The word ‘universal’ describes something that is all-encompassing, such as today’s business world. Learning a new language abroad will be key as business takes place across many languages, not just one single means of communication. Here is how you can avoid this sticking point.
For this reason, limiting yourself and your business to what you can speak or in another parlance, means you’d have a smaller scope of operation. Thankfully, languages can be learned, and with modern methods, you’ll quickly pick up on the garb of a foreign tongue.
Learning a new language abroad is a gateway that creates a connection that makes things run smoothly. Whether that’s sitting in a classroom, using an app or a blog, the practical purposes a new language serves to solve many problems.
These tips will help you when learning a new language abroad,whatever the business trip you embark on.
Enroll in a language class
This is one of the best and foolproof tips if you’re going to grab on a language quickly enough. A basic knowledge of the structure, grammar, and how words are pronounced sets the tone for better communication.
You don’t have to know everything to at least say ‘hi’ or effectively pass off a little message in a new language. Further, enrolling in a language class means you see the bigger picture and the advantages associated with starting off on the right foot with language skills, particularly if your line of business is novel to you.
Language classes do need a certain degree of commitment and attention from you, meaning you will lose some valuable time, but on the whole, it’s worth it if your business must break new ground.
Mimic and imitate
If you’ve felt comfortable watching a Spanish, Chinese or Italian sitcom and didn’t have an issue following (with subtitles, of course), perhaps picking up some few lines to mimic would help. Sometimes, lines get stuck in the mind and you find yourself eager to learn more. It’s the same on the business front.
When you meet clients and other business partners, listen with keen interest and observe how they use words, phrases and the gestures that follow. Chances are you’ll pick up on some familiar words and try them out at a later time. This way, you’re testing your mental ability to grasp essential parts of the new language and making an effort that is bound to pay off.
A drawback of mimicking is that you may get lost in the context of what’s being said. However, an attempt to speak what you’ve heard or learned upgrades your personal network which helps your business concerns.
Resist the urge to speak your language
It’s definitely one to watch out for. Even though it does help you escape a few sticky situations, replying in your host’s native language further strengthens your resolve to learn it. Again, you might sound like an insect close to a well-lit bulb but it’s better than being too comfortable with what you already know.
Resisting the urge to speak your language is awesome but you should know where to draw a line, particularly if you want to close out a deal or confirm a transaction. Also, others are just as eager to speak yours or build on what they’ve learned. One positive is that it boosts the process, helping you to learn faster.
Simple words are the key to learning a new language abroad
It’s okay to have a vast array of vocabulary to help you express yourself. But when it comes to new languages, you’ll find that you have a limited scope of words or vocabulary to press home your point. You don’t want a situation where you’d have to use a service to look up the meaning of what you’re trying to say. For this reason, speaking like a child short on what to say helps a lot.
Forget all the tough stuff and stick to the basics. This way, things don’t get misunderstood since communication is effective.
Use online language tutors
Thanks to the internet, you can connect with a lot of people, including tutors and other language learners. There are many benefits associated with using language training platforms such as convenient timing – you can be on the move and still have access to materials – as well as lessons and live chats. Also, you get to practice your skills with people from all over the globe.
Online learning is on the rise but still requires a fair amount of time to gain anything meaningful. This is coupled with the fact that nothing beats the real-time experience of learning a new language abroad. On the plus side, however, it’s relatively cheap.
Culture is just as important – embrace it
Some cultures are largely unspoken but one thing they’re not is hidden. Also, in most cases, you’re taken seriously when you observe such customs in a foreign country. For instance, you may find yourself in countries that don’t accept tips for some services. Offering one would seem offensive, demeaning or in contravention of a law. Even if the new language is not your strongest suit, observing the local culture and the customs that come with it is a nice step towards fitting in.
One drawback here is not staying long enough to latch onto significant parts of the culture and customs of a foreign place. On the flip side, it’s something you never forget, especially if you return in the future.
When in doubt, ask for help
Being on a business trip presents many challenges, even if you’re fluent in the new language. Getting a native speaker to help you translate essential aspects of business transactions is a good idea. Things like residence permits, contracts, bargaining power, and red tape need experts to sift through them.
Furthermore, asking for assistance isn’t a sign of failure, rather a recognition of the fact that you’ve gone far enough. A pitfall would be falling into desperate hands. Sticking to those recognized by authorities helps a lot.
Having a command of two or more languages is helpful to you and your business. It often means you can reach further in foreign countries and hold your own as you engage in profitable transactions. These tips will help you hit the ground running.