Language barriers are something we talk about often here, at 1-StopAsia, as our teams are so strongly diverse. There are people from all around the world in our offices and their job is to communicate effectively with our clients worldwide. We have already published some insight on How to overcome the language barriers in business such as ours and today we are back with some more useful tips on the matter.
How to expand your business overseas and hammer out brilliant deals abroad? You might find the answers here!
Learn the basics
When entering a new market or creating new partnerships abroad, first of all, you should do your research and find out what their preferred language of communication is. It is always a nice touch to whatever deal you’re planning to make when you put effort to execute it in the preferred language of the host. However, this doesn’t mean that you and your team have to become fluent in that language – learning the basics such as greetings and work phrases will always be welcomed.
Repeat if you have to
Language barriers stay in the way of the most important element of international business and partnership – communication. Oftentimes, in order to reach clarity in different matters, you will have to repeat yourself. It is very important to be patient and understand that not all of the people you are talking to will apprehend what you are saying on the first go. Leave enough room for questions and encourage people to try and clear the misunderstandings.
Repeating the information you have provided is also a very functional method to make people remember important details and facts. If it is important, make sure that your audience hears it a couple of times.
Use visual methods of communication
Bear in mind that in the international environment words can often fail us in our attempts to deliver information and complex concepts. Since humans essentially happen to be visual learners, it is a good idea to consider adopting some visual methods of communication.
When presenting to a foreign audience make sure you have prepared enough diagrams, charts, and pictures to introduce more in-depth analyses. This will help people to easily understand your concept even if you might be struggling with the language barrier.
Building an international team
If your company is large enough and leads a fair deal of international communication, it might be a good idea for you to try and make your team more diverse.
In the past, companies were often reluctant to hire foreigners, the reason being that their employees were more inclined to trust their fellow countrymen. Nowadays, the easiest way to overcome language barriers in business communication is to have a representative who fluently speaks the language needed. Hiring multilingual and international employees is a great investment in your company’s future. Building an international team may not only help you overcome the language barrier but also give you a new perspective on international business problems and their solutions.
Language barriers in business can be quite frustrating for both ends of correspondence. It is a process that requires patience and understanding. s When someone is struggling with working their way through negotiations, it is essential to remember that this has nothing to do with their actual intelligence or the ability to perceive information.
To create a proper environment, you should also be careful with the way you speak. Try not to raise your voice, but explain slowly and clearly instead. People who struggle with the new language will appreciate those small acts of understanding and will feel more confident in doing their job. Being respectful is the key to deliver outstanding results in an international environment.
Final advice: consider cultural differences
There are many different things that should be taken into account when communicating with others and in business that is more valid than ever. Study carefully the business etiquette, the hierarchy, or any other small details on how to hand your business card, whether to be fashionably late or early for a meeting and so on. We have covered a number of them in our article “5 key business manners you should get acquainted with when dealing with Asian people”.