55 (150) 2022


The importance of learning languages in the finance industry

By Berlitz
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The finance industry is one of the most prestigious and lucrative industries today. However, the ability to work in an industry as broad and all-encompassing as this one is heavily dependent upon four vital requirements: a sound understanding of mathematical principles and theories, outstanding time-management skills, strict attention to detail, and fluency across multiple languages.

While this may come as a surprise, learning languages is gaining more and more importance as more languages, such as Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish are joining English in the financial sector.

Finance is a global industry

The finance industry is rapidly changing, and it's only getting more global. As the financial market keeps expanding beyond borders and across different cultures, the ability to speak multiple languages has become a must. While up until recently, English was considered to be the global language of business and finance, this is no longer true.

As we move towards a more globalised economy where businesses interact with customers from across the world on a daily basis, it is crucial for professionals working in finance to know at least one other language besides their native one or English.

Moreover, with the appearance of digital banks, cryptocurrency and other digital financial solutions, the need for multilingual employees in the financial sector is on the rise. That’s because digital banking and investment solutions that go beyond borders require financial documentation, often translated into many languages.

Finance needs accuracy and precision

Whether it’s writing financial reports, participating in financial discussions, or closing a deal with a foreign client, the ability to speak multiple languages fluently is crucial to success in the financial sector. However, in the financial industry, multilingualism must go beyond an excellent command of a foreign language.  

That’s because the finance industry depends on accuracy and precision. International financial transactions often involve documents that must be translated into multiple languages. These translations need to be extremely accurate and precise, which involves a deep understanding of specific financial terminology and international rules and regulations.

With multilingual employees, financial institutions can ensure that their financial reports, legal documents, or business plans are accurately translated. This is of paramount importance, as even the slightest mistranslation can result in substantial financial losses or damage the company’s reputation.

Multilingual employees communicate better

In today's global economy, it pays for companies to hire multilingual employees who can communicate with customers in their own language. This allows them to make more effective sales pitches and understand customer needs better. It also makes it easier for companies to sell products or services abroad if they have staff who speak the local language fluently.

In addition, multilingual employees are less likely to experience culture shock. That’s because speaking multiple languages or even just one foreign language fluently often comes with a better understanding of other cultures.

Financial professionals who speak multiple languages are better equipped to communicate with foreign clients. This can translate into more satisfied customers who feel they've been understood by their financial advisor or banker.

Berlitz Connect: a blended learning experience

With the growing importance of multilingualism in the world of finance and business, traditional language learning methods fall short in many aspects.

To begin with, traditional language classes often don’t provide students with enough opportunities to practice their conversation skills. As a result, the students have an extensive vocabulary and good grammar skills by the end of the course, but they haven’t gained the ability to speak and express themselves fluently in the given language.

Another problem is that traditional teaching methods aren’t tailored to each student’s needs and interests. So, if the student’s motivation is to learn a given language to be able to participate in financial and business discussions, they likely won’t be able to fulfil that objective, even after completing the course.  

This is why new, interactive solutions like Berlitz Connect are slowly taking over the language learning market.

Berlitz Connect is a self-study programme tailored to each student’s level and interest. It’s a one-of-a-kind blended learning programme that allows students to study at their own pace and practice speaking what they have learned.

Berlitz Connect integrates self-paced e-lessons with group conversation lessons with other learners from all around the world. The self-study programme offers round-the-clock access to training modules with interactive activities, a pronunciation trainer and a memorisation tool to help students practice their skills in the most interactive way.

What makes Berlitz Connect stand out from other programs is that the training modules are adapted to each student’s language level, learning objectives, personal interests and professional field, covering anything from conversational English to business English.

This means that students can practice any particular skill they need to master, such as writing business presentations, leading business conversations, or mastering financial terminology.

In addition, unlike many other self-paced language courses, Berlitz Connect provides students with the possibility to check their progress. Hence, they know exactly how much they’re learning and what areas they need to work on.

Is learning languages essential to succeed in the world of finance?

The world of finance moves at a dizzying pace, and companies are always in need of employees who can keep up with the influx of information and globalisation that comes with it.

Banks and financial institutions recruit multilingual employees more and more willingly due to one reason: money speaks, and knowing a second language is akin to having an extra edge. For those in the field of finance, one or two additional languages can help break down barriers and enhance understanding due to people's unique cultural values and beliefs.

So, while it may not seem so obvious at first, language skills are paramount to succeed in finance, and innovative language learning methods like Berlitz Connect make learning those languages much more effective and accessible.


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