Language Learning for Business

Today’s job market is very competitive and being able to speak another language might just give you an added edge. If your end goal is to be fluent or nearly fluent in a language so that you can put it on your resume then I suggest you start your language learning journey with the resources covered in our first language learning post. These resources will give you a good basis for building your language knowledge. Once you have some knowledge of the language you can use the specific resources listed below to make your language knowledge relevant to your career.

In-Library Resources – We have business specific dictionaries and learning guides for some languages such as Dictionary of Business & Legal Terms Russian-English, Spanish Business Dictionary, and Oxford Business French Dictionary. The library tends to specialize in resources that are useful to a wide audience so our work specific language resources are limited. That said, there are a lot of resources outside of the library that are very specific. Librarians are happy to help you search our collection for the most relevant materials for your needs.

On-line Resources Apps are the wave of the future for language learning. There are countless apps to help you learn whatever language you want and many specifically for business such as this business Chinese learning app. Podcasts, YouTube and Amazon have a wide array of language learning material and they might just have something to help you figure out how to explain aerodynamics in Vietnamese. Online tutors are a great way to use your language skills and have a real live person to ask questions.  Websites such as italki will connect you with a tutor or conversation partners that is fluent in that language and then you can just ask that person what the business specific words you need to know would be. These services do cost money but it is not as expensive as you think. Local tutors may also be an option depending on your requirements.

My recommendation for business language learners is to go ahead and try to learn the basics of the language first. Once you can hold a simple conversation, know how to conjugate verbs, and have a feel for the sound of the language, then you can dive into the specifics that you would need for work. Besides, if you can tell someone how to manage a spreadsheet but can’t properly greet them in the morning then your work will still suffer.

~posted by Selby G.

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