholders. Get in touch with Tomedes’ crisis communication center

The Social Impact of COVID-19

Somewhere, some kid woke up in their dream utopian world, where they were forced to stay at home, playing video games in the basement, not having any physical contact with the outside world, or at least no more than necessary to order a pizza. Elsewhere, entire societies have been adversely impacted as restaurants, entertainment venues and other gatherings have been declared off-limits to the people.

Gatherings as seemingly innocuous as church meetings have been canceled, leaving many people suffering from the onset of cabin fever as they find themselves more and more isolated and incapable of participating in virtually any social engagement. This particularly impacts societies that value physical displays of affection between family members, friends, and acquaintances, along with the need to sustain relationships and friendships in a traditional hands-on manner.

The Economic Impact of COVID-19

Source: The Economist

Perhaps the most damaging disruption is that the COVID-19 is bringing the world economy to its knees, bankrupting many businesses for all sizes, and laying off employees by the droves, depriving them the ability to provide for themselves and for their families. With families still experiencing the shocks and crunches of the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Great Recession, along with the economic setbacks from the US-China trade war, the coronavirus pandemic couldn’t come at a worst time–not that it should have come at all. The pandemic is now having a rippling effect that expands throughout the global economic system as evidenced from the current global economic crisis.

Manufacturing of non-essential goods is now scaling back to even being suspended. Logistics and material supply chains are lagging behind which is then causing a domino effect, ultimately resulting in utter economic turmoil leaving entire sections of the economy beaten, battered and bruised with little hope for any immediate resolution.

Perhaps this outbreak will forever change the way that people work, shop and even how they live their lives. There are some industries that are currently thriving even during these economically depressed times. There are other businesses that are dying but some, with a little bit of effort and foresight, could be in a much better position during the next global outbreak.

Which Industries are Thriving During the Global COVID-19 Pandemic? And Why?

Source: World Health Organization

Despite the constant economic turmoil that is ongoing as a result of the current global pandemic, there are numerous industries that are thriving or at the very least, continuing operations. Many businesses that have already established themselves online in one form or another, are at the very least, not suffering as badly at present. Although, situations in some industries are mixed as some are forced to scale down their operations. Some are obligated to keep going considering the vital nature of their operations with profit being the least of their concerns as of the moment.

Tech Industry

As people continue their quarantine and lockdown lifestyle, they’ll naturally go online and browse all content they’ll come across to pass the time. Social media platforms are now experiencing a surge in content with people now having more time on their hands than usual. Streaming companies such as Netflix are also having a field day as ‘Netflix and chill’ routines are now the norm for more people for the next few weeks at least.

As for consumer electronic manufacturers, it’s fair to say that people’s consumer habits have changed from conspicuous spending to practical spending. There’s significantly less demand now for luxury products and consumer electronic products with the exception of consumer medical devices. It’s much more practical now to purchase a thermometer and digital blood pressure monitor than the latest iPhone or pre-ordering the upcoming PS5.


The global ecommerce industry is facing mixed experiences as we speak. One can assume that as people stay indoors, ecommerce businesses are bound to have a field day. In reality, it entirely depends on your product inventory whether you sell essential goods, medical devices, or consumer electronics and so on. The impact on ecommerce businesses also depend on how much they rely on the global supply chain.

Since the pandemic has initially brought China’s manufacturers to a halt, everyone from ecommerce businesses to global retailers are taking a big hit. Some ecommerce businesses are forced to suspend their operations and even close up shop as they can’t restock their inventory. However, other ecommerce businesses are unable to cope with so much demand as people continue to stock up on essential goods.


The global logistics industry is now the lifeblood holding the global economy together that’s currently hanging on by a thread. From supermarkets, relief operations, healthcare centers, to families, it’s imperative that logistics companies around the world keep running round the clock to deliver not only essential goods but also vital medical supplies of all kinds from testing kits, face masks (surgical, N95, etc.), to face shields, safety goggles, protective suits, and disinfectants.

However, there are some logistics companies that are on the losing end as many have been forced to scale down to even suspend their operations temporarily as the logistics workforce are highly susceptible to viral transmission.

Energy and Utilities

With families now staying, working, and continuing their schooling at home, energy and utility companies will naturally see a tremendous spike in operations. But whether this is profitable for their industry isn’t as black-and-white as one might think. Many energy and utility companies around the world are now extending bill payments to a month to cushion the financial toll families and businesses are currently experiencing. For energy and utility companies, perhaps profit isn’t their main concern now as they’re now working hard to keep their services uninterrupted and not putting lives at risk.

