Multilingualism and the opportunities that come with it

Multilingualism and the opportunities

Multilingualism is an asset of value in any economy. Federico Fellini, an Italian film director once said “A different language is a different vision of life”. The European Union acknowledges 24 languages as official within its jurisdiction. Actually speaking, there exist roughly 200 languages that reflect a rich tapestry of cultures across the continent.

In a lot of nations, and possibly in the majority of them, there exist at least two native languages. For instance, in Belgium, many towns have dual French and Dutch names, which are utilized by both the French-speaking and Flemish-speaking communities (e.g., Bruges and Brugge, Liège and Luik, Tournai and Doornik, etc.). Meanwhile, in Luxembourg, residents use French in educational settings, German for reading newspapers, and Luxemburgish (a local German dialect) at home. Switzerland stands out in this regard as a quadralingual country, officially recognizing German, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romanic.

            Entrepreneurs can make a fortune out of taking business ideas related to multilingualism seriously. There are definitely the conventional business ideas like freelance writing, translating, coaching, etc. Resources like duolingo, mondly, drops can really help any entrepreneur with this objective. Let’s talk about the more untapped ideas that masters of languages can explore. Language barrier can be broken in any specific field of relevance. An app developed for people to hire people fluent with a certain language, an app where people speaking certain languages can consult people fluent in the same language for investment advices, etc. are just two of the spectrum of examples which fall under better communication as their base-idea.

            Besides, already set-up businesses must also consider being more culturally in touch with their market via facilitating communication with them in their mother tongue. This could mean localizing the website, bringing in a more diverse workforce, etc.  For example, Edgard & Cooper, a startup headquartered in Belgium, offers delicious and nutritious pet food crafted from natural ingredients for both dogs and cats. Their website features a user-friendly language switcher, allowing shoppers to easily transition from the default English language to one of seven other languages. When users make this switch, the website presents a tailored order threshold that shoppers must meet to qualify for free shipping. For instance, UK shoppers need to exceed £20, while French shoppers should reach €35.

            Multilingualism offers fresh prospects for cultivating pan-European business ventures and enhancing companies’ competitiveness. It’s a broad concept that exerts cross-cutting impacts on business. A company that operates in multiple languages gains a competitive edge when marketing its products and services.

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