It isn’t really a secret that knowing the culture and language of a country will help one to have a smoother stay there, whether it’s for business or pleasure. However, while learning a new culture and language can be a short, fun experience for tourists, the necessity of mastering a foreign language and becoming culture-savvy for business purposes is much more important. In honor of International Education Week, it is valuable to highlight the importance of linguistic and cultural education in this ever-globalizing world.
While many countries require students to be educated in a second language (typically English), education requirements in the United States have not been as stringent. Although more and more primary, secondary schools, and universities are moving towards having greater foreign language requirements, the education isn’t concurrent with the importance that many businesses place on it. Knowing a foreign language makes an employee or prospective employee that much more of a valuable commodity in the business world. These language skills give one more scope to interact with wider choices of people. So increase your human capital and check out globalEDGE’s Business Language guides!
Culture is also important to international business relations. While knowing the language is a priority, cultural savvy can be the difference between dealing with customers over the phone and setting up a big deal with a potential investor. Developing a sense of rapport when conducting business relations is the key to making a potential business partner feel comfortable and trusting about doing business with your company. Intercultural communication is all about being proud of one’s own culture, while at the same time showing a respect and understanding for the culture of another. For more on the levels of culture and its importance in the business place, refer to our interactive Culture Module. If you’re interested in the business culture of a specific country, refer to one of our many country culture pages. If you’re just interested in culture in general, our International Cultural Resources have many resources which can help lead you to having a successful international business experience.