As technology continues to advance, globalization in business continues to bring together various language speakers from across the globe. Nowadays, businesses all around the world are becoming more interdependent and the importance of language has become very evident. This is because a business who is interested in targeting new markets needs to invest in translation and localization in order to keep up with the globalization phenomena that is taking the world by storm. Of course English, as an international language, remains crucial for business. Yet, it is important to understand which other languages have proven to be most useful when engaging in business on a global scale.
Globalization in business
- Spanish: With over 400 million native speakers and 21 countries having it as their official language, speaking Spanish could expand a company’s business to many countries worldwide. At the moment, there are many countries in Central and South America that are undergoing significant economic developments. For example, Peru has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies with a GDP growth rate of 6.3%. Mexico on the other hand, with its free market economy, has become an important economic power in North America.
- Arabic: Arabic is spoken by 220 million people in the world, among 29 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Countries in these regions, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are rich in natural resources. They have been able to capitalize on this advantage while transforming their countries into huge economic centers in the Middle East. Even though Arabic and its alphabet may not be the easiest to learn, being able to communicate in Arabic may prove to be a huge advantage for any company that is looking to invest in the rapidly growing oil and construction industries of the region.
- Russian: In 2016, Forbes ranked Moscow, the country’s capital, as the third city in the world with the most billionaires. Forbes estimated 60 billionaires and a combined net worth of $217.6 billion dollars. These numbers show how much Russia has grown into a significant business center in Europe in the past 20 years. Therefore, with 255 million speakers, it is an important language to get acquainted with if one is planning on expanding business to Europe.
- Mandarin: It comes as no surprise that Mandarin has the highest number of speakers (1.050 billion, to be exact) than any other language in the world. Even though Mandarin is considered to be one of the hardest languages out there, many entrepreneurs now understand that China is an extremely attractive investment opportunity for companies.
Learning foreign languages is easy for some, but may be very challenging for others. When considering which new language will better serve your business purposes, you should keep in mind that local businesses are less likely to speak English fluently. Therefore, if you wish to increase your chances of thriving in global markets, you must adapt not only to the local language but adapt your product to the culture as well.