How does language influence international trade?
We know that having a knowledge of a language is a plus in any field and professional sector. Knowing in-depth languages such as English, French, or Spanish that have reached a good position worldwide, can open many doors at a business level. One of the professional sectors that most needs a good command of different languages is the transport and logistics sector, this is because it is responsible for the transfer and trade of merchandise to different countries and requires a large number of extremely important documents.
In 2023, language continues to be the main barrier to the development of international trade, followed by customs duties, uncertainties about international regulations, legal limitations, etc.
In this post, we present the most common problems that arise when there are language barriers in international trade, and some tips to overcome them.
3 main why how language barriers are affecting international trade
1. The communication
When there are language barriers, misunderstandings abound. These barriers start especially when companies do not have the ability to master the language in which they are communicating. Companies that have influence and operations on an international scale are multilingual, in this way, they can have correct communication with all their clients and stakeholders. If this adaptation does not exist, it can have serious consequences such as:
- Not transmitting the desired message, not understanding it, or misinterpreting it
- Not being able to cover more territory to grow the company
- Lack of information in the exchange between the client and the different departments of the company
Mexicom Logistics offers you trilingual communication. For example: if a load is transported from Quebec, Canada to CDMX, Mexico, the experts at Mexicom will be able to speak in French with the shipper in Quebec, in English when the load crosses the border of the United States-Mexico and in Spanish when your load arrives at the consignee in Mexico.
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2. The documentation
A multilingual freight transportation company like Mexicom Logistics not only has multilingual experts to facilitate trade between two countries that speak different languages. But also has an expert team that knows what is the appropriate documentation that is required for international trade depending on the country where the trade is done. This is very important if we take into account the complications that can happen if complete and correct documents are not provided, such as:
- It negatively affects the entire exchange
- It creates problems in customer relations. Even ending a relationship with a client
- It causes communication problems with a provider. This can cause serious strategic or financial damage
- Penalty or confiscation of part or all of the merchandise
Currently, globalization demands that companies in the field of transportation are well prepared in the area of languages and constantly update their knowledge in the area, but we cannot forget about culture.
It is precisely the management of the cultural barrier that can make the difference between success and failure in a business internationalization process. And it is that it is not only understanding the language but also the different customs and forms of relationship since these can represent a difficulty for negotiation, understanding, and agreement.
Knowledge of the cultures of other countries allows:
- The development of activities in a more optimal way
- Transport goods internationally with better communication and understanding of both the people and the company that will hire the services
- Avoid misunderstandings with forms of behavior
- Be more confident when doing business in different parts of the world
Mexicom Logistics specializes in the international transportation of commercial goods between Mexico, the U.S., and Mexico and as such, has all the knowledge in terms of language, documentation, and culture to help you make your supply chains in North America successful.
Tips to overcome language barriers in international trade
1. Always show respect
Knowing which languages are spoken in the countries you work in allows you to learn phrases and start effective customer relations or marketing campaigns in the local language. For instance, knowing how to adapt to countries like Canada that have two official languages and provinces with cultural differences. This shows respect and admiration as you have taken the time to learn and understand the local customs and language.
2. Submit the correct documents
Delivering the important and correct working documents by country and in the corresponding language can be an easy step, but you should always be careful as it can have many complications if the necessary documents are not delivered.
3. Avoid idioms
A company can adapt perfectly to different countries. To avoid any kind of confusion, it is important not to use idiomatic expressions because the person you are trying to communicate with may not understand it and it could be disrespectful.
4. Always ask
Let’s forget that asking is bad, it is always better to ask than to remain in doubt and act wrongly. You can ask for the preferred language if you don’t understand a word, and if something is not clear, never assume that the interlocutor understood what was being said the first time.
5. Use technology
We have all the necessary information within reach to grow successfully, we always have to rely on technology because it facilitates many processes. Using technology, it is possible to find information about different countries and their culture, which facilitates communication with co-workers as well as clients and suppliers. However, you must remember that technology has its limitations.
The combination of language barriers, culture, and business can become a problem without a suitable transportation service provider able to overcome the language and cultural barriers. Mexicom Logistics is a provider of transportation services with a trilingual team that can communicate very easily with all the parties involved in Spanish, English, and French; Mexicom team knows the culture of the countries in which it works very closely, facilitating freight shipping between Mexico, USA, and Canada for its customers.
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