A new study by Professor James Foreman-Peck and Dr Peng Zhou launched in February in the House of Commons in partnership with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), shows in stark detail the impact of in-house language capabilities on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that export.

Through a series of posters and billboards on the London Underground and railway stations across the country, the posters state ‘I am an immigrant’, accompanied by the job descriptions of real migrants living and working in the UK.

Launched 24 February 2015 in the House of Commons, in partnership with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), the Firm level evidence for the language investment effect on SME exporters demonstrated the significant impact language skills can have for small and medium-sized enterprises.

News that the euro has tumbled against the pound hitting an 11-year low has sparked concerns over the export potential for UK businesses, according to the Association of Translation Companies (ATC).

The euro weakened to $1.1115 against the dollar last weekend, while the pound reached a seven-year high of €1.34.

While this may be good news for Britons who are looking for a cheap European holiday, it may make exporting abroad to these markets more difficult.

This is part of a wider national challenge where the UK is losing out on 3.5% of GDP in lost exports, due to a lack of language and cultural skills.

The ATC has launched a campaign to help raise awareness of the value of foreign language skills when UK businesses are exporting.

By Geoffrey Bowden, General Secretary of the Association of Translation Companies


The UK is, at its heart, an outward-facing trading nation and British businesses feature across the world in nearly every market. However, we are missing out on significant export opportunities to an estimated £48bn a year because of poor language skills. This is 3.5 per cent of GDP and poses a substantial issue that needs to be overcome if we are to balance the trade deficit. A significant proportion of this lost income comes from small and medium sized enterprises and the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) is running a campaign to highlight the need for exporters to meet the language needs of the markets in which they operate.

By Geoffrey Bowden, General Secretary of the Association of Translation Companies

The UK is, at its heart, an outward-facing trading nation and British businesses feature across the world in nearly every market. However, we are missing out on significant export opportunities to an estimated £48bn a year because of poor language skills. This is 3.5 per cent of GDP and poses a substantial issue that needs to be overcome if we are to balance the trade deficit.

Language investment is the key to success

 

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A project funded by the AHRC has been looking at the history of Modern Foreign Language teaching in the UK and its future in education.

Who should learn languages? “The answer has changed hugely over time in terms of gender, class and academic ability,” says Nicola McLelland, professor in German and the history of linguistics at the University of Nottingham. “At different times, people have fervently believed different things are true.” Page from  German text book

This week's official budget documents and Office for National Budget Responsibility forecasts reveal that high levels of net inward migration are a significant factor in fuelling Britain's economic recovery, as reported by The Guardian this morning.

Secondary schools are taking young adults out of foreign language classes with the sole purpose of protecting their positions in league tables, according to a report by the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT) Education Trust and the British Council. 

If you thought it was a challenge to launch a business in your own country, try expanding your operations overseas. While taking in cultural, financial, and legal considerations are all important, overcoming the language barrier is arguably the most difficult challenge every day.

If you can’t communicate with your international customers and team members, then how can you expect to grow your brand? And since 96% of the world's consumers reside outside the U.S., you can see why breaking down the language barrier is so vital.

Overcoming the language barrier can help your brand grow, but it won't be easy in the beginning. Here are 10 tips to get started:

Does your business need to brush up on its language skills in order to boost its exports to international markets?

A new study suggests that exporters are significantly more likely to experience success if they have people who are able to communicate in the language of the markets to which they are seeking to sell.

That may seem like an obvious point, but the report, which is sponsored by the Association of Translation Companies, suggests that poor language skills could be costing British firms as much as £48 billion a year in lost exports. Those firms that have good language skills are making export sales that account for a much higher proportion of their total turnover, the ATC says.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said the most "striking" deficiencies were in languages used in unstable parts of the world.

Further spending cuts to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) could be "disastrous and costly", they added.

The FCO said there was a "renewed focus on languages as a diplomatic skill" despite cost-saving measures.

According to the committee, the department had been dealt a "tough hand" with its funding since the 2010 spending review, adding that ministers and officials had "on the whole, played it skilfully".

A new study by Professor Foreman-Peck and Dr Peng Zhou launched today in the House of Commons1 in partnership with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), shows in stark detail the impact of in-house language capabilities on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that export.

Poor home-grown language skills hitting export markets hard 

As the general election approaches, a campaign has been launched by The Movement Against Xenophobia to highlight the positive impact of migrants, to help "celebrate, not vilify" the contribution of immigration to the UK. Through a series of posters and billboards on the London Underground and railway stations across the country, the posters state 'I am an immigrant', accompanied by the job descriptions of real migrants living and working in the UK.

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