Why language skills matter

Why language skills matter

The world has become both smaller and larger in recent decades, and this trend is continuing. We’re online for more of the day and do most things both locally and globally, and this is of course particularly true of our work lives. This is more obvious for some professions than for others.

Published 4/6/2015

The world is growing both smaller and larger

If you are a lawyer, an attorney or an economist, your professional sphere will have been affected in many ways. Sweden is now a member of the EU, we work with more new markets, Swedish and foreign companies have a greater geographical presence, and so on. Money, agreements, workforces and the policies that govern these cross national borders continuously. Agreements have to be drawn up and disputes between parties from different countries have to be resolved – and Sweden has a high international profile.

Stockholm ranked fourth for dispute resolution

Did you know that Stockholm has been ranked fourth in the world when it comes to resolving international business and investment disputes? Stockholm has a long history of dispute resolution – the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has been active for almost 100 years. Many international companies also have a presence in Stockholm.

Language is more important than ever before

Today, language skills play an incredibly important role. Language may not always be the decisive factor, but in many cases it is a real asset and I can promise that it is never a disadvantage. In his new book, Oberoende är stark, the former CEO of Volvo P-G Gyllenhammar emphasises the importance of mastering English. He points out that this is an important management quality, and that there is an inherent risk in not being able to express yourself exactly as you want to, as nuances will be lost.

In many subject areas, the second most commonly used language – after a user’s own native language – is now English, since it is often used as a lingua franca. If you want to keep abreast of world affairs, get an overview, carry out an assessment or share experiences and ideas with colleagues, English is often needed.

If you come into contact with international enquiries or customers in your professional role, you need to be able to deal with these in a common language – often English. If you then need to negotiate or otherwise deal with important information, I would recommend also getting help from a professional interpreter. Not only does this make discussions easier, it also safeguards information for all parties involved. If you ensure that you feel at ease and are able to master the language situations you choose to deal with yourself and get help from a business interpreter when needed, you can be sure that you have acted professionally.

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