Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Local Firm Builds Language Links in the Logistics Supply Chain for Freight and Export Interests

So How Do You Spend Your Lunch Hour?
Shipping News Feature

UK – When Gareth Bale was recently unveiled in front of thousands of Real Madrid fans, he put his Spanish skills to the test, explaining it was ‘a dream to be here in Madrid’. Although it was undoubtedly his football skills that were of interest to fans, his efforts to communicate in Spanish certainly helped him to receive such a warm welcome, just as Gary Lineker had done at Barcelona a generation earlier. Language is the vital pathway for those who wish to sell themselves or their products and transport freight between neighbouring countries, and sadly in the UK is often the ‘missing link’ in the logistics supply chain.

Now more and more local exporters are realising they must employ staff capable of communicating in key foreign languages which is helping to open doors to international trade and form relationships with potential clients overseas. Now one local organisation is opening the gateways to international expression as across Sheffield, business men and women are once a week making the most of their lunch hour by attending open language classes with Total Linguistics.

The company is offering the chance to learn or improve linguistic skills in foreign tongues key to export markets in many regions and produces convincing evidence as to why any entrepreneurial outfit should equip its staff adequately to deal with potential and existing customers. Although English speakers tend to think they rule the commercial world, English is only used by 27% of internet users worldwide, and consumers choose products primarily from advertisements in their own language.

It is estimated that having a ‘language management strategy’ (i.e. having multilingual staff & obtaining professional translations) can increase sales turnover by a minimum of 16% in three out of four companies and research indicates that having at least one foreign language can add 15% onto an individual’s potential earnings, whilst learning a foreign language is thought to increase creativity and brain growth and is also reported by some to help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Total Linguistics offer reasons as to why certain languages are pre-eminent targets for would be speakers including:

French: Traditionally a firm favourite among British language learners, French continues to be a sought after skill. Not only is France our closest neighbour and the French language spoken on five different continents, but France remains home to many of the world’s leading companies.

Spanish: Spoken by approximately 500 million people worldwide, Spanish is one of the most powerful language skills to obtain. It opens the door to one of the UK’s largest trading partners, Spain, as well as the gateway to Mexico and much of Central and South America. Not forgetting it’s also very handy when ordering ‘dos cervezas por favor!’

German: The fact that Germany remains the UK’s largest European export market is probably as good a reason as any to learn the native language of one of our nearest neighbours.

Chinese (Mandarin): The most spoken language in the world. Although slightly more difficult to master than some of our closer European languages, granting access to one of the most powerful nations in the world is enough reward for grasping this lucrative language.

Portuguese: Brazil is now one of the largest economies in the world. With the forthcoming World Cup and Olympic Games, Portuguese is not a language to be ignored.

Russian: Russia is the largest country in the world and the UK’s fastest growing export market. It is also the second most used language on the internet, which is a compelling reason to learn this prominent language. Speaking Russian is now essential for any budding astronauts too!

Two of Total’s Directors are suitably enthusiastic with Eleanor Bagust saying that there has been a high level of interest in the firm’s classes from the service sector with legal and professional services firms increasingly keen to develop their staff’s foreign language skills to ensure they don’t get left behind their competition, whilst Michelle Daniel insists there are nothing but good reasons for taking the plunge and improving one’s language skills, pointing out:

“Not only are the classes a great way to learn a new language, but they are also the perfect opportunity to network with other local businesses. Attending the classes during a lunch hour or straight after work is an excellent way to fit them into your day.”

Details of courses can be seen on the company website or enquiries can be made via e mail at ask@total-linguistics.com  or by ‘phone on 0114 213 4646.