With globalization, borders almost don’t exist and the exchange of people, goods and services, has become a reality. Companies started to become international, the need to move specialized staff to other countries is common.
Especially in Europe, with the open borders, it is normal to find in a company, people of various nationalities. Normally, English is the language that everyone needs to communicate for business reasons or to socialize with peers. This is only possible with a very reasonable knowledge of English.
This multicultural environment is beneficial to anyone working in this type of business, for several reasons: it is enriching to meet people with cultural traits often different from ours; the processes within the company are normally different; increases network contact; discussion of other ideas, etc.
There are many advantages, but this is only possible if we know how to speak another language.
But not only advantages! This multicultural environment can also bring problems on a daily basis. If there is no mastery of the common language, both in conversation and in writing (eg. email), misunderstandings may be generated that can cause problems with supervisors, give a bad image of the company or generate bad atmosphere between colleagues. One must be careful when talking about another country, when greeting, with protocol, behaviour and what is said during a negotiation.
It is therefore essential to have a good level of spoken language in the company where you work or where you want to work. Going to a job interview with a lower level of the language in question may endanger the hiring.
The main focus of AGILE TRAINING are companies and it´s very interesting to see the different nationalities of the employees. In addition to the English courses we have given to the Portuguese employees we have also given many Portuguese courses for foreigners. Even though English is the official language of business, as foreign employees are living in Portugal they need to know how to communicate in Portuguese for the basic things of everyday life, such as shopping or asking for directions.
Many companies have chosen Portugal to base their call centres. This is a good example of multicultural environments. A major call centre in our country, is our customer and the courses that we conduct there, have students from all countries. Most of them are on the phone in their mother tongue, but anyway they need to talk to managers and socialize with peers and their English is not always the best.
Due to the businesses that Portugal has with Spain, Spanish language has also been in great demand. Following is French, in some cases because the companies do business in French-speaking countries or because there are French employees and Human Resources decided that to make their integration they must be able to talk with colleagues.
In a professional career or in applying for a job, a good knowledge of a second language can be a critical success factor to change your life.