Doing business in another language

Language training

If you want to do business in or with a particular European Economic Area (EEA) country regularly, you may want to train your staff to speak the language. Business language training can range from traditional classroom teaching to personal tutoring, multimedia exercises, and simulations for sales purposes and presentations.

Training can be tailored specifically for your business needs, or designed to take learners towards a recognised qualification.

Benefits of language training

Even if English is widely used in your chosen market, staff training can result in considerable benefits:

  • improved customer service
  • a deeper knowledge of the market in the EEA country you want to do business in
  • the ability to compete for business outside the UK
  • better communication with suppliers, colleagues and employees working abroad

To identify the most effective kind of language skills training for your business, you will need to think about:

  • the language or languages that will be most useful
  • the types of skills your business needs - should staff be able to read, write and speak in the target language, be confident on the phone, know technical vocabulary, or translate for colleagues?
  • the level of ability you want your staff to reach
  • the cost of lessons and additional materials, and the time staff will spend away from their work

However, language training can take some time and employees you train may not reach sufficient fluency to successfully create export opportunities. For the smaller business, it may make more sense to recruit native speakers of the target language who live in the UK to get you exporting more quickly. Larger companies may be able to employ local employees in the target countries.