Articles on Multilingual Communication
When the swine flu outbreak hit Mexico in April 2009, the public reaction was timid and indifferent. After one week, the outbreak reached the United States then Canada. By the end of April, 11 countries were affected by this new “deadly” virus. A status of confusion invaded the world.
The new emerging global threat occupied the media headlines across the globe. The fact that its name has changed three times (influenza-like illness, swine flu, influenza A(H1N1))* in less than one week shows how "new" this monster is. The frenetic public started storming internet sites for potential news.
Specialized web sites have encountered severe technical difficulties due to the huge amount of traffic. Some sites have witnessed millions of hits per day, coming from the four corners of the globe and causing them to crash for hours.
Twenty years ago, linguists, anthropologists and many scholars from different disciplines were anxiously discussing ways to slow down the rhythm in which many languages are vanishing. English language had invaded since decades many parts of the world as the language of education, business and communication.
At the beginning of the Information Technology (IT) boom, the technical limitations related to most of world languages have helped enormously in spreading English as the language of excellence. Until early 90s, putting an accent on a Latin language character was a technical challenge; dealing with Asian, Slavic or Semitic languages was a nightmare that should be avoided. Many nations have built their computer systems around English; most of their first sites were in English. The fear of language activists becomes greater; as the pace of IT expansion was showing no mercy.
Whether your client lives in China, Paris or Dubai, Multilingual Communication is the first element to consider in your Organization's strategic global planning.
According to the Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) 1999 Ethnologue Survey, more than 88% of the World population does not know English - but this is the language you use to deliver your message!
Thinking globally for your business requires the respect of the tool global audience uses to interact with you: their mother languages; the only way to guarantee that your message is well understood.