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Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Economic propsperity. Mostrar todas las entradas

Estrategias lingüísticas para la internacionalización de las PYMES

Durante la presentación oficial de la nueva Cámara de Comercio de España, que nace con vocación de apoyar la competitividad y la internacionalización, el Rey Felipe VI llama a las empresas y a los jóvenes a salir al exterior y anima a promover iniciativas que sirvan de ayuda a las pymes y a los autónomos. Y agrega: "Nuestros jóvenes graduados tienen que ser capaces de trabajar en idiomas extranjeros

Felipe VI destaca la importancia de trabajar fuera

Efectivamente, es necesario que las PYMES apuesten por la internacionalización y que tomen decisiones de mejora del multilingüismo para aprovechar oportunidades de negocio. Pero la mayoría de las PYMES van resolviendo sus dificultades lingüísticas a medida que van surgiendo, sin hacer una gestión explicita. La gestión lingüística debe formar parte de la cultura empresarial.

No se trata sólo de traducir las aplicaciones al idioma del país sino de que exista además una cultura organizacional para la internacionalización”, tal y como se dice en un informe de la Cámara de Comercio de Guipuzcoa.

Según un informe de la Cámara de Comercio de Barcelona, en el que no se detalla el impacto negativo de no saber inglés y francés, “sólo el 37% de las pequeñas firmas exportadoras catalanas disponen de normas de actuación en relación con la diversidad lingüística”.

Por otro lado, los resultados de la encuesta ELAN realizado por la Comisión Europea (2006) muestran que 43% de las empresas entrevistadas han señalado que su facturación aumentó más del 25% al introducir una o más estrategias lingüísticas.

Aunque estas cifras sean de hace varios años, este tipo de encuestas permite reflexionar sobre las estrategias de gestión lingüística. En el informe PIMLICO (Promoting, Implementing, Mapping Language and Intercultural Communication Strategies (2011) sobre las mejores prácticas en las empresas europeas que quieran exportar, recomiendan entres otras, las siguientes estrategias:
  • uso de agentes locales para resolver los problemas lingüísticos;
  • creación de sitios web con adaptaciones culturales y/o lingüísticas;
  • realización de auditarías lingüísticas;
  • uso de traductores/intérpretes profesionales;
  • traducción del material de promoción, de ventas y/o técnico;
  • programas de formación lingüística e información cultural;
  • aprendizaje de idiomas en línea;


Society and work: spaces for intercultural links

Hi everyone; in this article I wish to share with you some thoughts about the implications of today’s multicultural society in work environments, as well as in the classroom. Maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, either in Spain or in any other Western country, it was rather common to share the classroom and the working space with people that had the same culture as us. There were only a few countries with well-known imperial past that hosted some people from their former colonies, but they were an exception and they used to regard immigrants as second-class citizens. A radical shift in the situation occurred by the late 1990s and early 2000s, when economic prosperity and mass media spread the Western way of life and turned the ‘civilised West’ into de destination of hundreds of thousands of migrants that longed for a better living.
As a result of the situation, we share our everyday spaces with people from different cultural contexts and it is necessary to stress the importance of tolerance and respect to make possible a comfortable work atmosphere, specially in a moment of economic recession like the one we are living, in which xenophobic proclaims that blame ‘the other’ for our own faults gain more and more popular support. Either at the school, at the university, or at the worksite, we must regard other cultures as experiences different from our own that we have to know in order to enrich our knowledge of the world around us. In our minds, ‘the other’ must always be an endless source of information about how different peoples experience life in a broad sense: how they live religiousness, what their values are, which their main celebrations and their special rituals are, what their consideration towards the other is, etc. Getting to know these aspects will not only help us understand everyone better, even people from our same culture: it can even make us reconsider some aspects of our lives and change certain elements of our cultural discourse to adapt them to our daily life. In addition, it will enable us to use the proper expressions when talking to other colleagues and to understand better what they imply when they make suggestions or remarks, too: this is the main goal and the best result of studying and using foreign languages in our job (or any other daily routines) from a grammatical as well as from a cultural perspective. And that is why nowadays a well-respected trend in teaching and learning foreign languages is to frame them within the cultural background in which they were produced.
In the different scenarios that I have mentioned before there are always very good chances to become interested about different cultural elements: religion, celebrations and rituals, costumes... that become especially visible in certain moments. For instance, if we are dealing with a Brazilian company we will need of course to speak Portuguese, but we will also have to bear in mind that there are significant differences between our concept of time and theirs, so if you want something finished for ‘tomorrow’ you may want to clarify that you mean ‘the day after today’, not ‘a certain moment within the next few days’. Another common situation occurs when we are sent to work in a foreign country, and we receive lessons of its language but not of its work culture, that is: what their daily timetable is, whether they respect punctuality or not, to what degree they trust each person’s individual initiatives... And of course, it is crucial to know about how people tend to salute each other in other cultures: in Spain men usually shake hands, women kiss each other in both cheeks, and men and women do the same between them, since shaking hands is regarded as extra formal and rather cold. But... look out! French people always kiss each other every time they meet again, whereas the British and the Germans tend to shake hands, as do the Italians. As you can see, all the aforementioned aspects may escape our thoughts, but they can easily lead to uncomfortable misunderstandings if they are not taken into account, since they will condition our interaction with the others.

The ideal attitude towards different cultural manifestations is curiosity and eagerness to learn, as well as to empathise with them and turn them into a part of us when we need to use them in our job. Thus we will create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, and also of reciprocal influence that makes us mentally wealthier and socially wiser. And that is the main reason why we must transmit these values to our children, so they become rooted in everyone’s minds from an early stage of their lives. One may argue that sometimes we confront intolerance when trying to know ‘the other’, but if we persevere and at the same time we show a good disposition to share our own cultural discourse, resistance will undoubtedly give way to a more welcoming attitude to dialogue and to making a multicultural society possible. 

Autor: Antonio Jesús Pinto
Profesor en 121 Conversation. Es Doctor en Historia Contemporánea. Ha vivido en Londres, Nueva York y Pittsburg. Tiene una amplia experiencia como profesor de inglés. Por su  experiencia y su formación profesional, dice estar "convencido que mis clases ayudarán al alumno a coger soltura y a tener más confianza en si mismo a la hora de hablar el inglés".