When it comes to running a successful business, communication is key. You want to be able to communicate effectively with clients, co-workers, and other professionals in order to get the job done. However, effective communication can be difficult when you don’t share a common language with the person you’re trying to communicate with. Most people only speak one language – their native tongue. But what if your company requires that employees speak more than one language? If this is the case for your organization just keep reading.
1 – Make use of Translation Services
If you need to communicate with someone who speaks a different language, it is best to make use of professional translation services. There are many types of translation services available and if you want to find translation services in Washington DC you can easily do it with a bit of research. Some are free or come included with other products, but these are usually not as accurate as of the paid versions that professional companies offer. By making use of this service you can be sure that the message being communicated is clear and understandable. You can make use of these services to translate documents, signs, and advertisements so that those whose first language is different will still be able to understand and they will be able to be included in the business.
2 – Use an interpreter
Interpreters are typically used when you need to communicate with someone in person. This can be for a conference, mediation, or business meeting. There are many interpreters available both in your local area and online. If there is no way for you to make use of a translation service, then the next best thing you can do is to use an interpreter. An interpreter works by listening to what both parties are saying and then relaying that information in another language. It’s important that whoever is doing the interpreting has experience with this type of communication as misinterpretation could lead to miscommunication.
3 – Get the person you’re communicating with to write it down
Sometimes when things are written we find it easier to understand. This can be a great way for you to communicate with someone who speaks another language if there isn’t an interpreter present or translation services available. The downside to this method is that, unless both parties are fluent in each other’s languages, written communication can still be misunderstood.
4 – Keep a Language Dictionary on Hand
Being multilingual is more than just speaking different languages, it also means that you have an understanding of culture. You may find that the person you’re talking to stays closer to their cultural roots when speaking in their native tongue rather than adapting to yours. Or, they might simply use words from the other language while still in their native tongue in order to communicate a meaning that you understand. By keeping a dictionary on hand, you can keep up with all those words and phrases that you didn’t understand. This will also allow you to find out additional meanings for words that are similar in both languages, which can help expand your vocabulary.
5 – Establish a Language Policy
It can be difficult to ensure that your employees master multiple languages, but it is important that they at least speak the language of their customers. This will make communication much easier and more effective for both parties involved. If you don’t want to make this mandatory, you could try to encourage your employees to study other languages in their free time. This way when they are required to use another language they will have an advantage due to the extra studying.
6 – Use a Mixture of Languages
When speaking with someone who speaks another language you do not have to limit yourself to only speaking yours. Making use of words and phrases from the other language you are communicating with can help to further establish a connection. It can also help to build trust and make the conversation easier for both parties. If you’re not sure what language to use, then you could consider using your native language as it is likely that it is the language that you are most comfortable speaking.
7 – Use Images
Sometimes, no matter how clear your communication is, there is no substitute for face-to-face communication. This is especially true when communicating across cultures. While you could make use of an interpreter, translation services or an understanding of the other language’s culture, this can be very time-consuming and even expensive if it involves flying someone out to your location for a meeting. When time is limited and money is scarce, try to communicate with pictures instead. You can save these pictures on your device or print them out so that you will have them on hand whenever you need them.
8 – Send Employees to Second Language Classes
One of the best ways to learn another language is to immerse yourself in it. This doesn’t mean that you have to pack up and move to a new country, although this would be a great experience. You can still get exposure by working with someone who speaks another language or having your employees do the same. By getting the exposure you will also make more of an effort to learn while also better understanding what life would be like if you had moved somewhere else.
In order to communicate effectively with your customers and co-workers, you will need to find a way that works for everyone. This can be difficult when one party doesn’t speak the same language as the other person in the conversation. However, there are many ways to overcome this obstacle by using visual cues such as photos or videos so both parties understand what is being communicated without any confusion. In addition, it’s important for employees who may not have mastered another language yet to still try because they will likely learn more about why their customer communicates differently from them which could help them better serve their needs. Finally, if all else fails then consider speaking your native tongue while trying out some words from theirs too.