A recent study which was completed in 2010 suggests that businesses which have a wide and innovative language strategy can increase their sales turnover by up to 25%.
The PIMLICO study which was carried out in SMEs within the 27 EU member states, was commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. It highlighted ten top performers which all had in common the fact that they had implemented an innovative language strategy.
- The 40 selected companies’ profile demonstrates significant advantages: 43% reported to have increased their turnover by more than 25% by introducing a strategy with new languages. An additional 30% put the increase in terms of trade at 16-25% of turnover.
The Number 8 Community Arts Centre in Pershore has recently announced a series of foreign language film screenings this spring. The films which will be screened in Danish, French and Polish will be shown mainly on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm.
The list of films includes:
Ordet (12A) – Danish with subtitles
Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer (1955)
Thu 3 May – 7.30pm
Le Havre (cert tbc) – French with subtitles
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Thu 10 May – 7.30pm
Even the Rain (cert tbc) – Spanish with subtitles
Directed by Icíar Bollaín
Thu 17 May – 7.30pm
A selection of foreign language films will be screened at Number 8 over the Winter Season beginning with a new adaptation of the classic French film The Well Digger’s Daughter (PG) on Thursday 12 January at 7.30pm. Set in Provence in 1914 the film tells the tale of an encounter between Patricia, a young girl, and Jacques, a fighter pilot, and the resulting pregnancy that throws both their families into turmoil.
The aim of the Spelling Bee is for students in Year 7 to practise and improve their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills in a foreign language (French, Spanish and German) and to raise the profile of language learning through a class, school and regional competition:
Term 1 – Individual class competition
Term 2, half term – Whole school competition
Term 2, end – West Midlands Regional Competition, Monday 26th March, Aston University, Birmingham
Term 3 – National Competition, 6th July, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (tbc)
How it works:
Students will be given 50 words to learn at the first stage of the competition and a further 50 words will be added at both subsequent stages of the competition. Vocabulary will be
relevant to the curriculum. For the National Final words will be 2012 Olympics-related.
The competition should be launched in school in the autumn term and time should be spent teaching and practising the alphabet in the foreign language (paying attention to describing letters with accents, etc. – details in Teacher’s Pack on website: www.flspellingbee.co.uk).
Unlike in a monolingual Spelling Bee, students will be given the word in English. They will first have to translate it into the foreign language and then spell it out correctly using the alphabet in the foreign language. When participating, students will be given one minute to correctly spell as many words as possible. Pronunciation of the word and individual letters must be accurate and clearly enunciated. Words should be allocated in random order.
A project involving five schools in the West Midlands has won a European Language Label for its work combining language learning with skills needed in the fashion industry which demonstrates the contribution of languages to business success. Fashion International drew inspiration from the international fashion industry to develop activities combining skills such as business, manufacturing, design and events management with language learning. Over 250 students took part in the project, which brought home to them the value of languages in a wide range of careers.
If you are looking to trade overseas and want help to find new markets and avoid the common communication difficulties many businesses face when dealing with customers worldwide then there are two events on the business language calendar which might be of interest to you:
Bridging the Cultural Gap – 13 October 2011 – Bridging the Cultural Gap has been designed to help you to overcome these difficulties and thrive in overseas markets by providing expert advice from speakers including RLN Manager Chris Everall and UKTI Export Communications Consultant Doug Lawrence. This event takes place on 13 October 2011 from 10.00am – 12.15pm at Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Conference Centre, Butts Park Arena, Coventry, CV1 3GE. For more information please visit our website.
At the Regional Lanuage Network we like to keep you up to date with the latest language events and news and there are plenty of events on the calendar to look forward to over the coming weeks. As the new academic year starts it is always a busy time as language courses kick off for the new year and events take place to help businesses make the most of lagnuage and cultural skills.
Here’s just a taste of some of the events taking place in the near future:
The accolade awarded by Linguascope was given in recognition of Frances’s editing and copywriting work on the Business Language Champions blog. The blog brought together schools and businesses from across the UK who were participating in the Business Language Champions programme, which brings the world of work into the classroom to demonstrate to young people the importance of language skills at work. Through regular posts the blog kept BLC project managers, schools and businesses up to date with the events taking place country-wide as part of the programme as well as sharing relevant language-related news.
If your organisation is involved in exporting goods or services, or if you employ foreign staff, then you will probably have encountered cultural differences in business.
Cross cultural communication is a vital element to building successful business relationships with overseas clients. If you cannot identify the cultural differences in business and know how to respond to these you may cause offence and do lasting damage to the relationship.
Cultural differences in business may hamper effective communication when trading internationally and it is important not only to be aware that the culture and business etiquette will be different but to understand exactly which behaviours are considered acceptable in the country you are dealing with.
When your business trades overseas or you are preparing to expand your client base into foreign speaking markets you will almost definitely require the services of a website translator.
Website translation works together with website localisation – the process of adapting a website specifically for a particular country, region or area, with written and visual content to fit with the local cultural outlook.
It is particularly important that businesses looking to trade internationally translate and adapt their websites for an international audience, especially when you consider that English use on the internet declined from fifty-one per cent in 2000 to just twenty-nice per cent in 2009.