17 Aug What Are Common Language Barriers When Doing Business
There are various issues that humans face on an everyday basis. But the same problem can affect everyone differently. Every individual will have a different story to tell about the same problem they encountered. It also depends on the time when an individual gets to experience something. But the difference is not only between the way every person experiences something. There is also a huge difference between the way humans deal with a problem and the way companies deal with it. Something that does not affect the general public much can hurt businesses greatly. It is up to companies to come up with useful solutions so they can keep on working towards their goals.
The seven billion people who live on earth have different cultures and languages. Although most people don’t interact with foreigners on a daily basis, some of them do. In those moments, they have to come up with a solution for the linguistic problem. They can either rely on interpreters or use smartphone apps to communicate with each other. A lot of apps these days offer a lot of helpful features for travelers. And when it comes to official documents, people can hire qualified experts instead of trying to get the help of machines.
But in the business world, language barriers can keep companies from succeeding. No one can use an app in a company meeting to communicate with those who speak a different language. The rules are different in the corporate world. The solution has to be perfect, so it can help companies in connecting with their audiences and investors. But before someone can come up with a solution, they have to carefully evaluate the problem and find out how it is affecting them.
What Are Common Language Barriers That Companies Found in Doing Business?
Every multinational company has to deal with linguistic problems. But depending on the workforce and the target audience, the challenges can be different. It is important to point out the areas that are being affected the most so the appropriate actions can be taken. Here are the most common language barriers that companies have to deal with:
- Communication Challenges:
If the executives and managers aren’t native, they will have trouble communicating with the employees. This can create a divide between the higher-ups and the workforce. In such situations, employees feel like they cannot express their concerns to the executives. The communication problem can ultimately lead to the poor work quality. When employees don’t feel heard, they lose the motivation to give their 100%.
- Marketing Issues:
An advertisement made for a certain country may not work well with the people of another country. Companies often think that the language barrier can be crossed by getting the advertisement translated into the vernacular of the target audience. But if there is offensive content in the advertisement, it can damage the reputation of the company. Sometimes, even the name of a brand might not sound good in the native language. This can create marketing problems for a business.
When the workplace is designed for the executives and not for the employees, it will feel alien to the latter. Every office building has various signs, but if they are in a language that the majority of the employees cannot understand, they won’t feel at home. And if they can’t feel welcomed in the office, they will not be able to work efficiently.
- Connection Between Employees:
In every workplace, the workforce has to communicate with each other from time to time. This is how they end up developing a bond with each other. The bond not only improves their efficiency but also makes them feel comfortable in the office. But if the employees are from different countries and don’t speak the same languages, they will end up forming their separate groups. This will create plenty of problems in the office. It will also affect the quality of the work.
- Losing Investors:
Multinational companies don’t only have to deal with foreign employees. They need money to run things, and for that, they have to turn to investors. But if there is a linguistic barrier between the company executives and foreign investors, then that would only create problems for the business. An investor will not be willing to bet their money on something they don’t even understand. If the brand fails to present their ideas properly to the investors, they won’t be able to secure any funding.
What’s the Solution?
There are various ways in which a company can approach the language problem. They can only hire people who speak the same language to eliminate the problem. But that will keep the company from succeeding in a world that is so diverse. The best option is to hire interpreters for meetings and translators for company documents. This way, not only will the employees stay happy and satisfied, but the investors will also feel confident about the company they have invested in.
There is a lot of risk in running a business, but with good planning, everything can work out. If a brand wishes to go global, then it must do proper research and planning beforehand. Only by knowing their audience and the market can they succeed in achieving their goals. A company that does not think about linguistic barriers will end up failing because of them. So, hire linguistic experts before you decide to enter a foreign market if you don’t want to fail.