Speaking different languages can help you better communicate with your customers, clients, suppliers, and other businesses, giving you an edge over your competitors. Learning a language thus also opens up a window into the culture of your target market, helping you build relationships and adapt your products and marketing tactics to match local needs and preferences. In fact, nothing will be as endearing to your prospective customers as making an effort to speak their language.
While English is still the global language of business, only 20% of the world speaks it. You can thus gain a significant advantage if you speak other languages or employ workers who can. Mandarin, French, Spanish, and Swahili will take you a long way, but your employees should not limit themselves to these options. The good news is that it has never been easier to learn a new language, thanks to various translation tools like language apps.
The best place to start would probably be Duolingo. This app is free, which means the most you will invest in can be your time and dedication. You can pick from over 20 languages, including options like Haitian Creole, Navajo, and Yiddish. Users can also translate online content into their native language, helping them learn more everyday expressions and better understand foreign cultures. There are also 68 free language courses in game-style to make the learning process much more fun and memorable.
On the other hand, Forbes recently ranked Babbel as its overall best language app, praising it for its ability to break “lessons into short, easily digestible chunks with interactive, quiz-like elements that keep you on your toes.” You can start for free before subscribing to a monthly or annual plan. There are, of course, many more options to choose from, such as Memrise, Mondly, Speakly, Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, QLango, Mango Languages, and Busuu. Most of these apps are free, so be sure to check them out and play with their features before making your decision!
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