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December 13, 2011 / ABC Translation Services

Language Challenges for Import and Export Companies

For companies that import or export, it’s important to have foreign language speakers on staff – but they can’t cover all your bases.

Results of recent research are currently being used to bring home the stunning cost of poor foreign language skills to British businesses.

According to Cardiff University’s study “Costing Babel,” British companies lose out big (about 18.5 billion dollars) due to the workforce’s lack of language skills, as well as companies’ ignoring language as an element in export strategy.

“The Forum of Private Business is warning that poor foreign language skills cost British businesses £21 billion per year [about $18.5 billion] leaving them behind large companies which are increasingly investing in multilingual staff,” explains an article on the subject.

However, the article points out that having multilingual staff is just one element of a successful international strategy. In fact, 4 aspects of language management are linked with import and export success: “having a language strategy, appointing native speakers, recruiting staff with language skills and using professionally qualified translators or interpreters.”

In many cases, multilingual workers can function conversationally and professionally, but they don’t necessarily have the translation and interpreting skills necessary for certain situations.

And, of course, in an ever-growing import export world, it can be very difficult to have staff on-site to speak every language your company must work with.

That’s why even forward-thinking, language-oriented companies turn to professional language service providers for certain key tasks and projects.

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