Tips When Learning a Second Language for Business Purposes

Written by on January 6, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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Second Language for Business

Second Language for Business

Learning a new language is one of the best investments anyone in business can take on.

Not only can speaking another language increase your marketability, it can also enhance your opportunities to connect with customers and clients in new parts of the world.

If you’ve decided to start your journey towards learning another language, then consider these tips for reaching success:

  • Choose a relevant language:  With over 6,000 known languages in the world, it is incredibly important to choose the one that will be most relevant to your professional needs.  Many languages have regional dialects that you should also research.  Consider where your industry is expected to grow or where potential customers are likely to reside.  If you work in an industry that is connected to Central or South America, for example, then learning Spanish is a logical choice.
  • Practice:  Research shows that one of the best ways to learn a new language is to use it. This could include Internet chats with native speakers or trips to the region where the language is spoken.  Nowadays, many groups across the country host informal Meetups for people to practice speaking a second or third language.
  • Read aloud:  In times when you can’t speak to another person in your new language, then practice reading out loud.  Doing so will help you get more accustomed to the sound of the language while exposing you to standard grammar and syntax. Alternatively, listening to local language TV, movies, or radio will also provide familiarity with proper pronunciations and intonations.
  • Have a goal:  For many professionals, the end goal is to become fluent in the new language.  Exactly what fluency means, though, can vary from person to person.  Perhaps you want to engage in casual conversation with native speakers.  Or maybe you need to be able to give professional presentations that include jargon and other technical terms.  Whatever your language goal is, it can be useful to determine it ahead of time so that you can create an appropriate strategy for achieving it.
  • Evaluate your progress:  Taking intermittent assessments to judge your progress can be useful to determine the effectiveness of your course of study.  If you’re learning Spanish, for example, then taking a Spanish proficiency test can be a great way to see how close you are to achieving true fluency.  The test results can help you to assess how successful your course of study has been.

In today’s global market, learning a new language is a must for most professionals.  And while it might seem challenging to take on the project of learning a new language, it is something that you can absolutely accomplish.  With some focused work and a bit of practice, you can become fluent in any language you choose.

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This is a guest post.   Hailey Andersen enjoys writing about the business-building ideas that she finds useful. Follow her on Twitter at: @HaileyWrites.

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