In a globalized world where information overload and the immediacy of messages and content prevail, generating a climate of proximity with interlocutors in a new foreign market is a key factor of competitiveness for any company. And one of the tools that we in Catalan companies cannot overlook is the language. According to the survey carried out by the FemCAT Language Observatory, in January 2023, 45% of the companies surveyed consider that they have lost negotiating capacity due to lack of language knowledge. Thus, knowledge of native languages can contribute to the competitiveness of our companies in foreign markets, not only as a means of guaranteeing effective business communication, but also as a matter of sensitivity towards the territory and culture of the communities that support them. they talk. We will agree that, as with our language, being able to communicate in the client’s language establishes a much higher level of connection and understanding and can also help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications, which can become decisive in achieving fruitful business agreements and relationships.
On the other hand, the use of native languages can also be a valuable asset for companies that want to expand internationally, since globalization has also opened new opportunities for those companies that use them as a differentiation factor. We find cases in specialized sectors or in retail companies that know how to take advantage of the uniqueness of the language to attract customers looking for authenticity and exclusivity in increasingly standardized markets.
45% of companies believe that they have lost negotiating capacity due to lack of language knowledge
Getting closer to local cultures is one of the values that the EU promotes, and specifically the use of native languages in the markets where it operates commercially. In Europe, Catalan companies have more than 4,000 subsidiaries of the more than 8,000 spread throughout the world, with Portugal being the European country with the largest number (783). In fact, the sum of subsidiaries in Portugal, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria (a total of 1,321) is slightly higher than those that have been identified in traditional markets such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom (together 1,239 subsidiaries). . Therefore, while we align ourselves with these European values, it is clear that with these figures the use of native languages beyond English is a strategic factor to take into account. In addition to demonstrating commitment to the territory and a vocation for permanence, they help build strong and lasting relationships with international clients and collaborators.
The richness of languages offers an opportunity for differentiation in an increasingly competitive business world. And recognizing and valuing Europe’s linguistic diversity is essential for sustainable business growth that is respectful of local cultures.