With exports being hailed as one of the primary economic drivers and with government support for businesses to grow in countries such as India and China, UK businesses will need to cater to a completely different culture in order to succeed.
Indeed, many companies have had to accept the fact that language skills are vital when it comes to exporting, and that you need someone who can speak the local language to man your customer service desks.
This has always been key, especially in emerging countries.
But Dr Tatsuya Amano, lead author of ‘Global distribution and drivers of language extinction risk‘ suggests that “as economies develop, one language often comes to dominate a nation’s political and educational spheres. People are forced to adopt the dominant language or risk being left out in the cold – economically and politically.”
And developing countries accounted for 49.6 per cent of global GDP at the end of 2012. It’s probably safe to assume that by now this has pushed past the 50 per cent mark.
This is the main reason why the CBI’s June report suggested that nearly two-thirds of about 300 UK firms preferred staff with language skills, wherebyFrench, German, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin were highly prized.
But were we to combine the two facts above then it could mean that everything is about to change and that business abroad will become a new experience and, dare I say it, even easier than it’s currently proven to be
Daniel Kaufman, executive director of the Endangered Language Alliance, said: “We are now seeing a pattern of linguistic diversity that was originally shaped by the environment give way to a pattern that is being shaped by policy and economic realities.”