Are monolingual English speakers just lazy when it comes to languages?
People from the UK often get a lot of flak for only speaking one language. This could be attributed to the simple fact we have the luck of speaking what is widely considered to be a universal language. English is usually spoken wherever we go, by so many different nationalities, that we have a good reason to not have the same drive to become bilingual as speakers of other languages. Without that pressing need to motivate us, many people never learn a second language. Hence monolingual English speakers are often labelled ‘lazy’.
Learning languages at school
Most British kids are taught a second language at secondary school, although learning French at school wasn’t very successful for me. Although childhood is considered the best time to learn a language, without an outlet for direct use it’s no wonder it’s difficult to retain. School French classes didn’t get me very far on my many business trips to Paris later in life. Did I wish I’d paid more attention in school? Absolutely! Was I motivated to learn as an adult? Maybe…
Learning a second language later in life
Although those business meetings showed me the value of learning a second language, it wasn’t necessarily a priority. As previously mentioned, finding an English speaker in most situations isn’t too difficult and I’m ashamed to say that language learning was pushed to the bottom of my list of work and personal goals.
For those who are more disciplined than me, however, there are many modern methods to assist language acquisition. From language apps to private teachers, the facilities are there for the taking. And if your linguistic skills aren’t up to snuff? That’s where the professionals come in.
What are monolingual English speakers to do?
Thank goodness for professional translation companies. When it comes to the important things such as translating your business contracts, press releases, or digital content, using Google Translate or cashing in favours with bilingual buddies just won’t cut it.
Due to globalisation, there is an ever-increasing demand for overseas communication on a B2B level, and for businesses to communicate professionally when dealing directly with foreign clients. With this type of interaction becoming commonplace, the requirement for translation has increased rapidly. In lieu of their own language skills, monolingual English speakers can hire experts.
Using a professional translation service
Luckily for the monolingual entrepreneurs and business owners of today, there are well qualified and professional translation agencies available that specialise in a wide range of different fields.
Contracting these services can prevent the loss of independent clients by something as simple as having a website available in multiple languages. They can also translate business documents and contracts for foreign clients, providing new opportunities and opening up business avenues that otherwise would not exist. Put simply, hiring skilled translators requires zero linguistic knowledge from you and can lead to big profits.
Don’t dismiss the idea of learning another language
Knowing that our fellow Europeans are likely to speak English, in the business world or otherwise, should not excuse us from trying to learn other languages. As much as a translation agency can help, there’s nothing quite like being able to connect with another person directly, be it in a business or social setting. So whatever your age, it’s never too late to start learning another language!
In the meantime, BeTranslated’s experienced native translators are here to give you support in your translation needs. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch today.