The world of language in business

By Cecily Watret

International business means becoming accustomed to new languages and the role they play in the corporate environment. Overcoming this language barrier can be quite a daunting task, which is why The Language Factory has created a new infographic focusing on five of the top languages in business and incorporating some interesting facts about the languages and the countries in which they are spoken.

To give you a brief overview:

German is on the rise in the US of A

You might not have known, but German Americans are a growing ethnic group within the US. As a result, German itself is becoming more commonly spoken in the States. If you work there, it could be a great choice for that second language you’ve been planning to learn.

The French just love to argue

Every country has its own unique customs, but you’ll have to go a pretty long way to beat the French and their love of interruption. Even at business meetings, the French will frequently interrupt each other: it’s a form of entertainment. So try not to be offended if you’re doing business in France and refrain from biting your tongue!

The Spanish love a late night

If you traditionally love to have your dinner at five on the dot, then be prepared for a bit of culture shock in Spain. Spanish restaurants won’t even normally open until after nine o clock. What’s more, they won’t typically start to liven up until after eleven. If you’re doing business in Spain, it might be a good idea to have a strong coffee before you head out…

Chinese is more easily written than spoken

If you’re doing business in China, it’s a very good idea to try and get everything in writing. Spoken Chinese has several thousand local dialects; individuals from different regions (even if they work for the same company) might well have trouble understanding each other. Written Chinese, though, is basically uniform. So stick to writing where possible!

Machinery makes the world go round

Irrespective of the country, and no matter what national stereotypes you might have in mind, machinery appears again and again in the list of top industries, whether it’s in the creation of core materials (as in China) or in the form of ship building (as in Spain). However digital the world becomes, the physical products still make a difference.

 Language Factory Infographic

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