Furthermore, in global companies where managers don’t possess deep language skills, we believe there will be severe negative economic impacts. Research shows that language barriers cost companies more than the money required to pay interpreters or translate documents. The real cost of the language barrier is that it “distorts and damages relationships,” according to a 2003 article by A.J. Feely and A.W. Harzing in Cross Cultural Management. Miscommunication can cause companies to lose potential clients or fail to deliver products and services.
Other experts also cite the impact of language skills in the workplace. “Addressing business issues from multiple perspectives has become a critical mandate in business education,” says Yuwei Shi, Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. “Language is essential to cross-cultural and cross-sector understanding.”
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