5 Reasons for Entrepreneurs to Learn a New Language

By Emma Worden | learning | June 17, 2021

Coming up with a brilliant idea and setting up a business is far from the end of your entrepreneurial challenges – in fact, the adventure only begins once you have your business ready for launch. As a business owner and an aspiring leader in your industry, you need to step up to the learning curve and expand your knowledge and skills in order to always provide a competitive service or product.

From managing your finances in line with the needs of a modern-day business, learning how to approach clients and communicate your core brand messages, you should also consider learning new languages when you’re considering an expansion. Even if you’re new in the market and you’re about to visit global events without currently expanding, speaking the target language could be helpful in many different ways. Here are merely a few benefits for entrepreneurs to master a new language in the near future and to help yourself advance professionally.

Learning from global experts in their native language

No matter how skilled and educated you are, being an entrepreneur means embracing the responsibility to recognize emerging trends, adopt innovation, and be at the forefront of change. That requires plenty of flexibility, and learning a new language helps you get there more easily.

By speaking different languages, you can attend workshops, lectures, and seminars organized by the most reputable experts in the world. They might come from Russia, Norway, or Spain, but learning their native language gives you the ability to actually join such presentations and learn from the best in your industry.

Visiting global events and conferences

Global networking events are often very inclusive and typically in English. Some, however, might be more location-specific, meaning that they do gladly accept guests from abroad, but they have certain lectures and presentations in the local language only. If you’re looking to present your own business in a new region, or you’re in search of investors from abroad, knowing the target language can help you connect with people in these situations.

You’ll be able to set up eloquent presentations about your brand, answer questions from people from the region, and make sure that you can understand each other entirely. You’ll no longer limit yourself to English-speaking events or markets.

Attracting international clients

Oftentimes, people will intentionally buy from brands that have a site in their own native language. However, if they come across an issue with the product or service they’ve purchased, not being able to ask for help can be tiresome and off-putting to say the least. What’s more, many customers will convey that dissatisfaction to their friends and family, making it painfully difficult for you to earn new customers in that specific region.

Learning a new language, on the other hand, grants you the ability to provide effective customer support in a language they will understand and appreciate. If you want to approach the French market with your service or product, you can learn French online and thus be able to communicate with your new target audience with more fluency and establish a stronger connection. You can focus on business-specific phrases and terms you will be most likely to come across to make sure you can implement your knowledge quickly, and practice online with locals, too.

Learning about the target cultures

Have you ever heard the Bulgarian word “ailyak”, depicting the ability to do things calmly, with no haste, and with great pleasure? Every language is brimming with similar terms that have no direct translation in English or other languages, making it more difficult to understand the perception of a culture without knowing the word and the experience behind it.

Whether you want to hire people from new regions, or you wish to sell your services in those regions, knowing their language means being able to understand their culture on a much more profound level. Although you’ll need to master the target language on a specific, often higher level in order to understand such authentic phrases, it will ultimately make all the difference for your business should you want to expand globally.

Boost employee loyalty and business culture

As an entrepreneur, you’ll often find yourself needing to hire freelancers, experts, agencies, even full-time employees. Some of the best candidates according to your own criteria might be located in France, Japan, or Italy, you never really know unless you open your mind and your business to the possibility of hiring remotely.

However, while you cannot personally impose language lessons on your employees, you can make sure that you, as the employer, can exchange a few meaningful words with your new employees or contingent workers.

For example, if you hire a web designer from Germany, you can learn a few essential phrases in German so that you can communicate your needs clearly to your new associate. This kind of effort on your part will impress your remote workers and make them feel better connected to you and your business. In turn, this helps increase the likelihood of their loyalty over time.

Even if you’re never truly fluent in a language, especially if you embark on the adventure of learning more than a second language, you will get to know global cultures through a new lens, connect with people on a new level, and discover what matters to them most.

Learning a language is a window of opportunity for every entrepreneur to find new avenues of success, collaborate on an international level, and obtain knowledge that would otherwise remain unreachable. Even if you start with nothing more than an app, you can pick up certain spoken phrases quickly, and start making connections when it matters most.