The Value of Spanish in the Workplace | Bilingua Franca

The Value of Speaking Spanish in the Workplace

Spanish in the Workplace - Bilingua Franca

It doesn’t take much to work out that if you happen to live in an area of the United States where Spanish is frequently spoken then learning the language to increase job opportunities wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s so much easier to communicate with others who don’t speak your language fluently if you have at least a working knowledge of their language.

The fastest growing language in the U.S. is no doubt Spanish. In Florida alone in the last 3 years the population has increased by more than 1.4 million people. 30 percent of these are Hispanic. In the county of Polk, Florida almost 14.5% of its population speaks Spanish.

Reports have indicated that an employee who applies for a job who can speak both English and Spanish is offered higher pay immediately. It takes the weight off any business if it is confronted with a situation where a client does not speak English well but may have a lucrative offer to benefit the business. All it does is draw on the employee who speaks Spanish to help with interpreting what the client is saying so that no vital misunderstanding can take place. The more meaningful the communication, the quicker the right agreement can be set up. The interpreter can expect to be paid at least $2,000 or more annually for being the reliable interpreter that clinches the deals.

Not everyone in the world speaks English

There is this misconception that anyone with any world knowledge or engagement will be able to speak English, at least enough to ensure there is no misunderstanding between the communicators. Any business who really believes this and avoids using a professional translation service is leaving a very large chunk of business possibilities out of their planning.

Statistics indicate that only 1 in 7 people in the world speak English, which leaves 6 billion who don’t!  Out of this 6 billion of non-English speakers there are 400 million Spanish speakers. That’s quite a potential market on its own. Businesses need to employ workers who are bilingual to remain competitive, or they should even invest in resources offering language learning classes for employees keen to diversify their language abilities. These new Spanish speakers can be put to task promoting their company’s products such as translating language on packaging, devising handbooks in Spanish that need to accompany complex products and translating emails and other correspondence either sent to other Spanish language speakers or received from them.

Which country is the 2nd largest speaker of Spanish?

The United States, believe it or not, is the world’s 2nd largest Spanish-speaking country following Mexico. This information has been published recently by the Instituto Cervantes. The report reveals that there are no less than 41 million Spanish native speakers in the United States. This doesn’t include the 11.6 million bilinguals, many of whom are the offspring of Spanish-speaking migrants. This means the United States is ahead of countries like Colombia, with 48 million speakers and Spain itself, with 46 million and is 2nd only to Mexico’s 121 million.

Spanish has been ranked by the Index of Human Development as the 2nd most important global language, a little behind English but still ahead of the Chinese language, Mandarin. It is also the third most frequently used internet language. The report also says that on Twitter in both New York and London Spanish is 2nd in importance. It takes second place on Facebook, but nowhere near English put streets ahead of Portuguese, which is Facebook’s 3rd language.

Multilingualism offers better understanding

Once a workforce is competent in speaking Spanish this encourages more relaxed and fruitful relationships in the workplace. It makes it easier to solve disputes and is more comfortable when working on job related tasks as well as engaging socially at the end of the day. Language unites and does not divide and no business owner could feel more content if productivity increases because its workers engage in tasks more readily because they do not come against any communication barrier. In fact, Spanish is known as the “happy language,” so there can be no better language to speak than that.

Alexander Zeller
Alexander Zeller is a project manager and translator working with The Migration Translators in Australia. By blending the best of both offline and online translation services, we at The Migration Translators deliver experiences that surprise and delight – on budget, on time, on scope.

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