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Creating a Corporate
Language Policy

The world is as small as it’s ever been.  More and more companies are global, with a presence in multiple countries.  Communicating across cultures and languages is turning into a challenge faced by companies every day.

Imagine a small manufacturing plant in Italy that’s acquired by a German distributor, which is then bought by a Chinese competitor.  Most of the leadership teams speak English, but it’s not anyone’s first language.  Opportunities for miscommunication are infinite.

You could just choose one language and require that all of your team members understand it enough to get the job done.  It’s true that many other cultures around the world learn a fair amount of English. But you also have to consider what kind of message a monolingual policy sends to your team.  It’s a subtle sign that diversity is not part of your company culture.

A corporate language policy isn’t just about “language” or what to translate.  The goal is improving communication and meeting corporate objectives.  Techworld will help you establish a corporate language policy by considering:

What languages will be used in which settings – not everything needs to be translated.  We need to think carefully about what you translate and into which languages.

Resources to use for inter-cultural communication – While it’s tempting to consider having your bilingual employees translate for you, the truth is that usually ends up on the bottom of their list.  Work with a trained linguist team for the best use of time and money.

Integration with corporate objectives and other communication policies – A Corporate Language Policy should closely integrate with your overall communication goals, so you’re speaking clearly to both your internal and external audiences.

Take our Intercultural Needs Assessment now