INTERNATIONAL: Half of executives admit language barriers cause ‘significant losses’
Thu, 26 Apr 2012
Just under half (49%) of global executives say that communication misunderstandings and messages lost in translation have stood in the way of major international business deals and resulted in significant losses for their company.
This is according to a survey of nearly 600 executives across the world carried out by researchers at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by language training firm EF Education First.
It finds that Brazilian (74%) and Chinese (61%) companies were the worst affected by financial losses as a result of failed cross-border transactions.
In total, 64% of those surveyed think differences in language and culture have made it difficult to gain a foothold in foreign markets.
Unsurprisingly, English was the language that most executives (68%) said employees should know for their companies to grow successfully outside their home markets, followed by Mandarin (8%) and Spanish (6%).