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Can learning a language increase your market value?

21604274Nowhere is the impact of globalization as tangible as is working for a company in the translation services industry. As an account manager, every day I receive more and more requests ranging from small mom-and-pop outfits to huge, multi-national Fortune 500 companies all with the same goal of reaching a broader, global audience.  Whether it be document, software or website translation and localization, companies large and small are out for their piece of the proverbial “globalization pie”. This is all well and good from a corporate perspective, but many times I find myself wondering, “What are we as employees/professionals doing to keep up in this globalization race? How can we be in staying competitive in the global job market of the future?”  The solution to this dilemma is as obvious as it necessary: learning!

Did you know that today approximately 1.2 billion people are learning a new language? It seems like now, more than ever, people are actively pursuing language learning, a reality evidenced by all the pricy software out there on the market today. But what exactly is the value of learning a language for the workplace, anyway?

For starters, from a standpoint, business users on the Web are actually three times more likely to purchase when addressed in their native language. It’s statistics like these that have succeeded in getting the attention of the global business community and as a result many employers have become progressively more aggressive in seeking out talent with foreign language acumen.  At the end of the day it really all boils down to two things: being able to better cater to an international clientele; and ultimately bolster their bottom line.  It is for this reason that being savvy in another language not only makes you more attractive to prospective employers, but also gives you an edge in servicing your non-English speaking more effectively while helping to foster good and customer loyalty.

Another interesting factor to consider when it comes to learning a language specifically for the global workplace is the issue of vs. quantity.  Could it be that the question, “Which language should I learn” might be better asked, “How many languages should I learn”? In fact, some hiring managers feel that a polyglot having just average proficiency in is a more desirable candidate than someone with perfect fluency in just one. The underlying principle being that a single employee with this skillset could do the job of multiple employees, thus increasing productivity and lowering costs through the elimination of language barriers and redundancy.   Take the case of Nick Farmer, a 26-year-old hyper polyglot who secured a job on Wall Street mostly due to his proficiency in many languages. Farmer’s language abilities are a one-of-a-kind asset to his employer, Glass Lewis, where he uses his abilities, to review and dissect documents in over 15 languages to then synthesize reports in English on his findings. This case, though a little more extreme, nonetheless illustrates the deep value that skills like these offer employers in today’s ever-changing global marketplace.  And while the vast majority of us will likely never come to learn over 15 languages like Nick Farmer, proficiency in 5 of 6 might no longer be that farfetched in an increasingly globalized workplace and world.

Here at Trusted Translations we have the ability to translate to and from over 200 different languages. With a wide variety of translation services available to our clients all over the globe, no is too large, or too small for our team of experts to handle. Contact us today for a free quote!