The value of speaking a second language is often neglected in the workplace. While English may be the language of the vast majority for international commerce, speaking the language of your foreign counterpart or colleague like French offers fantastic benefits to you and your employees. Learning French can benefit you in the corporate world in a number of ways, ten of these benefits are outlined below.
1. International Networking Opportunities
French is spoken by more than 285 million people worldwide across 5 continents as either a native language or second language. It is the fifth most spoken language after Spanish on the internet. This gives many opportunities for networking across every single continent in the world. Communicating directly with new clients and companies in their native language is one of the first steps to establishing lasting, stable business relationship.
2. New Market Opportunities
Learning French means having the opportunity to move into different markets as you can create websites and market your business to a brand-new audience (using your employees’ French writing skills). Many multinational companies’ working language is French in a wide range of corporate sectors, including retail, automotive, luxury goods and aeronautics. Email marketing and blog writing can be used to reach your customers in their native language. As one of the world’s largest economies and a leading destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner of other countries.
3. World Trade
Twenty percent of world trade takes place in French-speaking countries. France is the world’s fifth largest importer and exporter behind the United States, China, Germany and Japan. Trading with French-speaking organizations will provide significant opportunities for your business It is also worth noting that France is the number one global travel destination for tourists.
4. One of the Official Language of International Relations
French is the primary or secondary language of the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
France — a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council – is a leader in Europe and the world. French is one of the United Nations’ two official languages and one of six in which simultaneous translation is offered in the General Assembly and the Security Council. The gradual economic rise of Africa leaves French well-placed to remain one of the world’s leading languages of commerce and finance.
5. Easy transition from English
French is a relatively easy for your employees to learn. Forty five percent of the English language is derived from French. French is used in English especially in the fields of cuisine, diplomacy, fashion and the fine arts. This makes it a language that Anglophones can pick up comparatively easily. Committing to 1-2 hours each week means learning a new language in the comfort of your own home and being able to do so with a tight schedule. Our virtual language programs adapt learning methodologies such as duration and activities to suit each client’s needs. They are tailored and designed to suit the client’s learning style. Flexibility is important and so all French classes are offered virtually as well as in person.
6. The first step of many more
French is a great starting point for acquiring other languages especially those of the Romance group, such as Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Generally, language learning skills are highly transferable. Once you have mastered one, the next becomes easier even if you venture into the Germanic, and Slavic areas and on into the non-Indo-European realm. French is a great place to start as it is highly accessible to people with relatively scant foreign language experience. Thus, it is not only a practical option for your immediate business and professional needs, but it could well whet your appetite for continuing education in the field of foreign language learning.
7. Improved Customer Service
Encouraging employees to learn French will help you to improve your business’s customer service. The growth in e-commerce and online shopping means that most companies’ have growing non-English speaking customer bases. Although this is great news for your business, problems can arise when it comes to customer service, especially if there is a language barrier. By learning French, your employees can interact with French-speaking customers in French, thereby providing them with improved customer service. The better your customer service, the more likely you are to make your customers happy and ensure their return.
8. Employee Professional Development
Learning a language keeps your employees engaged as they learn a new skill. It is a purposeful task that your workers can use immediately whilst interacting with international customers. This will also help with employee retention. Underwriting French lessons for your employees is a benefit that will yield the your corporation or enterprise significant returns.
9. Improved international communication
As your employees proceed with French lessons, they will quickly attain the point where they can write letters and emails and participate in telephone conversations and do so with a considerable degree of fluency. As they continue, they will soon be able to take part in negotiations and meetings with French speakers. Finally, they will be able to engage in actual commercial transactions, i.e., convince a client or potential client to make a purchase. The chance of success in this endeavor improves if your employee can make his or her pitch in the client’s native language.
10. Breaking language barriers
Businesses increasingly use social marketing to attract new clients. Advertising products and services in multiples languages has been shown to yield significant results. Increased traffic to your website means that it will rise in the ranks on search engines, possibly emerging at or near the top. This will result in new clients and more opportunities. If potential customers do not understand your website because of the language it is written in, you run the risk that they will neither believe in nor trust the products and/or services you are selling. Present your products in your client’s mother tongue and your sales are likely to rise. Conducting your business in many different languages will help you significantly widen your client base, potentially on a global scale. If your people are well-trained in French, one of the world’s leading languages of trade and commerce, you will only increase your chances of achieving that result.