Learning the language of your trading partner

Language Trainer

Learning the language of your trading partner

Setting the scene

The situation concerned employees of a UK-based company importing and exporting products by truck to and from Europe.

For meetings, transactions and agreements, a small number of key members of the company needed to speak regularly in the target language of the 2 main European countries they were trading with.

They knew this would produce much better cooperation, trust and teamwork with their foreign counterparts, so NOT relying on English.

Google Translate was unable to deal with the specialist product and service range concerned. It was simply NOT worth taking the risk that it would introduce costly errors into their trade.

The language for daily chat and social emails with their trading partner was English.

Languages and level involved

French and Italian to operational level, specific to company.

Challenges faced

  • Using the language of the trading partner with confidence.
  • Pronouncing the terms clearly.
  • Time and commitment involved to get to the desired level.
  • Understanding and using their own company’s product/service terms.
  • Knowing when to use English, when to use the target language.
  • Commercial teaching expertise and suitable materials in both languages.
  • Location of the language training for ease and effectiveness.

The Solution

  • The customer preferred to use their own premises so as to avoid travel time away from work for the participants involved.
  • They contracted SEL Business Languages who have a national database of professional language trainers.
  • A duration based on budget, objectives and on using the company’s own trade terminology was agreed.
  • SEL Business Languages (SELBL) then provided a PGCE-qualified commercial language trainer local to the premises who was given a company ID and access.
  • The training package was structured in terms of direct contact time with their personal language trainer in hours, progress continuously reviewed, along with an adaptable off-the-shelf materials pack (CD- and book-based).
  • This was supported by flexible learning (skype or zoom) for when either party’s commitments prevented face-to-face work, as part of the complete package from SELBL.
  • In this way the customer was able to continuously work through the learning process via steady hours put in, appreciative slower speaking trading partners, and work-situation practice and correction.

At SEL Business Languages we have a vast network of professionally qualified language trainers experienced in a wide range of scenarios, commercial and social. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.