China is a major player on the world stage when it comes to trade and business. Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, with around 1.2 billion native speakers. However, the language of global business is English.
Multinationals make it their mandatory language of choice as it enables them to standardise communications, set performance standards and strategise across diverse territories.
English speaking is no longer, globally, a mark of elite achievement so much as a business essential for anyone wishing to do business on a worldwide basis.
Here, Hywel Griffiths of APD Resolutions, explains why a language strategy is essential for international entrepreneurs and companies, and what he is doing to help them develop one.
Language and the Global Challenge
“Competing globally has never been easier, in some respects, when you consider digitalisation and the potential of transforming yourself into an international brand via the internet. Except for one crucial thing, language.”
While connectivity should, in theory, break down national and geographic barriers, it cannot necessarily overcome the language barrier.
“Going global means having to address the sometimes uncomfortable fact that English is the international language of commerce, and if you aren’t proficient in it, you will be at a competitive disadvantage”
“English is the dominant language of business, and while local sectors may not use it, international sectors definitely do.”
“You’ve got situations where companies based in non-English speaking countries are still making English their official, and only, workplace language, such as Nissan and Siemens. Therefore, whether someone wants to work for these kinds of global companies, or do business with them, they must be proficient in English.”
Creating a Language Strategy
“If you are an entrepreneur or an overseas business owner, there will be certain strategic things you must do, such as setting goals and building a realistic direction for your business. But you should be adding language to these essentials.”
What does a language strategy look like?
“It means understanding your business’ needs globally and applying English language as a tool to meeting them. It begins, naturally with learning.”
As an experienced business coach and RSA certified instructor, Hywel Griffiths understands the value of English as a business language and is therefore integrating its teaching into what he offers.
“My aim is to make learning English for business internationally accessible through a digital platform, APD GOLD – Global Online Language Development”
The APD GOLD concept for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TFEL) is modular and accessible, with online access to supporting learning materials, as well as regular webinars.
“If you’re involved in, or planning to be involved in, international business, then your language strategy is a fundamental,” Hywel concludes. “That’s where APD GOLD can make a difference.”