With a work force that boasts 20 different nationalities and 17 languages, the industrial automation spares supplier, European Automation is keen to show its support for any programme promoting learning new languages. Indeed, its recent linguistic placements and support for the British government initiative encouraging businesses to identify the benefits of employing postgraduate language students, is reflected in its endorsement of the European Day of Languages
Our planet has over 7 billion people who speak between 6,000 and 7,000 different languages. In Europe alone there are more than 225 indigenous languages, which only amount to three per cent of the world’s total. “Now how bad do you feel that the extent of your multilingual capabilities is speaking louder and more slowly when abroad and extensive use of hand signals?” In celebration of all these tongues and dialects, the 26 of September is European Day of Languages.
European Automation knows all about the importance of speaking the lingo when it comes to international business. 82 per cent of their sales currently come from exports and thus it’s essential that we not only speak in terms that our customers understand, but also remain aware of cultural differences.
“With a work force that boasts 20 different nationalities and 17 languages, we feel that we’re not doing too badly on the linguistic and cultural diversity fronts. We regularly organise days celebrating different nationalities – these consist of staff bringing in different foods, playing music and generally getting into the spirit of multiculturalism.”
Their special days are not too dissimilar from the range of events promoting the learning of languages scheduled across the continent for European Day of Languages. Those who wish to be involved the can organise their own event and submit it to the European Day of Languages’ page; there’s even a prize for the most innovative idea. Here is the full list of what’s going on and how you can enter!
Language can often be a barrier for companies looking to export and can seriously impede a company’s growth. When our customers call from different parts of the world, they are put through to a native language speaker with relevant cultural knowledge. This eliminates communication problems and creates an authentic relationship between our customers and our sales team. Needless to say, in any language, the benefit of this is huge/énorme/riesig/ollmhór/огромный… well, you get the gist.
Therefore the need for more language specialists in companies like European Automation is crucial.
On May 6, British business secretary Vince Cable announced a new initiative, which encourages companies to identify and employ postgraduate students with relevant language skills for key overseas markets. European Automation strongly supports the initiative and have actively sought to nurture local linguistic talents.
They recently rewarded three Newcastle College (GB) linguists a two week placement at European Automation after they beat off fierce competition. All three had to apply for the placement by interviewing first in English and then in their chosen second language, earning themselves the chance to put their skills to the test in the working world.
According to the research that sparked the initiative to recruit more multilingual postgraduate students, as much as €60 billion (£48 billion) is lost in international sales because of poor language skills and cultural ignorance. Talking louder and enunciating (whilst pointing, always remember to point!) may be fine to communicate with the hotel barman in Lanzarote, but it certainly isn’t good enough for businesses looking to succeed when exporting abroad.
“So what have you got planned for the September 26? Why not take a leaf out of our book and embrace a different culture, or more than one for that matter, in the spirit of European Day of Languages.”