What Are the Most Powerful Languages for Business?

Is your organization considering international expansion? Before moving into new markets, HR leaders need to consider whether their staff are equipped to deal with a new or new set of business languages – business English, French, Italian, German, Spanish – and cultural norms. Modern cities aren’t mono – or even bilingual anymore. Big urban centers are increasingly becoming multilingual—and companies need to keep up business communication skills to effectively run their businesses in these cities.

Do Your Employees Have the most Powerful Business Communication Skills?

Having staff who can break down cultural barriers and thrive in the world’s most powerful languages and business communication skills will ensure a smooth transition into new, diverse cities. If you’re considering doing business in any of the following cities, here are the top business languages and cities you will want to consider training your workforce in.

Berlin – Attractive for Talent & Business

The Global Power City Index (GPCI) ranks the world’s major cities according to their power to attract businesses and workers from across the globe. According to the GPCI, Berlin comes in at number nine, meaning Berlin is a growing city that is quickly attracting top talent. Google Trends regularly reports on users’ search patterns. Google recently analyzed the 135 languages they support to pinpoint which cities have searched in the most diverse languages.

According to their data, it isn’t just German and English that are frequently used in Berlin; French, Spanish and Italian are also commonly used in search. If you’re considering expanding to Berlin, ensure you have staff who are proficient in all five of these languages.

Is your business expanding into new cities? Your team will need language training to successfully operate in a new linguistic region.

Paris – speak the third most powerful language

The GPCI ranks Paris as the fourth most powerful city in the world when it comes to drawing the most diverse businesses and talent. To run successful business operations in a dynamic city like Paris, you’ll need to ensure your staff can successfully communicate and conduct business in business French. According to the World Economic Forum, French is the third most powerful language in the world.

However, French alone may not be sufficient. According to Google Trends, English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and German are also frequently used in Paris.

London – the most powerful & international HUB

Due to its high performing economy and abundance of research and development, London takes the top spot as the most powerful city in the world according to the GPCI. Despite London’s location in a predominantly anglophone country, English isn’t the only language you’ll need to conduct business there. French, German and Spanish are also key languages spoken in the city.

For the greatest impact, ensure that your workforce is trained in business languages that will help you expand to multiple regions. If you’re doing business in Europe, having employees with competence in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish will allow you to successfully operate in a wide range of diverse, multilingual cities.

Each of these cities has a unique culture that is tied to the language. This means that in addition to learning the language, it is important to understand its culture. By doing so, your employees can maintain strong relationships with business contacts, understand cross-cultural differences and follow proper business etiquette in every interaction. Speexx can help companies avoid cross-cultural communication errors by connecting learners with trainers who are native speakers and who can provide insights into the culture of the target language.

Does your workforce have the ability to conduct business in the most powerful languages for business? Find out for sure with a language test. From there, language training can be provided in either an online, phone or face-to-face program.

Photo: Ingus Kruklitis / Shutterstock Inc

About the Author:

Mehdi is MD for USA & Global Alliances at Speexx, the world’s leading online language training provider. With over 20 years’ experience in the learning industry, Mehdi has successfully implemented learning and talent management strategies for various industries, including content providers and LMS platform specialists. Mehdi assists global organizations in meeting the challenges linked to cultural diversity, improving communications within global operations and developing learning programs to enhance workforce mobility. Follow Mehdi on Twitter.