When we think of multinational companies, we often think of behemoths that, instead of focusing on one sector or vertical, have their hands in a little of everything. They are household names around the world with presences everywhere, including emerging markets that you didn’t even know were emerging.
The truth is that in today’s multinational economy, businesses of all shapes and sizes have a need to compete globally. And that requires language skills other than your company’s native tongue.
You think that you can’t compete with those multinational conglomerates, but your sales proposition might be in the fact that you specialize. That being said, certain sectors have more needs for language skills than others.
Last year, we commissioned a survey of 500 executives of companies with more than 500 employees and offices all over the world. The results have been made available in a handy infographic entitled Business Value in Language. We sought to break down the language needs of organizations as detailed as possible, including where language skills are needed most:
- Telecoms and Utilities
- Wholesale Goods
- Business and Professional Services
For decades, the language of business has been English. Not surprisingly, 82% of our respondents said it was their most critical language, followed by German.
Overall, 99% of the companies surveyed said they use English in their organizations. French, German, and Spanish were also used in the majority of companies. Mandarin, thought to be the hottest language to learn for business, is only used in 45% of companies, but is particularly popular in larger companies (those with over 3,000 employees).
That is a wide range of verticals and a wide range of languages that are needed. Fewer companies can afford to rest on their laurels. The good news is that language training is easier and more efficient than ever thanks to the flexibility online learning provides.
To see more results of the survey, click here to check out the infographic Business Value in Language.