Learning a language can be a fantastic addition to any business owner’s toolkit. Expanding your ability to communicate with others is always going to stand you in good stead for the future. If you’re wondering what language you or your staff should learn next, why not consider German?
The number of German speakers is relatively small in comparison to the numbers of English, Chinese or Arabic speakers. So, why is it so important for businesses to learn?
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Germany is Europe’s strongest economy
Germany is Europe’s economic leader. By GDP, it outranks the UK – its nearest competitor – by about $1.2 trillion.
Because of this, there are a wealth of business opportunities to be had in the German market. That kind of economic strength lends itself to widespread spending. And savvy UK business owners – with the resources or knowhow to do so – should be looking to exploit the available commercial opportunities.
Having staff members that can confidently converse in German will allow you to take advantage of the sizeable German market. Expanding overseas isn’t the kind of thing you can just dive into. Having a member of staff who knows the language – and the culture – exhaustively will give you the best possible chance of succeeding in Berlin or anywhere else in Germany.
The UK’s relationship with Germany
Outside of the US, Germany imports the highest value of products from the UK at almost £24 billion. In the first half of 2020, the UK also imported more goods from Germany than any other country.
Germany is the UK’s leading trade partner in Europe – making it fertile soil for aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to expand their business operations overseas.
There is obviously a market for products manufactured in the UK in Germany and command of the German language puts those business owners in position to take advantage of it.
So, whether you’re hoping to export products to Germany or set up a manufacturing base there, Germany represents a robust market for UK business owners.
Tourists from Germany are a global leader in spending
Being able to cater to German clients can prove more profitable than any other community. Outside of the US and China, Germany spends the most money on travel. In 2018, German tourists spent $94 billion in other countries.
Having the language skills to converse fluently in German will allow you to capitalise on German tourists’ unique spending power.
Additionally, a grasp of the German language will allow you to market your product or service capably. You’ll know what audience to target, what tone to take and how to build relationships with key personnel.
Positive cognitive effects of speaking another language
Speaking a different language also has a host of positive cognitive effects. Multilingual people have stronger memories, a better ability to concentrate and superior multitasking skills relative to monolingual people. These are all traits you want people in your business to possess.
Language skills also bolster long-term health. There’s evidence that knowing another language can delay the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s.