Medical Industry

The global medical industry is now in overdrive with some even classifying their operations as being elevated to ‘wartime’ level. However, we wouldn’t classify it as thriving per se in terms of opportunities and increased revenue. All health professionals and relevant frontliners are now overstretched around the world and facing dwindling medical supplies as cases rise.

It’s fair to say that the pandemic is putting even the most advanced healthcare systems under enormous pressure. The medical industry from healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and disinfectant manufacturers are now working round the clock to keep up with the pace of infections to keep it from spiraling out of the control.

Another part of the medical industry that’s seeing a spike in demand are unconventional medical services such as telemedicine and online mental health services. Doctors are highly vulnerable to viral transmission and must be protected at all costs. For patients with non-serious symptoms, telemedicine is the safest way to get a check-up from your doctor.

As for online mental health services, the abrupt social isolation along with some families even being mandated to isolate themselves from their own loved ones to prevent transmission within the household is having a damaging toll on people’s mental health.

The Language Industry

Business is booming for many aspects of the language industry, especially online translations. This is in large part due to the requirements of scientists, academics and medical professionals working around the world to stem the tide of the global COVID-19 pandemic. All of the research, the latest breakthroughs, and the research and analysis of these medical professionals must be quickly and accurately translated and then distributed to similar communities around the globe. Medical translation is also needed in the medical device industry as medical devices such as testing kits need to be accurately translated for it to be used properly by all countries affected by the pandemic.

Live interpreters are less in demand, though there are still exceptions, most notably in the medical, political, and public relations arena where communications must continue. Even here however, more and more of the work is being conducted via video conferencing and using other online means to prevent the need for gathering together unnecessarily. Translation agencies and even freelance translators and interpreters working online are experiencing an increased demand for their services when other industries falter.

The Freelance Industry

There were many claims made from both sides of the debate during the passage of AB5 in California, more commonly known as the “Gig Economy Bill”. Despite all of these claims however, freelancers online have experienced a record surge in terms of both the number of people looking for freelance work and the amount of work being moved to the “online economy”.

But not all freelancers can claim all is well unfortunately as the effects of the pandemic does naturally vary between industries. While many freelancers working online are enjoying a great boom in business, other freelancers providing on-site services such as consultants and even freelancers working for film and TV history, are having a rough time as we speak.

Setting Up Your Business Continuity Plan Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

Moving a business online is not only beneficial, but given the current economic and social crises, it may soon become inevitable, especially as the technological revolution automates industry and replaces more traditional jobs. There are additional benefits to the company as well.

The individuals working from home do not require expensive computers, desks or other equipment that the business owner would otherwise be forced to acquire. The business owner will not have to pay for all of the electrical consumption or other utilities that would otherwise be an added expense.

Even businesses that cannot be fully established online will benefit from an online presence. Localized service providers who only provide a limited service in an equally restrictive geographic location are one such example. Still, there are many aspects of the business that can be conducted online without any or at the very least, minimal disruption to the services being provided.

Moving Operations and Transactions Online

Accounts Payable and Receivable, IT services if there are any, and a host of other jobs can easily be completed through the use of professional agencies online, or by hiring employees who will be telecommuting, or working from their own homes. Some of the work may be outsourced to professional agencies and freelance workers online. But virtually all of it can be done without the need to congregate together in a closed, more restrictive environment.

Shift to Telecommuting

Companies that retain all or even a portion of their staff as telecommuters will be in a better position to weather the financial storm created by the current crises. This may perhaps be best demonstrated oddly enough, by looking at the internet and how it works. IT professionals are among the most common people in the industry working as telecommuters online. As long as there is internet, then there is work for people.

Likewise, programmers are able to work from home, as are customer service representatives and other key positions working in IT. Any company that can establish as much of its workforce as possible as telecommuters will enjoy numerous benefits that will be explained in the latter portion of this article.

Maintain a Skeletal Workforce for Operations if Possible.

As of writing, many businesses have had to make changes overnight from moving their operations online to even laying off a part of their workforce just to keep their business afloat. With the employees you have left, it’s important to also keep your business running by maintaining a skeletal workforce to focus on vital operations for the time being.

