Top 5 industries where being bilingual is an asset
Did you know that more than 500 senior employees at major companies recently admitted that cultural misunderstandings prevented them from closing deals with foreign companies? In some cases, the employees’ inability to speak another language even stopped the company from expanding into new markets. This is often the case with China, where the country is quickly becoming a global leader in an array of industries, but with only 1% of the population speaking fluent English, it is becoming increasingly important for other businesses to train their employees to be proficient in Chinese.
Certainly, learning new languages is beneficial for anyone who wants to succeed in the professional sphere. But are there any industries that benefit from multilingualism more than others? Absolutely!
- Aviation and Tourism: Global industries, aviation and tourism personnel are in constant contact with people from all around the world. That is why most airlines only hire employees who speak more than one language and always ask for English proficiency, especially in the cases of pilots and air traffic controllers.
- Marketing: Advertisement and public relations are also industries where it’s mandatory to excel in communication skills, and knowing multiple languages is a big part of that. What can seem minor, like understanding gestures or expressions, might be misinterpreted by people from other countries and send the wrong message. Bilingual or multilingual employees are better placed to create content appropriate to the culture of the target audience.
- Healthcare: Ever heard of medical writing, interpretation and translation? These are all activities where being bilingual is not only of great value but essential. What these people do is to localize medical instructions, medicine composition, dosage and prescriptions, so that patients can understand the information accurately and follow instructions safely. Also, doctors and nurses who want to live abroad need to know the target language of the place they are moving, as patients need clear information and medical instruction cannot be misunderstood.
- Retail and E-commerce: With the rise of drop shipping, knowing multiple languages is more important than ever for those practising e-commerce. Competition is stiff and the market is saturated, so successful business owners try to localise their content to better appeal to their key audiences: this is essential considering that 75% of buyers claim they would only buy from companies that speak their own language.
- Customer Service: Building strong customer relationships is paramount to success, as a satisfied customer is not only a returning one but also they are likely to recommend the company to their family and friends. International companies that have a presence in many different countries cannot expect everyone to speak English, for example, so they need to offer services in multiple languages and agents need to be at least bilingual to succeed in the industry.
Clearly, learning new languages can broaden your professional horizons, especially if you are working in any of the above-mentioned fields. Whether you are a business owner who is aiming for a global audience or an employee looking to improve your work prospects, being bilingual (or better still, multilingual) will help you achieve your goals. Sign up for a language course today and overcome linguistic barriers to communicate with partners and clients from abroad!