Summarized by the team of Research and Development (R&D)
Read this story in French — Translated handsomely by Jasmine Karam
Read this story in Chinese — Translated beautifully by Sunny Dangui
Arabic is becoming increasingly important within the world of commerce, yet this language remains frequently overlooked by international businesses. There are arguably many factors that have led to such a situation, not least the correctly perceived notion that conquering this language requires time and dedication. Additionally, many international companies are still under the impression that English can still serve as a universal language, which, as a recent report has found, is a dangerously misguided idea.
The implications of a non Arabic speaking business population
The recent report into languages within the world of business has highlighted just how important Arabic has become as the language to learn for business; in fact, it now takes second place, topped only by Spanish.
Based upon solid indicators of business and economic statistics, this recent study provides vital insights into just how lucrative learning this language can be in certain areas of business. In England alone there are plans for the UK government to increase their overseas Arabic speaking diplomats by 40% in the next few years alone.
The poor langue outlook of English-speaking populations
It’s well known that English-speakers aren’t exactly on the centre stage when it comes to our language skills. If you’re looking to find an Arabic teacher, Lingos language tutors testify that despite many international educational system teaching students a language for in excess of 5 years, high school leavers that can barely utter a full sentence of French or German.
All in all 75% of the UK population are unable to hold even the most basic of conversations in another language; with only 15% being able to hold one in French, 6% in German and 2% in Spanish. With figures such as these the outlook certainly looks dire for our Arabic skills.
With such an outlook one may well ask what is being done to ensure our language skills within business improve. Well as a starting point the study researchers have advised the Governments to meet with major international businesses in order to form actionable plans as to how this language gap is to be tackled. Specifically they have been advised to look at the way the European or US educational system works and how language lessons and courses can be improved. It has also been suggested that further languages are added to the standard curriculum.
As well as this businesses have been advised that now is the time to invest in their staff and to find a language teacher in order to equip them with the languages of commerce that are becoming more important. Finally, and quite simply, the report concluded with stating that there must be more of an effort to made all round in learning other languages and reiterated that English is really not all that universal.
What we will be doing
Keep an eye on these two accounts.
Learn more about the default program, Arabic for business in our annual catalogue.