Using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Services

Using VoIP services such as Skype and Facetime is a perfect way to continue face-to-face interactions not only with your employees but also clients. These are mostly free but do come with premium subscriptions if you want more access to its features as video group calls.

Expanding Your Ecommerce Capabilities

Some local businesses may already have an online presence, but may also need to consider expanding their services that are offered online. Any company that has a physical product that is going to be shipped out, or that offers online products, may want to consider the addition of an ecommerce or merchant page on their website.

This gives the business owner access to a much larger audience while at the same time, more fully automating much of the checkout process and reducing the number of employees required to perform the job functions.

Upgrade Your Content Marketing Strategies

Unlike printed ads or brochures, a website can also contain videos, which are a primary tool in every internet marketing campaign. This is especially true if the videos are used to introduce products to the customers, which is a very effective technique for increasing sales online.

Videos also have been shown to do better when they include closed captioning or video translations. Many people who are searching for products and services online will prefer the videos and watch them rather than read through large volumes of text.

The inclusion of video closed captioning through video translation services will allow for the customers to enjoy the full video experience without having to worry about missing anything, even when they have the sound turned off. Given the extent of the potential audience though, video translation and video marketing are excellent and necessary tools for an online marketing campaign as more people stay at home.

Relying on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platforms

You might have already been using CRM platforms but in these times, they couldn’t be more necessary now as your business continues operations online. CRM platforms make the process of monitoring clients and keeping track of relevant client data much easier. CRM platforms now run under cloud systems which means your employees can continue their services from the safety of their home.

Shift to Employee Management Strategies using Employee Tracking Tools

It’s fair to say that going online is a whole new realm, figuratively and literally. Business owners and managers need to be inundated with the latest online management strategies to keep track of their employees performance. One of the most vital essential tools in online employee management are employee tracking tools.

Employees can clock in and clock out per shift as they did before in which the tool will keep track of the total number of hours they’ve worked. Another useful feature in employee tracking tools is it takes screenshots of your employees’ screens. This helps managers know whether or not their employees are actually working on the tasks at hand rather than streaming Netflix.

Use Localization to Try to Get Ahead of the Curve

Let’s talk more about localization here and how you can get provided an elevated online customer experience for your foreign audiences and markets, especially during these trying times. Among the most popular online trends for business in 2020 is globalization through localization. Localization is all about speaking to the target demographic in their own language not just in a linguistic sense but also culturally and socially.

You’ll be using their preferences and norms as points of reference to help you refine your product and marketing strategies. This involves establishing a full business presence online in numerous different markets, using language and references that the people will understand from a more localized and personal perspective.

Localization indeed is more than just language, but translation itself under localization takes on a new form. Localizing translations involves taking note of regional linguistic nuances. Language differs greatly, even when everyone involved in the conversation speaks the same language. Think about the local vernacular, local phrases and local accents. Add in local frames of mind and points of reference, and even in different areas that speak the same language, different localization techniques will be required.

In many areas of the world, it will be necessary to use two or more local languages. The province of Quebec generally requires both French and English if it is to be effective. Locations around the Southern border of the USA may require both English and Spanish. Many locations throughout Europe commonly use numerous languages. Switzerland recognizes German, French and Italian as official languages, but also has a strong presence of Romansh. In such a case, four or more languages may be required to be translated for the website. In Switzerland, staying there for a moment in time, the areas for each language are generally geographically specific.

Each one of these geographic areas will have unique features and individual points of pride for the local populations. The ability to integrate these into a larger online campaign using localization strategies means that each one of these languages can be used to more specifically target the desired audience.

The best means to accomplish such a task is to ensure that when moving online, a translation agency that specializes in localization strategies is used in order to ensure both the accuracy and the individual aspects of a more complete, professional and personalized translation service. In some cases, these techniques will be crucial even for a more localized and restricted online business presence.

In other cases, they may be part of a broader globalization campaign, though using the same techniques of localization. However, there are places in the world that lack regular internet access. Some research may need to be done on who will be your ideal target audience.

Going Online Amidst Medical or even Economic Crises: Final Word

For those businesses that can go completely online, there will be no more need to worry about where people can or cannot gather, or what people can or cannot do in person. Many of these companies have the added benefit of creating  online products and services that can be delivered over the internet. Furthermore, the expansion of the online economy will keep the world economy going rather than flatlining.

