16 November 2017

Developing Economically Strategic Language Skills


When your company is looking to grow globally, you can expect to hit a language barrier or two along the way. Of course, you could bring an interpreter into your meetings (or turn to Google Translate in an emergency!), but the smartest approach is to develop your organisation’s in-house language skills.

The real trick here, though, is knowing where to start. How do you narrow down the field to identify the business-enhancing languages that will improve your global prospects?

This blog helps you get started by identifying some of the leading and up-and-coming global economies, and demystifying the acronyms that connect them.

The strengths of established economies: The FIGS

This catchy acronym stands for our European neighbours: France, Italy, Germany and Spain. All these countries have well-developed economies, and their languages all use the same alphabet (which means that they will seem more familiar to you at first glance). Germany and France in particular are major global economies, and all the aforementioned countries have large populations – which is a great recipe for business success.

Spain and Italy have experienced political and economic challenges in recent years, but all four of the FIGS offer businesses a wealth of opportunity (and their languages are recognised as some of the leading languages to learn for professional success). Introducing any of these languages to your organisation could help to sweeten a future business deal.

The potential of emerging economies: The MINTs

Emerging economies offer a very different, though not less relevant, opportunity for UK businesses. The MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) are, for many economists, the new BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The BRICS are emerging economies that have long been predicted to join the world’s leading economies – and although Brazil and Russia are struggling against some challenging economic conditions, they have largely fulfilled their promise.

The MINT countries are thought to be the next global powerhouses for business success, but like the BRICS before them they have a range of challenges ahead. Poor infrastructure, crime and corruption are all significant factors that could hold back the MINTs, but they remain widely tipped for success because they have large young working populations and fast-growing economies.

The story of the MINT countries is in many ways yet to unfold, but they are brimming with economic potential – and they represent great markets for daring businesses to take the plunge. Mexico even crosses paths (language-wise) with the FIGS, as Spanish is its official language – so developing Spanish language skills within your organisation could open many business doors.

Remind yourself of the power of your business strategy

Regardless of the business acronyms you encounter, your efforts to identify the global locations in which your company can succeed will rely on you developing and following through your organisation’s business strategy. If your business stays on course to achieve its objectives, you may find that the languages of opportunity become dazzlingly apparent.

Take the first step towards incorporating language learning into your organisation by contacting us at Simon & Simon today. We will help you to develop an effective language training plan so that your team can react quickly to changing markets and seize emerging global business opportunities.

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Whether you’re learning a language for the first time or are looking to develop your existing language skills, call SIMON & SIMON today on +44 (0)20 7821 0999 to discuss the best language training course for you.

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