The impact on ISPs and the relevant infrastructure have already pointed out the need for some expansion of the underlying infrastructure of the internet. It will create the need for more and better infrastructure to be built, resulting in even more work being made available online.

Overall, building a business online may seem like a rather small affair at first glance. However, just as is the case with the current social and economic crises the world is facing, the gains of an online business can create the very same rippling and domino effects in the opposite direction. The creation of more industry results in the creation of more jobs even in times of economic turmoil, and does more than just its “fair share” to aid in the global economic recovery.


This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.


The Most In-Demand Business Language Skills in 2020

The year 2020 is here. If you’re soon to join the workforce, or if you’re a seasoned professional planning to take their career to the next level, learning a second language can be one of your best moves.


According to the World Economic Forum, the 10 skills that one needs to succeed professionally in 2020 are:

1. Complex Problem Solving

2. Critical Thinking

3. Creativity

4. People Management

5. Coordinating with Others

6. Emotional Intelligence

7. Judgment and Decision Making

8. Service Orientation

9. Negotiation

10. Cognitive Flexibility


Being a bilingual speaker has clear cognitive benefits. All these skills can be acquired and refined by learning a new language. A second language is a highly regarded skill as well. In our increasingly interconnected world, companies that operate (or aim to operate) internationally with customers, partners and talent distributed across the world, are looking for multilingual people.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the language skills that will be the most in-demand this year. These skills are a second language and the cultural awareness that comes with it. Let’s take a closer look.

Why You Should Learn a Second Language

What specific language you should learn will probably have to do with your industry and your location. For instance, if you’re based in the United States, learning Spanish might be your best option. Estimates suggest that approximately 99.8 people of Hispanic descent will live in the United States by 2050. And, with a collective buying power of over 1.72 trillion dollars, the Hispanic population is one of the most promising consumer sectors in the country.

We can see an increase of culturally-sensitive advertisement targeting Spanish-speaking customers, as well as an increase in the request for professional translation services.

On the other hand, you might want to learn a language you could tie concrete professional opportunities. For instance, if your industry is booming in Italy, you should learn Italian. If your sector’s great innovators are in Denmark, perhaps you should learn Danish.

Throughout the last twenty years, the British Council has produced a series of reports titled “Languages for the Future”. It was concluded that post-Brexit, UK-based professionals should take their time to learn Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Arabic or German. Think about what’s best for you, considering your location, industry, discipline and goals.

Of course, if you find a language and/or culture you’re particularly interested in — whether because you enjoy their media, or because of your own ethnic roots, even better.

It’s worth taking a moment to further explain how a second language might benefit you professionally.

For starters, bilingual workers tend to get paid more. And, with the digitalization of the workplace, remote work on the rise, and an increasing number of companies of all sizes sourcing talent internationally, bilingual workers have a clear competitive edge. They can communicate better through international organizations, and they tend to have higher cultural awareness than their counterparts. Cultural awareness makes for a healthy, strong and diverse company culture, and it’s also the key to high performance. Cultural awareness is the vehicle to above-average creativity, critical thinking, and negotiation skills. Let’s see why.

Cultural Awareness & Why We Need It

Cultural awareness has been defined as:

“ [S]sensitivity to the similarities and differences that exist between two different cultures and the use of this sensitivity in effective communication with members of another cultural group.”

Those who have cultural awareness can see their own culture from the perspective of an outsider, and see the differences between cultures in an analytical, intelligent and sensible way.

Cultural awareness has been linked to increased creativity because it’s about raising above our assumptions and experience and empathizing with others. Those who have spent a season abroad, taking part in academic or professional programs, have developed this creativity by constantly dealing with mundane situations that they couldn’t navigate through on “pilot mode,” as they would in their own culture.

Understanding differing preferences, interests and codes of conduct also boosts your emotional intelligence and makes you a people-oriented, flexible professional with leadership potential.

The Next Step

Now that we understand how learning a second language can boost our career and help us bring greater value to organizations, we could:

-Learn about the in-demand languages in your industry

-Find a learning method or strategy that fits your needs and the way you like to learn

-Consider using apps, films and other unconventional learning assets

-Set clear and realistic goals

-Explore relevant institutions, schools or academic programs

Remember that learning a second language isn’t just about adding a line to your resume. It’s about growing as a person and as a professional. And, like all learning processes, it’s basically neverending. You should always be looking to learn something new. As Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”